|Date of birth|
April 15, 1987
|Place of birth|
Washington, D.C., United States
Samira Wiley (born April 15, 1987) is an American actress and model. She is best known for playing Poussey Washington in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black and for playing Moira in the Hulu series The Handmaid's Tale. Wiley portrays Gretchen's therapist, Justina Jordan, in the FXX series You're the Worst.
Wiley was raised in Washington, D.C. Her parents, Christine and Dennis W. Wiley, are the co-pastors of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ. Wiley's parents have been referred to as "pillars of the LGBT religious community," as the Covenant Baptist Church was the only Baptist church in D.C. performing same-sex unions in 2007. She has two siblings: Aiyana Ma'at and Joshua Wiley.
Wiley attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Juilliard School in New York City, graduating in 2010. At Juilliard, she trained in theater performance and worked mainly in theater in her early career.
In 2011, she played Maria in a production of Love's Labour's Lost by The Public Theater. In 2016, she starred in a new play by Quiara Alegría Hudes called Daphne's Dive.
She is best known for playing Poussey Washington in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. Wiley was also featured in the 16th season 21 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, "Perverted Justice," Wiley portrays Michelle Thompson, a young adult wishing to recant her rape accusation of her father when she was 6 years old, and set him free. She stared as Moira in the Hulu series The Handmaid's Tale. Wiley portrays Gretchen's therapist, Justina Jordan, in the FXX series You're the Worst.
Wiley's first major acting role was in the comedy film The Sitter (2011). In between seasons of Orange Is the New Black, Wiley filmed Rob the Mob, an independent crime film directed by Raymond De Felitta and released in March 2014. Wiley also starred in a movie called 37 as Joyce Smith, a true story of thirty-seven people who witness a murder and none call the police or intervene.
Wiley has modeled for Maniac Magazine, appearing on the cover and in an editorial of the 2014 September/October issue. She was pictured modeling "a series of bold, chic, high fashion looks." Wiley was also featured on the cover of 2014 edition of Out magazine, along with Sam Smith, Ellen Page, and Zachary Quinto.
In December 2015, it was announced Wiley had been cast to voice the titular character in the video game The Walking Dead: Michonne. The game was released by Telltale Games in February 2016.
Notes and Trivia
- Wiley appeared in an advertisement for the digital monetary service PayPal in 2014.
- Wiley's wife, Lauren Morelli, is a writer on the Orange Is the New Black.