Uzo Aduba Reveals What It’s Like Working with Shonda Rhimes on New Netflix Murder Mystery Series

You had us at Uzo Aduba and Shonda Rhimes

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Shonda Rhimes (who’s written some of our favorite television shows like Grey’s Anatomy) and Uzo Aduba working together on an upcoming Netflix murder mystery series? Oh, we’ll definitely be seated.

As the new brand ambassador for Colgate’s “My Smile Is My Superpower” campaign, the 43-year-old actress recently sat down with PureWow to discuss the partnership in addition to her upcoming show titled The Residence, which is the latest addition to Rhimes’s production company, Shondaland

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Created by Paul William Davies (who worked on Scandal) and executive produced by Rhimes, The Residence (which is still in production) follows a detective named Cordelia Cupp (Aduba), who is tasked with solving a mysterious murder that occurred during the worst state dinner in White House history. As Cordelia races against the clock, she tries to find the identity of the killer before it’s too late.

While playing on the classic “whodunit” trope, this dramady features a talented ensemble cast, including Giancarlo Esposito (Better Call Saul), Jane Curtin (Saturday Night Live), Jason Lee (My Name is Earl), Julian McMahon (FBI: Most Wanted, Charmed) and Ken Marino (Party Down). 

When asked what it’s been like working with Rhimes on the new series, Aduba shared that it’s been a “real joy and pleasure” to watch the Inventing Anna creator’s genius behind the scenes. “[Rhimes] is a master of excellence. She is remarkably gifted and has done so much for the TV landscape in terms of story, in terms of how we see leads [and] in terms of imagination and the expansion of that for so many, both as viewers and creators. [So], it’s been a real joy and pleasure to watch her excellence on full display in our show,” she told PureWow.

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The Painkiller star went on to share why she really wanted to play a character like detective Cordelia Cupp in The Residence. She continued, “I was drawn to the thoughtfulness of the character, and how well-rounded she is. I was drawn to the scope of the world, and all of these characters that Paul [the creator] has created.”

As for what viewers can expect from the new Netflix murder mystery? While Aduba didn’t delve too deep into the details, the Orange Is the New Black alum revealed, “What I think might be exciting for viewers is [what] we think we know [about] the White House—and we think we know who runs the White House, but we really don't. And that was exciting to see play out.” Consider us locked in. 

While discussing her recent partnership with Colgate, Aduba shared why she really wanted to be a part of “My Smile Is My Superpower.” She told us, “There was a time when I did not feel like a superhero hero with my smile. I didn't smile at all when I was young. [Now], I finally found my confidence in my smile.”

Aduba added, “When I heard about Colgate’s ‘My Smile Is My Superpower’ campaign, and the beauty of gaps, I wanted to jump in and be a part of that and try and inspire young people, Gen-Z specifically, who are pursuing new smiles. They don't think that their smile is beautiful. And I wanted to help them to know that their smile is already perfect.”

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karelle mckay headshot e1678464959710

Assistant Editor, News And Entertainment

Karelle McKay is the Assistant Editor of News and Entertainment at PureWow. Before she started writing about all things pop culture, she was a literal couch potato who loved...