After it was announced in 2018 that Orange Is the New Black would end after its seventh season, talks of a potential sequel sparked discussion among executives of the Lionsgate TV-produced series, including the group's chairman Kevin Beggs who told The Hollywood Reporter talks were already happening. But while sources close to Lionsgate TV state the studio and showrunner Jenji Kohan have discussed a follow-up, series star, Laura Prepon, best known for playing Alex Vause, doesn't believe it'll happen.
"I don't think [Jenji] wants to do that… I think she wants to see some daylight," Prepon told PopCulture while chatting about her new, exclusive cookware collection's launch with HSN. "I know that people would love to have some kind of spinoff, so I don't know. We'll see what happens but Jenji is just — her mind and her writing, oh man, she's so great."
Inspired by Piper Kerman's memoir of the same name, the Emmy-winning series has been an important part of Netflix's catalog and a prime example of quality programming from the streaming network's original collection. Widely acclaimed throughout its run with a consistent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Orange Is the New Black was praised for not only humanizing prisoners and its depiction of race, sexuality, gender and body types but the raw performances from its diverse cast who earned a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for three consecutive years between 2014 to 2016.
Throughout Orange Is the New Black's seven seasons, Prepon's character Alex and co-star Taylor Schilling's Piper led the series as tortured soulmates in a will-they or won't they love affair. But while the show ended with a prison wedding between the pair and a commitment to each other, Piper is out and makes a clean start in Ohio while Alex finishes up a four-year sentence in a maximum-security prison. If a sequel series were to ever take off, Prepon weighs in on where she'd like to see her character end up years later.
"She ends up with Piper, right? You wanted them to be together," Prepon said, adding though she has "no idea" where she would like her character to end up. "Alex is always going to be Alex no matter what so regardless. When I take off my actor hat and just watch this character as a character — and it's the same reason why I had to play her when I first read the pilot. She's so who she is and she's such a complicated, vulnerable, tough character. I miss her. I do."
Calling the show "lightning in a bottle," Prepon admits when the series first took off on Netflix, nobody knew it was going to be as impactful as it has become almost 10 years after its pilot. "House of Cards hadn't even aired yet and to be able to be on that ride along with Netflix — it's like the way we consume our entertainment now is so much different than it even was eight years ago when we first started Orange," Prepon said, calling it all a "game-changer."
She continued: "To be a part of that, a pioneer on that kind of frontier of streaming is in its own way incredible and then to be on a project like this — that is just so incredible where so many different people were represented, so many people could relate to our characters."
Prepon, most humbly shares she is "so blessed to be a part" of a show like Orange Is the New Black. "The fact that I was able to direct multiple episodes of it and work with these phenomenal women and men because of some of the guards, mostly women but it was absolutely incredible."
As the mother-of-two ventures outside of Orange Is the New Black, her next project is helping consumers make the most of their time with her new culinary product line PrepOn Kitchen, sold exclusively from HSN. In addition to a YouTube channel exploring her passion for food, DIYs and more, Prepon wants to make cooking fun and easy through thoughtfully designed items to not only empower your meal prep but "break the stigma" of cooking.
"I feel like for some people there is that stigma of that cooking is hard, and they can't do it, but I mean, not to quote Ratatouille, but anybody can cook," Prepon laughed. "I mean, for real! Anybody can cook no matter what it is and it's interesting because, yes, my line is called PrepOn Kitchen and a huge part of my cooking philosophy is prepping ahead."
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