Orange is the New Black has a had a wide variety of characters across its five season run, and some of the most controversial inclusions have been the "white power" gang members.
The gang, which briefly included series lead Piper, primarily consists of power trio Sankey, Brandy and Skinhead Helen in its latest season, which features the prison erupting into a long riot. Karbacz has opened up about playing such a controversial character, who she sees as undergoing an evolution of sorts.
"In season four Sankey becomes the leader of the white power movement. She starts to evolve," she told upfrontNY. "They gave me these beautiful moments of possible redemption as well so she doesn’t only have this aggressive nature where she always wants power and respect and fights all the time, but she also has these moments where she holds back from confrontation."
This redemptive moments are a thrill for Karbacz, as she and fellow cast members have no idea what's coming for the character until it's time to shoot the episode.
"As I started to see the evolution a little bit, I was more and more excited. We don’t know anything until we get each new script for each episode. I kind of read each one with my heart in my throat, hoping that there is some juicy, meaty stuff to play and that I am still breathing and not in the SHU."
As for what comes next for Sankey, she says she has high hopes for the character, who will hopefully continue to be fleshed out when the show returns for season six.
"They have given me so much gold to play with," Karbacz said. "I really have been able to allow the audience to learn more about her life and see different sides and different colors to her that they have never seen before and watch her form alliances you’d never expect. I think you also still see her struggle with her belief system. It has been so beautiful and a blessing to see this all unfold.
"For myself, I just hope there is more and more. I want to know why she has been incarcerated, what makes her the way she is, and what makes her tick."