In the summer of 2019, Orange is the New Black locked the gates for good. The Netflix series was one of the first original dramas from the streaming service, and it lasted a full seven seasons before calling it quits. It had a good run, especially for a Netflix series, but not even prison sentences last forever. Now, fittingly and semi-ironically, the entire cast is free to do whatever they want with their future careers. (Not to say that the acclaimed streaming series was considered a burden for the stellar cast.)
A talent-oozing ensemble served as Orange Is the New Black's core cast, and everyone involved did some tremendous work throughout the much-discussed streaming series' run. But OINTB is over and done now, and it'll be intriguing to see where the cast goes next with each of their respective careers. Sure enough, several cast members have already lined up some work after the show's finale, so we're taking this opportunity to explore the stars' futures.
Taylor Schilling (Piper Chapman)
As Piper Chapman, Taylor Schilling was Orange is the New Black's central protagonist, serving as a fictionalized version of the real-world Chapman, who wrote the book the show is based on. Towards the beginning of the series, Piper is shown as being something of an innocent in this prison-based series, but her darker and more sanctimonious side came out as seasons went by.
The Emmy-nominated Taylor Schilling recently showed up in a few new movies earlier this year, including The Prodigy, Family, and Greg Kinnear's Phil, but she doesn't seem to have any films or TV shows in the works right this minute. Most recently, Schilling participated in a one-night-only benefit reading of Maxwell Anderson's Bad Seed, which was directed by Cynthia Nixon.
Laura Prepon (Alex Vause)
As the snarky and emotionally guarded Alex Vause, who eventually reconnects with her former lover Piper and becomes her "prison wife," Laura Prepon played a key role throughout Orange is the New Black. Originally best known for her long-running role in That '70s Show, Orange is the New Black allowed the actress to avoid being typecast with a role that played to her strengths while also showcasing more of her dramatic range.
Outside of her work on the Netflix dramedy, where she also served as a director for a few episodes, Prepon hasn't been attached to too many projects in recent years. That's possibly related to the birth of her daughter, Ella, happening in the summer of 2017. Laura Prepon also revealed in October 2019 that she's pregnant for her second child with husband Ben Foster. Additionally, Prepon is an author whose next book is set for release in 2020.
Kate Mulgrew (Galina "Red" Reznikov)
As Galina Reznikov, better known as "Red," Kate Mulgrew played a prominent role throughout Orange is the New Black's run. Particularly in the first few seasons of the show, Red was an authoritative figure among the inmates, understandably as the leader of Red's Family, though she gained emotional layers in later years.
A veteran actress of the big and small screen, Kate Mulgrew has continued to find work after the end of Orange is the New Black. In particular, she lends her voice to the role of Cat in the animated series, Infinity Train, and she currently plays a part in the Stephen King TV adaptation, Mr. Mercedes, for its third and most recent season . Even though Orange is the New Black no longer streams new episodes, Mulgrew is still going strong.
Uzo Aduba (Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren)
As Orange is the New Black's Suzanne Warren, better known as "Crazy Eyes," Uzo Aduba gave steadily phenomenal performances. Suzanne was known for being overly attached to inmates, to the point where other prisoners wouldn't want to interact with her. Piper learned this quite clearly in Season 1 when Suzanne wanted her to be her prison wife.
A veteran of the stage and screen, Uzo Abuba continues to act in a number of high-profile projects. Most recently, she played the lead role in Miss Virginia. She also lends her voice to the role of Bismuth in Cartoon Networks' Steven Universe (most recently in Steven Universe: The Movie). Aduba recently played a role in the dramatic film Really Love, which is currently in post-production, and the actress signed on to star in the fourth season of FX's acclaimed anthology series, Fargo. On top of all that, she is currently filming a role in the Hulu miniseries Mrs. America, starring Cate Blanchett.
Danielle Brooks (Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson)
As Tasha Jefferson, more affectionately known as Taystee, Danielle Brooks worked her way up to being what is considered the secondary protagonists on the long-running Orange is the New Black. Her role evolves as much as any in the series, if not more so.
