I sat next to Danielle Brooks on a plane once. As a massive fan of hers, she was exactly who I had hoped she would be: friendly, funny and unabashedly herself. As I sat in my first class seat (a rare experience for me, but work was paying for it and I wasn’t complaining), I immediately recognized her as she boarded the plane. As a massive Orange is the New Black fan I thought, ‘If Taystee sits next to me, I don’t know how I will contain myself.’ Next thing I knew she was putting her gorgeous Louis Vuitton luggage in the compartment over my row and sat down in the pod next to me.
credit: Instagram @AsiaKateDillon
She immediately said hello, and struck up a conversation with me. Or maybe I struck up a conversation with her. That seems more plausible, but I would like to think she initiated it. When she asked me what I was traveling to New York for, I explained that I was hosting an event for Showtimes’ Billions ( a gig I actually got through AfterBuzz TV)! She told me she had a friend on the show, which of course I already knew as Billions star Asia Kate Dillon was on OITNB.
Then the flight attendant went around and told people they needed to put their carry-on luggage above their heads for take off and landing (apparently in first class that’s a thing). Danielle turned to me and said “quick, throw your blanket over your stuff so they don’t see it!” I did, and it worked. I was officially getting first class advice from Danielle Brooks, and I could not have loved it more. When I was struggling to put my seat back she helped me out. She showed me where the hidden water bottles were. She told me about the best items on the menu. She was a proud first class frequenter, and she had earned it.
credit: DreamWorks Pictures Paramount Pictures
But my favorite part was about halfway into the trip when Danielle Brooks put on Dreamgirls and sang and danced for the majority of the movie. She wasn’t belting, just casually singing to herself and doing jazz hands like no one was watching. But I was watching, I couldn’t help myself! It was incredibly endearing. Apparently Brooks is as big of a fan of Queen Bey as the rest of us.
credit: Twitter @TheDanieB – Girls
One of the reasons I was so enamored was Orange is the New Black is not the only show I love Brooks on. She also played a very memorable character in an amazing episode of Girls. Plus she was on a couple episodes of the brilliant show Master of None. And yes, Taystee was the heart and soul of OITNB. She was the comic relief when she had to be, the voice of reason often, and someone you truly rooted for.
credit: Instagram @OITNB
While I was a fan of Danielle Brooks before, I am an even bigger fan now. If I can’t sit next to her for all of my flights, can she please book jobs for years to come so I can watch her on the plane. At the very least, can every airline have Dreamgirls in their library so I can dance along like no one is watching?
About The Author:
Roxy Striaris an actress, host, writer and producer living in sunny Los Angeles. You may recognize her from her work on Collider, ScreenJunkies, DC Movie News, and of course, AfterBuzz TV. She claims she is not Batman, but has anyone ever seen them in the same room?
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