The Character Miss Rosa from Orange is the New Black created by Stephanie Andujar

by Evil Jenji

I wonder why everyone likes Miss Rosa so much? She was a bank robber when she was young, spent her life behind bars, got cancer and ran over villain Vee in a sensational escape. Miss Rosa is one of the most complete and interesting characters in Orange is the New Black. In fact the show is a collection of very good characters. Rosa’s character is based on Miss Luz in the memories of Piper Kerman – Miss Rosa is played by British actress Barbara Rosenblat, and in the young phase by Stephanie Andujar. This week we had the opportunity to talk to Stephanie about her experience at Orange is the New Black.

We Love Miss Rosa

Evil Jenji – I’m very happy to talk to you. What did you like most about your character Rosa Cisneros?

Stephanie Andujar – Thank you so much for having me! What I loved about playing Rosa Cisneros, as her younger self, was how strong she was. Even though she was learning the trade from her husband, he knew she was capable enough to handle the “stick up business,” lol you know what I mean? I also loved that it was finally a role where I can be bad a$$ and give this character life.

Evil Jenji – Did you imagine that the character would be one of the most beloved in the series? In your opinion why did the fans like the character so much?

Stephanie Andujar – Honestly, no lol for real, I was just happy I was chosen to play Young Rosa and give the Older Rosa, played by Barbara Rosenblat, a really great backstory. I think that’s why fans resonated with the character so much. Because any role I play, I make sure to give 100%, as best I can. Rosa had to be played well so the fans can now feel her pain after realizing the past she lived.

Evil Jenji – Did you meet Barbara Rosenblat, who plays Miss Rosa in the last phase? How was this meeting?

Stephanie Andujar – Yeah! I met her on set during the scene where I’m in prison talking to Don. Barbara came over and said “I have to meet my mini me.” I turned and was like ooo snaps!! Lmao it was cool you know. I also got to see her perform one of her scenes for character study.

Evil Jenji – What is your best memory when filming Orange is the New Black?

Stephanie Andujar – Rocking 70’s wardrobe and the fact that I was in charge of my men lol except for one lol. But, I just loved that it was one my first forays into action and how it evolved me as a performer

Evil Jenji- In my opinion Rosa is one of the best characters in the series to develop a possible Spin-off. What do you think about this?

Stephanie Andujar – Aww, Thank You. You know, it would be really cool- given the approval of the creators & writers, and if the fans want it…why not? And of course I would be honored to reprise the role lol For real tho, I’m just happy that fans are still cheering for Rosa Cisneros after all this time, it’s a blessing. 

Evil Jenji – Is Rosa a bank robber or a friendly adventurer?

Stephanie Andujar – Hmmm…yea, she’s a friendly adventurer that just makes pit stops to be able to afford her adventure lifestyle, you know but hopefully, if there’s a spin-off, we’ll see mad “bank adventures” Thank you so much!

Wikipedia – Andujar was born in Manhattan, New York on July 15, 1986. Her father, Hector Andujar, was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and her mother Carmen Andujar (of Puerto Rican descent) is an NYPD School Safety Agent, born in Chelsea, New York. She has an older sister Melanie Andujar and a younger brother Hector Andujar Jr. Her family first resided in Harlem, then to Queens, finally settling back to the neighborhood in Manhattan. While being raised in Chelsea-Elliot Houses housing projects, Andujar started acting at the age of 12, when her parents enrolled her at a Beacon after-school arts program. At 13, she landed the part of the Scarecrow in the musical The Wiz. While performing in The Wiz a talent manager noticed her and signed her up immediately.Her drama teacher Derrick Tyes pushed for her to audition for drama schools. She was then accepted at Talent Unlimited High School where she performed in more than 10 drama productions.

She obtained her Business Degree (2009) at Pace University in New York City

In 2007, while attending Pace University, Stephanie auditioned for a role in Law & Order: SVU and booked her first role as Latrice Munez. She then auditioned for Push, which was being turned into a film directed by Lee Daniels. Andujar’s role came when she played former heroin addict Rita Romero in the 2009 film Precious. She went on to play young Miss Rosa in Orange is the New Black Season 2. Hillary Busis of Entertainment Weekly raved about her performance and stated, “Stephanie Andujar, who plays Young Rosa, is mesmerizing, and I want her to star in a prequel spinoff called Portrait of the Prisoner as a Young Bank Robber.”

In 2016, Stephanie formed Andujar Productions with her family and produced a comedy web series “StephA: One Woman Show.” The YouTube series showcases Stephanie’s comedic range, as she plays 10+ characters who intertwine with each other. The show is based on Stephanie’s life growing up in New York City and currently has 5 seasons.

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