Break­ing out

Orange is the New Black has trans­formed Yael Stone’s ca­reer – and changed TV for­ever. By ANNA CALD­WELL

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

DeLaria, who por­trays in­mate “Big Boo”. “We ap­pre­ci­ate the gift of be­ing able to dig in a do some work.”

Uzo Aduba, the woman be­hind fan favourite “Crazy Eyes” says it best.

“I don’t know of an­other show off hand where there are so many dif­fer­ent types of women rep­re­sented in num­ber,” Aduba says. “Black women, Latino women, white women, Asian women, vary­ing ages, sizes, gen­der is­sues and sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion all in one place.”

For those who are new to the se­ries, the show is about the lives of the women in a min­i­mal security prison.

Based on the mem­oirs of writer Piper Ker­man, a well-ed­u­cated woman who spent time be­hind bars for money laun­der­ing and drug traf­fick­ing, it’s a comedic drama which delves into not just how these women landed them­selves in prison but on the re­la­tion­ships they form there.

In the fourth sea­son, Litch­field is turned into a prison for profit with 100 new in­mates ar­riv­ing.

This leads to over­crowd­ing and a whole range of new con­flicts and is­sues among the women.

But while ru­mour has it the lat­est sea­son will be a lit­tle darker, the show’s cast prom­ise we can ex­pect it to stay true to the for­mula that has made the se­ries a run­away hit. IT’S the TV show that started a revo­lu­tion. When Orange is the New

Black de­buted in 2013, it not only won a le­gion of ded­i­cated fans, it re­de­fined the way women are de­picted on the small screen.

With an al­most all-fe­male cast of var­i­ous back­grounds, eth­nic­i­ties, sex­u­al­i­ties and more, it broke TV bound­aries. And it also saw a wave of fe­male-cen­tric dra­mas hit screens – in­clud­ing our own local prison pro­duc­tion Went­worth .

Aus­tralian Yael Stone (right) plays Laura Morello in the se­ries which has shot her to world­wide fame. “It has changed my life enor­mously,” she says.

Since be­ing cast when she was fresh to New York in 2011, Stone has gone on to win an award for her work on the se­ries. And she re­cently re­turned home tri­umphantly to Aus­tralia to head­line up­com­ing SBS drama Deep Water, along­side Noah Tay­lor.

With sea­son four about to de­but and a fifth, six and sev­enth al­ready com­mis­sioned, Stone says she’s proud to be a part of a se­ries that cham­pi­ons women – both in front of and be­hind the cam­eras.

Not only is the se­ries showrun­ner, Jenji Ko­han, fe­male, but “then we have cam­era op­er­a­tors who are fe­male as well, and the crew – and that’s sig­nif­i­cant,” she says.

“I don’t know that it’s a de­lib­er­ate choice but I think it is. It’s a cul­ture of giv­ing women jobs they might not usu­ally get. I’m yet to see any dis­ad­van­tage in that.”

Stone says the show “con­cerns women in a deeply ob­vi­ous way – it’s a fe­male pop­u­la­tion in a women’s prison” – but be­lieves the im­pact of the show goes fur­ther. “Women make up half of the world and we haven’t yet made up that balance on film and TV,” she says. “Pro­jects like this are sig­nif­i­cant and it proves net­works can’t ig­nore the fact that peo­ple want to watch fe­male-cen­tric shows.”

It’s also a show that changes so­ci­etal per­cep­tions, add other cast mem­bers.

“We don’t spend a lot of time sitting around think­ing about whether our butt looks big in our jeans which is a com­mon thread in al­most any other show with a lot of women,” says Lea

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