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Exclusive: Talking 'Orange is the New Black' with Samira Wiley

– by Fernando Esquivel

SamiraWiley- ORANGE is the NEW BLACK follows Piper Chapman as she trades her designer jeans for an orange prison jumpsuit. Starring Taylor Schilling as Piper, a Smith graduate whose decade-old love affair with drug smuggler Alex (Laura Prepon) leads to her arrest and year-long detention within the walls of a women's penitentiary. Piper leaves behind her fiancé Larry (Jason Biggs) to serve her time "inside" with an eccentric group of outspoken inmates, each with her own story and her own fascinating ways of dealing with prison life. All 13 episodes of season one of ORANGE is the NEW BLACK is now streaming exclusively on Netflix.

A couple of days ago I spoke Exclusively with actress Samira Wiley about coming back for a second to the show in which she plays Poussey Washington and here is what she had to say about it, and also about the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot.

How is it being back on set filming season 2 of 'Orange is the New Black'? Samira Wiley: It's amazing, it's like returning home to a family. Everyone got so close during the first season so it's wonderful to see everyone again.

How great is it that Jenji Kohan created an all female driven show? Samira Wiley: It's amazing and it's wonderful that it's happening now and I'm able to be a part of it. I feel like I'm working on something so ground breaking and honestly a part of history, it's a wonderful, wonderful feeling.

Have you had any interesting fan moments after the release of season one? Samira Wiley: I have interesting moments on a daily basis with fans. One of the most interesting ones was on a long escalator and I was coming down and there was a lady coming up. I was passing her on the escalator and she grabbed me and yelled at me and told me to wait at the bottom I'm going to come down just wait. I was wondering do I wait or do I just leave, is this person crazy. But I waited for her and her husband took a picture of us and she was so happy, so that was cool. I was a little scared for my life when she was holding on to me telling me to wait for her. It was funny because her husband was so apologetic saying he was so sorry. I told them that's OK.

Going back for season two if there something you do to get you back into character? Samira Wiley: My character is pretty close to me and bringing her to life all of season one I feel like she's in my body. There also wasn't much of a break between season one and two so it was pretty natural to get back into the swing of things.

Where would you like your character to go this season? Samira Wiley: In season one we saw more of who she was as a woman and her morals and what she cares about. I just hope that with every episode in season 2 we get to see more of that and fall in love with her or don't like her but get to see more of who she is as a whole person. In terms of what is happening this season, the writers are doing such a good job but I can't tell you too much.

Will we see you spending more time with Tastey this season or will you branch out and make new friends? Samira Wiley: Yeah Tastey is her best friend so you'll see a lot of them together. But there are a lot of people in prison so we'll have new friendships.

How nice is it to come to work and be dressed down? Samira Wiley: It is the best. In life I try to be comfortable in my clothing options. It's like going to work and putting on pajamas which is awesome. I also like the dynamic that all the women there are all in the same clothes. We're all in there dressed down in pajamas!

The next film you're in is "Rob the Mob" where you play an FBI agent, how was that transition? Samira Wiley: It was interesting because it was a totally different character. In Orange is the New Black you can't have anything, we don't even have pockets in our pants and being able to cary a belt with a gun was pretty cool.

Would you consider yourself a comic book fan? Samira Wiley: When I was young I used to read all the Archie comics. People who make comics are artist and I'm such a fan of all different kinds of art.

Will we see you playing Sue Storm in the new reboot of Fantasitc Four? Samira Wiley: I saw the articles on the internet with my name being thrown in the mix and I'm super surprise, honored and excited about it. Just having my name be there and the possibility of that would be amazing. It's nice to have my name in that mix with all those wonderful actress.

So you haven't been in for any auditions then? Samira Wiley: No not as of yet but hopefully we can see what's going on with that.

I noticed that you re-tweeted one of those articles the other day. Samira Wiley: Yeah that was my classmate that I ret-weeted and I didn't know that it was a big thing and thought he just went somewhere looking for it and found it. But I thought it was cool, really, really, cool.

How great would it be to be a female super hero since we haven't seen many on screen yet and on top of that to be an African American female super hero? Samira Wiley: It would be amazing and the fact that we are talking about it shows how far we have come. What I can even dream about being an African American actress in 2013 and what the possibilities are and thankful to everyone that has come before me.

'Orange is the New Black' returns to Netflix in 2014

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