“‘Orange Is the New Black’ Creator, Cast Talk Nudity, Diversity and a “Lighter” Season 3″

Orange Is the New Black‘s June 12 return is just around the corner.

Before the binging of the Netflix dramedy’s third season can commence, creator Jenji Kohan teased what’s in store for the upcoming episodes. It won’t involve as much cutthroat rivalry now that Lorraine Toussaint‘s character, Vee, is no longer a force within the prison. “It was like Oz came through Litchfield,” joked Kohan onstage at a Television Academy screening and panel for the series Wednesday night.

Kohan was joined by six of the show’s castmembers — Taylor Schilling (Piper), Uzo Aduba(Crazy Eyes), Danielle Brooks (Taystee), Kate Mulgrew (Red), Laverne Cox (Sophia) and Selenis Leyva (Gloria) — who together opened up about getting naked, onscreen diversity and the “horrific” U.S. prison system.

The Hollywood Reporter has highlighted eight key takeaways from the talk:

About those nude scenes…. 

Fielding a question about the last time she placed a nervous call to Kohan to voice concerns over the edgy subject material, Schilling acknowledged to a rapt audience: “I’ve been scared of the nudity, so I’ve needed some hand holding.” In her case, the outgoing calls — and yes, there have been a series of them — are always about getting comfortable with the nudity involved in the show. And it is in those conversations with Kohan, she said, that she’s reminded of the truth of the scene, and the fact that there isn’t gratuitous sex or nudity in the Orange scripts. “It’s a physical manifestation of the internal vulnerability. Once that’s very clear, as an actor, I can go anywhere,” she said, adding: “I’ve gained a lot of confidence through that, too.” Kohan says she welcomes that kind of dialogue, and insists that she never writes nude scenes carelessly: “I better have a good reason because I know it’s asking a lot.”

Of course, Kohan’s all for more nudity

“If I had my way, I’d have a lot more,” Kohan said of the amount of nudity involved in the racy dramedy, prompting a series of quips about an entirely naked season 4. Speaking about her desire to showcase a variety of shapes, colors and sizes in the flesh, she said, “We still have this prudish, puritanical culture, and we also have so little exposure to diversity in bodies.” Schilling echoed her showrunner’s point, noting the value of displaying a full range of bodies, as opposed to the size zero ideal being foisted upon us by the fashion industry. That conversation devolved into one about the size 22 model that People magazine put on its current cover. Though Brooks, who said she feels unrepresented by magazines, tipped her hat to the publication, the oft-outspoken Kohan interjected, “I don’t think she’s really a size 22…”



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