If you walked by news stands this month and wondered who was this beautiful black girl on the cover of Vanity Fair Magazine, the answer is Adepero Oduye. The new actress hails from Brooklyn, New York City by way of Nigeria.
She is a graduate of Cornell University; and has studied acting with Wynn Handman, Austin Pendleton, and Susan Batson. Her name is pronounced “Add-eh-pair-o Oh-due-yay.” She burst onto the scene with her award worthy performance of a young lesbian girl struggling with finding her identity in the NAACP Award winning independent film Pariah. This film was directed by Dee Rees and produced by Spike Lee. The movie won many awards at film festivals all over the country including Sundance. Her portrayal of Alike took her from an everyday struggling actress to a Hollywood It girl represented by the ICM agency, in gowns at every major award show and on the cover of the Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair Magazine. Adepero and actress Paula Patton were the only black females in Hollywood featured on the cover.
Ms. Oduye is a very self-assured and strikingly attractive young woman (the complete opposite of the character she played in Pariah). She went to Cornell to study medicine, but when her father passed away during college she decided to pursue her dream of acting. She recently nabbed a role in the all black version of Steel Magnolias starring Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad and Alfre Woddard among others. She is definitely one to watch! Check out my interview with her about her role in Pariah.
Cherise Nicole sits down with Adepero Oduye to discuss her break-out role in Pariah.