10 Facts About
Orange is the New Black That Will Leave You Shooketh
July 22, 2018
As soon as
premiered on Netflix in 2013, it instantly became a fan-favorite. What’s not to love? The drama, the plot, Orange is the New Black the awesome cast — it’s no wonder the show has been renewed for so many seasons! The first episode aired over 5 years ago (!!!) and the series has grown so much since.
With such a fun cast like the one that
OITNB has compiled, it makes sense that a lot happens behind the scenes that we never get to see. There’s so much to know about the show, especially if you’re gearing up to watch the sixth season when it’s released on July 27 (so soon!!). If you’re anxiously awaiting the premiere like us, then you’re probably going back and binge-watching old episodes. But if you really want to be prepare for season six, here are 10 facts that you absolutely need to know:
1 of 10
It's based on a book.
Spiegel & Grau
If you're just a fan of the series, then you may not know that
OITNB is actually based on a book. The book version is a memoir of Piper Kerman's time in a prison. Yes, the character Piper is a real person! Of course, the memoir differs from the series in a ton of ways, especially since the show is now on season six. But if you haven't already, you should totally give it a read!
2 of 10
Netflix had to fight for the show.
Before they could even get to filming season one, the rights to the book needed to be purchased. The book was super popular, though, so a lot of people wanted to get their hands on it. Showrunner Jenji Kohan knew he needed to act fast. "I read the book and then I called Lionsgate [Television, which produced the show] and said, 'You have to get me this book.' Other people wanted it, so I begged Piper and she gave it to me, she trusted me with it, for which I was grateful,"
he said in an interview. We're so glad Piper trusted him with her material!
3 of 10
The real Piper has a role behind the scenes.
Writing the book version of
OITNB definitely took a lot of work, so we're super glad to know that Piper is still included behind the scenes of the show. After all, she does know the story best since it's literally her story, so it makes sense that the series' writers would want her input.
Jenji told , "She gives notes, mostly about accuracy. You know, 'I don't think that would happen.' And she comes to set for visits, which must be strange for her. But she's really kind of trusted us with her baby and we really, completely took off from where she started. I loved the book and I loved the characters in the book, but there wasn’t a whole lot of drama. You know, she went to prison and it sucked and she met some really cool people. [Laughs] We had to infuse it with a little more drama." EW
4 of 10
The writing staff visited a prison.
Of course, authenticity was a huge concern when the writers began tackling the script. They wanted to make a funny, entertaining show but it still needed to be real, especially since it's based on Piper's real story. So, to get that level of authenticity, the writing staff went to a prison and started asking questions.
The showrunner explained, "The writing staff visited a women’s prison in California, and even though the facility didn't look that bad, within 10 minutes, none of us could wait to get out of there. You’re at the mercy of this labyrinthine, bureaucratic, arbitrary system, and it's terrifying. I ran around the house for weeks telling all my kids: 'Never go to prison! Just don't go to prison!'"
5 of 10
The name of each episode is always said on that ep.
For most shows, titles of episodes are determined by whatever happens in that particular episode and for
OITNB, that's also true. But the series takes that one step further. The name of each episode is actually always said in the episode itself! Check out an example above!
6 of 10
The opening sequence features real prisoners.
By now, we all know the opening credits of
OITNB like the back of our hand. But did you know that all of those women were actually in prison at some point? Yes, seriously! Jenji Kohan, who created the series, hired ladies who had once been incarcerated to be in the opening credits in order for it to look super real. Well it definitely worked! We love authenticity.
7 of 10
You probably missed this product placement during season two!
Even if you're a huge fan of the show, you probably missed this! Season two premiered on June 6, 2014, the same day the film adaptation of
was released. Sure, it was just a coincidence, but producers def used it to their advantage. Talk about some great product placement! The Fault in Our Stars
8 of 10
Three Juilliard graduates are on the show.
Casting directors didn't cast just one Juilliard graduate on the show, they cast three!
Lorraine Toussaint (who plays Vee), Danielle Brooks (who plays Taystee) and Samira Wiley (who plays Poussey Washington) all graduated from the prestigious arts school in NYC and Danielle and Samira even knew each other during their college years! It isn't too surprising that they all attended the university as they are incredibly talented actors.
9 of 10
Uzo Aduba almost didn't accept her role.
It's impossible to choose a favorite character from
OITNB but Crazy Eyes (played by Uzo Aduba) is definitely in the running. You'll be shocked to know, though, that she almost didn't accept the role. On the same day that the casting directors offered her the part, the actress had just decided to leave her career in acting behind. She wanted to go to law school instead, but when the role was offered, she knew it was too good to pass up. We're so glad about that!
10 of 10
Laverne Cox's brother has a role on the show.
Laverne Cox is one of the most popular actresses on the show. All fans of OITNB will remember the transition season that was shown one episode. Well the actor playing Sophia (Laverne's character) pre-transition is actually her brother! "Our casting director found out that I have a twin brother, and she insisted that he should audition for the role," LC explained. "He auditioned, and he got the part."