For Kate Mulgrew, who slipped into Red’s Russian accent whenever she spoke of the character, said Red is a complicated woman, but not complex. She survives at the prison because of her role in feeding the other inmates. She and Natasha also spoke warmly of each other and the mother/daughter dynamic between their characters. Natasha talked about the realization that Nicky’s episode was not about drugs or addiction, but rather about mothers.
Elvis brought up the topic of romantic and sexual relationships among the prisoners and how it affected each of their characters. Natasha talked about how sex is sometimes the only “slice of freedom” these women get. She also brought up the fact that there is a different sexual dynamic for characters, like Nicky, who are actually queer.
Danielle Brooks doesn’t believe that sexuality is a priority for Taystee. For her it’s about finding a companion to go on this journey with. For Taystee, that’s the character Poussey (Samira Wiley). Brooks calls her the sister and friend that Taystee didn’t have on the outside. Uzo Aduba sees Crazy Eyes/Suzanne as a real romantic navigating “natural human instinct through her own way.”
The entire cast spoke incredibly highly of the writers. Uzo talked about how the level of writing makes her as an actress rise to match it and make bolder choices: “It makes you better.” Taryn Manning was sold after only reading her first two lines. Three days later she was on set. Jenji added that her policy on the writing is as such: If you can stick one character’s line in another character’s mouth, then you’re not doing your job.
For fans of Alex Vause (Laura Prepon), there were some tidbits. They were all in agreement that Prepon is a fantastic actress to work with and the character of Alex is both formidable and vulnerable. When asked about the scene where Piper and Alex see each other for the first time in the prison, Jenji refers to it as pulling a “Shonda,” i.e. Shonda Rhimes. Pipex shippers will be disappointed to find out there was no real talk of that particular aspect of the show.
The cast and crew of Orange is the New Black are hard at work on their second season, and it was delightful to see them all so positive and committed when speaking about their to roles. The connection that exists between them and the creative crew is evident in everything they do. Oh and if you were wondering about the chicken….
“The chicken is everything!” shouted Kate Mulgrew when asked about the episode.
Jenji chimed in that the chicken is whatever you want it to be. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for Season Two.
Below are a few more shots from the night: