Danielle Brooks talks 'Orange Is the New Black' and Aziz Ansari breaking character on 'Master of None'

This article contains spoilers about Season 4 of "Orange Is the New Black."

Danielle Brooks' life changed forever over the course of 13 hours.

That's how long it took for the first fans of "Orange Is the New Black" to binge watch the Netflix series' first season back in 2013 and, since then, Brooks' life has never been the same.

"Over the course of 13 hours, my life had changed," Brooks, who plays Taystee Jefferson on the show, recently reflected to me. "It takes someone 13 hours to watch the entirety of the show, and you get that quick, immediate response."

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Since then, Brooks, 27, has gone on to become a breakout character on one of Netflix's most popular shows, in addition to having a star turn in "The Color Purple" on Broadway, a scene-stealing role on Aziz Ansari's "Master of None" and a high-profile body positivity campaign with Lane Bryant alongside Gabourey Sidibe.

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Danielle Brooks out and about
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 08: Danielle Brooks attends #DeltaAmexPerks Dough On-The-Go tour kickoff with Danielle Brooks in New York City at Flatiron Plaza on June 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for #DeltaAmexPerks)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 12: Actress Danielle Brooks attends the 'Orange is the New Black' Season Five Debut Screening And Conversation at 92nd Street Y on June 12, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Killian/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 09: Actress Danielle Brooks attends the Season 5 celebration of 'Orange is the New Black' at Catch on June 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 11: Danielle Brooks attends the 'Master Of None' Season 2 Premiere After Party at The Top of The Standard on May 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 07: Danielle Brooks attends Netflix's FYSEE Kick-Off Event at Netflix FYSee Space on May 7, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images)
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 05: (L-R) Actresses Danielle Brooks, Laverne Cox, Uzo Aduba, Blair Brown, Taryn Manning, Samira Wiley and Taylor Schilling attend Netflix's 'Orange Is The New Black' For Your Consideration event at Saban Media Center on May 5, 2017 in North Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Actress Danielle Brooks (L) and Alicia Waller attend the Jazz at Lincoln Center 2017 Gala 'Ella at 100: Forever the First Lady of Song' on April 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Jazz At Lincoln Center)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Actress Danielle Brooks attends the 2017 Jazz At Lincoln Center Gala: Ella At 100: Forever The First Lady of Song, at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 13: Danielle Brooks attends the Vineyard Theatre 2017 Gala at the Edison Ballroom on March 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Danielle Brooks attends Variety's Power of Women: New York at Cipriani Midtown on April 21, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07: Actress Danielle Brooks attends a toast to Michele Promaulayko, the new Editor-In-Chief of Cosmopolitan, on March 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Cosmopolitan)
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 25: (L-R) Actors Natasha Lyonne, Danielle Brooks, and director Ava DuVernay take a selfie at the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards at the Santa Monica Pier on February 25, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Film Independent)
SANTA MONICA, CA - FEBRUARY 25: Danielle Brooks attends the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 25, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 23: Actress Danielle Brooks arrives at the Essence 10th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Awards Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 23, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images,)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 23: Editor in Chief at Essence Magazine Vanessa K. De Luca, Quvenzhane Wallis, Yara Shahidi, Aja Naomi King, Danielle Brooks, Shonda Rhimes, Vicky Jeudy, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Tracee Ellis Ross, President of Essence Communications Michelle Ebanks, Issa Rae, Janelle Monae, Angela Bassett, Diahann Carroll, Alfre Woodard and Loretta Devine at Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 23, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Essence)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Pictured (l-r): Phaedra Parks and Danielle Brooks -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 19: Danielle Brooks attends 69th Writers Guild Awards New York Ceremony at Edison Ballroom on February 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10: Danielle Brooks, Camren Bicondova and Kat DeLuna attend the Chromat collection front row during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery 3, Skylight Clarkson Sq on February 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Chromat)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 29: Danielle Brooks poses in the press room with her award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for 'Orange Is The New Black' at the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Expo Hall on January 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 29: Actor Danielle Brooks attends the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Expo Hall on January 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 27: Danielle Brooks attends the Harper's Bazaar Celebrates 150 Most Fashionable Women - Arrivals at Sunset Tower on January 27, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 28: Actress Danielle Brooks attends Variety's celebratory brunch event for awards nominees benefitting Motion Picture Television Fund at Cecconi's on January 28, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 28: Actress Danielle Brooks attends the Entertainment Weekly Celebration of SAG Award Nominees sponsored by Maybelline New York at Chateau Marmont on January 28, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Actress Danielle Brooks attends the 10th Anniversary CNN Heroes at American Museum of Natural History on December 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 26: (L-R) Tess Holliday, Danielle Brooks, Iskra Lawrence and Emme attend Refinery29's Every Beautiful Body Symposium at Brookfield Place on October 26, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Refinery29)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 31: Danielle Brooks and Jessica Williams attend Heidi Klum's 17th Annual Halloween Party - Arrivals at Vandal on October 31, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
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In addition, Brooks recently partnered with American Express and Delta Air Lines for their #DeltaAmexPerks Dough On-The-Go tour, another partnership that "just fit," she says.

"I've been playing this character Taystee for about five years now, and they were very smart to use me to hand out doughnuts," Brooks said with a laugh last week after passing out treats to Delta Skymiles American Express cardholders. "It was a great collaboration."

Speaking with me the day before the Season 5 premiere of "Orange," Brooks said that she was feeling "excitement and anxiety" ahead of the Netflix release.

"Sometimes you just want to crawl in a hole until people have seen it," she explained. "And then you realize that they like it, and you can come out."

Brooks' character, Taystee, ended Season 4 in a dark place: After losing her best friend, Poussey (Samira Wiley), following a shocking instance of brutality at the hands of a prison guard, Taystee collapsed onto the floor in agony before rounding the troops for an all-out prison riot.

"It definitely left on a hard note for her," Brooks agreed. "As we saw, she's the one who really started the riot at the end of that episode and rounding all of these girls up. If you really think about what it takes to start a riot like that, it takes a person that's willing to die. There's nothing for them to lose, so we're going to see someone who has nothing to lose fight for what she believes in."

Before the latest season of "OITNB" was released on Netflix, the effervescent star reprised her small role on Ansari's "Master of None" as his agent, Shannon. Brooks told me that after Ansari texted her that she'd be coming back to be part of the second season, she was hopeful that that would mean she'd get to go to Italy, where the beginning of Season 2 was filmed.

"I was like, 'Maybe I get to go to Italy if the agent goes!'" she remembered with a laugh. "That was not the case. No pasta making for Shannon."

Along with a quick voiceover moment in an early episode, Brooks also appeared in one scene alongside Ansari.

"Bobby Cannavale was there that day, and that was a lot of fun to get to finally meet him because I think he's an amazing actor," she recalled. "It's always fun with Aziz because he's very much from the school of improv and figuring out what works in the moment. The whole staring into each other's eyes [moment] was totally improv."

"He kept breaking while we were shooting!" she continued. "We had to keep doing it over and over again. As he's directing, he's breaking his own character. It was crazy, but so much fun."

"Orange Is the New Black" Season 5 and "Master of None" Season 2 are both available on Netflix.

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