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2016 Tony Awards Meet The Nominees Press Reception - Portrait Studio

Source: Larry Busacca / Getty

As if you needed another reason to love “Orange Is The New Black” actress and Tony nominee Danielle Brooks, she totally gives you one in a recent empowering interview for AOL’s Build Series.

Brooks spoke in depth about how she overcame her insecurities as an actress, why young women should never lower their standards or lose their integrity to build up their career and much more, the Huffington Post noted

Here’s a clip:

On how OITNB helped build her confidence:

“Before ‘Orange’ there were so many times that I was like, ‘do I need to change my hair? Do I need to have straight or curly? Should I lose weight, gain weight?’ I really didn’t think my career was gonna pop off until I was 40, but here I am. ‘Orange’ showed me that I can be myself. I literally had no makeup on. I had my natural hair in plaits and a Mumu and I booked this job. And then I booked ‘Girls,’ and then I booked ‘Master of None’ by being myself. And I think that’s what I hope, by living my life as truthfully as I can, women and men can do the same.”

On accepting who you are:

“I hope that my platform really does show young girls that they can do it being their selves, whether you do have very Christian values or not, whether you are plus-size or not, dark skin, whatever that is, I just want people to know that you can be yourself and make it into this business.”  

On nudity on screen:

“I feel like that’s what I’ve tried to do in my career is not bend those things. And even in a situation where I talk about being topless. I still decided to do the role, but when I came in to do it, I made sure anytime that I have to get naked or have to have a sex scene I want there to be purpose behind it. I don’t just want to be showing my body for the sake of showing my body.”

On turning a bad situation into a good one:

“[After that horrifying audition on Broadway] it was such a wake-up call for me because sometimes we let our nerves get the best of us…and that was a moment for me. And for me to counteract that and I said ‘Well let me get the work in.’ So I went straight into dance lessons and straight into singing lessons, just do that I become comfortable. And then a few months later, the call for ‘Color Purple’ came around and I was ready.”

On modeling in recent runway show for Christian Siriano’s new Lane Bryant line:

“I got to be a diva! I modeled beside Ashley Grahm, which was so much fun and Precious and Candice and all of the plus-sized models. Gabby Fresh came out. It was just really cool. [Being the new face of his line] has been so much fun to be a model for the month and I had a great time on that runway. I was so glad I didn’t fall.”

Swoon! We absolutely love her and cannot wait to see what Tasytee has in store for us when OITNB’s fourth season debuts on June 7.

Watch Brooks’ entire interview here


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