‘Orange Is The New Black’ Actor Branden Wellington Has Radiant Creative Arms

After speaking with Branden Wellington, I immediately thought, ‘What an interesting guy?’  It’s in the way he speaks. Evidently, he’s a poet. When I asked him how he’d describe himself in one word he told The Quintessential Gentleman, “Radiant.”  Amazingly, this talented gentleman described himself as such to me, then he went on to elaborate on that word and why he says so.  I had to hear more. In fact, the spoken word artist just recently took home an Emmy for his penmanship as “Best Writer”. This charming and creative voice is most known for his role in Orange is the New Black.  Don’t get it twisted, he is much more than an actor though.  Branden Emanuel Wellington hails from Indianapolis, Indiana with a love not only for writing and acting but also oddly enough, he did in-game hosting and sideline reporting for the NBA.  Branden’s diverse skills run deep and although each of his experiences is different in their own way, they all align just fine for him.  Check out more about Branden and his multi-dimensional career below as he shares his background in the industry, both writing and acting and the road to it.

Tell me who Branden Wellington is in one word.


Tell me about this radiance.

I’m an action verb, radiate, to a degree. Whatever it is that I feel on a day to day basis, I do my best to radiate that at a high level. Whether that be joy, happiness, or love, it could be sadness for whatever it is; I feel that whatever energy you give across, you want to make sure that you radiate it to the best of your ability and be true to yourself.  I never do anything half speed, radiant describes me when I’m optimistic. I’m radiating optimism.

How did you get your first big break into the industry?

My first job in this industry, I was running coffee around for Miss. J and Tyra Banks on cycle 14 of America’s Next Top Model. Most people don’t know that. Miss. J and I were good friends. His niece used to be my manager at an Italian restaurant that I worked at for a couple of years. There were just years I couldn’t afford to go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas and she’d say, come eat with my family. One weekend I went over there and he was at the dinner table. She’s like, ‘This is my uncle.’ I was like, ‘You look so familiar.’ She’s like, ‘Miss. J, America’s Next Top Model’.  He was like, ‘Listen, if my family lets you over to her house, you’ve got to be a good soul. I’m going to look out for you.’ He helped me get my first job working behind the scenes and he and I have been friends ever since. Then from there, I started building my way up, doing reenactments, short films, student films, independent films, and then ultimately getting a break during prime time broadcast; Blue Bloods, Gotham, Younger. I would say my biggest break came last summer getting cast in a recurring role as Jarod Young on Orange Is The New Black. It was a process, it didn’t happen overnight for me.