6 Things We Learned From The Cast Of OITNB

Provocative thoughts from Laverne Cox and her co-stars

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When we interviewed Laverne Cox, Laura Prepon, Taylor Schilling and Uzo Aduba (the ever so impressive cast of Orange Is The New Black) they shared some inspiring insights into their characters and the complex themes the show tackles. 

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Laverne Cox on how she would like to see the transgender conversation moving forward: 

‘I’ve always talked about how I would love the conversation about transgender people to move beyond transitions and bodies and move to our hearts and souls and spirits and i think that’s what’s so beautiful about getting to portray Sofia on the show is she’s written in such a complicated nuanced, human way. Yes she’s transgender, and we got to see a little bit of her transition in season one, but really we get to see this beautiful soul, this beautiful human being, this flawed human being. And she’s complicated and we human beings are complicated beyond our bodies and beyond what medical interventions we’ve needed to survive. So for me that’s what’s interesting: our lives post-transition, our lives as mothers, as Sofia is, as a wife, as a hairstylist, former firefighter. All those things that make us. Our bodies matter, to paraphrase Judith Butler, but we are more than our bodies. 

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Taylor Schilling on the message she hopes the audiences takes from season three:

‘A woman is not just one thing, you get to see all these different aspects of people. You’re the sum of your parts. There’s no one part of you that’s defining, whether it’s your gender or your sexuality or your socio-economic background or your education.’ 

Laura Prepon on the show’s portrayal of sexuality:

‘For me portraying a same sex relationship on camera is incredible and honestly our fanbase is so amazing, particularly the LGBT community, and so many people thank me for portraying this relationship so they can have something that represents them (and hopefully it’s not as tumultuous as Alex and Piper) but… celebrating the individuality of all these women on the show because we’re all so different is great.

Laura Prepon on her character, Alex: 

‘My character has taught me that there is strength in being vulnerable and being raw. That it’s ok to have people see that side of you. There’s a sense of freedom to just let it all hang out and be like ‘This is who I am, this is what I’m going through and I’m not going to hide it and pretend that it’s water off a ducks back because it’s not.’ 

Uzo Aduba on women and desire: 

‘Women have desire, just like anyone else… there’s a Shakespeare line, from Othello, Amelia says to Desdemona ‘and have not we desires and affections just as men have. then let them use us well.’ I think that’s so true, a line like that. Women have just as much desire. I think that’s been true since the beginning of time. Women have had desires, wishes, wants, needs as strong as anybody else and I think that’s exciting.’

Laverne Cox on the show’s wardrobe: 

I’m always best as an actress when i’m not thinking about how I look. Just being in the circumstance and in the drama, in the conflict, in the life of the character I’m playing. So I think with those beige jumpsuits and them being the same every day I’m not thinking ‘What am I going to look like in this wardrobe today?’ It just is what it is. [It makes you ask yourself] ‘Now what? ‘ And the ‘Now what?’ is the good stuff. 

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