Men at Work
The guards may be free to come and go, but it's the women who rule Litchfield; the leading men of ''Orange'' talk about being the bros in a sea of broads
In season 1, the ever-sensitive CO Pornstache complained that he felt like a “piece of meat” in a prison teeming with women. He could just as easily have been talking about working on the set of Orange Is the New Black, where Y chromosomes are as rare as couture costumes. And for some of the cast, that’s okay. “When there’s limited male energy, there’s additional attention that comes my way that might not otherwise be there,” says Matt McGorry, who plays the sweet-faced CO Bennett. “I did theater in high school and college, and I’m used to being outnumbered as a heterosexual male growing up in Chelsea. On set, I’m the primary giver of hugs. There’s a high demand for them.”
The man behind Pornstache, on the other hand, is slightly less eager to play mascot. “True to character, the mustache is true woman-repellent,” says Pablo Schreiber of his character’s eponymous facial hair. “I walk on set, and nobody wants to get within 10 feet of me with a pole, and that’s the way I like it. I don’t want anyone sniffing around Pornstache’s doghouse.” Is he okay with McGorry getting all the love from the ladies? “Yeah, absolutely. He can have every last one of them.”
If Schreiber has had his fill of Litchfield’s estrogen supply, Jason Biggs could use some more. As Piper’s yuppie fiancé, Larry, Biggs is left to deal with first-world problems on the other side of the barbed wire — but he wants in. “Would I love to be there working every f—ing scene? Of course I would!” he says. “But as one of the few men on the show, I almost feel like there’s a greater responsibility. Less is more.”
That’s not to say the men of Orange are taking a backseat this season: Things grow tense between Pornstache and Bennett as their messy sex/love triangle with Daya gets even messier. “There’s kind of a tectonic shift happening between Pornstache, Bennett, and Daya by the big point of the second season, and I think you might be surprised who you may be siding with in that triumvirate,” Schreiber says. Counselor Healy (Michael Harney), meanwhile, begins to make amends with Piper after abandoning her to Pennsatucky in the season 1 finale. And Larry decides that sitting around and pining for Piper may not be his best course of action. Teases Biggs, “If you’re going to keep Larry involved, there needs to be some sort of change, and there are some in store.” Of course, if the actor had his way, Larry would make a really big change and become one of the Litchfield women. “I’ll snip it right off,” he says with a laugh. “Anything for my art.”
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.