OMG, guys. I Just finished watching Orange Is The New Black on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it yet, then you’re late to the party like I was. Luckily, with the genius that is Netflix, you can power through this amazing series in a weekend! Earlier this month I got to chat with Jackie Cruz about the show and her character, ‘Flaca.’ Read on, I promise there aren’t any spoilers!
Q: Jackie! We’re so excited about Orange is the New Black! We were even more excited when we heard you were in it. Tell us a little about the show and your recurring character.
Jackie Cruz: Orange is the New Black is a one-hour comedic drama from Jenji Kohan, the creator of Weeds. It’s set in a women’s prison and is based on the memoir by Piper Merman. I am very excited to be a part of something so amazing! I auditioned for the role of Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales, a skinny Latina full of fire and attitude. I love how she’s not afraid of anyone and says whatever is on her mind, not caring what people think about her.
Q: I’m trying hard not to spoil it for readers and myself. From the clip I saw I could definitely see how it would be described as a comedy/drama. Are there any episodes I should watch out for? I’m a cry-er.
JC: There are a lot of heartfelt episodes where you get to know the characters and how they ended up in prison. I won’t spoil it for you, but you will definitely enjoy watching and getting to know what could really happen in prison.
Q: So Netflix. After House of Cards, Arrested Development, Hemlock Grove and now Orange is the New Black, how do you feel about shows being available for us to binge watch at will? Are you a traditionalist or do you dig the whole marathon viewing experience?
JC: I hate waiting every week for a new episode, so I would have to say I enjoy marathon viewing. I actually love it, and on July 11th I stayed home and watched 13 hours of Orange is the New Black. It was a surreal experience for me and I’m so honored and grateful. Netflix is the future!!
Q: You’re working alongside actors like Taylor Schilling, Jason Biggs, and Laura Prepon. Please tell us you asked Taylor about the shower scene with Zac Effron in the Lucky One.
JC: Hahaha! No I didn’t ask her about that, but working with Taylor and Laura has been an amazing experience. They are both such sweethearts, and I feel we have become a family on and off set. I haven’t had the privilege to work with Jason Biggs yet, but we can hope to see that in season two
Q: Okay, seriously…writer, Jenji Kohan, is a legend in my eyes. How was working on set with her?
JC: I do not have words to describe Jenji. Working with her has been a dream come true for me. Besides being down to earth, she is super sweet and not intimidating at all. I was so shy to meet her on set, but she came up to me and introduced herself and said something wonderful, but I can’t remember because I was so nervous. It’s all a blur!
Q: How does it differ from filming a reality show? Is there a different vibe?
JC: I like working on film rather than a reality show. It is definitely a different vibe entirely! On the set of Orange is the New Black, I get to experience being someone else and stepping out of myself. I love hair, make up, wardrobe, and getting to be a completely different person. In a reality show, I feel like it’s more of what happens behind the scenes of your life, which is fun too, but it doesn’t compare to film.
Q: I have to mention that the show is based on Piper Kerman’s autobiographical book: Orange is the New Black. It’s pretty crazy thinking about the fact that you’re acting out someone’s life. Did you do any special prepping for the role?
JC: I watched a lot of videos of women in prison like the show Lockup and Beyond Scared Straight. I became extremely fascinated. It really opened my eyes to a lot of things I didn’t know about. I also read Piper Kerman’s memoir to get me ready for the role.
Q: You looked pretty snazzy at the premier. Tell us about that dress!
JC: Thank you very much! It was an honor to be styled by Claudine De sola in Caravan studios. She found me a fabulous dress by designer THEIA by Don O’Neill. I felt like a goddess, and since the premiere was at the Botanical gardens, I decided to go with my favorite color: green. My dress was fitted, sexy, and had a beautiful long train in the back. I had an epic night and shared my happiness with my boyfriend, Francisco Escobar.
Q: Last time we spoke with you, you were into music. How is that going for you? Anything we should keep an eye, or ear, out for?
JC: Yes, I am still working on music, but this time I’m working on my Spanish album. I am lucky enough to be working with Grammy winner Don Omar’s producers, A&X. They are big worldwide, but mostly known for creating the Danza Kuduro song, which is the theme for The Fast and the Furious. I just finished recording my single ‘OH LA LA’ featuring Magic Juan, and God willing, it should be out by early 2014. Please keep an eye out for that. Thank you for showing interest in me and stay tuned. Lot’s of Love!
While Jackie swears she can’t fill us in on anything about Season 2 (set for Netflix 2014) we did do a little snooping online… feel free to spoil yourself here.