Orange Is the New Black actress Uzo Aduba has joined the cast of the highly anticipated TV series, and she will play the role of Aunty Uju.
Lupita Nyong’o, who optioned the rights for the adaptation, announced the news on her Twitter account with a funny video of her and Aduba dancing.
“How I feel about @UzoAduba joining the #Americanah cast! She will play Aunt Uju.
@ChimamandaReal @hbomax,” she captioned the video.
— Lupita Nyong'o (@Lupita_Nyongo) December 18, 2019
Americanah is a 10-episode limited TV series based on the wildly popular novel, Americanah, written by acclaimed Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Americanah tells the story of Ifemelu (Nyong’o), a young, beautiful, self-assured woman raised in Nigeria, who as a teenager falls in love with her classmate Obinze.
Living in a military-ruled country, they each depart for the west, with Ifemelu heading for America, where, despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple for the first time with what it means to be black.
Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous undocumented life in London.
Nyong’o has previously discussed how she hounded Adichie for years over Americanah.
“In fact, just before 12 Years came out, I pre-ordered that book and I could not put it down. To see an African woman whose identity was in a flux in the way that Ifemelu’s is in the book just spoke so deeply to me. I could not stop thinking about it so I immediately contacted her.
I had no stars or stripes to my name except, ‘I’m an actress from Kenya and I read your book and I love it and I’m going to be in this movie called 12 Years a Slave.’ I had no idea what that meant anyway, but I knew I wanted to make this.” Lupita said.
The film will star Lupita Nyon’o as Ifemelu, Zackary Momoh as Obinze. David Oyelowo is also attached to star with Danai Gurira as showrunner.