Exclusive Interview: Vicky Jeudy
At first sight you might dismiss Vicky Jeudy’s character, Janae Watson, as a cocky street thug, but as we learn more about her back story in the episode Blood Donut, we find that her bitterness and attitude are the result of a promising young girl with a bright future ahead of her losing the chance of a lifetime. Today you will get to know more about Vicky, a talented young woman who’s blessed with such a kind nature and is absolutely humble.
KR: Hi Vicky!
VJ: Hi, how are you?
KR: So nice to finally meet you today!
VJ: Thank you for this interview!
KR: And thank YOU for introducing me to One Lucky Duck [Where we met up to get our smoothies]
VJ: One Lucky Duck, Union Square!
VJ: Awesome! LOVE their smoothies!
KR: Alright, please tell us a little about how you got into this acting business.
VJ: I started off in beauty pageants, that was my first exposure in the entertainment world. It teaches confidence and creating a great first impression. If you can walk out in a bikini and heels in front of a large audience you can do anything. To develop my talent, I decided to study acting in college, SUNY New Paltz and I attended an on camera conservatory, New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts. Currently, I’m studying with Anthony Abeson who is an amazing acting coach. He believes in his students and is like a second dad. I got my feet wet doing off, off broadway theater and doing independent films.
KR: And did you audition for the role as Janae?
VJ: I did, my manager basically called me and she said, “You’re auditioning for an episodic,” I went in and had fun with it. I left and didn’t think anything of it. Do it, leave the room and off to the next audition. I was actually in North Carolina when my manager called me and said I booked it. I was shocked and overjoyed.
KR: What did they have you read for Janae?
VJ: It was from the pilot, that’s where the scene was from. I met with the casting director, Jen Euston. We basically filmed the audition and that was it. Thank you to Jenji Kohan and Jen Euston for giving new talent a break.
KR: Nice. I want to see that video.[laugh]
VJ: [Laughs] You never know!
KR: So tell us a little bit about your first day on set. I know you would have definitely been nervous.
VJ: Oh my goodness! I was thrilled! We were shooting on location bright and early. I walked up to Jenji Kohan [Creator and producer of OITNB] and gave her a hug. I met the beautiful kind hearted Lisa Vinnecour and was working with my director, Michael Trim on my first union job. I was in my trailer taking pictures and sending them to my friends. I even took a picture of the bathroom. I was talking to my cast mates: Taylor[Schilling], Dash [Polanco], Yael[Stone] and Michelle[Hurst]. I walked around set in my orange jumpsuit with the biggest grin meeting everyone. That grin would have to disappear when I played Janae though. Everyone was so friendly and professional and still are today.
KR: Who was the first person that you met on set? Was it Taylor [Schilling] ? I knew it was the van scene… I’m trying to think.
VJ: [Laughs] For the pilot, it was the van scene and the very very first person I met on set was Dash [Dayanara in OITNB] and she’s been working in this business professionally. I remember going to her trailer… And she just gave me advice about what to do in this business, including food advice [Laughs] she said ” As soon as they serve you breakfast, you have to go get extra food at the craft table. You need to load up your trailer like load it up with all kinds of food because once they start shooting and you get hungry, you can’t eat. No, you can’t! [Laughs]
KR: [Laughs] But that was a great advice! Instead of starving all day!
VJ: Yeah! So no complains! Thanks for the advice, Dash!
KR: Alright, let’s take some questions from your fans. From @Sammyanthajones , if you could play any characters in Orange, who would that be and why?
VJ: Thanks for your question, Samantha. I pick Pornstache.
Both KR & VJ laughs hysterically
VJ: [Cont] … I know I pick a guy.
KR: No, it’s cool. Emma [Myles] picked him, too!
VJ: Oh really!?
VJ: Pornstache. He’s creepy. Don’t know what to do with him. He seems like a very fun character with many disgusting habits.
KR: He IS the guy people love to hate!
VJ: He IS! But, he would be fun to play.
KR: Would you want to talk about what he was like on set?
VJ: Oh my goodness! On set, we can’t stop laughing!
KR: Because of him?
VJ: Yes! Because of him! Every time he would go ahead and do his scene, the director had to cut. We all would be grossed out and laugh. In episode 2, while filming all the actors, crew I mean everyone had big belly laughs. Love him.
KR: Oh yeah![Laughs]
VJ: [Laughs] Yes! Each one of those moments, it was hilarious! Like we were all holding it in!
KR: Was it on script? What he did?
VJ: I’m not sure. But when you have a terrific actor, like Pablo Schreiber and writer your bound to make magic.
KR: Yeah, I can’t agree more!
VJ: Yeah. I’d love to play Pornstache. I love his Pornstache mannerism. [Vicky shows her Pornstache moves] He’s disgusting! Like you creep! [Laughs]
KR: [Laughs] I have seen him in other shows before and I thought wow he did such a great job!
VJ: He is an AH-Ma-Zing actor.
KR: So, next question from @YanaVause , will you be in season 2?
VJ: Yeah, I will!
KR: Also, she said I love your character so much! Janae and Yoga Jones, that was great!
VJ: Thank you, Yana!
