The Orange Is The New Black Cast Reveal What The Show Has Taught Them About Prison

Photo: Amanda Edwards/WireImage.
Orange Is The New Black's fifth season is almost here, and the cast is getting real about what they've learned from working on the show over the years. In the July issue of InStyle, which hits newsstands on June 9, the OITNB stars reveal what they've discovered about prison from the show — and what they'd miss most if they were incarcerated.
One thing the actresses in the Netflix series seem to have taken away from the show is the many uses pads have in prison. "You can tie a shoestring to a maxi pad to make a sleep mask," Uzo Aduba told InStyle. "That was like, 'Oh, okay, that's good to know.'"
The stars also revealed that they've learned just how accurate the show can be from fans who've talked to them over the years. "I've met people who've come out of prison who say how much the show reflects the actual prison experience," Aduba told InStyle. "We've heard that repeatedly."
Natasha Lyonne also shared the disturbing story of a conversation she had with a judge who'd watched the show. "This woman came up to me and said, 'Oh my god, I love your show. I'm a judge, and I never really thought about it. I never realized that the people I was sentencing are real people,'" Lyonne said to InStyle. "I was livid, obviously. It was just such a shocking thing to hear, that this woman was looking at people as paperwork. I did have that interaction, and I guess that's a good thing, but it was really hard not to stay stuck on how horrifying what she had to say was.
Laverne Cox also emphasized that the gender binaries Litchfield follows aren't far from the reality of many prisons. "It still surprises me how the prison system enforces very strict gender binary rules," she told InStyle. "That the state literally enforces rigid ideas of gender in the prison system is f***ed up and the truth."
As for what the stars would miss most if they were in prison? Danielle Brooks said that she'd "miss having men around," while Cox said she would miss "fake hair." Aduba, meanwhile, said she'd miss using her phone to FaceTime her nephews — though she wouldn't miss social media one bit.
Read These Stories Next:

More from TV

R29 Original Series