Much was made when news first broke that Laura Prepon would not return as a series regular in the show's sophomore season. Netflix initially denied the reports, but that didn't stop speculation as to why Prepon might be leaving the show. Some observers guessed contract dispute, while others went so far as to blame Prepon's rumored beau Tom Cruise. Prepon's character in the show is of course, a lesbian, a lifestyle that is frowned upon by the Church of Scientology.
Anyone who's watched season 2 now knows that Prepon does return, but with one small caveat. Her character, Alex Vause, is released from prison in the premiere, and only appears intermittently in the season's final episodes.
For fans stressing over the possibility of permanently losing one of their favorite characters in season 3, we have some good news. While appearing on The Today Show Tuesday, Prepon confirmed that she will return for all 10 episodes next time around.
“Yes, definitely, and I’m really excited because I missed everybody so much during season 2,” Prepon said when asked if she'd be returning. “But yeah, we started shooting yesterday, and it’s awesome, so I can’t wait to get back to work.”
As for why she only appeared in a handful of episodes in season 2, Prepon addressed the rumors to The Daily Beast back in April. "Basically, I wasn’t a series regular and wasn’t under contract, and then had a scheduling conflict that came up during season 2,” she said. “But I love the show and I love my character, and I told [show creator] Jenji [Kohan] from the get-go, ‘I want to be in as many as I can.’"
Luckily for OITNB fans everywhere, Prepon got her wish. (Us Weekly)