The brilliant ladies and gentlemen of “Orange Is The New Black” seem so awesome on screen, they couldn’t possibly be that friendly and fabulous in person, right? The truth is, they are even more funny and sweet than you’ve ever dreamed. Zap2it got a chance to spend a day with the cast chatting in small groups of other journalists in Manhattan at a press event for the hit Netflix series and it was pretty much the best day ever.
Read on to find out the juiciest tidbits learned from all your cast favorites.
The average height of the cast is probably around 5’3″.
Surprisingly, a majority of the women in the cast are practically pocket-sized, with heights typically under 5’5″. Yael Stone (Morello) measures the shortest at 5 feet. But for the inches they may lack in height, they make up for with giant personalities.
Things get intense for Bennett in Season 3.
While Matt McGorry said he loved getting to show a different side of his character in Season 2, he admits showing that much aggression took a major toll on his body, “I threw out my shoulder twice. The day we did that scene in the cafeteria, where I slam my hand on the table, we did enough takes my hand was so swollen afterwards,” he says. However, things don’t seem to get any better next season. McGorry gives a slight tease about Season 3, saying, “My voice is screwed up from some Season 3 shooting.”
Laura Prepon’s relationship with the fans is adorable.
Prepon confesses she knows a lot of her fans by name and even remembers details such as what gifts they have sent her. Oh yeah — by the way Kelly, she loves the poker chips you sent.
Producers didn’t expect Crazy Eyes to be such a scene stealer.
Uzo Aduba says she was only supposed to briefly appear in the series: “When I first got the character, I was only supposed to do two episodes and possibly a third and a chance of there being a finish fourth with like one line. On my last day of episode 2 of Season 1, the producer walked me back to my dressing room and she said, ‘This was great, and we are going to use you more.’ And I sincerely thought they just meant I was going to get to do episode 3. I had no idea we were going to continue on for the rest of the season.”
Samira Wiley and Danielle Brooks’ real-life friendship helped their tough scenes.
The two actresses met while they both were attending Juilliard, and so have been friends since way before their “OITNB” days, but in Season 2 they didn’t always see eye to eye. Wiley says having her bestie there provided a comfortable place to act out the material: “Having Danielle be with me in those scenes and having to butt heads with somebody like that was a lot better than having to butt heads with someone I really don’t like. It felt safe with her. I always felt like we were both looking for the truth of the scene.”
Brooks echoes that sentiment, saying, “She came to my house really late one night to go over a scene and rehearse, and that’s the type of actor that I’m working alongside. And I can call her my friend, so there’s trust that’s built there.”
Taryn Manning is shy.
The actress who plays the insanely feisty Pennsatucky, Taryn Manning says while she loves the fans’ positive response to the show, it makes her uncomfortable. ” I get stopped a lot, so I tried bleaching my hair white to avoid it, but it didn’t work,” she says. “I’m just shy, to be honest, and I get nervous when people are super excited and I get scared.”
Mini-Taystee has a Poussey connection.
Adorable actress Teeka Duplessis, who played 11-year-old Taystee, recently played Samira Wiley’s little sister in a Sundance film festival flick.
The “That ’70s Show” cast still hangs.
Prepon says her former castmates still get together for regular dinners to catch up.
Uzo Aduba drew from her roots to relate to Suzanne.
Uzo used her real life experience of growing up a Nigerian in a small town in Massachusetts to relate to Suzanne’s struggle to belong.
Vee was a product of spontaneity.
Lorraine Toussaint says when it came to playing Vee, she used an unconventional approach. “Most of it happened in the moment. I would prepare as little as possible, and go in and play as much as possible. That is fun for an actor.”
Jason Biggs gets why you hate Larry.
When asked what the overall fan response to his character has been, Biggs is candid. “For the most part it’s been genuine hatred. I will say this, as a rule,
even putting Larry aside, just Jason, I get more hate than I get love.
That’s because more people are willing to vocalize their hate. So when it comes
to Larry there are a lot more ‘Why is Larry still on the show?’ and the
As a fan myself of the show I get it. The Piper and Alex relationship is
really exciting. It is complicated and its dysfunctional and awesome.
“It’s riveting and Prepon is f***ing awesome and Taylor [Schilling] is awesome and
it’s sexy and it’s hot. It’s everything that makes for awesome
television, it really is. Larry’s important because — and it was important
for awhile, because he was the stakes for Piper. He was on the outside. Now there’s other things at stake, including
Alex. Things have changed so people are less likely, understandably, to
root for this guy, who mind you, is living on the outside, living a
life of relative privilege, while these people are inside the prison
walls. It’s just harder to sympathize with him, so I get it.”
“OITNB” fans are super touchy-feely.
Brooks says she loves the fans, but they can be slightly more aggressive than your average admirer. “I’ve had people literally just come up and grab my arm. I need my personal space. I’m a very open person. You can come up and give me a hug, but please just give me a moment to prepare, don’t just pounce on me. I’ve had people jack me up!”
The cast is just as surprised as viewers are where their character’s storylines go.
The cast of “Orange” gets their scripts episode by episode, so they too are surprised by the journeys their characters take and like how things play out gradually.
Kate Mulgrew took some liberties with Red.
It takes a confident actress to change the writer’s mind about some aspects of a character. Mulgrew says about playing Litchfield’s Russian powerhouse, “They gave me one page, just a tiny page, and it said at the top ‘just a hint of a Russian accent, she’s been in America since she was 2.’ That’s not at all what came into my imagination. A real peasant came to my mind, and that’s what I gave it and [creator Jenji Kohan] liked it. It was a good fit, and she could see it. Sometimes you have to take that leap, you know?”
Poussey speaking German was a welcome distraction.
“The nude scene that I did was my first nude scene, first sex scene, and having to speak German during it was actually great because I had to focus on saying the right words, so I didn’t get too much in my head because of that. The wonderful actress who played my girlfriend was German, so I was able to work on things with her too. It was awesome,” Wiley says of her revealing scene in episode 6.
For Toussaint, tea is a science.
“I am obsessive about tea. I lay a tea set every night to greet me first thing in the morning and it makes me happy, very, very happy,” she says. “I like black teas. I’m a Brit. You’ve got to get the pot the right temperature, the cup has to be heated, the cream has to be warmed and it has to be a particular color, before you add anything. No one else can make my tea for me.”
It takes Uzo some time to decompress every day from Suzanne.
Uzo revealed she walks for 20 minutes after work to shed her intense character and explained the transformation in the perfect way, “I think of acting generally like a treasure chest of toys. If you open it up like you are in the playroom as a little kid, you open up that chest and you pull everything out. Then the room gets kinda scattered and then when you are done, your mom makes you put everything back in. In a way that’s sort of how I think of Suzanne, like a treasure chest almost. So when I walk I try to release her and put everything back where it belongs, all those emotions, all that stuff.”
The humble award goes to Natasha Lyonne.
“I’m so grateful to Jenji and so happy to be on this show. It feels really nice there’s still space for me in this industry and everyone is so warm to me,” she says. “I had real tricky problems that I had to work out, so it is nice that people have been so warm and ready to receive me back, since that’s often not the case.”
Dascha Polanco and Yael Stone are the cutest ever with their wallpaper matching dresses.