Jenji Kohan On Launching New Shows, Saying Goodbye to Favorite Characters | 'Orange is the New Black' | Drama Showrunner Roundtable
"If you start thinking about whether it's appropriate for everyone, you're left with oatmeal," Kohan told THR.
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the entire fifth season of Orange Is the New Black.]
"Everyone loves a new baby," Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan told The Hollywood Reporter during the Drama Showrunner Roundtable. "Giving birth to a new show, it's a high. You get a hit off that and it's hard to turn that down, especially if you've been grinding something out for a really long time and it's a little more awkward, a little more adolescent. The thought of, 'Oh, you can start fresh and create something new' is exciting."
This past season, Kohan made the bold choice of killing off one of the show's main characters, Poussey played by Samira Wiley (The Handmaid's Tale). "It's very difficult," said Kohan of killing Poussey. "In that case, she was so beloved. I hated losing Samira, but her death would have the greatest impact."
"She was fantastic about it. She said, 'I get it, I understand.' A lot of the other actors got very nervous and were outraged, like, 'How could you do this to her?' And it's like, 'I'm not doing it to her. This is the journey that this character has taken. This is where the show is going.' But it's hard because they're enmeshed with their characters as well, and you try to separate the actor from the part or the writer from the material, but it gets mushy sometimes."
More roundtables featuring comedy and drama actresses, actors, showrunners and reality creators will continue through July in print and online. Tune in to new episodes of Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter starting May 25 on Sundance TV, and look for clips at THR.com/topic/roundtables with full episodes on THR.com after broadcast.