Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind the Making of “Orange is the New Black”

June 6, 2014  |  
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Netflix’s top original series, “Orange is the New Black” is so popular, that the show itself is the new black. But with popular shows, there’s much that goes on behind the scenes we don’t know! Don’t worry, MadameNoire has you covered. “OITNB” has many fun facts and trivia that will leave you surprised and hyped going into season two, which premieres today on Netflix.

The New Black…

The title of the show is reference to (insert color) is the new black — meaning that color for that season is as popular as the color black.

Laverne Cox’s Brother

Cox’s twin brother, musician  M. Lamar, played her character Sophia pre-gender transition in the episode, “Lesbian Request Denied.”



The show’s creator Jenji Kohan, also, created “Weeds.” Another hit show, that was on Showtime. The show is referenced in an episode of “OITNB” where Jason Bigg’s character Larry is watching the show on TV.

American Pie

“Weeds” isn’t the only reference made surrounded by the character Larry. Within the first episode, Larry talks about the webcam incident and the penis shaving incident, which are references to Jason Biggs’ character from the American Pie series.


The character’s name Red (played by Kate Mulgrew) could come from a variety of places. Yes, she has red hair, but she’s also Russian, which could mean “Commie Red” (let’s hope not). And in “The Shawshank Redemption” the character Red gets stuff into the prison and on the show, she gets stuff in as well.


The character Nicky (played by Natasha Lyonne) has a scar from a bacterial infection she got while on drugs. In real life, Lyonne has a scar from heart surgery in 2012.

The Music

The theme song of the show’s is from Russian singer-songwriter Regina Spektor. The song is “You’ve Got Time.” The song was written for the show and performed during the opening credits.

Patty Mayonnaise

This might be the coolest fact ever. Does Constance Shulman’s voice sound familiar on the show? It’s because Shulman who plays Yoga Jones on the show played Mayonnaise on “Doug.” Talk about reliving childhood.

Piper and Larry

Piper Chapman and Larry Bloom are real life people except… their real names are Piper Kerman and Larry Smith. Smith actually wrote an article about  his fiance Kerman going to prison for the New York Times just like on the show.

“Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison”

And speaking of writing, the show is based on Kerman’s best-selling book about her experiences in prison. In the book, she talked about the female prisoners belonging to tribes (black, white, Hispanic and other) just like on the show. She wrote, “the minimum-security camp at Danbury housed approximately 200 women at any given time, though sometimes it climbed to a nightmarishly cramped 250. About half were Latin[a] (Puerto Rican, Dominican, Colombian), about 24 percent white, 24 percent African-American and Jamaican, and then a very random smattering: one Indian, a couple of Middle Eastern women, one tiny Chinese woman in her sixties.”

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