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OITNB's Adrienne C. Moore (AKA Black Cindy) Tests Her Faith On Screen & Off

OITNB's Adrienne C. Moore (AKA Black Cindy) Tests Her Faith On Screen & Off

Cindy Orange is the New Black
Rafael Clemente

The actress talks about women on TV, diversity, and Cindy's latest Litchfield schemes.

Tough big sister Black Cindy on Netflix's Orange is the New Black is a larger than life presence, a character who holds her own against the other standout female performances on the show. The actress behind Cindy, Adrienne C. Moore, emanates a similar attitude and spunk, but is quick to point out the differences between herself in real life and herself on screen.

"In a lot of ways, I am [Cindy]... There's this charismatic approach about her, and she's also kind of a tell-it-like-it-is person," says Moore. "And there's a bit of Adrienne that is a tell-it-like-it-is kind of girl, but she's not as blunt as Black Cindy!"

The actress expresses excitement to be a part of the show, which features one of the most diverse--and populous--casts currently on the air. "I have fallen in love with them so quickly. This is the most amazing group of women that I've had the privilege of surrounding myself with. It's easier--how well women get along when we work together. We do sync up sometimes!"

The fact that Moore, who closes a run as Tranio in all-female Taming of the Shrew this week in Central Park, has now been able to enjoy working in two predominantly female casts is not lost on her. "I feel empowerment. In Taming of the Shrew, we're women playing men. It's an interesting journey, stepping into what it feels like to be a man. And I feel that same empowerment when we're on set."

Moore, who grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, has high hopes for where entertainment is going. "I love that we have shows like Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, that are leading with black women. And Quantico leading with an Indian woman. I love that networks are beginning to expand those horizons. The message that Orange sends is, 'You can have leading women--and not just one type--several types.' We have the gamut of people on the show and they're all kicking ass. This is possible, that time has come."

There are, however, still more opportunities for the industry to mature, specifically when it comes to more targeted content. "That's where the conversation really needs to go. We can have an all Hispanic show or an all African-American show and it not be considered a 'black' show." The gay community as well is hungry for more creative content that doesn't just stem from a character's sexuality or gender identity--and perhaps, doesn't directly deal with it at all. "I think that within this industry, what I've learned is, you have mainstream, and then you have more target-marketed programming, specific to a certain community. [It's time to] kind of blur those lines."

When we last left Black Cindy at the end of Season 3, she had just completed a profound spiritual transformation. It was one of those moments that turned an arguably silly storyline--Cindy going the length of converting to Judaism just to qualify for the superior kosher prison meal--into a moment of deep, emotional character development.

What can we expect from Cindy this season if you haven't already binged? "Cindy is always up to something, trying to make will definitely see what her new scheme is," Moore teases. "With her newfound belief, she meets someone in the prison that automatically puts her new faith to the test."

There might even be love blossoming for Cindy this time around, Moore hints. But when pressed for details, she seals her lips and fairly retorts: "Why do we even have to get to a point where I announce what my sexuality is? Don't you get enough of that with Piper and Alex?"

Season 4 of Orange is the New Black is streaming now on Netflix.

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