Friday, October 22, 2021

‘Orange is the New Black’ Stars Eulogize a Certain Character (Watch)

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Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

SPOILER ALERT: Read no further if you are planning to watch Season 4!

*Feeling sorry for our loss after season 4 of “Orange is the New Black,” Netflix released a video to help get us through the pain.

Released Wednesday, the footage features Samira Wiley, Danielle Brooks and Uzo Aduba paying tribute to Wiley’s Poussey following her heartbreaking and unexpected death at the hands of a white security guard.

“You really do see Poussey start to have things to live for,” Wiley says in the video of her character’s initial promise for season 4. “I just see so much potential in Poussey Washington: I root for her, I want to see her outside of prison making it.”

Things were indeed looking up for Pouseey. She found true love with Soso (Kimiko Glenn) and was planning her immediate future outside of Litchfield. At season’s end, however, she was accidentally suffocated by a white prison guard, Bayley (Alan Aisenberg), during a protest. She was left for hours on the cafeteria floor while the prison scrambled to craft a story that would explain the tragedy. “They didn’t even say her name,” cries Taystee (Danielle Brooks) before inciting a prison-wide riot over the injustice.

The scenes appeared to be based on real life parallels to the Say Her/His Name and Black Lives Matter movements, evoking the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Sandra Bland, among others.

“She’s more than a number,” says Brooks, who plays Poussey’s best friend on the show. “She was [Taystee’s] friend, her sister. She was Poussey Washington.”

Brooks is also Wiley’s real-life friend since 17, which made filming Poussey’s death scene all the more poignant.

“I remember afterwards, just hugging her,” she recalls in the video about the episode, “The Animals,” which was written by Wiley’s real-life girlfriend, Lauren Morelli, and directed by “Mad Men’s” Matthew Weiner. “It was just a moment of really being grateful for life, being grateful for friendship and I’m glad I got to do that with her.”

While Wiley knew about the storyline for a year, the rest of the cast only found out by reading the script. Wiley told THR that she asked permission to specifically tell Brooks and Aduba (who plays Crazy Eyes/Suzanne) ahead of time. “I couldn’t imagine having to find out that way,” she said about gathering the pair for an intimate dinner. “We just sat there and we cried together and we drank together and we smiled together, we reminisced. I’m so grateful that I was able to have that night with them.”

Watch the tribute below:

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