In the new season of Orange Is the New Black, Litchfield devolves into chaos as the prisoners riot, and everyone’s lawlessness manifests differently. Taystee handles the hostage negotiations, while Flaca and Maritza run a beauty vlog. The otherwise quiet Frieda invites a handful of inmates — which includes much of the original cast — into her bunker near the old pool. Trained as a survivalist, Frieda has outfitted the bunker with enough food, supplies, and weapons to survive a nuclear war. But the space seems dark and cramped, and they are down there for hours. At a recent party for the premiere of season five, Vulture asked the cast and executive producer: What was it like to shoot there? (And how many Pop-Tarts did they consume?)
Natasha Lyonne (Nicky)
My personal favorite location was the abandoned pool. To me it really feels like Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. I can easily imagine De Niro climbing through the air-conditioning ducts looking for an exit. It does something that gives me a white-noise feeling like surrealism is in the house, and they pump some smoke into that room. It is just abandoned and weird and a suspicious location. It was a very easy room to suspend disbelief as an actor and feel you were really in that place. I would say that Frieda’s bunker was another weird extension of that. The way this shook up all the standard dynamics was very helpful. I remember an incident with a Pop-Tart. There is a scene involving a Pop-Tart, and at some point, and I remember doing a lot of aggressive Pop-Tart eating. A lot of actors want to spit it out midway, I find that revolting. As far as I’m concerned, making out on set is not cheating, and eating Pop-Tarts on set is not calories. That’s my recommendation for those far more advanced than me, and those young ones only now submitting applications to Julliard — get your rocks off when you can get them for free. We are all going to die. Carpe diem, seize the Pop-Tart.
Lauren Morelli (Writer, Executive Producer)
It was a really tight space in the bunker, as you see in the episode, we had so many bodies in there. It was rough. I am pretty sure Natasha consumed like ten boxes of Pop-Tarts. I think everyone was tired of the Pop-Tarts by the end of the day. Anita was tired of handing them over, Natasha was tired of eating them, I regretted writing the Pop-Tart in.
Dale Soules (Frieda)
It was great, even though when I first get down there, [Frieda] gets lonely. Then, little by little, it becomes more of a safe place for people. Frieda has her talents utilized and is able to be thought of as a useful member of the society. When we first meet the Golden Girls in season two, we were ostracized. Nobody would speak to us. Just as it often is in the outside society, ageism was rampant. It was one of the only times that this character had gotten to be social. You know, the characters played games, smoked a little grass, laughed together, and that has never happened, so it was a real comradery in the story that hadn’t been there before.
Taylor Schilling (Piper)
It was quite poignant simply being with the people we started the journey with who were all together again after five years. So many people came in and out, and there was something really poignant about being with the tribe. It is impossible not to think about it in the context of our lives as people, and where we were when we started together. So that last scene when we were holding hands was really powerful. It felt kind of reflective and sweet.