Dascha Polanco and Matt McGorry
[WARNING: This story contains spoilers from Season 2 of Orange Is the New Black. Read at your own risk.]
Daya and Bennett have very different ideas regarding their relationship on Orange Is the New Black and it seems Dascha Polanco and Matt McGorry are no different. When TVGuide.com recently spoke to the pair they offered radically different opinions regarding the morality of their characters' relationship. But there is one thing they agree on: Daya had some bad ideas this season.
Do you think Bennett did the right thing turning himself in to Caputo?
McGorry: I think he did it because that's what Daya wanted him to do. And the hopeless romantic in him, the part that really wanted to do right by her, was willing to put himself on the line and sacrifice everything in order to make her happy. He definitely didn't do it because he thought it was the right move. And I don't necessarily think it was the right move. But it ended up being okay, which is wonderful.
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How does Daya justify wanting Bennett to turn himself in and have both parents incarcerated?
Polanco: I think she's looking at it more as her own ego being satisfied. 'I have a man that's fighting for me and my child no matter what and he will go to the extreme.' But the extreme necessarily doesn't mean that it's good for the child. Sometimes it's sacrificing certain things so that the child has a well-being. And I think that she does not realize that this is what should be done. I know it's morally incorrect that Pornstache took the blame and that they should just keep it on the hush so that they're not discovered, but I don't think she looks at it that way. I think it's more of her own satisfaction.
McGorry: I think Bennett feels justified in what he says to Daya in the utility closet. [Pornstache] does deserve to go to jail for something. I know that's not the way the United States legal system works, that you trade one for another. But I think in general the world is a better off place with Pornstache behind bars, not as a corrections officer, but on the other side of the bars as a maniac.
Daya is looking for someone to stand up and claim her child. Does this mean she now respects Pornstache?
Polanco: Definitely. And I think that's where she's a little disappointed in Bennett, because she feels like [Pornstache is] man enough to take on the consequences no matter what the outcome is. He will stand up for our family, and I think that's what she's looking for. That sense of protection, that sense of "I will be here no matter what." And it's interesting to see how she feels some compassion towards Pornstache throughout the season. At the same time, she's in love with Bennett, but she's so angry at him and so disappointed. She's very frustrating this season. Even myself playing her I'm like, "Girl you are all over the place. Come on now."
Was there a particular moment with Daya that was especially frustrating for you?
Polanco: Just the part where he's trying to bring the spinach for a good purpose. Which is a meme now by the way, which is great. That shows a level of interest and responsibility and caring. She looks at it like, "No I want a ring instead." How would you want a ring? How is a ring going to benefit us? You're locked up!
McGorry: I've had this conversation recently. You know, I consider myself chivalrous to some degree. But generally I'm also a realist and I think the things I offer as Matt are more important than what that stuff signifies. I think Pornstache is an example of a guy who's willing to do "the most chivalrous thing," which is declare the baby's his and go to prison. But he's also emotionally and psychologically the most screwed up person in the prison in some ways. And in that way, that sort of highlights for me a lot of times in real life how empty chivalry can be, because it doesn't mean anything if the real emotional connection and vulnerability and openness aren't actually there.
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Do you think Bennett deserves to go to prison?
McGorry: In the eyes of the law, yeah. I think as an actor, you do your best to justify the decisions your character makes, and I think things like the nice, sweet music that they play around our love scenes help beat the audience into that. But I think that's sort of the beauty of it too. That in watching it, you're almost able to forgive these people for what is highly illegal and non-consensual sex so that it hits you once the reality sets in too because you're realizing —
Polanco: I have a problem with the non-consensual. That's a conflict that you find as an actor because you're looking at it and you're judging your character. But you're also judging the situation because it's like, she's as responsible as he is. So, it's really consensual. It's not a Pornstache situation where she was kind of forced to do it. There was an attraction. I guess that's the romance part of me. There's a human attraction regardless of whether he's a guard and I'm an inmate. And I think it would have been there in Litchfield or outside of Litchfield. So when people say non-consensual, I'm like, "But realistically it can happen, you know?" I'm pretty sure there are guards that may get attracted to a prisoner.
McGorry: Oh yeah. I think as we shoot we see examples of it in the news happening. Not to entirely disagree with you, I do think that they would be attracted to each other and have a good chance of falling in love outside the prison. But I guess my understanding of consent is, for example, if an underage girl falls in love with an older man, even what she thinks is love and what she thinks is what she's getting herself into is not necessarily the thing she's getting herself into. When you have so many women and so few men and the power differential, it may influence an inmate's mind in a way that she's not necessarily aware of, despite the fact that I think Bennett and Daya would be very attracted to each other.
Polanco: That could be true too.
Do you think Bennett and Daya could sustain a relationship outside of prison?
McGorry: I think in some ways it's similar to long-distance relationships.
Polanco: I've been in a long-distance relationship and yeah, it works as long distance but once you're within close proximity —
McGorry: Its different.
Polanco: Yeah, so the circumstances might change it. I think the fact that it's so prohibited forces it more. So, you could only tell once they're outside if it would work or not. But I think at this stage, with her being pregnant, I think it's beyond that. Because now they have something that's going to keep them, not united, but connected forever.