Julie Lake talks ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK Season 3

Photo Credit: Vince Trupsin

Photo Credit: Vince Trupsin

Did you, like me, stay up all night watching Season 3 of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK after its early release?  If so, you’re no stranger to Julie Lake, who plays the hilarious meth-head Angie Rice, who starts the season “fending off” the (completely imagined) advances of Nicky down in the basement.

I spent some time chatting with Julie about what comes up this season, why she loves the show, and what she might be up to next!

What can you tease about where we start this new season?
[laughs]  That’s a very difficult question!!  I can just tease that it is the best season yet.  Every time I got a script, I was laughing my ass off.  It was so funny.  There are some new characters that I think people are going to go crazy for, including one of my favorite movie stars from the 90s, Lori Petty, which I believe I’m allowed to tell [laughs].  The first time I saw her on set, I kind of panicked.  I’m not usually star-struck by people, but I suddenly felt like I was walking awkwardly, like a robot, and I didn’t know how to talk to her.  So she’s in the show, and she’s such a sweet, lovely person.  And let’s see.  There’s a lot of new stuff for Angie.  Getting into trouble again.  It’s going to be a great season.

What I’ve loved about the show, we’ve gotten to know them, we’re learning more and more each episode.  We’re at a third season, where we’ve earned the chance to learn even more.
Yeah, definitely, we get to know a little bit more about Angie.  She opens up a bit more this season.  Through the second season, she was more like comedic relief.  Not entirely, but a lot of what I did was just like, silly things here and there [laughs] where she’s definitely much more of a fully-formed person in the third season.

You mentioned Lori Petty – the whole cast in general; there are people that everyone knows, people that no one knew before OITNB but it’s such an ensemble that everyone is on this whole other level.  Everyone gels.  Is it a collaborative set?
This is my first television show, so I don’t know, I just assumed that all sets were like this, but apparently, they’re not?  There are usually divas and it can be very difficult, and people don’t always get along.  ORANGE is like one huge fun family.  I love going to set.  I always look forward to seeing my friends there.  When we’re not actually on set, we’re in our dressing rooms hanging out, and gabbing or watching shows on Netflix and it kind of feels like a sleepover party.  It really is such an amazing group of people.


Photo Credit: Vince Trupsin

When you get the script, or get a show like this, what kind of research do you have to put in to play this woman who is in prison, to play a character who is not a cliche?
I watched a lot of LOCK UP and a lot of INTERVENTION.  I kind of based my character on a character from a documentary that I’d seen a few years before the show, called HIGH ON CRACK STREET: LOST LIVES IN LOWELL.  There was a character named Brenda in that, who was so funny.  She was a crack addict, and she was so funny, and goofy.  Lovely and a lovable character at the same time and she really stuck with me for a long time, so I feel like I kind of subconsciously infused her a bit into Angie.

Do people ask you a lot like, why is ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK a show I should be watching?  What do you tell them?
I don’t have a brilliant answer to this.  It’s a great show.  With genius writing and brilliant performances.  You’ll love it! [laughs]  Everybody loves it.  It’s hilarious and it’s just a great show.  I love that it has a ton of female roles and it’s a super diverse cast, and the characters are absolutely great.  I think people really attached to the characters on ORANGE and that’s why they keep watching, and stick with it.

What’s a make up day like for Angie – is it a big process to grime-up for her? 
[laughs]  No, surprisingly, it doesn’t take that long.  They’re so good at changing our teeth that they can do it in like, two minutes.  They grease down my hair.  Put a few ugly makeup touches on my face and we’re kind of good to go.  Then I pull on my prison uniform which is basically like wearing pajamas.  The most difficult thing about getting ready is putting my boots on which weight like 100 lbs each.  It’s a pretty fast process.  It kind of was very liberating because I’m so gross on the show, that in real life, it’s like, Oh I don’t have to put makeup on to go out, or dress up to go out, because even if people just see me without disgusting teeth, they’re going to think I’m a million times more attractive than I am on the show [laughs].


I love the Tiffany / Angie relationship – will we get to see the two of them explore mending fences as the season goes?
Umm…hmm… [laughs]  I don’t know that I can reveal anything about that!  Mostly, I don’t want to get in trouble.  I would tell you everything if I didn’t think that Netflix would be really angry with me.  We had to sign all these things saying we wouldn’t talk about the next season.  It’s a little tricky [laughs].

For a show being on Netflix and how people are binge-watching it.  Do you feel like there is any difference in putting the show together?  Does it feel any different knowing that people will be able to watch all of it right away?
I don’t think it feels different in the way that we shoot it.  I have a friend who is on HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER, and the show is coming out while they’re still shooting it, and I think there is something nice to that.  It’s kind of like instant gratification, like, oh my show is a hit already and oh they like me, and oh, it kind of gave them some confidence.  For us, it was, oh we have no idea.  We shot it, and about a year later it will come out – who knows!  I think it’s really good because the scripts are amazing, but we’ll see what the fans think.  By the time it comes out, it feels so far away and we’re already shooting the next one!  Shooting starts [for S4] like right when S3 comes out, so middle of June!

You mentioned that when you’re on set, you’ll sometimes gather and watch shows on Netflix – do you have current favorites?
I love HOUSE OF CARDS; I mean, most of the stuff we watch when we’re on set are things that are short and easy, so we’ll have to get up and go to set, so we watched a lot of WHAT NOT TO WEAR, maybe every single episode of WHAT NOT TO WEAR.  I’ve been watching so many things.  I just finished the whole first season of BLOODLINE.  There are so many great shows on Netflix right now. It’s bad for me because I can’t stop watching television.

And you don’t have to, because it auto plays, so you really don’t have to ever move!
I know! [laughs]  It’s evil!  You don’t actually have to make the decision!  You just sit there and it makes the decision for you!

Photo Credit: Vince Trupsin

Photo Credit: Vince Trupsin

What other stuff do you have coming up besides ORANGE right now?
Right now, the next thing I’m shooting is ORANGE, but I’m working on a webseries with my best friend called MENTAL that will hopefully be shooting this summer about, it’s a comedy, about two girls who are living a barely functional existence.  I have GEORGE AND JULIE on the internet.  Julie is a struggling actress and George is her very demeaning cat.  That’s pretty funny!  I am working on a pilot. Well I’m finishing a pilot, called STARLETS, that I’m hoping to start pitching this year.  I have a lot of sort of writer/creator/creative things to work, which is kind of ultimately what I really wanted to do!

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK Season 3 is currently available for streaming on Netflix!