Vicky Jeudy is best known as Janae Watson on the Netflix breakout hit “Orange Is the New Black” (2013). Originally from Queens NY and of Haitian descent Vicky got her start in the entertainment world competing in beauty pageants.
Your show Orange is the New Black is a hit! Let’s talk about your character the track star, Janae Watson! She appears to be one of the most headstrong characters in the bunch. What is something you think the audience may not know about her?
V: I think she is protecting the little girl inside her. She was the outcast and had a deep desire to blend in with the crowd. Everyone can identify with that.
Do you think you share any similarities with your character?
V: I definitely connect with Janae’s view on justice and equality. She’s a fighter. I’m a humanitarian at heart in my everyday life. She’s in prison with the rest of her inmates and they are missing their loved ones. As humans we all have moments when we are separated from a loved one. Either when someone moves away, ends a friendship, death, whatever it is.
What was your favorite moment or scene on the show?
V: I loved when I was working with Pensatucky played by Taryn Manning. I’m such a big fan of Taryn Manning. I loved her work in Hustle and Flow. So when she came on set, it was like ‘This is going to be great!’ She’s so awesome and sweet in real life.
You have a lot of the fun on the show?
V: Oh yeah! Did you see our twerking video the other day? It’s on Instagram. We’re twerking on set in between takes. In the video it’s Crazy Eyes (Uzo), Danielle (Taystee), Adrienne who plays Black Cindy. You have to watch the end of the video!
How did this role come about for you?
V: My manager sent me the audition and I went. She called me a couple days later and said I got the part. “You booked it.”
Did you think the show was going to receive the overwhelming response that it has?
V: I did. I remember when I was on set working with other actors and developing these characters and watching other people’s scene, we couldn’t stop laughing. It’s the whole cast that’s laughing. The magic was already there from the beginning. Even now, while shooting I still can’t stop laughing.
What is the most interesting fan interaction that has happened to you since Orange is the New Black aired?
V: I think the one thing that people say over and over again is, “Wow! You’re so nice in person.” I was in Central Park the other day bike riding and some guy yells, “I’m a fan!” He stops and ask to take a picture and says, “I was expecting you to be like, ‘Yo What Up! Deuces.’ You’re actually nice and kind of girly.” I love the fans and feel really grateful. You guys make the show.
I’ve read that you started out as a beauty queen in New York. How did you make the transition into acting?
V: I started off in beauty pageants when I was younger. I went to college and I studied theatre so I have my B.A. in theatre. Then I attended an acting conservatory in New York City. I feel like my journey is like a long route. From there I went to Atlanta and was shooting indies until I relocated back to New York City and started hitting the acting pavement here. I signed with my manager Sana, at Steinberg Talent and 6 months later booked the show.
What is a typical day like for you when it comes to maintaining your hair?
V: I’m pretty low key. I will co-wash it and add a leave in conditioner.
Have you always been natural? If not when and why did you decide to transition?
V: I think I became natural right after I graduated college. I became natural because I saw my friend doing a play and she had done the big chop. I did my big chop the following week. Pretty much I was copycat.
Vicky’s natural hair compilation video:
Do you have a signature style?
V: Not really, I think I’m still discovering what my signature look is. Usually it’s just pulled back, up in a puff or I’ll rock it out. Whatever I feel like doing on that day.
Are there any products that you swear by?
V: I swear by Shea Moisture! Shea Moisture Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner. Not the Shea Moisture you find in Target or Walmart. You have to order it from Amazon online for around $7-$8. It only has 6 ingredients. The other thing I use is Eco Styler gel.
Is there a hair regimen that you follow?
V: The only thing I do is co-wash daily, then use the leave-in conditioner and a little Eco Styler on the edges. I’m getting into doing deep conditions twice a month.
What is next for you?
V: I’m working on season 2 of Orange is the New Black. Having a blast. I just got done shooting a wonderful indie film, Romeo and Juliet in Harlem. I’m just excited about what’s to come. I’m in the now and enjoying this moment.
I LOVE THE FANS! You guys make the show! We wouldn’t have a second season if it wasn’t for you so thank you for your love and your support! We’ll be back in 2014!
Follow me on Twitter: @vickyjeudy