Samira Denise Wiley
Washington, D.C., United States
Samira Wiley went to the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C.
After graduating from high school, she got enrolled at the Temple University to study acting. However, after studying for only one semester, she decided to audition for the Juilliard School in New York City. She studied theater performance at Juilliard and graduated in 2010.
Model, producer, and actress
- Father – Dennis W. Wiley (Co-pastor of the Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ)
- Mother – Christine Wiley (Co-pastor of the Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ)
- Siblings – Aiyana Ma’at (Sister), Joshua Wiley (Brother)
- Others – Rev. Hurley Wesley Wiley (Paternal Grandfather), Doris White (Paternal Grandmother)
Samira Wiley is represented by the Santa Monica-based Innovative Artists L.A.
5 ft 3 in or 160 cm
49 kg or 108 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Samira Wiley has dated
- Lauren Morelli – Samira Wiley started dating script-writer Lauren Morelli, while they were both working on the Netflix show, Orange is the New Black. Their relationship caused a bit of a stir as Lauren was a married woman when they began dating. She later revealed that it was while working on the show that she realized she was gay. In October 2016, Samira made their engagement public. Lauren had an epiphany to propose to her while they were holidaying at a Palm Springs resort. She ordered a yellow gold ring and made arrangements to get it delivered to the resort. Their wedding, that was held in March 2017, was a lavish and romantic affair. Samira’s parents officiated the ceremony and they opted to wear matching custom gowns by Christian Siriano.
Race / Ethnicity
She has African American ancestry.
- Petite figure
- Buzzcut hairdo
- Androgynous sense of style
Wiley has done endorsement work for the following brands
- PayPal (2014)
- Venus Swirl (2015)
With both her parents being pastors, she was raised in a religious household.
But her religious views as an adult aren’t known.
Best Known For
- Being cast in the role of Poussey Washington on the Netflix comedy series, Orange Is the New Black.
- Having played the role of Moira in the dystopian fiction TV series, The Handmaid’s Tale. She even won a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for her work on the show.
In 2011, she made her theatrical film debut in the comedy movie, The Sitter, in which Jonah Hill was cast in the lead role.
First TV Show
Her first TV show appearance was in the crime drama TV series, Unforgettable in 2011.
Samira Wiley loves to eat a healthy and big breakfast that keeps her going throughout the day. She relies on a plate of bacon, a bagel, fresh fruit, boiled eggs, oatmeal, and potatoes.
Samira Wiley Favorite Things
- New York City Upper West Side Go-to Spot – Maoz
- Food – Shrimp scampi from Red Lobster
- Hot Sauce – Dragon Dust
- Meal – Anything Ethiopian
Source – Bon Appetit
Samira Wiley Facts
- She realized that she wanted to become an actress at the age of 10.
- She has done extensive activism work for GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and has even served as their spokesperson.
- She first thought of becoming a performer in the third grade after she saw a girl performing Nikki Giovanni’s Ego-Tripping in an Oratorical contest in her school.
- After graduating from high school, she applied to at least five big conservatory-style programs to study acting including the one offered by New York University.
- She decided to audition for Juilliard School after being encouraged by her teacher at Temple University, who was renowned for being tough. She was also supported by her mother.
- For her Juilliard callback, she had to perform in front of about 25 to 30 faculty members and when she was selected, she was one of the 18 students to be selected from about 1,500 applicants.
- For her extensive activism work, she was honored by the Human Rights Campaign with the Visibility Award in 2015.
Featured Image by Samira Wiley / Instagram