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).
2. She probably would have been great at the part because she was actually a track runner growing up.
3. Uzo Aduba also studied classical voice in college. She has been on Broadway in many productions, including the 2011 revival of Godspell.
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.
6. Laura Prepon originally auditioned to play Piper.
7. Constance Schulman, 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.
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.
12. Yael Stone (Morello) is originally from Australia & her Jersey accent isn’t real.
13. The episode title is stated at some point in every episode.
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.
18. The eyes and mouths in the opening credits belong to real inmates, not cast members.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
29. There’s an American Pie reference just for Jason Biggs too.
30. Kate Mulgrew (Red) played the mother of Taylor Schilling (Piper) on the TV series Mercy from 2009 to 2010.