OITNB Season 6: Catch Laura’s Interview with The Hollywood Reporter
Here’s an interview Laura Prepon gave with THR for OINTB’s 6th season. Enjoy!
Heading into the latest season of Orange Is the New Black, Laura Prepon saw her own life fortuitously colliding with the character she has played for six years.
The actress — whose onscreen relationship with Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) is at the center of the Netflix dramedy — gave birth to her daughter on July 31 of last year, the same day OITNB went into production on season six. The happy arrival of Ella, with husband Ben Foster, worked out for creator Jenji Kohan and the show’s writers “because they wanted to create mystery” around her character, Alex Vause, Prepon tells The Hollywood Reporter.
When the sixth season begins, the fan-favorite inmates, whose fates were unclear after the season-five cliffhanger, are all transferred to Litchfield’s maximum security prison down the hill — except for Alex. It isn’t until the fourth episode that the bespectacled inmate arrives, explaining that she had been transferred to get her broken arm treated after the prison blast. For the remainder of the new episodes, Alex spends most of her time keeping Piper out of trouble, even planning a surprise wedding for the pair when it’s revealed that Piper — in a major show twist — is being let out of Litchfield on early release.
With OITNB officially renewed for only one more season, Prepon recognizes that “the endgame is clear.” The actress returned to the director’s chair this season to helm the 11th episode, “Well This Took a Dark Turn,” and since she will be directing another episode for season seven, she has already been privy to some of the future episodes.
Below, in a chat with THR, the star looks ahead to what she can say about Alex and Piper’s future, goes inside the most impactful scene from the episode she directed and explains why she’s hanging on tightly for the rest of the OITNB ride.
The early burning question of the season was: Where is Alex? Behind-the-scenes, production on the sixth season coincided with the birth of your daughter, Ella. How did that impact the storyline?
It actually worked out really, really great. Because of Litchfield exploding, basically, last season, all the girls get sent to Max, and it was left as a cliffhanger as to what was happening with my character. They showed me [in the first episode of season six] in a slumped ball on the floor and you don’t know if I’m alive or not. That’s what they wanted. They wanted to create mystery around my character in the beginning of the season. I told them that was great because Ella was actually born on the day we started production on season six.
Jenji has been doing this a long time; she’s a total pro. They’re used to their lead actresses having babies. I went back to work at six weeks, which is fast. But because of the storyline, it was pretty perfect that you didn’t know what was going on with Alex. I was able to be at home with my brand-new baby as a first-time mom, having no clue what I was doing, while they were getting the storylines going, and then I come back for episode four.