'Orange Is the New Black' Roll Call: Know Your Inmates

From Piper to Poussey, a scorecard on the MVP convicts of Netflix's hit show

Load Previous
Jill Greenberg for Netflix11/15

Dayanara "Daya" Diaz (Dascha Polanco)

Backstory: Shy, manga-obsessed Daya has a complicated relationship with her mother, Aleida. In a nutshell: After Mom goes to jail on drug charges, the younger Diaz sleeps with Aleida's boyfriend, Cesar, and ends up running drugs for him, too — a situation that's made even weirder once they’re in prison together. Oh, and she's pregnant with C.O. John Bennett's baby, but framed former prison guard George Mendez  (better known as "Pornstache") as the father.
Place in Litchfield's hierarchy: Daya already has protection as a member of the Spanish Harlem crew, but her affair with Bennett affords her additional privileges, like fresh vegetables (see "Best line" below).
Pre-OITNB: Aside from a couple of TV cameos, this is Polanco's first big acting gig.
Best line: "Fuck diamonds — I got spinach!"

Back to Top