Taryn Manning: Orange Is The New BlackObsession, welcome.

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I actually am re-watching the Netflix original series, which takes place in a women’s prison and boasts the best script/casting since (THE ORIGINAL) Beverly Hills 90210, for the second time. It’s THAT good. Proof: lesbian sex in chapels involving the ginger from That ‘70s Show (Laura Prepon), the introduction of the drool-inducing Matt McGory (head to BuzzFeed for details including his bodybuilding pics…!) AND the return of Natasha Lyonne. Seriously, what the fuck was the meaning of life without Lyonne all up on my flatscreen? (I spotted her once at downtown boite Bedlam and she’s so tiny and I wanted to attack her with hugs.) But the true scene-stealer is my girl T.Manning, who portrays Tiffany ‘Pennsatucky’ Doggett, a psychotic crazy for Christ/former crazy for meth (those rotten teeth are brought to you by makeup, folks) hillbilly of an inmate. I’m gonna go ahead and say that this is Manning’s best. role. ever., and that’s saying A LOT because homegirl co-starred in the iconic Crossroads as Ms. Britney Spears a.k.a. Godney’s BFF. You’ll have to see for yourself, but I will say that the season’s climactic closing scene featuring Manning is some Xanax-gulping kinds of amazing. OMFG. Anyway, I met Manning long ago and we’ve had a handful of amazing evenings together, and lemme tell you, she’s nothing like her character. Fun facts: she’s an amazing singer and DJ and loves animals. #MyKindOfGirl I caught up with the sweetiepie via phone over the weekend to chat about all things OITNB AND about her new amazing single, “Summer Ashes.” More importantly, she’s moving to NYC to film season two of OITNB next week. See you at brunch soon, Doggett. <3 – ALEX CATARINELLA

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Hey girl! One: congratulations. The show is amazing and I’m not even annoyed yet at the countless FB statuses of my fellow queens who are equally as obsessed. Did you have a feeling the show would be such a SMASH?

Thanks! I’m so happy too, man. But I had no idea. I know on set, I’d be blown away at times by the performances that were going on around me. But sometimes while filming, I’d be like “this is so unrealistic about jail. What’s the tone of this show?” I’d get confused. But then we’d hear on set that Netflix and Lion’s Gate were loving what we were doing and that we might have a hit on our hands. I was like, “Shit! I wonder what this means.” But I still didn’t know. You never really know. Sometimes I’ll be working on something and I think, “Man, this is gonna be a master hit” but then I’ll never hear a peep.

The show is seriously the best casting ever. Crazy eyes! Red! YOU!

That’s what’s really cool about the show – that’s what we always say on set. There’s somebody for everyone, really.

Did you audition for your role?

I got offered the role actually which was really exciting. It happened really quickly. I was kind of actually in a really funky place — I hadn’t been getting a lot of auditions or work and I was feeling really down about everything. It was probably the worst I felt in years — it’s a really hard time for a lot of my friends who are actors. I just kind of surrendered and told myself to be patient and know that I’m talented. I was going through my bank account and I thought I could probably make it through a year and that’s it. I did a little bit of crying. And then literally two days later I got a call from my manager and he’s like, “Okay, so, this really bizarre part just came in and I don’t  how you’re gonna feel about it because it’s really out there.”  And I’m like, “it sounds amazing. Dude, this is the stuff that I live for.” I knew I could really take it to the limit. I didn’t know that I wouldn’t get a stitch of makeup, but whenever I feel like I can be in a costume in a sense, it really says something to me as an actor. I’m just gone — Taryn is just totally out of the picture and it makes me really enjoy what I’m doing so much.

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I dunno if it’s just my imagination but the show seems like it’d be the best working experience ever with all of the amazing ladies. It’s like a college dorm floor of crazies. Tell me it’s true. Tell me it’s amazing. Tell me you’re BFF with Natasha!

It is great. Everyone has been on their best of their behavior for the first season. We are having a blast, everyone is wonderful. I really hope it’s genuine and I hope that we can proceed to have a really positive set. Because you can get a lot of women together and they start to get noticed and buzzed… fame and success brings out people’s true colors. So far, it’s a wonderful set. I love Taylor, we are homies, I love Natasha. Lauren isn’t super talkative, that’s just her personality, but I like her a lot. I really get along well with Danielle who plays Taystee and I really get along with Adrienne — she was the one during the talent show that does the beat box. She’s my homie. You know me, that’s what’s so funny about my role — I feel sometimes like I’m black, so it’s really hard for me sometimes to play such a racist character.

You’ve been doing this for a while though. How difficult was it to get in her insane shoes?

She kind of flows out of me really naturally as far as her personality goes. But I’m not personally religious — I’m very spiritual, I’m into meditating. If I lean towards anything, it’s a Buddhist standpoint on life. She’s not difficult to play, but I have to study my lines really hard because I need to know those prayers and to be convincing that I am a full-blown born again Christian that can spout out Bible verses. It’s almost like me playing a doctor and knowing lots of medical terminology. I’d call it more of a challenge. But as far as playing her and how weird and just messed up she is, I can definitely find all of those colors easily and that’s the part that is the most fun about playing her.

Jodie Foster directed an episode, but you weren’t in that one… Did you still get to meet her?

I met her at the premiere in LA and we talked for like five minutes. Alex, never in my life have I went up to an actress and been starstruck. I went up to her and basically told her that she was the reason that I acted. She’s been a huge inspiration for me — her role in ‘Silence of the Lambs’ was life-changing for me. I just gushed on her and she was really cool, but I’ve never ever done that in my life.

You’re moving to NYC for season two…!!! Any favorite NYC spots for some munchies?

Corner Bistro is fun late at night for a hamburger. For brunch, I love Extra Virgin. That’s my joint. I feel like I was there all the time when filming last season.

And I hear you’ve got a new song? “Summer Ashes”? Love that name, btw.

Dude, you gotta hear it. You’re gonna lose it. I wrote all of the lyrics and the melodies. It’s really smooth and sexy — it’s a love song.

Hear “Summer Ashes” for yourself right here.

 If you haven’t seen the finale. Do not watch below! Total spoiler.

 
Spoiler Art here!

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