'Orange Is the New Black's' Samira Wiley Joins 'You're the Worst' (Exclusive)

The role marks the actress' first follow-up role after the Netflix prison dramedy.
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[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the final two episodes of season four of Orange Is the New Black.]

Orange Is the New Black favorite Samira Wiley is reuniting with Stephen Falk.

The actress, who is at the center of one of the biggest twists of Orange Is the New Black season four, has booked a major role on FXX critical darling You're the Worst.

Wiley will recur in season three of the comedy, created by Orange alum Falk, and play Justina, the therapist to star Aya Cash's Gretchen. The character will be featured prominently throughout the season as Justina helps Gretchen dip her toe into the waters of mental health, both in recovering from her recent depressive episode and dealing with new challenges. Justina has the unique ability to cut through Gretchen's layers of crap and remain (mostly) unflappable, even when Gretchen is at her worst. Though she's a great therapist, Justina isn't exactly a paradigm of mental health — she's very much trying to figure out her own life, including what to do about her unambitious boyfriend and thirsty need to Foursquare her every move.

"Samira is an incredibly talented, thoughtful and exciting actress. When I worked on Orange Is the New Black I got to write the episode with Poussey’s backstory, and we had such a good time that early on in writing this season of You’re the Worst I hit on the random thought of having Samira play Gretchen’s therapist," Falk told THR. "It seemed like kind of a weird choice, given that she’s younger, and on another show, but once it came to mind, the idea of casting anyone else bummed me out. So I didn’t."

For Wiley, who will appear in five episodes, the role marks her follow-up gig following four seasons of Orange. [Spoilers from the final episodes of season four ahead.] Her fan-favorite character, Poussey Washington, was shockingly killed off in the penultimate episode of season four. Her credits include voicing Michonne in The Walking Dead: Michonne video game as well as episodes of The Catch and Law & Order: SVU. She's repped by Innovative Artists.

“It feels a little full circle or serendipitous that it’s happening in this way," Wiley said of reuniting with Falk after he wrote Poussey's backstory on Orange. "He’s a great guy and I’m so excited to be able to work for him. [The character is] totally different [from Poussey], which is everything I want to do now. Orange and Poussey have given me my life as an actor, and where I am in my career right now. But I am an actor at the end of the day and I want to make sure I can show the world different parts of myself. Poussey is not all that I am and as an actor, I want to be able to play roles that are wildly different from the last role that I’ve played. In terms of roles that I’m seeking now and movies that I’m doing, that’s the goal. To do things that are on the other end of the spectrum from Poussey."
 
For You're the Worst, Wiley's casting continues the mental health storyline that Falk introduced in season two. The storyline was hailed as one of the most accurate depictions of clinical depression on the small screen.

"At the end of last season, we saw [Gretchen] make a big move, which seemed small but it was to finally address [her depression] in a substantive way, rather than just try to manage it away as she had her whole life with drugs and alcohol or forgetting about it and white knuckling it," Falk told THR last week. "She makes that pledge at the end of season two to acknowledge that she is sharing her life with someone else right now. She will look into medication or therapy for Jimmy and we see her follow through on that promise this year. It's not easy. In season three, we get to see Gretchen, for the first time, in any real way start to delve into her own psyche, patterns and processes. And it's a little rocky for her."

Season three, which premieres Aug. 31 at 10 p.m. on FXX, picks up immediately after Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen declared their love for one another.

Jackie Strause contributed to this report.

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