30 Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About 'Orange Is The New Black'

Orange Is the New Black is always full of surprises, but what might be even more crazy are facts about the cast, props, and unknown tidbits about the real people the show is based on. Think you know everything there is to know about Piper, Alex, and the rest of the inmates at Litchfield? We’re prepping for season 3 to come out on Netflix (this Friday, June 12!) by learning more about the inner workings of the show.

1. Uzo Aduba (Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren) originally auditioned for the part of Janae Watson (Vicky Jeudy).

wizard of oz

2. She probably would have been great at the part because she was actually a track runner growing up.

uzo runner

3. Uzo Aduba also studied classical voice in college. She has been on Broadway in many productions, including the 2011 revival of Godspell.

Uzo Aduba was on Broadway

4. Here’s what the real Piper (Kerman) and Larry look like.


5. As if you didn’t think CO Bennet was hot enough already, he’s hiding a lot under that uniform. Matt McGorry is a bodybuilder.

Matt McGorry

6. Laura Prepon originally auditioned to play Piper.

laura prepon

7. Constance Schulman, who plays Yoga Jones, was the voice of Patty Mayonnaise on Doug.

The actress who plays Yoga Jones was the voice of Patty Mayonnaise on Doug.

8. You might recognize Taryn Manning, who plays Pennsatucky, from the 2002 movie Crossroads with Britney Spears.


9. Like Uzo, Taryn also has musical roots – she was in a group called BoomKat before pursuing a solo career.

taryn manning boomkat

10. Actress Kate Mulgrew, who portrays Red, might be better known as Captain Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek


11. Making this Star Trek reference between her and Nicky super hilarious.

red gif

12. Yael Stone (Morello) is originally from Australia & her Jersey accent isn’t real.

morello oitnb

13. The episode title is stated at some point in every episode.

it's funny

14. Jodie Foster directed the first episode of Season 2.


15. This is the real Alex Vause. Her name is Catherine Cleary Wolters.


16. Real Piper (Kerman) wasn’t in jail with Wolters, but she did get flown to Chicago to testify and that is the only time she saw her ex-girlfriend. So this didn’t really happen.


17. The woman seated next to Piper on her flight to the Chicago prison was Lori Petty, who played Kit Keller in A League of Their Own.

kit keller

18. The eyes and mouths in the opening credits belong to real inmates, not cast members.

orange is the new black

19. Laverne Cox’s real life twin brother, M. Lamar, played Sophia in the flashback sequences before her transition.


20. Orange Is the New Black Season 2 was released the same day as The Fault in Our Stars film, and the book makes an unplanned appearance on the show.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 12.15.28 PM

21. In the first season, we see a huge scar on Natasha Lyonne’s chest from a heart surgery her character received related to her drug abuse. In reality, she actually had that exact surgery and that scar is real.


22. Samira Wiley (Poussey) doesn’t speak German, so she spent a lot of time working with a dialect coach and shouting things around her apartment to prepare for her character’s flashbacks.


23. The prisoners’ costumes, right down to their bras and underwear, are legit – they’re bought through prison suppliers.


24. But Pornstache’s mustache? It’s fake.


25. Danielle Brooks (Taystee) and Uzo Aduba (Crazy Eyes) teamed up for this awesome Christmas tune. The girls can sing!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKLE9p9vit4&w=640&h=360]
Is it weird to want a musical episode of Orange Is the New Black? So much talent in that cast!

26. Taylor Schilling has a super strong resemblance to Piper Kerman, upon whom her character is based. They seriously look like they could be related.

taylor schilling

27. Norma Romano is the mute inmate who helps out in the prison kitchen. Actress Annie Golden isn’t quite as quiet – in fact, was once the lead singer of the 70s pop band The Shirts and later a Broadway musical star.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh0qFYONXdU&w=640&h=360]

28. Show creator Jenji Kohan sneaks in a Weeds-related Easter egg during a flashback to Piper and Larry’s first introduction. It’s an episode on television, Kohan’s previous show.

orange is the new black

29. There’s an American Pie reference just for Jason Biggs too.

american pie oitnb

30. Kate Mulgrew (Red) played the mother of Taylor Schilling (Piper) on the TV series Mercy from 2009 to 2010.


Get ready for a weekend Netflix binge – the season 3 premiere of Orange Is the New Black is June 12!


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