For most of us Orange Is the New Black will probably always hold a special place in our hearts. The multi-award-winning series took us through seven almost flawless season (we don’t talk about season 3) across six years, coming to an heart-wrenching end back in 2019.
While we fell head over heels for the brilliantly nuanced characters at the time, it feels like lots of the stars who played them have kind of disappeared since the season finale three years ago – aside from Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox, who’re off being mega-stars along with The Handmaid’s Tale actor Samira Wiley, that is. But where did the likes of Taylor Schilling, Taryn Manning and Danielle Brooks get to? Here’s what the cast of Orange Is the New Black are up to today. The show started with Piper heading out of her everyday life and into prison on drugs smuggling charges from years before, which she had been roped into by a former girlfriend. From the naive, entitled newbie she becomes a far more headstrong Litchfield inmate – albeit still quite a naive one.
Taylor has had a number of big roles since her time in OITNB. Earlier this year she starred as Lily in US drama series The Bite, and next up she’s set to play a key part in the Pam & Tommy biopic alongside Lily James. Alex Vause started the series as the villain who was the reason Piper was in prison, but over the years Piper fell back in love with her and, tbh, so did we. Since finishing OITNB Prepon hasn’t really done much acting. Instead she wrote a successful parenting book, You and I, as Mothers: A Raw and Honest Guide to Motherhood, and launched her line of kitchen and cookery tools, PrePon Kitchen.
In interviews a few years into the show, creators since revealed that Crazy Eyes was only meant to be a small part and not intended to go until the end of the series, but clearly Aduba was so incredible the writers kept her for all seven seasons. Uzo is basically as famous – and talented – as it gets, really. Since finishing OITNB she’s been in Amazon Prime’s Solos as well as Hulu’s Mrs America alongside Cate Blanchett. Coming up next year, she’ll play Edie in Painkillers, Netflix’s series about the opioid crisis.
Taystee went from being an important supporting character to basically heading up the whole thing. She ends up sentenced to life in prison due to the riots that take place in season six, and after a huge struggle becomes an advocate for learning in prison and begins doing impactful and inspiring charity Danielle has done a lot of voicework since she finished playing Taystee. She’d had roles in TV series like Close Enough and Karma’s World. In 2022 she’ll be starring as Leota Adebayo in HBO’s superhero series, Peacemaker.
Nicky was the lovable joker. Her relationship with Red was as adorable as it was heartbreaking and she struggled with addiction and self-sabotage over the years. Natasha Lyonne wrote and starred in the hit Netflix series Russian Doll, which is set to return for a second series sometime soon. She’s also played several smaller parts in various series over the years, including a lot of voice work. Poussey Washington was one of the most loved (and most fancied) characters on the show, and her death at the end of series four broke fans’ hearts. As you probably know since OITNB Samira is best known for playing Moira in dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale. She and wife Lauren Morelli (a writer on OINTB) also welcomed a baby daughter named George Elizabeth in May 2021, while she was recently on the cover of Cosmopolitan, too.
Daya’s story was a pretty harrowing one. She began the series falling for a prison guard and accidentally getting pregnant. After some pretty extreme meddling from her mother – who was in prison with her – things started to go really downhill for Daya. She ends the show battling addiction and mixed up with a group of dealers. Dascha Polanco in 202 Alongside starring in Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical film In The Heights Polanco also rejoined OITNB costar Natasha Lyonne for a role in her Netflix series Russian Doll. Polanco has a number of tv roles upcoming and is also spending a fair bit of time looking unreal on red carpets.