'OITNB' Star Adrienne C. Moore on Working With Jenji Kohan & The Rise of Female-Led TV
To ask the question "can women really have it all?" is to not know of Jenji Kohan. The Orange is the New Black creator somehow balances running a hit TV show, raising a family, developing a new HBO show, and being a vocal defender of all things female/diverse/"unfit" for TV — and the craziest thing of all? She makes it look easy.
"I remember this one time, her kids were on set," begins Adrienne C. Moore, who plays Black Cindy on Orange . "They were hanging out with her, and one of them had a cough or something, and one of them was nestled in between her, and she was on her computer working — I'm sure she was working on a script — and out of nowhere, this kid is about to sneeze. And she finds this tissue from out of nowhere, picks it up, puts it in front of the kid’s mouth before he sneezes, cleans him up, disposes of it, and then just goes back to work! I mean, who does that? I know it may not seem like a big deal, but for a person like myself who wants to have a family, and wants to find that balance between family and career and happiness... to see that is hugely inspiring."
Kohan was the reason Moore was drawn to Orange at the beginning; at the time, she was appearing in episodes of 30 Rock, but when she learned that she's gotten an audition for a new series created by the woman who made Weeds, that was all the motivation she needed to get on board.
"I would think, 'wow, Jenji Kohan!' not really knowing what the show’s about," Moore says.
Now, nearly three seasons in, the excitement around Kohan's involvement still hasn't worn off, says Moore.
"It really is just a fun place to go to work," she says. "And to still say that in season three is a great testament to Jenji."
Moore credits Kohan with creating a new genre of television, one that "marries entertainment with teaching."
"It challenges the mind, and it also entertains the mind," she says.
Because of Kohan, Moore adds, it's finally become clear that drama doesn't have to be soapy; it can be smart, and real, and even funny — and, despite what many people still seem to think, it doesn't have to only star men.
"[She taught me] that you can do a show that focuses on women, and it can resonate as strongly as any male-led show," Moore says."A lot of times in the industry, people look upon female-driven shows in a negative light... but you look at Orange is the New Black, you look at Scandal... I think it’s a very exciting time for drama, and for women."
"And to be a part of that storytelling," Moore continues, "is a huge honor."