New Evidence the Cast of ‘Orange is the New Black’ is Friends IRL
06.01.17
Photos by Emanuele Fontanesi for InStyle.

I was fully ready for the internet to retire the word “squad” by the end of last summer, but the actresses on Orange is the New Black have me reconsidering. Let’s put it this way: if Danielle Brooks and Natasha Lyonne were to hypothetically arrive at my doorstep and ask me to partake in the group friendship of what appears to be the happiest cast in the history of television, I wouldn’t say no.

With only eight more days to go until the season 5 release on Netflix, InStyle just unveiled a series of short behind-the-scenes videos from a photo shoot featuring OINTB cast members. After reading the accompanying interview and watching the videos multiple times, I was able to glean a plethora of adorable information about the relationships on set and what everyone thinks about each other (spoiler alert: it will melt you like a grilled cheese).

Here is a selection of my favorite takeaways, in no particular order:

+ Popular consensus awarded Natasha Lyonne with the accolade of “best fashion sense.”
+ Jumping on a trampoline is the secret to pulling off a jumpsuit, a truth I discovered after watching each cast member jump on a trampoline while wearing a jumpsuit. The secret to peeing in a jumpsuit remains unsolved.
+ When Danielle Brooks sings, she sounds like an angel gargling fairy juice — which is to say, amazing.
+ Everyone calls Uzo Aduba “Ooze.”
+ Laura Pepron makes homemade cold brew.
+ Dasha Polanco is “that chick if you’re like I am in Colombia, don’t ask me how I got here, I need you to come and get me, she’d be like ‘I got you.’”
+ In a pinch, you can tie a shoestring to a maxi pad to make a sleep mask. Sweet dreams, ppl!

The videos naturally propelled me into a rabbit hole analysis of Orange is the New Black’s IRL friendships, for am one of those special consumers of television who not only gets invested in the fictional characters’ lives, but also in the nonfictional actors’ lives, thereby achieving a 360-degree entertainment experience I can’t recommend highly enough.

I dove thumbs-first into the cast members’ respective Instagram accounts, which are riddled with evidence of where and how their real-life relationships extend beyond the show.

A few examples:

I’m jealous of everything about this photo, but primarily the footwear.

Tay and A. #fbf #oitnb 🍊

A post shared by Uzo Aduba (@uzoaduba) on

Apparently Adrienne Moore and Taylor Schlling go scuba diving together in their free time. What a dream.

I guess my invitation to Laverne Cox’s bday party got lost in the mail? There’s always 2018.

@uzoaduba @lavernecox #VMAs Taystee face.

A post shared by Taylor Schilling (@tayjschilling) on

Ah yes, the funny-face selfie: according to many anthropologists, a tell-tale sign of indelible friendship amongst modern humanoids.

InStyle’s June 2017 cover

Is there anything more beautiful or intimate than grasping your pal’s left pinky finger in an elevator??

Orange is the New Black appears to have one of those rare gemstones of a cast in which everyone genuinely enjoys each other’s company on-set and off. In a world where technology and social media affords us unprecedented access to the personal lives of celebrities, biting into the apple of what lies behind the screen can often be a mealy endeavor — the fawning seems fake, or a feud comes out, or someone is unhappy. I guess it’s a little weird to acknowledge, but as a fan, it is particularly satisfying when the opposite is true — when the smiles seem genuine and the friendships have the sheen of realness and it’s clear that the pleasure of working together doesn’t hold a candle to the shenanigans of not.

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