Orange Is the New Black is back to breaking our hearts with a new season, and it starts off with a bang. He rejoin the inmates as Daya (Dascha Polanco) has a gun pulled on two security guards and ultimately decides to wound one of them by shooting him in the leg.
Polanco sat down with Elle to dish on the new season, and went into depth about Daya's role in the new season of OITNB. Just like fans, she was eagerly waiting to see what Daya would after the season 4 cliffhanger. She said she had no idea what Daya would do to the guard until she got a script about a week before shooting the fifth season of the Netflix favorite.
"I didn't think she was going to," Polanco said. "I thought she would freak out or someone would convince her not to do it or she would say, 'What should I do?' and consult like she did before. That goes to show how genius these writers are—they want you to think a certain way, and then they flip it on you. I thought someone was going to grab it from her before she hurt another inmate or herself. I thought, 'I'm dead, this is the last season I'm in.'"
She also dished on what it was like to shoot a gun for the first time, albeit a prop gun.
"It was a prop gun, but you do actually shoot," she said. "It's not as powerful as a real gun, but it shoots blanks and they fall. I could see that in order for you to be able to do that, you have to be at a certain emotional point. To shoot it is one thing—to shoot it at someone is another thing. I don't see it in a positive way, but it takes a lot."
She dove deeper into Daya's emotional state during that pivotal moment, which she described as "liberating" for the character.
"A lot of thoughts cross my mind when I'm working on her and her experience," she said. "How do I bring those emotions vividly [to the performance]? Metaphorically, Daya has been suppressing a lot of her emotions. In that moment, you see her decision of taking a risk, of not caring about the consequences...of wanting to feel free. It was so liberating for her.
She continued, "Everything else that has happened to her was not because of her choices she made, but because she consulted everybody else and didn't intuitively follow what was best for her."