Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren is a fictional character played by Uzo Aduba on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. The character is the only role that has earned Emmy Award recognition both in the comedy and drama genres from the same show and only the second character to earn Emmy recognition in both genres.
Warren is portrayed as a female inmate, at times quite articulate, but lacking in social skills, and prone to spiral into emotional outbursts when agitated. Aduba won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards as well as Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series at the 4th Critics' Choice Television Awards for her season 1 performance. She earned Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards as well as Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards for her season 2 performance. Her season 3 performance again won Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series at the 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards.
She is obsessed with Piper Chapman (played by Taylor Schilling). In season 1, she is credited for 11 of the 13 episodes (not the first or seventh), although she appears in the first episode via footage filmed from another episode. She is a recurring character in season 1 and a regular character beginning with season 2.
In season 2, episode 3 ("Hugs Can Be Deceiving"), Eden Wiggins and Taliyah Whitaker portray the 10-year-old and 5-year-old versions of Warren. Throughout the first two seasons, it is shown that Warren aspires "to be included" and "to make friends and be valued". The character is known for her bantu knots, an awkward grin, and her crazy eyes.
Warren is fixated on Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) at the beginning of the season. When Chapman, who has offended prison matriarch Red (Kate Mulgrew), seems hopelessly isolated, Warren is the only inmate not too intimidated to help her. She helps Chapman by getting jalapeños, so she could put them in a medicinal lotion for Red's sore back, and Red forgives Chapman. Warren nicknames Chapman "Dandelion", because of her blonde hair and puts in a request to become Chapman's bunkmate. Nonetheless, Chapman resists her advances. As a result, Warren urinates on the floor in Chapman's bunk quarters. In episode 9, "Fucksgiving", her white adoptive parents, Pat and Dennis Warren, are introduced.
As she rebounds from her unrequited love for Chapman, Warren is befriended by veteran inmate Yvonne "Vee" Parker (Lorraine Toussaint) as Parker develops her powerbase in the prison. Parker takes advantage of Warren's desperation for affection, and Warren becomes Parker's fanatically loyal right-hand woman. Warren serves Parker as muscle, even beating up her friend Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley) on Vee's orders. When Parker attacks prison matriarch Galina "Red" Reznikov (Kate Mulgrew) and put her in the hospital ward, she manipulates Warren into believing that she committed the crime. Warren gives a statement to prison officials confessing to the attack, but inmate counselor Sam Healy (Michael J. Harney) produces evidence that exonerates her. When she realizes that Parker used her, she breaks into tears.
In episode 3, "Hugs Can Be Deceiving", Warren's backstory is revealed via a flashback. She was adopted by white parents and raised in the suburbs, but her mental instability alienated her classmates and their parents alike. Her adoptive mother pushed her to excel at everything she did to prove that she was as good as everyone else; ironically, the constant pressure only made Warren's psychological problems worse. In the same episode, it is revealed that Warren had run outside and knocked Chapman unconscious after Chapman had beaten Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett (Taryn Manning) unconscious at the end of season 1.
In season 3, Suzanne is still grieving Vee's death, and Taystee has her hands full trying to control her temper, mental instability and constant fighting with Poussey. Eventually, she turns to new prison counsellor Berdie Rogers's drama class. There, she begins writing a surrealistic science-fiction erotica series called "The Time Hump Chronicles" which, although considered obscene and strange by both Rogers and Taystee, soon becomes an instant hit amongst the inmates. Although they prove to be therapeutic to her mental instability Suzanne becomes stressed and irritated with the constant harassment by the other inmates for more material, the persistent ideas that are being floated past her and the fan-fiction that is left at her bunk or lying around. Eventually, some of the extracts find their way into the hands of the COs, resulting on Officer Donaldson being mocked by both his colleagues and the inmates alike upon the realisation that he is the inspiration for one of the characters. This leads to Rogers' suspension. Suzanne, meanwhile, is taken by surprise when Maureen Kukudio, one of her more prolific fans, is actually interested in her romantically, and seeks advice on how to respond from Lorna. She admits that she finds Maureen attractive, but that she has never had had a girlfriend before, and subsequently backs out of a sexual liaison with her. In the season finale, Suzanne assists Poussey and Taystee in caring for Brook Soso, whom they discover unconscious from a drug overdose, and develops a closer bond with Maureen in the final scene, owing to a misunderstanding over a turtle that bit Maureen's foot.
In season 4 it is revealed that Suzanne's crime was kidnapping and accidental manslaughter of a child she grew friendly with while as a greeter at a shop. Believing that she was only being friendly, as evidenced when she tells the kid to only call 911 as an emergency and did not realize the true implication of what she was doing (taking the child back from the park and playing video games). It is mentioned that she took a plea deal.
Aduba's portrayal of the character Crazy Eyes has led to extensive acclaim. According to Tom Meltzer of The Guardian, "Shakespeare-quoting loner 'Crazy Eyes' invites pity, shock, reproach and belly-laughs in equal measure." The Huffington Post Canada entertainment editor Chris Jancelewicz, noted that after the first six episodes of season two, he was impressed by this appropriately nicknamed character: "Girl is crazy, and Aduba is genuinely frightening in the role. You can't tell if she's harmless or secretly plotting Piper's death".
Aduba won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series at the 66th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards as well as Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series at the 4th Critics' Choice Television Awards and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the 18th Satellite Awards for her season 1 performance.
Aduba's season 2 performance earned her the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series as well as recognition for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series at the 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards and a nomination Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards. At the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, due to recent rule changes, the show was forced to compete as a drama series rather than a comedy one and Aduba was nominated and won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Previously, Lou Grant played by Ed Asner was the only character for whom an actor had won both drama and comedy Emmy recognition (but in different shows). She also earned a nomination at the 46th NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.
Aduba's season 3 performance earned another Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series nomination win and Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series win for the 22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards. She earned a second nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series at the 47th NAACP Image Awards. She also earned a Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.