These days, Netflix is at the forefront of the original content game. The streaming titan has recently inked major deals with impressive creators such as Ryan Murphy, Shonda Rhimes, and Marti Noxon. With so many new shows emerging from the service on a regular basis, it’s difficult to remember that not long ago we could count the number of existing Netflix Originals on one hand. Much of Netflix’s early success in this arena can be traced back to Orange Is the New Black.
Loosely adapted from Piper Kerman’s memoir about her brief stint in prison, the series was created by Jenji Kohen and launched in 2013. OITNB has since become Netflix’s most-watched original series and is planning to wrap up with its 7th season, due for release next year. Praised by fans and critics alike, the compulsively watchable show has grown a great deal over the years. What may have begun as Piper’s story has come to focus more and more on its ever-expanding cast of amazing and unforgettable characters.
Orange Is the New Black not only found a way to humanize prisoners for a large audience, but also serves as a brutal and necessary criticism of the prison system in general. Featuring an incredibly diverse cast, the show is about women of all shapes, colors, sizes, and backgrounds. Viewers have grown quite invested in the lives of these inmates, laughing and crying with them in equal measure. Although the conditions within the walls of Litchfield are often unbearable, the show’s fantastic cast seems to really enjoy the work that they do.
Here are 25 Behind-The-Scenes Photos From OITNB That Change Everything.
26 Height difference between Pablo Schreiber and Yael Stone
It’s evident that this image was taken when the cameras weren’t rolling, considering the fact that Morello is smiling despite being in the presence of George Mendez. Aside from that, the correctional officer is missing his iconic facial hair. Viewers might be shocked to learn that the mustache sported by Pablo Schreiber actually isn’t his own. The actor is grateful for this fact, considering without it, he is far less likely to be recognized as that character.
The height disparity between these two is certainly comical enough to warrant a photo. Yael Stone is 5’ tall, while Schreiber towers over her at 6’5”.
25 Taylor Schilling in the makeup chair
Considering the fact that the ladies of Litchfield aren’t actually allowed to wear makeup, it’s strange to see Taylor Schilling in the makeup chair. While it is possible that the actress is being prepared for a scene in which Piper is outside of the prison, it’s just as likely that she isn’t.
Actors find themselves undergoing the makeup process for any amount of time that they spend on camera, whether they are technically supposed to be wearing any or not. It’s all just part of the magic of cinema, although for some performers, it’s a far more arduous process than it is for others.
24 Mendez and Bennett posing
Mendez and Bennett managed to forge a somewhat strange friendship, despite the former’s bad behavior. However, it’s still unlikely that one would find them posing for photos together. This is definitely an image of Pablo Schreiber and Matt McGorry hanging out behind-the-scenes.
The two correctional officers couldn’t have handled their jobs more differently, but Bennett still found himself feeling guilty about Daya framing Mendez for assault. Most fans, however, felt completely fine with seeing Mendez go down, regardless of the fact that he was innocent of this particular crime. He was guilty enough on plenty of other counts.
23 Laura Prepon directing
This is an image of Laura Prepon directing a season 6 episode of Orange Is the New Black. It’s not the first time that the actress has helmed an installment of the series. Prepon first sat in the director’s chair during the 10th episode of season 5. She returned to the job for the 11th installment of the show’s most recent outing.
This is rare instance of seeing Alex Vause spending quality time with her fellow inmates without wearing her prison scrubs. The actress seems to enjoy the job, so perhaps Prepon will find time to direct another episode for the show’s upcoming 7th season.
22 Laura Gómez getting her hair done
When most of us think about the job of a markup artist, we imagine them making actors look their best. Of course, their work can also be quite transformative as well, creating superheroes and all manner of creature from mere mortals.
One aspect of this job that people don’t consider quite as much is the task of making beautiful people look less so. Prison isn’t going to have a flattering effect on one’s appearance. In real life, many of the women of OITNB look drastically different from their characters. Apparently, Laura Gómez doesn’t wake up in the morning with Blanca’s trademark messy hair.
21 Diane Guerrero taking a selfie
One of the characters most missed by fans during season 6 was Diane Guerrero’s Maritza. Sadly, Maritza and her bestie were separated in the aftermath of the riot and were ultimately sent to different prisons. Flaca returned for season 6, but life was difficult without her partner in crime. She wasn’t the only one who was hoping that Maritza would eventually appear.
Here is an image of Guerrero taking a mirror selfie, which is something that her character would not be able to do - although she would obviously really want to.
20 Danielle Brooks, Taylor Schilling, and Natasha Lyonne looking glam
The cast of OITNB is constantly expanding, so viewers get fewer glimpses into the former lives led by the original inmates. The show continues its tradition of flashbacks, but most fans have grown accustomed to seeing these women in their prison garb. This image of Danielle Brooks, Taylor Schilling and Natasha Lyonne out in the world together is one that would likely never happen in the series.
All three are also looking pretty happy, which is an emotion in short supply at Litchfield and has proven even more difficult to find in the Super Max facility that they were moved to this season.
