Orange Is the New Black - the cast: what are they up to nowadays?
If you haven't seen Orange is the New Black yet, maybe this is your sign. As fans of the show, we're reminiscing the good old days: back in 2013, when Netflix was just starting to make a mark as a streaming giant, OINTB burst onto the scene as only its second original streaming show, following House of Cards. This gripping series, predominantly led by women, was created by Jenji Kohan and based on Piper Kerman's memoir of the same name. The show quickly captivated audiences with its unapologetic portrayal of life inside Litchfield Penitentiary, a minimum-security women's prison in Upstate New York. The ensemble cast delved into the lives of diverse female inmates, frequently analyzing their pasts to reveal how they ended up in prison.
Although OITNB wrapped up in 2019, fans are still curious about the current status of its many talented cast members, especially given recent calls from some of them about fair compensation from Netflix. Four years later, some cast members have taken more prominent paths than others. Notably, Uzo Aduba, known as Suzanne Warren in the show, emerged as the true breakout star right from the series' very first episode. Let's catch up with the cast of Orange Is the New Black as we explore their journeys since the show's conclusion.
When Orange Is the New Black premiered, Taylor Schilling was a relatively obscure actress, landing the lead role as Piper Chapman, the real-life counterpart to author Piper Kerman. Prior to this breakthrough, her most significant part had been portraying Dagny Taggart in the 2011 film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged, which unfortunately met a challenging fate. She also appeared as Ben Affleck's character's wife in the Oscar-winning film Argo in 2012 and featured in The Lucky One the same year.
Her portrayal in Orange Is the New Black garnered recognition, leading to a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Best Actress in 2014. While the show's focus shifted to other cast members over time, Schilling remained committed to the series throughout its entire run. Following OITNB, she continued her career with appearances in various productions. Beyond her acting career, in 2020, during Pride Month, Schilling made a significant personal revelation, officially coming out as she shared her relationship with artist Emily Ritz through an Instagram story. Taylor Schilling's journey from relative anonymity to a celebrated actress and her openness about her personal life continues to inspire and resonate with plenty of people around the world.
Before her iconic role as Alex Vause in Orange Is the New Black, Laura Prepon was widely recognized for portraying the beloved girl-next-door, Donna, on the teen sitcom That '70s Show. Her transformation into Alex Vause, Piper's drug-trafficking lover shocked many fans, showcasing her versatility as an actress. Notably, she was part of the ensemble cast that won Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series at the 2017 SAG Awards, and she also demonstrated her talent behind the camera, directing three episodes of the series. In her personal life, Laura Prepon married fellow actor Ben Foster in 2018, and they now share two children together. Alongside her acting career, she has delved into writing and her passion continued, as in 2020 she released her memoir, You and I, as Mothers: A Raw and Honest Guide to Motherhood, reflecting on her experiences and journey as a mother.
Before her breakout role in OINTB, Uzo Aduba was primarily known for her impressive work as a stage actress. Ironically, it was right after she contemplated giving up acting due to a series of failed auditions that she landed the iconic part of Suzanne Warren. Her portrayal of the complex and fiercely loyal Suzanne soon led to her character being recognized by her real name. Her performance was so compelling that she achieved a remarkable feat, becoming the first actress to win two consecutive Emmys in different categories for the same show, comedy in 2014 and drama the following year. Building on her success, Aduba delivered yet another Emmy-winning performance as Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm in the Hulu series Mrs. America. She continued to shine and received further acclaim for her starring role as a therapist in HBO's In Treatment, earning her another Emmy nomination in 2021.
For former child actor Natasha Lyonne, the beloved show marked a significant comeback. During the '90s, she starred in multiple teen comedies like American Pie, But I'm a Cheerleader, and Detroit Rock City. However, the OINTB opportunity seemed to be a turning point for Lyonne, who appeared to find salvation from addictions by dedicating herself to her work with passion and determination. Embracing her charismatic, laid-back persona, she co-created and starred in the award-winning time-loop Netflix series Russian Doll.