Since the show wrapped up in the summer of 2019, Danielle Brooks has appeared most prominently in two well-regarded titles: Clemency and The Day Shall Come. She also has upcoming roles in All The Little Things We Kill, The Public's Much Ado About Nothing, and Eat Wheaties!, all of which are expected to come out in the next few months. Just recently, Brooks welcomed her first child, a baby girl, into the world, so that bundle of joy will probably take up a lot of her attention and energy for a while.
Dascha Polanco (Dayanara Diaz)
As Dayanara Diaz, Dascha Polanco played a key role throughout Orange is the New Black. In particular, she became one of the more antagonistic characters for Season 7 once everything started going to hell.
Dascha Polanco continues to keep busy with a variety of films and shows in 2019 and beyond. She appeared in both Netflix's acclaimed series Russian Doll (which we'll talk about again in just a moment) and When They See Us. Additionally, Polanco currently had a minor role in Martin Scorsese's latest picture, The Irishman, which is another Netflix title. (Clearly, Dascha Polanco is keeping in tabs with Netflix.) Furthermore, the actress will show up in Jon M. Chu's forthcoming big-screen adaptation of In The Heights, and she will also star in the indie drama iGilbert. On the small screen, Polanco played a part in the dark new CBS drama, Evil.
Natasha Lyonne (Nicole "Nicky" Nichols)
As Nicole "Nicky" Nichols, Natasha Lyonne was known for her sarcastic humor, as well as her wise and grounded mentality. While she first became known for her roles in Slums of Beverly Hills and American Pie, Orange is the New Black was for some a much-welcomed return to the spotlight for Lyonne, though she did take a hiatus away from the Netflix drama.
Thankfully, Natasha Lyonne continues to make a name for herself. Just shortly before Orange is the New Black's final season premiered on the streaming service, she starred in and co-wrote the excellent do-over dramedy Russian Doll, which also streamed on Netflix. Lyonne also lent her voice to another season of Big Mouth and two recent episodes of The Simpsons. On the film side, she played a small part in Brad Pitt's Ad Astra, and she has roles in Jon Stewart's Irresistible and Lee Daniels' The United States vs. Billie Holiday coming up next. Natasha Lyonne is also keeping busy as a director; she will helm episodes of Hulu's Shrill and High Fidelity.
Selenis Leyva (Gloria Mendoza)
Orange is the New Black's Gloria Mendoza stayed a main character throughout the show's run, thanks in large part to solid performances from star Selenis Leyva. As a proven actress who has proven herself on the big and small screen several times over, Selenis Leyva continues to find work in a number of exciting projects.
More specifically, since the end of Orange is the New Black, Leyva has found herself on a recent episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She has also lent her voice to Disney's DuckTales, and she is currently set to appear in the Disney+ streaming series Diary of a Female President, which stars Gina Rodriguez and will premiere in 2020.
Laverne Cox (Sophia Burset)
As Sophia Burset, Laverne Cox made a name for herself through her work in Orange is the New Black. Ever since her early appearances in season one, Laverne Cox has continued to build her career through the exceptional acclaim of her work in the show. The Emmy-nominated actress has been become a producer, celebrity spokesperson and more in the following years, both within the transgender community and beyond, and she continues to remain busy in her personal life.
Specifically, Laverne Cox has starred in the film Can You Keep A Secret?, and she recently made a surprise appearance in Charlie's Angels this past weekend. She'll play a part in Curb Your Enthusiasm's upcoming season, which is sure to be cringe-worthy, and she has roles in films like Jolt, Promising Young Woman, and Bad Hair set to be released in the coming years. She is also set to star in Inventing Anna, as well. Clearly, Laverne Cox is keeping herself busy with so many projects, it may soon be hard to remember that OITNB is where it all started.
There are a lot of talented people involved with the recently-concluded Netflix series. Orange is the New Black was a very well-acclaimed series, and it is apparent that the people involved in the show's continued success are continuing to branch out and work themselves into other shows and movies. All seven seasons are currently available to stream.
Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.