'Orange Is the New Black': EW Character Portraits
Piper (Taylor Schilling)
Series creator Jenji Kohan ''has been so clear since the beginning: Piper is her Trojan horse. I was always aware she was interested in getting us into the prison through Piper, and then branching out. That's what's so cool about this whole process. Everyone is firing on all their creative cylinders.''
Crazy Eyes (Uzo Aduba)
''Where don't we take field trips to? We've gone swing dancing, we've gone on a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, we go to shows, we've had Thanksgiving and birthday parties together. You know the person more than just as a colleague. You go deeper — you get to know their families, where they live, where they come from — and as the show continues, you actually become more invested in them.''
Red (Kate Mulgrew)
''They said here's the character, we suggest a hint of a Russian accent. And she just leapt from my imagination. A diehard Russian came out. That's who I think she really is. And they loved it. There's a kind of doggedness about me when I'm on it. I know that for me this is the choice and there can be no other. I won't play otherwise. And they see that and they say that's it. That's the color we were missing.''
Poussey (Samira Wiley)
''I get an audition from my agent through email for a character that I thought was named 'Pussy.' I'm like, what the heck is this? How do you pronounce the character's name? And they were like, 'It's Pouss-ey.' When I first told my mom, I didn't get clarification on the name and I told her it was Pussy. I said, 'It's for Netflix,' and she's like, 'What is that?'''
Alex (Laura Prepon)
''It was my first scene with Taylor. I'm meeting her for the second time, and we're going to be naked. We did some stuff where I'm like, okay girl, here we go. You've got to feel safe, because the show really pushes you out of your comfort zone.''
Taystee (Danielle Brooks)
''When I got the script I only got the first sides, not the whole episode. So all I got was the line 'You got those nice titties!' So from that moment, I knew this was going to be a chance for me to show I can do comedy.''
Dayanara (Dascha Polanco)
''My family is more excited about it than I am. Even when I'm trying to stay low, getting my hair done, they're at the salon introducing me to people, 'This is my niece in the Old Navy commercial! Or on Orange Is the New Black!' I'm like, 'It's not a novela, tia, it's a show.'''
Vee (Lorraine Toussaint)
''Vee is interestingly wired. She's not wired like anyone I've ever met or ever hope to meet. She has a particular kind of logic and perspective on the world that is really interesting and charming and disturbing and spontaneous and highly, highly unpredictable.''
Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning)
''I was kind of annoyed that [my returning for season two] was announced, because I'm a team player. But that was out of my control. But I don't think I personally would die from a beatdown of that nature, but I do know for a fact, because I was in martial arts, if you do hit a certain sweet spot on the head, you can die. So that's why it's so up in the air.''
Sophia (Laverne Cox)
''Whenever I have a scene with Danielle and Samira, I know they're going to steal the scene, and that's okay. It's so wonderful to work with veteran actors like Beth and newer actors like Danielle and Samira. They've just got this raw talent.''
Lorna (Yael Stone)
''I learned a lot about Lorna when I read her episode. You really connect to these people, and then they shock you! These characters that you love. When I read a script, it's a wild ride. I like to be somewhere safe and take a deep breath and then go into it. Inevitably, we learn crazy things about these characters.''
Nicky (Natasha Lyonne)
''I'm getting a stronger and stronger sense of being in her skin, in her body. I feel like I know who she is. There's more freedom in that. Since we're in this prison, day to day, we're the same person, but moment-to-moment we're a little bit different. Not even in some grand scale, but just the way human beings are. There's a good deal of space to behave in different and strange ways.''
Orange Is the New Black EW cover
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