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‘Orange Is the New Black’ Season 4 Is ‘Darker,’ ‘More Dramatic,’ Cast Says

New York City’s SVA Theater sparkled on Thursday night with the big and bright personalities of the comedic cast of “Orange Is the New Black.” The red carpet premiere, hosted by Netflix and Vanity Fair, previewed the first episode of the fourth season, which sets up some of the major issues the inmates will face over the course of the 13-episode run.

“Darker,” “heavy,” and “more dramatic” were just a few of the words used to describe the new season by actresses Taylor Schilling (Piper), Jessica Pimentel (Maria Ruiz), and Emily Althaus (Kukudio).

Uzo Aduba (Suzanne “Crazy Eyes”) told Variety she thinks the true wild card this season isn’t even a person. “The past three seasons the new character was always a physical inmate and this season I think the new character is the system.”

This system, marred by money and privatization, leads to surmounting tensions within the prison walls, especially with an influx of new inmates that double the occupancy of Litchfield Penitentiary.

“We are going to dig deeper into this idea of prisons that are for profit,” said Adrienne Moore, who plays Black Cindy. “There are so many prisons that are overwhelmingly full and it’s not really doing much to rehabilitate the inmate.”

Laverne Cox commented on the grim outlook for her character, a transgender inmate locked in solitary confinement because she is misunderstood. “People who have been in solitary confinement for 24 hours have mental effects that last the rest of their lives.”

After the screening, cast members, wearing silver ribbons in remembrance of the 49 people who died in the gay nightclub shooting in Orlando, celebrated the premiere by posing in a photo booth while the likes of EJ Johnson enjoyed Moet champagne and bite-size steaks at Top of the Standard.

Orange Is the New Black” is now streaming on Netflix.

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