Taystee and Poussey had quite a roller-coaster relationship in Orange Is the New Black's second season. So how did Danielle Brooks and Samira Wiley, who are good friends in real life, feel about the decision to break their characters up? TVGuide.com caught up with both women to chat about their arc Season 2, as well as their hopes for Season 3.
What did you think of Poussey and Taystee's storyline this season?
Wiley: We definitely had some mixed feelings about it. I think it's great in terms of television and the viewers watching and everything, but just in terms of our relationship, we read every script and were like, 'Aww!'
Brooks: It's not fun being mean to Samira. But if it was anybody, I'm glad it's her because we have such a great trust. So in some of those scenes, like where Taystee pushes Poussey, I think she felt comfortable enough with that. So I'm glad it was her.
Was there any scene that was particularly challenging to shoot?
The kissing scene was a little like, 'This is my friend! I'm about to kiss my friend!' But Samira was so professional about it that it didn't even matter at the end of the day.
Wiley: I don't really think of any of our scenes as difficult, just because the amount of trust [we have] and the amount of love [we have], you know you're going to be taken care of by the other person.
Do you have a favorite scene?
Wiley: In Episode 12 of Season 1 we got that library scene that everyone talked about. And same thing with this season, Episode 12, we get that scene in the library where it kind of all breaks down. The crux of what had all happened is right in front of our eyes. That was really nice to film with [Danielle].
How will their relationship be affected going forward?
I think that going through trials and tribulations in any sort of relationship only deepens the relationship and makes people closer and stronger. So I'm hoping for a season full of love between Poussey and Taystee in Season 3.
Yeah, just them two being mischievous together. I'm hoping that there isn't much more conflict with them together.
How did you react when you learned Poussey's backstory?
Well, I think the first thing was I was like, 'Well, I'm speaking a whole other different language this whole time! That's going to be interesting.' But when we get the scripts I feel like it's how viewers are able to watch the new episodes. Like when I get a new script in my inbox I'm like, 'Ooh, I can't wait to read this!' So I didn't have much forewarning before the episode that I was going to have to do all these things... It was great to know that the writers and [creator Jenji Kohan] felt comfortable giving me all of that responsibility.
How has the loss in Poussey's past shaped who she is today?
I think it definitely shapes who you are. In terms of trying to find out who Vee is, it gives me a look of skepticism in terms of people, because if you go into the world trusting everyone, especially as a military brat, you're always moving. Your life is always changing. You kind of can't wholeheartedly trust everyone you meet. So I think her life has given her a look of discernment with everyone she meets.
How has prison changed Poussey and Taystee?
Wiley: Prison is such a crazy thing. You got a lot of time to reflect. I mean, these ladies are in there for six-year sentences. Personally, I think it's too long. I don't know what the prison is doing to reform someone when they've been in there that long. I think there needs to be work in terms of actual reformation in our prison system. But yeah, it gives you time to reflect.
Brooks: For Taystee it was a good moment for her to get away from the negativity in her life in terms of Vee. It was a good moment for her to reflect and to take some time and find herself by herself without this force of nature telling her what she should be doing or influencing her decisions. But I think for Taystee, orange is the new black, but for her, freedom is the new struggle. I think what she realized coming out was she has freedom, but she can't function out [in the real world]. So I think for her, prison has been her safe haven. But now I think it's shifting from that conversation she had with Poussey in Season 1 at the end. I think she really took to heart that conversation and is trying to have her freedom not be that struggle. Have her freedom be somewhat of a utopia which she's trying to find.