19 Yael Stone psyched about Ruby Rose joining the cast
Yael Stone was pretty psyched about this casting news. Although Ruby Rose made a big impact, many fans felt that the character of Stella was a missed opportunity who added nothing to the series overall.
Stella offered a minor reprieve from the near constant drama between Piper and Alex, but no one complained when she was no longer a part of the show. While it could’ve made sense for her to appear in season 6, most viewers wouldn’t have been happy to see her.
18 Danielle Brooks and Matt McGorry hugging
It’s one thing for Daya to get snuggly with Bennett, but you’d never see this kind of affection between Taystee and the correctional officer. It looks like Danielle Brooks and Matt McGorry are much friendlier than their onscreen counterparts.
Also, like many of these behind-the-scenes images, a big indicator that that the cameras aren’t rolling is the smiling actors. It’s much easier to smile when you’re not sitting in prison. One of the most impressive aspects of OITNB is the way that it not only serves up vital commentary on the prison system, but also humanizes the inmates.
17 Jackie Cruz and Dascha Polanco with director Andrew McCarthy
Andrew McCarthy is best known for his starring roles in beloved ‘80s classics, such as St. Elmo’s Fire and Pretty in Pink. Although he has continued to appear in both film and television in the decades that followed, in the early 2000s McCarthy tried his hand at directing. Since then, the actor has spent an increasing amount of time behind the camera.
This behind-the-scenes image features Dascha Polanco and Jackie Cruz posing with McCarthy, who has helmed quite a few episodes of OITNB. He has also directed installments of several others shows, including Gossip Girl, White Collar, and The Blacklist.
16 Group selfie
One would never see such a happy photo taken within the walls of Litchfield. Orange Is the New Black features an incredibly diverse cast of amazing actors. They may not all get along when the cameras are rolling, but many of these women have grown quite close in real life. The cast members have been known to spend plenty of time together outside of filming.
Whether they were on a group trip to Hawaii, celebrating Pride Week together, or just posting excited selfies, the ladies of OITNB seem to have forged quite a bond during their time on set.
15 Strutting on camera
Life in Litchfield can make viewers laugh out loud or cry hysterically, often within the confines of a single episode. It’s easy to become completely absorbed in the reality that these women are facing on daily basis. Sure, everyone is aware that they are watching a TV show, but like all the best art, OITNB resonates enough with viewers to elicit these reactions nonetheless.
This image shows Piper and Sophia walking through the prison, but the camera capturing the moment is clearly visible. It seems like someone said something that made both actresses smile.
14 Mendez and Tasha
Well, this is an interaction that you certainly wouldn’t witness onscreen. As strange as it was to see Taystee and Bennett looking friendly, finding an image of her having fun with Mendez is even more jarring. Danielle Brooks and Pablo Schreiber are obviously pals in real life.
On the show, Taystee wouldn’t want to even get anywhere near Mendez unless she absolutely had to. The correctional officer wasn’t known for being anything but cruel to the inmates. Thankfully, Schreiber seems to get along with everyone much better than his mustachioed counterpart.
13 Poussey and Gloria
Over the course of the series, the relationships between these women have evolved. Friends have transformed into enemies, villains have emerged as heroes, and strangers have become lifelong friends. There are so many characters in the cast and not all them interact with each other on a regular basis. There isn’t too much of a connection between Mendoza and Poussey, but the former was still impacted by the latter’s tragic demise.
Samira Wiley and Selenis Leyva seem to be quite close in real life though, as evidenced by this behind-the-scenes photo.
12 Nicky, Tasha and Poussey goofing off
Here is another behind-the-scenes image of the actresses having way more fun than their onscreen counterparts. Poussey, Nicky, and Tasha have all become fan favorites over the course of the series. Sadly, Samira Wiley left OITNB in the most tragic way possible. Viewers continue to miss her character.
Things aren’t going so great for Taystee either, as the conclusion to season 6 saw her found guilty of crimes she did not commit. Hopefully, she finds her way out this mess when the show returns. As for Nicky, as long as she stays clean, she’s got a decent chance at surviving the remainder of her time in prison.
11 Daya and Bennett under umbrellas
Although it is true that Daya and Bennett shared an incredibly close relationship on the series, the two wouldn’t have been able to be so affectionate in public. The umbrellas are just another indication that this image takes place behind the scenes of OITNB. Many fans enjoyed the romance between the prisoner and the prison guard, despite the fact that in real life, such a thing would be frowned upon-- to say the least.
Regardless of the couple’s popularity, John Bennett eventually drove off, never to be heard from again - to make more time for Matt McGorry to star in another show.
10 Natasha Lyonne and Uzo Aduba
Here is an image of two fan favorites hanging out together behind-the-scenes. When Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren first appeared, there was little indication of what an amazing character she would become. Thankfully, the writers chose to add some real depth to her and Uzo Aduba’s brilliant performance has won the hearts of pretty much everyone.
