Netflix has just released the seventh and final season of Orange Is the New Black, and actress Danielle Brooks is sharing her experience while filming the popular prison series, according to a report from TVLine.
This season of Orange Is the New Black finds Brooks’ character, Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson, struggling to stay alive after being handed a life sentence. At the beginning of the season, it quickly becomes clear to viewers that Taystee is dealing with suicidal thoughts and is preparing to end her life. During the final moments of episode four, Taystee is seen organizing her belongings before working to create a makeshift noose out of her prison uniform. She then ties the noose to the side of her bunk and attempts to hang herself.
Ultimately, Taystee’s suicide attempt fails, but filming such an intense scene was incredibly difficult for the actress.
“When I think about that scene where she tries to commit suicide, just mentally, it was rough for me to get through,” Brooks said. “I found myself having to walk around the set for about 10-20 minutes afterwards to clear my head of what I was experiencing in my heart, mind, body and soul, through one-hundred percent of my being.”
Brooks pointed out that she had solid support from the show’s producers and director, but that she wished there was more therapeutic support while filming such intense scenes. Brooks also noted that having to film the scene multiple times also contributed to her struggle, but she’s grateful she was strong enough to tackle the task at hand.
“When we did this scene, we did it over and over and over and over and over, because you’re getting different angles, you’re getting different levels…you’re trying to figure out the right level,” she explained. “Whatever it is, we at least had to do it over six, seven times, and that can be a lot on an actor.”
The actress concluded by stressing the importance of mental health and sharing how she checks in with herself after filming to make sure she’s not dealing with lingering effects of the role.
During the season, Taystee also has to deal with quite a bit of loss, including the death of a dear friend and fellow inmate.
As for her life outside of acting, Brooks recently announced that she’s expecting her first child, as previously reported by The Inquisitr. The actress took to Instagram to share a photo of herself holding a positive pregnancy test and informed her fans and followers that she was 20 weeks pregnant at the time of posting.
The seventh season of Orange Is the New Black is now available to stream on Netflix.