Did you have any idea that season 2 of Orange Is the New Black would be a big one for Poussey?
I did not. We know what’s going on in the season with each new script. And you don’t get the script until right before you start filming the episode. It was revealed piece by piece, which is good because I didn’t want to be too overwhelmed by the plot of it.
Were you nervous about the troubled turn Poussey and Taystee’s friendship would take this season?
I think that Danielle [Brooks] was a little more nervous than I was because she was having to be mean to me.
You and Danielle attended Juilliard together. Did your real-life friendship make it more or less comfortable to film the Poussey-Taystee kiss?
It [made] it more comfortable because we know each other, and we have a language that’s been cultivated over so many years. I’m sure I’d probably feel more nervous doing that scene with somebody that I wasn’t as close to. But it is a little weird.
You also got physical with Lorraine Toussaint’s Vee — albeit in a very different way.
She brings it, and I’ve always been taught that sometimes when you’re an actor, when you’re working with someone that great, they bring greatness out in you.
Poussey finally got her flashback scene, but we have yet to see her crime!
It’s clever. I think maybe they’re saving [it]. I don’t know much about season 3.
Did you speak German beforehand?
No, I just worked my ass off.
Were accents part of your training?
We never specifically did German, but they give you some tools whenever you’re learning a new accent or phonetically learning a language.
Did you have any input on her past look?
The mohawk was my idea. We were thinking about dyeing my hair, all these different things. I had a mohawk a few years ago [and] remembered, That looked cute.
Litchfield Personality Quiz
Wiley answers some tough questions from the big house
1. During a blackout, the inmates play a round of F—, Marry, Kill with prison personnel Caputo, Bennett, and O’Neill. Now it’s your turn:
I think I would have to marry O’Neill because he’s just so sweet. I’m sure he’d take care of me. I’d f— Bennett because he’s just a f—ing cutie-pie. And I gotta kill you, Caputo. You’re in there making girls hug and then whacking one out. That’s not cool. I’m going to have to kill you off.
2. You would spend your last commissary dollars on…
It would be Slim Jims. I love Slim Jims.
3. Which inmate would you least like to bunk with?
Probably Red. Just because I think she’s super controlling. When Piper first moves in with her, she tells her that she can’t use certain hooks!
4. Poussey works in the library. If you could have only one book in prison, what would it be?
I just finished The Fault in Our Stars. I wanted to finish before the movie came out. [It’s] referenced in our show this season. It’s such a great read. Or something by James Baldwin. He’s one of my favorite writers.