The Netflix Original Orange Is The New Black will be ready for fans to binge on July 27. The new season is going to have some big changes, but all the favorite prisoners of Litchfield will be returning to the show in new digs, thanks to their Season 5 riot. Unfortunately, new digs means that some of the guards and prison staff are likely going to be gone. With people leaving the show, that means there is room to bring some new people in, and in the past, that change has been good, even when it’s only been for a season. Although a fan favorite, Ruby Rose has not been written back into the series as she has been working her own projects.
When the stars of OITNB weren’t filming for the show, they have been off working on other projects. They have combined to do work on television, movies, recording an album, modeling gigs, and some have even begun their own movies and pilots. It also looks as though they have been having a good time if you can judge by their Instagram feeds. If you check them out, you can see everything from behind-the-scenes photos, to sexy bikini snaps on the beach. For anyone that hasn’t been keeping up with the stars of Orange Is The New Black since last season, here is a look at what they have been up to.
Jackie Cruz, who plays Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales on OITNB, worked on the film Faraway Eyes with Christina Ricci and Michael Rispoli. She even started work on recording her first album. She also has a special project in the works she talked about in her interview with Bustle.
“I’m writing my own film, because you know what? I’ve been auditioning. I’ve been this close to getting it. And I don’t get it, because of the way I look. Because I don’t look Mexican. I don’t look Dominican. I don’t look Puerto Rican.”
Jessica Pimentel, Maria on Orange Is The New Black, has been busy working on A Bread Factory, parts one and two, with Janeane Garofalo, James Marsters, Amy Carlson, and Tyne Daly according to IMDB. The 35-year-old bombshell from Brooklyn has also been keeping it sexy on her Instagram.
Diane Guerrero, who portrays Maritza Ramos on OITNB, has been very busy between seasons working on Jane The Virgin, Superior Donuts, Beyond Control, and Distefano. She has also spent considerable time campaigning for immigration reform as she watched her entire family be deported from the U.S. when she was only 14. Fox has optioned her story and set her to play a role, but no date for the pilot to be shot has been announced yet.
Laura Prepon, who plays former drug smuggler and full-time girlfriend of Piper, Alex Vause, had a busy year between seasons. She spent her time getting married to Ben Foster, according to Just Jared, had her first child, Ella, and appeared in the drama, The Hero. Prepon continued promoting her New York Times Bestseller, The Stash, and she won the Creative Coalition Spotlight Award.
Danielle Brooks, known as Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson, worked on All The Little Things We Kill, and appeared on a handful of television shows, including High Maintenance. She has a film, Clemency, with Alfre Woodard in the works, as well as an untitled Chris Morris production, as per Deadline Hollywood. She signed on with UTA as her new representatives which should bring in more work.
Natasha Lyonne portrays jailhouse junkie Nicky Nichols in Orange Is The New Black, a role the now drug-free actress has said hits close to home for her. Between seasons, Lyonne has done voice work on Animals, and appears in Honey Boy, which is in post-production, and the unreleased pilot of Russian Dolls. Lyonne also appeared in several episodes of Portlandia, and was credited on a handful of other projects as well.
Asia Kate Dillon plays skinhead Brandy Epps and is considered to be one of the first major non-binary stars on U.S. television, according to The Guardian. Dillon was involved in several projects on and off-screen, including her breakout role in Billions, and spot in the upcoming John Wick 3: Parabellum. When not filming, Dillon is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights, and has campaigned against trans-exclusionary projects.
Laverne Cox plays prisoner and prison beautician Sophia Burset, Cox has been hailed as a pioneer of sorts as one of the first transwomen to play a transsexual character in a recurring television role. When OITNB hasn’t been filming, Cox has appeared on Freakshow, The Mindy Project, Doubt, and The Trustee. Cox continues to be an out and vocal champion of LGBT rights, regularly speaking at various engagements on the necessity of inclusion for all, not just in entertainment and business, but everywhere.