After the shocking, tragic end of last season of Orange Is the New Black, fans are desperate to know what becomes of all the Litchfield ladies. They’ll find out on June 9, when season five drops on Netflix. It promises to be one of the most dramatic seasons yet, taking place over the course of just three days as the inmates stage a riot and, it seems from the trailer, perhaps even take a hostage. But of course, it won’t be all drama; there are twists, turns, jokes, and surprises in store. Star Laura Prepon even directs an episode! Glamour caught up with cast members from the hit show to get their thoughts on the new season and its striking similarity to real-life political movements. Read on.
The stakes are higher, which means you’ll see a deeper side of your favorite inmates. Jackie Cruz (“Flaca”) and Diane Guerrero (“Maritza”) were among the most excited for the new season, which has, as you can see in the promo, about as much tension as the show can stand. As Guerrero said, “I think every season offers something completely different from the one before. I think that’s what keeps it fresh. This season we went into it knowing that it wasn’t going to be the same as the one before…. It started very heightened, the stakes were very high, so that was a little different from what we had experienced, so we were all excited to go back into it.”
On-set conversations found their way into the script. Cruz is especially excited for the “little things” Flaca and Maritza get to do together in the upcoming season, which involves the inmates getting hold of a smartphone and social media. Actually, that might have even been their idea. “You can’t really say much on set, right? Because it gets written into the script,” explained Cruz. Added Guerrero, “I think literally [the writers] saw us being ourselves and they were like, ‘Oh, that would be hilarious, if they just saw this as an opportunity too, as a career possibility?'”
The new season may inspire you to take action. Taylor Schilling (“Piper”) spoke eloquently on the way the new season might inspire people to take up the fight for justice IRL. “If that’s what someone watching the show, if that’s what moves them, I think that’s exciting,” she said. “But for me, that wouldn’t be the goal of viewers’ experience. But if a story helps someone further their life’s journey, and that includes standing up for what they believe in or joining a cause or whatever, that’s a real privilege. It’s a real privilege to be in people’s lives like that, to help them maybe make decisions that make them more of who they are.”
But make sure you have tissues nearby before you watch. Danielle Brooks (“Taystee”) minced no words when asked how she thought fans would react, saying, “I think they’re gonna cry a lot. My hope would be that they’d want to become more active in the world they live in. I feel like people were so taken aback and so heartbroken by the death of Poussey, but what really hurt my heart…I posted something about Poussey’s character on the show [on social media], and I mean I got hundreds of thousands of likes on a photo. But then I would post Philando Castile, and maybe get like, one third of that? That hurt me so much because people are attached to this fictional character, yet there are real people that are out there losing their lives from the same subject matter. I just hope that through season five, it will stir something within them to say, ‘OK these inmates are out here; they have no idea what they’re doing. They have all these resources, and they still don’t know what they’re doing, but they’re getting somewhere, and they’re really trying to fight for justice in this world that they live in, this prison, Litchfield.’ So I really hope that it inspires people to be active and care about what’s going on in the world.”
Still, it was Adrienne Moore (“Cindy”) who got us most excited for the new episodes when she described them simply as, “Holy shit.”