Matt McGorry talks ‘Orange is the New Black’


Matt McGorry talks ‘Orange is the New Black’
Posted by Wilson Morales

July 11, 2013

With the success of its earlier series, ‘House of Cards’ and the return of ‘Arrested Development,’ Netflix is really changing the landscape of television on how viewers see their shows. Premiering today is a new comedy drama called ‘Orange is the New Black,’ which based on Piper Kerman’s memoir ‘Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison.’

The series stars Laura Prepon, Jason Biggs, Taylor Schilling, Kate Mulgrew, Michael Harney, Michelle Hurst, Matt McGorry, Natasha Lyonne, and Pablo Schreiber.

Orange Is the New Black revolves around Piper Chapman (Schilling), a New York woman, who is sent to a women’s federal prison for possessing a suitcase full of drug money for Alex Vause (Prepon), an international drug smuggler and Chapman’s one-time lover. Sentenced to serve a fifteen-month sentence, Chapman must survive the hardships of prison life, as she may have to be a different person to do so.

For McGorry, who’s also a fitness expert, he couldn’t’ imagined that when he went in to audition for a small part, not only would he get the role but that it was expanded as the series goes on.

In speaking with, he talks about his character and what’s the driving force to see the new series.

How would you describe the character that you are playing?

Matt McGorry: I play a new member to the prison as a corrections officer. Like the main character Piper, he’s thrown into this situation and a lot of humor that results from this is him trying tounderstand the prison system and dynamics between prisoners and guards.

How did you get involved with the series?

MM: I got the audition and the turnabout was really a slow time. Originally the role was a small part with about five lines. It’s funny because this was on a Sunday which usually never happens. It’s usually during the week. At that point, I didn’t know much about Netflix’s original programming and this was before House of Cards aired. So, I went in and did my five lines and surprisingly without a callback or anything, it had been announced that I had booked the role. I credit the casting director Jen Euston and it’s pretty amazing that based on a small audition, she cast me in a position that ends up growing so much down the line. It’s amazing that this came down to much more than I had hoped for.

When talking to friends about the series, what do you say to convince them to watch it as well as order Netflix?

MM: I think the wonderful thing about ‘Orange is the New Black’ is that it’s an amazing show and that it has good writing. It’s very clear even from the trailer. It’s a pretty easy sell for me. The cast has been wonderful to work with. I was shocked and moved by the trailer that everyone that I showed it to were also blown back by how good the show could actually be. The reviews have been so far wonderful and supportive. I also think people are excited by what Netflix is doing. Netflix is capitalizing on the wave of the future with viewership on demand, and the power of the viewer on deciding on what they want to watch and when they want to watch it. The show has a lot of strong support behind it. The renewal for Season 2 even before the first season has aired has also attracted attention.

For a comedy show like this, did you think you needed to have funny bones in order to get the part?

MM: The way I approach any role whether it’s comedy or drama, I like to look for the truth first. I think comedy for the sake of comedy wears dull pretty quickly. You have to ground the character in reality first and allow the audience to sympathize, emphasize and be more invested. To think the situation seriously even if it’s ridiculous is what makes it funny. Going into the audition with a limited amount of lines, I just went in to make it my own, knowing it was going to be for me or not. I put my own sense of humor and spun it so they could see very clearly what I had to offer for the part. The writing for the show is incredibly smart because it never seems like it’s just going for the laughs, which is great.

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  1. Great show!!! Absolutely love it! It changes your view point of prisoners and helps you understand that everyone has a story and you should not judge a book by it’s cover. Absolutely love your role Matt McGorry in this series. it shows a soft and sweet side of you while facing a difficulty love story and situation 🙂