Nicky Nichols has had quite an emotional arc as well, one that mirrors the real life struggles that Natasha Lyonne has had with addiction. Like her onscreen counterpart, Lyonne eventually found her way to the other side of that darkness, although anyone who has suffered from the same issues will tell you that it’s a lifelong battle.
9 Flaca’s out of control eye makeup
Despite the fact that makeup is mostly banned within the prison walls, many of the inmates find ways around this inconvenient fact. Although Flaca most definitely loves her makeup, if she went this hard on the eyeliner, it’s likely that it would draw at least some unwanted attention from the guards. Even Nicky looks confused here.
The makeup ban may have been stated early on in the series, but it doesn’t seem to be enforced with any consistency. Whether the characters get creative by making their own products or just use more than they are supposed to of what they get from commissary, it seems like this rule isn’t taken too seriously.
8 Natasha Lyonne lounging on set
Natasha Lyonne looks far more comfortable here than Nicky ever gets to be in the prison she calls home. It’s unclear which part of the set this is, but Nicky would probably give an arm to sleep on such a comfy bed, considering the standard issue cot that she has grown accustomed to.
Comfort is something that is in short supply at Litchfield, so Nicky and all of her fellow inmates will take what they can get. On the other hand, there are so many sacrifices that accompany a life behind bars that losing a nice mattress probably ranks pretty low on the list.
7 Emma Myles and Julie Lake behind-the-scenes
BFFs Leanne and Angie have spent an increasing amount of time onscreen as the series progressed. However, neither appeared in season 6, so their current whereabouts are unknown. They could show up for the final season, but that seems unlikely.
Here is a picture of Emma Myles and Julie Lake hanging out behind-the-scenes. It appears that Lake is sitting in the makeup chair so that the artist can create Angie’s trademark bad teeth. According to the actress, it actually doesn’t take as long as you might think. Myles was there to capture the moment.
6 Suzanne, Maritza, and Flaca taking a break
Here is an image of Uzo Aduba, Diane Guerrero, and Jackie Cruz just hanging out between takes. The actresses are probably taking a much-needed break. Flaca and Maritza may spend a lot of their time together, but they are rarely accompanied by Suzanne.
Suzanne may have been an outsider early on in the series, but at least she has made some true friends who really care about her since then. She has come a long way from her days as “Crazy Eyes.” Although the writers were initally criticized for their handling of a mentally ill character, they listened to those comments and changed their approach.
5 Alex and Piper on camera
It looks like something pretty dramatic is going on in this scene. Of course, Piper and Alex do have a relationship replete with drama. To be fair, though, they both have a lot going on.
This is a Piper and Alex scene from a new angle and it makes us think about everything that goes into making these moments believable. From the lighting to the makeup to the score, there are many integral pieces that need to come together in order to form the full picture for Orange Is the New Black.
4 Red and Boo
Galina “Red” Reznikov and Carrie “Big Boo” Black haven’t always had a great relationship. Things have gotten tense between them on more than one occasion. However, Kate Mulgrew and Lea DeLaria seem to have no such issues.
Boo was another character that many fans missed during season 6. She did briefly appear and, although she didn’t get much screen time, her scene was memorable. Boo got to witness the humiliation of Linda Ferguson and, of course, get the last word in. Sadly, that wasn’t the final time that viewers saw Linda - most fans would’ve rather said goodbye to her than Boo.
3 Sophia with Mendez and Bennett
Here is another image of guards and inmates fraternizing. You would never see Sophia having this much fun with Bennett and Mendez. Pablo Schreiber, Matt McGorry, and Laverne Cox, on the other hand, seem like they’re having a great time on set.
Many fans have missed Sophia Burset. She played a large role in the series early on, but got increasingly less screen time as the show progressed. This is due to the fact that Cox’s star has been on the rise. Her fame is well deserved, but we’re glad that we got to see more of Burset during season 6 - even if her arc was heartbreaking.
2 Taryn Manning behind-the-scenes
Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett has undeniably had one of the best arcs of the entire series. She began her tenure on OITNB as a fairly straightforward villain. However, as the series progressed, the writers added more and more layers to her. Depicting this type of depth is one area where Orange Is the New Black has always excelled.
The writing, in conjunction with an unforgettable performance from Taryn Manning, has made Doggett one of the show’s most compelling characters. In a series full of so many amazing women, that is no small feat. This is an image of Manning assumedly outside of her dressing room.
1 Suzanne and Soso
Brooke Soso is another example of a character who became a fan favorite, despite a less-than-favorable debut. The writers managed to subvert expectations for Brooke and in the process, transformed her from annoying to endearing. Viewers may never see her again, though, as she was another inmate who didn’t return for season 6.
Here is a behind-the-scenes photo of Kimiko Glenn and Uzo Aduba. It’s amazing how much both Brooke and Suzanne wound up evolving over the course of the series. In fact, rewatching the early seasons, you might be surprised at how much most of the women of Litchfield have changed.
What do you think of these behind-the-scenes images from OITNB? Let us know in the comments!