Guest List Should Read: Your Fave Actress’ Fave Actress
I.D. Please: Actress; 33
VIP Status: The former premed scholar carpe diem’ed and rose to It chick after a penetrating performance in 2011’s Pariah. The Sundance-acclaimed flick, about a young Black lesbian struggling with her sexuality, earned its brainy leading lady a shout-out in Meryl Streep’s 2012 Golden Globe speech, plus further employment in the upcoming Steel Magnolias remake (Phylicia Rashad, Alfre Woodard) and Twelve Years a Slave (Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor).
“The idea that Meryl Streep sat and watched [Pariah], something that I was a part of, I’m still not able to wrap my head around it,” says Oduye. “She was the first woman I saw who, as an actor, I was completely enthralled by. I know now that in spite of the obstacles, what I dream is valid.”
Invited By: Phylicia Rashad (Actress): “She’s as honest in her performance as she is in life. If you sit with Adepero and the food is really good, she’ll start dancing at the table or raise her hands like she’s testifying. She has emotional depth that’s beyond what you see in many people.”
Arrival: “Pariah was an opportunity to sink my teeth into a character that’s well-rounded and meaty,” says Oduye. “I had another theater audition that day, and like 50 million pages of sides. I just knew what this character was about. The one thing that helped me was wearing my little brother’s clothes. I remember walking up to Dee [Rees, Pariah director] afterward and being like, “‘Oh, that was fun.’”
Plus 1: Nicole Beharie
“Amazing actress. I would go see anything that she’s in.”