Taryn Manning Q&A: ‘Orange is the New Black’
Taryn Manning is both a musician and an actress, so it's fitting that she views Pennsatucky, the vengeful prison inmate she plays in Netflix's "Orange is the New Black," like a rock star run amok: "It's the same way as some artists when they get extremely revered, and I understand it, that they kind of feel invincible."
"I love Miley Cyrus, I love Justin Bieber, I've worked with Britney Spears, I worked with Eminem – I've seen fans go completely berserk," she added during our recent video chat, and the same thing happens to Pennsatucky, who kills an abortion provider for petty reasons but soon develops a following of right-wing religious fanatics who aid in her defense.
Pennsatucky goes along with their zealotry: "They're egging her on … and everything she does is so ego-based that she's like, 'Oh yeah? I'll believe in God. How about this? I am God!'"
Manning was promoted to series regular for the upcoming second season, debuting June 6, but she was a recurring actor in season one, so she will compete for Best Comedy Guest Actress at the Emmys, and she's submitting for consideration the first season finale, "Can't Fix Crazy", which ended with Piper (Taylor Schilling) turning the tables on Pennsatucky in a violent confrontation.
But picking her best work wasn't easy for Manning: "As actors and artists I think we're our worst enemies sometimes and our worst critics, so I called around to some friends and I was like, 'Hey, what part of the show do you think I did best?'" She opted for the finale because it demonstrates the most range for the character. As she explained, "Netflix really thought that the last episode was a good way to show many of her colors in one episode."