Samira Wiley may have exited Orange Is the New Black this season, but the actress – who played fan favourite Poussey Washington – is moving on to a new challenge.
Wiley’s new film 37 is a powerful drama and a fictional account of the 1964 rape and murder of Kitty Genovese, and the 37 people who “did nothing” as it happened.
Directed by Danish actress and filmmaker, Puk Gratsen, the film’s retelling is told entirely from the perspectives of her apathetic neighbours.
Wiley plays Joyce Smith who, with her husband and son, fled the race riots in Harlem and have just moved into the Queens neighbourhood.
Talking about the movie to Hollywood Life, Wiley said
As an actor, I want to do a lot of different roles and different from the things people know me for. So that was the first thing that definitely attracted me to the role.
The Kitty Genovese story, which I actually wasn’t familiar with before this film. Researching and figuring out the particulars of what happened that night was definitely — I felt like — a story that needed to be told. To be able to have the opportunity to not only tell that story but also working with such an amazing cast and especially Michael Potts, I just felt like I learned so much to better myself as an actor.
Honestly, I really do think something like that is possible in happening today. I think people are so afraid of speaking up because I think there’s this notion of: “If I’m the first one to say something, then I’m going to be the first person that suspicion is cast on.”