On June 17, Orange is the New Black returns to Netflix for its fourth season. This time, things are getting even more chaotic for the women of Litchfield prison.
There are a lot of changes in store: now that the prison is a for-profit institution, the situations for our favorite ladies in orange don't look good. This season will see some favorite characters not just dealing with the usual troubles they've had in the past, but also facing overcrowded conditions and even higher tensions.
Actress Laura Gómez plays Blanca on the series, and she recently spoke about what those changes mean for both the show and her character.
What can we expect from Blanca on this season of Orange is the New Black? What has she been up to?
Well, we've certainly seen Blanca grow as a character in the last two seasons. Season four is no exception. She's a bit more willing to be a part of the crowd. Cautiously, of course. Blanca obviously has her odd ways of dealing — or not dealing — with people, but as much as she´s made a conscious choice to remain distant, I think in season four we're going to see a different side of her, can't exactly say softer, but definitely more human, a bit more connected.
What can fans of the series expect in general this season: with new characters coming in, the prison overcrowding and the other changes happening to Litchfield?
They can expect to be shocked as to what the show is trying to expose. Privatization of prisons is a raw reality that this country is going through. We're gonna show a little bit of what that is like in 13 episodes, and with new characters come new dynamics, good and bad. Human beings are complex, and in these circumstances even the best of us can get to the darkest side. So, expect this season to be a little darker.
What is your favorite part about playing Blanca?
The contrasts and the layers of this character. Meaning, with Blanca, what you see is not what you get. If we were to judge on looks, Blanca is as nuts as it gets, but there's wisdom in her odd words, there's life experience in her harsh ways, and I have come to appreciate the fact that something doesn't have to shine for it to be gold.
When can we expect to see more of Blanca's back-story? What can you tell me about that?
Nothing, of course. I can't say anything about whose back-stories we'll see. All I can say is that there's a lot of revelation of Blanca through her interactions within the prison walls. I think people will be shocked as to what they will see at Litchfield in general this season.
One the things that this series has accomplished is shedding of light on what life is like for women in prison: how accurately do you think the show does that?
I think our writers have done an amazing job at being very accurate within this fictional world. It will never be as raw as the real world, of course, but they're pretty informed, and I've met former incarcerated women who tell me how much they appreciate the show. Orange is the New Black has brought serious issues to the table.
What other projects do you have going on that you can talk about?
I recently finished shooting a film in which I star as a boxing promoter. It was a strong female character and my first film in years in my native country, Dominican Republic, with the award-winning directors of the film Sand Dollars, starring Geraldine Chaplin. This film is set to participate in some important festivals, so I'm excited about that. And of course, we start shooting season five of Orange is the New Black pretty soon. Looking forward to that.