Putting together a television show involves an infinite number of stresses, but Orange is the New Black showrunner Jenji Kohan honed in on one specific challenge at the Hollywood Radio and Television Society lunch, according to The Hollywood Reporter: “I love graphic sex, the more sex the better,” she said. “Very often it’s convincing the actors to get naked… You hope everyone will just be cool about it, and then they’re not. There’s a lot of convincing and making people feel comfortable.”
While it’s easy to get extras (“God bless them,” Kohan said) in the nude — and only costs an extra $10 a day — top performers often have clauses in their contracts regarding what they will and won’t show, like “only side boob or only this cheek.”
Netflix, which airs Orange is the New Black, has been far from puritanical, only stepping in once, Kohan said. “We have some male frontal nudity this season, but I don’t think it’s going to be erect.” For comparison, Kohan relayed the strict guidelines Showtime set for a scene in her old comedy Weeds, in which a dildo and lube were allowed to be shown on screen, but the character was not allowed to be seen applying the lube to the dildo.
Orange is the New Black has been at the forefront of TV shows challenging viewers’ perceptions of sexuality and gender identity, specifically thanks to the performance of trans actress Laverne Cox, who plays Sophia Burset, and openly gay actress Lea DeLaria, who plays Carrie “Big Boo” Black. “It’s not confronted; that’s the whole point,” Kohan said recently about how story lines that deal with sexual orientation are seamlessly woven into the tale of protagonist Piper Chapman’s time in a minimum security federal prison. “It’s not ‘The Very Special Episode about the trans character.’ It’s normalized in this conversation.”
Orange is the New Black will return to Netflix on June 6th, with all 13 episodes of its second season premiering at once. During the Hollywood Radio and Television Society lunch, Kohan mentioned that the show has become its own beast, deviating from Piper Kerman’s original source material. Now you can get a sense of what she means with the new trailer for Season Two of Orange is the New Black, which you can watch below.
The clip promises plenty of locked-down craziness from sneaking joints to cleaning duty antics, while Piper Chapman’s also presented with the possibility of freedom, but also finds herself making some gnarly threats: “I am a lone wolf, and a vicious one,” she says. “Don’t make me rip your throat out.” The clip also offers a a first look at the imposing new inmate, Vee (Lorraine Toussaint), who Red (Kate Mulgrew) knows from her past.