KR: I personally love that scene when you were interacting with Yoga Jones, when you said ” Why you in here, yo!?” And she was trying to tell you to calm down and you just went at it till it exploded. Bam!
VJ: And Janae learned her lesson. [Laughs] The hard way.
KR: How many takes to film that scene? Was it just one?
VJ: No, it wasn’t definitely just one. Because for the scene, you have to pretty much stage it. Like, how you are going to fall… How you’re moving your head. So, a couple of takes.
KR: Oh wow! It looks pretty real like just one take and boom! I was like clapping my hands and YEAH!
VJ: Oh! You were clapping!? Poor Janae! [Laughs]
KR: I just love her because she’s such a gangster and so cool. The way she walks, talks… She isn’t afraid of anybody, you know?
VJ: Janae is very outspoken.
KR: But, Vicky is really sweet, guys!
VJ: I feel like that’s the one thing I always get. Every time I’m walking down the street, somebody would stop me and say ” Hey can I take a picture with you?” And then they start talking and say …oh my goodness you are so sweet! I was thinking you’d beat me up or something or ” What’s up, deuces yo !” [Vicky demonstrates Janae] but, no! That’s not Vicky!
KR: Here’s some compliment from @Lovelorn78, Vicky had me at calling Chapman “Taylor Swift” and I can’t wait for characters development and full story season 2.
VJ: Thank you! Thank you for your support and thank you for watching the show!
KR: Last one from your fans on twitter, @MO_242 , I want to know what her favorite scene from orange is, either ones she was in or someone else’s?
VJ: You know what scene I love?
KR: I’m excited..
VJ: Episode 6. When the girls formed the circle…
KR: Oh! WACPAC?
VJ: Yes, when Big Boo [Lea DeLaria] comes right in the center and starts dancing. All of a sudden Uzo, [Aduba] who plays crazy eyes, places her hands on her crotch and heads to the dance floor! Love it! And basically rapes Big Boo on the floor!
KR: Was that on scripts?
VJ: That, I don’t know. Because remember I wasn’t there! Janae was in solitary ..
KR: Oh that’s right Janae was in the SHU!
VJ: But, man, I wish I was on set. Just watching it on screen, I had to stop and replay it again! I love it! Uzo is brilliant! What she does and playing crazy eyes.
KR: What about your own scenes, do you have your favorite?
VJ: I actually do! My favorite was when I called Pennsatucky’s bluff.
VJ: Jibby Jabba lay hands, bitch! I love that scene and also because I love Taryn Manning. I’m a big fan of her .. From Hustle and Flow so once I found out we were doing the scene I was hype! I love the whole setup for the scene of gassing her head where she thinks she had this magical power.
KR: So, basically Janae faked it? She didn’t actually heal you?
VJ: Yup. It was a setup.
KR: Oh that’s why you looked right at Piper and Alex while walking out and nodded at Alex…
KR: Oh the first round watching it I thought oh wow she actually did that! Then I went oh no! Janae you fooled me!
KR: I just re-watched Janae’s episode Blood Donut and I came across something I need to ask you, like Janae has a passion for running, do you share that interest?
VJ: I’m not as deeply passionate with running like Janae is. Except, if I’m running on a treadmill at the gym and another person gets on the treadmill beside me then I’m sprinting to beat the other person. Even if the person is minding their own business! [laughs]…it’s something about treadmills. Janae and I are very athletic individuals. I love kickboxing, dance and step aerobics. I am a certified kickboxing and aerobic instructor so when it came time to run and workout on set it was pretty easy.
KR: What would you have done if you were Janae? The fact that she had made a bad decision and it changed her life forever. I think your young fans would love to hear this.
VJ: Great question for the young fans, actually for all people. Sometimes both males and females get themselves in toxic relationships. If Vicky today, was in Janae’s shoes I would have left the party and not look once at the cutie drinking a beer in the hall way. The situation wouldn’t have a chance to escalate to crime and landing behind bars for someone who couldn’t care two cents about me. It’s a result of bad association, peer pressure and low self confidence. I wish Janae chose to remain on course and use that college track scholarship to build a platform for greatness for not only herself but for others. I use the phrase “Vicky today” because there was a time in my past where I, too, ended up in a toxic relationship. It took courage for me to leave and discipline along with a constant renewing of my mind about the true value of my self worth. It’s constant work that will start to shine and seep into other areas of your life. You’ll ask for that pay raise, go for that promotion, start a business, decided to give your love to someone worthy of you, develop a language of saying no, fight for justice, wear a full body armor against insults and negativity and so much more because YOU ARE WORTH IT. YES, YOU! For me I get this through my faith in Jesus and constantly renewing my mind.
KR: Alright, thank you so much! What would you like to tell your fans?
VJ: oh my goodness.
KR: At this point, your fans around through world.
VJ: I want to tell every single one of you THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU so much from the bottom of my heart for supporting the show. This show wouldn’t be here if you guys weren’t talking about it, tweeting about it, or excited about it, so thank you thank you thank you! We are so excited and we love your energy! The whole cast we are SO SO SO grateful to you guys! Lastly, a big thank you to Cindy Holland from Netflix. Netflix you’re changing the game, baby and rocking!
After the interview, I recorded an INSTAGRAM video of Vicky for her fans. Watch here