Laura Prepon
Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Despite rumors to the contrary, Laura Prepon isn’t trying to cut her sentence at Litchfield Penitentiary short. As Piper’s sometimes-enemy and forbidden love interest, Prepon’s character Alex Vause was vital to the first season of Orange Is the New Black. So when reports swirled last year that Prepon would only appear in a single episode of the second season, fans started speculating as to why. One popular theory was that Prepon, as a scientologist, was quitting because the church objected to her playing a lesbian on TV.

“It’s ridiculous because it’s not true. I’m a huge supporter of the LGBT community,” Prepon tells EW. “I try to put a good spin on it, which is, ‘Okay, cool. People are huge fans of the show and my character and they’re trying to come up with excuses about where I’m going.’ It’s ridiculous and I try to laugh at it.”

Alex does leave Litchfield in the second season, but she’ll be in four episodes, not one. And even better news for Orange fans: If there’s a season three, Prepon is willing to come back full-time. “Alex fits me like a glove, man,” says Prepon. “The fact remains that I want to do Orange, and it’s a matter of trying to balance different aspects of your career.”

Prepon chalks her lesser role in season 2 up to scheduling, not religious conspiracy. She was busy selling and producing projects of her own. “Unfortunately, there was not two of me,” she says. “I tried to do as many Oranges as I could. For season 3, I’ve already handled it so it’s not going to be a problem.”

And Prepon teases that the four episodes of season 2 that she’s in will really count, and there’ll be steamy scenes between Alex and Piper that tested her comfort zone. “We did some stuff in season 2 where I’m like, ‘Okay, girl, here we go.’ You’ve got to feel safe,'” she says. “Season 2 sets things up in a way that’s kind of crazy. So many things could happen in season 3.”

(Reporting by Jessica Shaw).

Episode Recaps

Orange Is the New Black

Jenji Kohan’s absorbing ensemble dramedy, based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name, takes viewers inside the walls of Litchfield, a minimum security women’s prison where nothing’s as simple as it seems—especially the inmates.

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