By Mandi Bierly
July 11, 2014 at 04:48 PM EDT

After Madeline Brewer finished her stint as Tricia on the first season of Orange is the New Black, she auditioned for eight months before landing the new, non-supernatural role of graphic artist Miranda Cates on Hemlock Grove‘s second season (now available on Netflix). “Weird things happen to her that involve Peter and Roman,” Brewer says. “I wanted her to become a vampire-werewolf hybrid, because I think that would then immediately bump me up to the coolest character on the show, but that didn’t happen. I’ll just have to stick with being a normal person.”

The character has nine tattoos, which took two and a half hours to apply. “As an artist, Miranda had designed them herself. One of her tattoos is of particular interest to anyone who plans on watching the entire season. There’s a bit of foreshadowing going on there,” she teases. (Miranda also has a nose ring, which is Brewer’s in real life.)

A fan of horror films, Brewer happily reports that at one point this season, she and some of her castmates are covered in 75 pounds of fake blood. “It tastes kind of weird, and it hurts when it’s in your eyeballs, but it’s fun,” she says. She grew to admire the skills of Bill Skarsgard (Roman): “He rips someone’s neck out. To do the effects, they already had the blood in his mouth combined with a piece of roast beef. It was repulsive, the grossest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. He’s a magician. I swear I don’t know how he does it,” she says. “The hardest thing for me was I had to make a gargling sound [in one scene]. The director was like, ‘I need you to kinda make it sound like you’re getting your throat ripped out. I’m like, ‘Yeah, because I do that all the time, and it’s something I’ve researched throughly.'”

Get to know Brewer better with our Pop Culture Personality Test:

  • TV Show
run date
  • 04/19/13
  • In Season
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