Netflix’s super-juicy, ridiculously funny series Orange is the New Black is back, with a just-released second season full of plot twists and, as actress Taryn Manning puts it, “Oh no they didn’t!” moments. Episode two finds the inmates at a mock job fair, planning for the post-prison future, so we dressed the cast in Gilt’s chicest workwear offerings and, for every item purchased in the sale inspired by their style, we’ll donate one to Dress for Success–the non-profit dedicated to giving disadvantaged women professional attire and essential tools for career development. Before you binge on the brand new season, hear what the cast has to say about it (no spoilers, we promise), and find out more at netflix.com/orange.
On working in such a diverse ensemble cast:
Laura Prepon: “It’s been one of my favorite experiences I’ve ever had on a job. The fact that everyone is a different shape, size, color, creed…we’re a mosh pit of actresses. It kind of makes you own your individualism. There’s such a range of who we are and what we look like and all of that, your confidence level comes up being around all of these incredible women.”
Selenis Leyva: “I think it’s about time, and I think the reason the show has been so successful is because of that—finally people say okay, I can relate to someone on this show. Everyone has someone they can relate to. It crosses all borders. We don’t have to fit any kind of cookie cutter. There are so many strong women characters, in front of the camera and behind the camera.”
On being surprised by the plot twists:
Taylor Schilling: “I’m shocked all the time. The scripts are full of so many wild things that I would never, ever imagine, and they’re brilliant.”
Dascha Polanco: “When I get the script, it’s like you’re watching your favorite show and you get to see it ahead of time. And it’s so unpredictable every time. There is no way I can predict what will happen in the next episode with my character, with anyone. I just think, ‘Jenji [Kohan] did it again!’”
On wearing a khaki jumpsuit to work every day:
Danielle Brooks: “I love getting my hair and makeup done, getting glammed up for the red carpet, but I really love the balance of being in prison and not having to wear Spanx!”
Laura Prepon: “Sometimes I think, I wish we could have some great clothes to wear and play with. But most of the time I love having a khaki jumpsuit because it’s not about the hair and the makeup and the wardrobe, it’s about the work. It’s about me and my fellow actresses. We are literally stripped of everything but a burlap sack! The reason why the show’s so good is because it’s really about the work and everything we go through on the show. It’s been a really cool thing to have the clothes taken away from you.”
On their characters’ futures:
Danielle Brooks: “I think Taystee is trying to get it together. When you watch season two, you see how smart she is, how intelligent and ready and prepared. But she finds herself once again not able to go. It’s not because of her, it’s because of the system. I definitely feel like she’s ready, it’s just rock and a hard place. All of the stakes are against her.”
Taylor Schilling: “I think Piper specifically is lucky, because she comes from a privileged background and she has resources, and a family, and money, and people who are eager to shepherd her back into society. It’s such a rare experience for women in the prison system. They don’t have the resources they need to fully enter back into society, and that’s why prison is a revolving door. There’s not element of sourcing what the problem is and fixing it. The crimes are coming from a systemic issue—the crimes are happening as a result of being abused, or drug addicted, or from a family of origin who cant support you. It’s a cycle, and it’s a system that needs to be fixed.”
Taryn Manning: “I believe Pennsatucky has the capacity to live a normal life, whatever that means to her. I believe morals are instilled as a child. We’ll see. She’s humbled about what happened to her, and she realizes she’s not invincible. I think like anything in life, when you’re humbled by something, you learn from it. I don’t know what kind of job she’d have though—she’d definitely need to get new teeth first!”
Season two of “Orange is the New Black” is now streaming on Netflix.