If you’re anything like us, you’ve already binge-watched season seven of the Netflix critically-acclaimed show Orange is the New Black (don’t worry, no spoilers here).
Whilst Piper struggles with life on the outside, our heart lies with the inmates still inside, and we’ve never been happier to be reunited with our favourite prisoners.
With an incredible cast and shocking exploits based on the memoir of real life Piper, Piper Kerman, Orange is the New Black has become one of the most popular Netflix shows of all time. Although we’re sorry to see the show go, we couldn’t resist the chance to look back on some of our favourite characters and what the actresses look like in real life.
10. Natasha Lyonne (Nicky Nichols)
Lyonne began her acting career when she was just twelve years old, appearing in adverts. She then moved on to much more lucrative ventures, securing parts in Woody Allen films and the comedy classic American Pie.
After a battle with a heroin addiction, she was left fighting for her life and endured gruelling heart surgery. In OITNB, Nicky actually shows the scar and explains its backstory.
Since then she has turned her life around and is a successful actress, writer and director.
9. Taryn Manning (Tiffany Doggett)
Manning was born and raised in Arizona and spent her childhood dancing, acting and doing karate. She made her breakthrough performance as Nola, a prostitute, in Hustle and Flow (2005).
She is also a singer-songwriter, performing alongside her brother as the electronic duo Boomkat. Back in 2001, she even auditioned for the show Pop Stars.
Unlike her OITNB alter-ego, Manning is an intelligent and attractive woman (with a much better dentist), even ranking in at number 60 on the Maxim Magazine Hot 100 of 2008 list.
8. Samira Wiley (Poussay Washington)
Wiley is a talented actress and producer, having made appearances in critically acclaimed movies such as The Handmaid’s Tale and The Sitter.
She studied at the prestigious Juilliard School, studying alongside OITNB co-star Danielle Brooks.
Whilst working on the set of OITNB, she developed a close relationship with the show’s writer Lauren Morelli, who was married to a man at the time.
The pair married in March 2017 after a five month engagement.
7. Kate Mulgrew (Galina ‘Red’ Reznikov)
Mulgrew was vaulted into the world of stardom after her break-though role in the ABC soap opera Ryan’s Hope in 1975.
She’s starred alongside prestigious actors such as piers Brosnan and Richard Burton. She was also cast as Captain Kathryn Janeway, the first female Star Trek captain. Her husband even proposed to her on the set!
Mulgrew is also the author of two memoirs, detailing the intricacies of her life and career.
6. Emma Myles (Leanne Taylor)
Myles is an American actress, although she had no notable roles before she found OITNB stardom.
She was close friends with co-star Dascha Polanco prior to her appearance on the show, having met at an audition for a guest role on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
She has since appeared on the show several times in various minor roles.
5. Annie Golden (Norma Romano)
Although Norma is mostly mute, Golden herself is a successful singer, having sung in school and church choirs since she was a child.
Golden has also appeared in several classic eighties shows, including Cheers and Miami Vice.
Combining her acting and vocal talents, Golden has appeared in many Broadway shows, including Hair and The Full Monty.
4. Jackie Cruz (Marisol ‘Flaca’ Gonzales)
Cruz is a Dominican-American actress, singer and former model. At the age of 16, she moved out of the family home and was left homeless.
When she was just 17, she was the victim of a car crash, leaving her in a coma with a collapsed lung and brain injury.
Her song ‘Sweet Sixteen’ was inspired by her ordeal. Cruz is friends with reality star Kourtney Kardashian, and has made several appearances on her show Kourtney and Khloe take Miami.
The cameras even captured Cruz and Kardashian kissing, which Kardashian described as ‘so embarrassing’.
She even went on to say that she ‘could never talk to [Cruz] again’ after the incident. A bit extreme perhaps, Kourtney?
3. Taylor Schilling
So this one probably won’t shock you too much, seeing as Schilling manages to pull off even the most orange of jumpsuits.
After working as a nanny to support herself whilst pursuing her acting career, she made her debut film appearance in the independent movie Dark Matter (2007).
Since then, Schilling has co-starred alongside some seriously famous faces, the most notable being Zac Efron.
Her role on OITNB took her career to new heights, and she apparently practices transcendental meditation to combat her hectic lifestyle.
2. Laura Prepon (Alex Vause)
Although slightly more glamorous, Prepon is not dissimilar to her on-screen alter-ego. Her most notable early role was in the iconic sitcom That 70s Show.
As well as acting, Prepon has also worked as a producer and writer, even directing an episode of OITNB.
She currently lives in New York with her husband and daughter and is a self-proclaimed scientologist.
1. Uzo Aduba (Susanne ‘Crazy Eyes’ Warren)
Last but not least, it’s the one you’ve all been waiting for! In stark contrast to Crazy Eyes, Aduba appears on the red carpet with a glammed-up look and smooth, silky locks.
She studied classical voice at Boston University where , in keeping with family tradition, she completed in track and field events.
Aduba has gained recognition for her role in OITNB, winning several prestigious awards.
For all you My Little Pony fans (yes, we know you’re out there), she even landed a major role in My Little Pony: The Movie.