'Orange Is the New Black': Meet the Ladies of Litchfield (Photos)
8:05 PM PDT 6/5/2014 by Ashley Lee, Aaron Couch
Jenji Kohan's critically acclaimed Netflix series stars Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Natasha Lyonne, Jason Biggs, Laverne Cox, Taryn Manning, Danielle Brooks and many, many others — which is why THR made a handy character guide.
Piper Chapman, played by Taylor Schilling, surrenders to Litchfield for helping her then-girlfriend Alex Vause (Laura Prepon) sneak drug money through customs 10 years prior. She leaves her fiance, Larry Bloom (Jason Biggs), on the outside and restarts a fling with Alex, while getting into trouble with Pennsatucky and Red and accidentally attracting Crazy Eyes, who endearingly gives her the nickname Dandelion.
Alex Vause, played by Laura Prepon, was part of an international drug-smuggling ring and was caught trying to sneak cash through customs. She fell into the scene after tracking down her estranged father, only to be disappointed and become friends with a member of the drug cartel instead — and gets hooked herself. In Litchfield, she finds herself reunited with her ex-girlfriend Piper and starts things up again amid bouts of depression.
Nicky Nichols, played by Natasha Lyonne, is the daughter of a socialite. A former drug addict who got clean thanks to Red, she befriends Piper and Alex and is the inmate who helps explain to them the unwritten rules of Litchfield.
Larry Bloom, played by Jason Biggs, is Piper's fiance who finds himself shocked at her past and sudden self-surrender. A struggling freelance writer, he gets his big break when he publishes an article about dating someone in prison, exposing the inner workings of Litchfield, as told to him in confidence by Piper.
Galina "Red" Reznikov, played by Kate Mulgrew, is the head of the prison kitchen, as she previously ran a restaurant with her husband; however, she got into a mess with Russian mobsters (and hilariously popped the breast implant of one of their wives). A maternal figure to Nicky and aided by Norma and Gina, Red will starve those who get on her bad side — including Piper.
Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett, played by Taryn Manning, landed in legal trouble for shooting an abortion clinic employee who made a disparaging remark about having a fifth abortion. She's known for having bad teeth and going on religious rants. She comes to blows with Piper at the end of season one.
Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren, played by Uzo Aduba, is a mentally unstable yet poetic prisoner who thinks Piper is her girlfriend and nicknames her Dandelion. While her reason for being in Litchfield has yet to be revealed, she causes a quirky stir behind bars, most memorably urinating near Piper's bunk in the middle of the night after being shot down.
Boston-accented Lorna Morello, played by Yael Stone, spends time planning her (very unlikely) wedding, campaigning for WAC and hanging out with her pal (and sometimes sexual partner) Nicky. She gets dragged into Pornstache's drug-smuggling ventures in which he sells pills to inmates.
George "Pornstache" Mendez, played by Pablo Schreiber, is as sleazy as his nickname suggests. He's known for smuggling drugs into the prison and having sex with inmates in exchange for favors. After a rouse, he thinks he's fallen in love with Daya.
Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson, played by Danielle Brooks, is the black representative on the WAC and sweetly works in the prison library. Though she was paroled from the prison in season one, she lands herself back behind bars after having trouble adjusting to the outside world. The good news? She's returned to the side of her best friend, Poussey.
When we meet Poussey Washington, played by Samira Wiley, she's two years into a six-year sentence. The gregarious inmate also has a great singing voice, as is demonstrated by her season-one finale rendition of "Amazing Grace."
Sophia Burset, played by Laverne Cox, went to jail for credit card fraud, which she perpetrated in order to pay for her transition into becoming a transgender woman. Sophia, who is known for being kind, works as a hairdresser in the prison and struggles to receive adequate hormone therapy.
Gloria Mendoza, played by Selenis Leyva, watches out for her fellow inmates. The tough mother of four heads up a prison dominoes game.
Dayanara "Daya" Diaz, played by DaschaPolanco, is pregnant with Officer Bennett's baby but covers it up by having sex with Mendez so he would be mistaken as the father. The Latina inmate is shunned for her lack of Spanish skills and doesn't have the best relationship with her mother, Aleida (also at Litchfield).
Officer John Bennett
Officer John Bennett, played by Matt McGorry, is the kind-hearted officer who has an artificial leg after a military injury. He develops a loving relationship with Daya, who ends up getting pregnant.
Aleida Diaz, played by Elizabeth Rodriguez, is Daya's mother. She doesn't treat her daughter — and fellow inmate — well and even tries to start a physical relationship with Bennett to spite her. Aleida previously dated a man for whom she bagged drugs in her kitchen.