Jason Biggs talks 'Orange is the New Black' with real-life Larry
Larry gets a bad rap on Orange is the New Black. He’s annoying, fans say, the worst. True, Larry isn’t the most likable—he used Piper going to prison to get ahead in his work, he is incredibly self-absorbed, and, oh yeah, he had an affair with Piper’s best friend. Oof.
Though Jason Biggs’ portrayal doesn’t exactly always inspire sympathy, the real Larry—a writer named Larry Smith, who in real life is married to Orange Is the New Black author Piper Kerman—doesn’t seem to have hard feelings: The two recently got together for an interview in which Smith claimed he didn’t fart in bed with Piper (yeah, okay, Larry) and Biggs revealed what scenes make him uncomfortable, and how he prepares for them (hint: he doesn’t). Highlights from their chat:
Biggs is definitely not a method actor: “Truth be told, I don’t really prepare much. I’m not a very serious actor in those regards. I learn my lines, I show up, I take direction…”
Don’t count Biggs as a Larry hater: “Larry has these incredible moments of strength, and he makes these tough decisions. He does say ‘f— you’ to Piper. He does stand up to her. He’s strong when he’s on his own. In terms of being a pushover, I really feel like Larry has a big transition [over the course of Season 1]. And if he’s not as willing or supportive initially, then the payoff isn’t as great, the stakes aren’t as high for when he finally does say ‘This is it’ at the end of Season 1.”
Smith didn’t actually cook Piper a pig: “We didn’t have a pig roast, but we did have a big meal and were totally exhausted, and I believe I did say, ‘We gotta rally.’ But there was no farting in bed.”
Biggs didn’t want to fart on-camera: “The fart…the fart. Initially I had a problem with it. I felt like the scene was not…that. And it was one of the early days of shooting, and I was still learning the tone of this show. Tone is Jenji’s genius, but as an actor it takes a minute to figure it out … I do fart jokes. I’ve made a career out of fart jokes. And I’m thinking, Is that what I’m doing now? But it turns out that the moment played perfectly. It breaks up the scene in a way that’s real. That’s why all the comedy in this show works: It’s all earned, it’s not forced.”
Smith thinks having sisters makes you special: “It means we understand women. But maybe there’s also some insecurity that comes with it.”
Pair Biggs up with anyone, casting directors: “I’ve never really had bad chemistry with anybody. And I think you just really have to be open. Things like kissing and sex scenes don’t make me uncomfortable. What makes me uncomfortable is the emotional stuff where I have to really dig deep.”
Read the full interview over at Medium.
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.