TV maven! Yaya DaCosta’s first Hollywood role was portraying Ms. Jenkins on a 2005 episode of Eve. One year later, she nabbed her first film gig, playing LaRhette in Take the Lead.
The New York native’s career took off in 2008 when she was cast as Cassandra Foster on All My Children. The following year, the now 38-year-old star had a recurring role on Ugly Betty and she went on to appear in a series of movies before turning to television in 2015 as April Sexton on Chicago Med. DaCosta exited the series after six seasons — and after portraying the same character on episodes of Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire — in May.
Outside of her acting career, however, how much do DaCosta’s fans know about her? The Our Kind of People actress opened up to Us Weekly exclusively about herself — including how she won senior housing as a freshman at Brown University and why her friends think she should be a comedian.
Read on to learn more about DaCosta:
1. As a child, I would crochet clothes for my dolls. When I first started acting, I would crochet outfits during downtime on set and wear them to wrap parties.
2. I love silence.
3. I eat like a teenage boy.
4. One of my pet peeves is people interrupting daydreams for no reason. Please don’t “earth to Yaya” me when I could be channeling the formula for world peace. You never know!
5. My friends think I’m super silly and should have been a comedian.
6. I have many different laughs, including a witchy cackle.
8. I have a cat named Osho.
9. I also have cat-like reflexes.
10. Ever since I was little, I would make up songs and do raps on the spot. I still do!
11. Wherever I go, I try to live by water.
12. I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life. I tried to be vegan a few times, but … ice cream.
13. I source Black-owned products whenever possible.
14. I’ve been told I make the best smoothies in the world.
15. I worship the sun and the moon equally.
16. I have a love of metaphysics and have studied various modalities [like] the Akashic records, Kundalini yoga, Buddhism and Ifá.
17. I enjoy traveling and communicating with people in their languages if I can — whether it’s just “thank you,” or a whole conversation about the purpose of life.
18. I love keeping fresh cut flowers in my home.
19. I am a trained dancer.
20. I’m a full spectrum birth doula.
21. During my freshman year at Brown University, four of my friends and I won a lip sync contest to get senior housing.
22. In high school, I had a role in Ntozake Shange’s play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf. I had to reference “this silver ring in my nose,” which became my excuse to get a nose ring!
23. I have spent a lot of time in Brazil, which is like a second home.
24. I was accepted into New York’s LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts for theater, singing and dance.
25. I’m secretly anticipating my call from Marvel [Studios] president Kevin Feige to do the Storm origin story about the African priestess who was born and raised in Harlem [in New York City]. Hmm … sounds like someone I know!
DaCosta can be seen on Our Kind of People on Fox Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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