The Netflix series Orange is the New Black has been the talk of the town for a while now. It premiered the second season just last month (June 6th) and fans everywhere are already amped up about what’s to come in Season Three.
Will Daya and Bennett finally have their baby? What’s up with Bennett and his temper? If you saw them in real life would they stop to take a selfie with you? If you’re wondering the same thing, the answers await you (courtesy of GlobalGrind).
GlobalGrind: Would you say that Daya is still in love with Bennett, or is there something about the baby that’s making them hold on?
Dascha Polanco: Daya is still in love with Bennett. The baby is proof of their love. It’s a hopeless romantic. The circumstances just don’t allow her to express her feelings liberally.
Was this storyline as fun as the first? The first storyline you got to do a lot of sneaking around, this time you were pretty much on cooking duty.
DP: Every season is different. First season was us experimenting with our love when we first flirt and meeting up in different places, but second season I think it took a more realistic tone to it. First season it was kind of fun as well, because you got to see the emotional imbalances of Day, and also her frustrations and how she also has that essence of her mother. So no matter how hard she tries to fight it, she still has that temperament of her mother. And it’s what women do. When daddy is not stepping up to the plate, you know, you gotta put some pressure on them. At times she can be naïve, but I kinda had fun. Did you?
Matt McGorry: No (They both laugh). I did, I did. I had definitely had a lot of fun, but it gets more stressful for me. And sometimes there would be days I would come home and I’d have like tension headaches from clenching my jaw and neck because people are just pushing him (Bennett) around and stepping on his neck all of the time. But it’s also fun when you get to do the thing where you flip out and all that, but there is definitely some joy in Season One in getting to flirt and having to be all lovey-dovey, and the romance phase, and then reality sets in.
Matt, your character had to show his temper this season. What was that like for you being able to display that anger?
MM: That was so much fun. That was everything that I hoped I would get to do, which is to show a different color of Bennett. And I think that’s one of the wonderful things about (creator) Jenji Kohan and her writing, it’s that all of the characters that you meet, you get to see so many different sides of them. Pornstache, when he thinks he falls in love with Day, you get to see this weird, sweet, sensitive side of him that really makes the characters seem more whole.
DP: I remember the time that he did that scene, when he went back to the dressing room and was like, ‘I am exhausted.’ He was exhausted – it took so much energy.
MM: I threw out my shoulder twice, actually. I have bad shoulders anyway, then that same day we did the scene where I slammed my hands on the table and we did enough takes that it was swollen. It was really beat up. Now my voice is screwed up from Season Three because I’m shooting the other day too.
What’s the biggest change in your lives since Season One?
DP: You’re the one with the glasses on the train.
MM: Yeah, sometimes. I like when people ask me and I love taking pictures, but when people don’t ask me and they’re like sneaking their phones to take a picture, I’ll like, put my hand on the railing or turn away. Because it makes me uncomfortable, because I don’t know how many they’re taking, I don’t know how many chins I have, I don’t know what the purpose is, or anything. So I’d say, it’s at a very nice healthy point where I feel like I can still have a normal life, which is wonderful. Obviously I want the show to do as best as it possibly could can, but it is at a nice place where I can still have a pretty normal life, just with people who enjoy the show around me.
DP: It’s made me more self conscious in every aspect. Like, I could wake up and go downstairs in my sweats and my hair and not care, and now I’m like, somebody asks me for a picture do I really want them to ask me, or can I really say no? Ugh I got to get myself together and then go outside. So I’m a little more self-conscious. I embrace it. It’s part of it. If I knew that I was going to be an actress and this was going to be something that just happened sporadically, it’s part of it, so I have to pretty much own it. At the beginning it was hard for me to accept certain things like, Why is she staring at me? And then I realize, Oh, it’s because of the show. So it’s kind of fun.
Did you guys expect this level of fame?
DP: No. Personally I did not prepare for this outcome. I more so was just enjoying the moment and actually doing what I always wanted to do and observing and watching. And viewing on social media how the fans actually reacted, you receive so much support and validation, and you meet interviewers and reporters that just enjoy it as well – It just feels, surreal. It’s not believable at times but it is, so it’s contradicting, I guess.
How was it being on the show? What Netflix is doing is groundbreaking and there are still people discovering the show versus other shows where it’s already four seasons in and you can’t catch up.
MM: I don’t think either of us have a ton of experience in network episodic television beyond maybe a single episode here and there, so in some ways it’s funny, I think we’re born into almost a new generation. The kids these days have all this social media that I remember when I was in college and Facebook became a thing. This is just what they’re born into.
DP: They don’t know anything else. Just like us. We don’t know what it’s like to be on a regular network. We just hear it from our publicist and agents that week to week you build it up. But just thrown out there with everything, it’s exposed, it’s much different. And I think that when I meet people that tell me, ‘Oh, I just saw first season,’ but everybody’s seen second season, it’s like so there’s still a lot more people joining in, it makes me think, Wait, this is bigger than what I think, this is beyond us… It still doesn’t settle in how big it is and how big it can become. So at times it’s a little intimidating.
MM: And I think once the second season comes out, because it’s all available, you do get a lot of new viewers who are just starting because they’re reminded, ‘Oh yeah, that’s that show – I heard it was good.’ And then they’ll go back and start plowing through. And also when you know you have two seasons to save up, you have a lot of material there to start watching as opposed to a regular show.
DP: It’s just so funny that the range is so broad. The viewers. I’m just so embarrassed when my grandmother sees it, but yet there’s a lot of grandmas watching the show.
Does it make it difficult to talk about? Are you allowed to talk about the end of Season 2 now?
MM: I think that they still encourage us not to be spoilers. But how crazy is that? In a world where I’m still behind, I’m actually on episode 11 at this point, and I’m still behind. In two weeks. Like, that’s nuts.
What is it like when you guys get renewed before the season even comes out?
DP: My bills about to get paid! I got a job! [Jokingly] It’s that feeling of next level. For me personally, we have conversations. We’re friends outside of here obviously and the pressure, you get a little bit of that relief. Like, OK, there’s something in the works.
MM: It shows support because shows get canceled on network television a couple of episodes in, and they’re saying here, we have enough faith in you, we don’t even have to see the response from the viewership perspective. We believe in it. And that helps creatively too, because then you’re not just second-guessing yourself. A place of freedom is the best place to have the most creativity.
PHOTO CREDIT: IMDb, Netflix, Instagram