We Shine the Spotlight on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK Star Matt McGorry


Matt McGorry stars on what I believe to be the greatest show currently on television (and it’s not even technically on TV) ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. McGorry plays the lovable but strict guard, John Bennett. I spoke with McGorry about season two, what we can expect with John and Daya and about one of the new characters this season, Vee.

What can we look forward to with Daya (Dascha Polanco) and John this season?
Matt McGorry: Lots of drama, and I don’t mean that in the way of dark heavy drama. There’s relationship drama, which creates a lot of humor and increased tensions for sure. I think pregnancies are not a particularly easy time, I think throwing in the factors of being in prison and having to keep it a secret that’s certainly not going to make it any easier. I think we will see the pot is very close to boiling and we will see it boil over a few times.

John’s job is in jeopardy because of this pregnancy. What will happen with his job during all of this?
It’s sort of a fine line with trying to keep things under wraps without letting people know. The tricky thing is some people already know as we’ve seen in season one. It’s not just John and Daya, it’s Aleida (Elizabeth Rodriguez) Daya’s mother. And when someone has a big mouth its hard to keep these things under wraps. If you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen Bennett a little angrier than we’ve seen him before, and some of that is definitely in relation to the pressure of trying to keep it all a secret.

When Daya does have the baby we know she can’t raise it in prison. Do you think John could raise it on his own?
I think John might have some struggles raising a child on his own. I think he’s used to his certain way of living in many ways I think he’s immature and has some growing up to do. But I have heard becoming a parent makes you grow up pretty quickly so maybe things will work out for him. I think it’s hard to be a single parent, particularly when your parent is working all of the time. It would be an interesting situation if it happened.

What can you tell us about Vee (Lorraine Toussaint)?
Vee is a badass! I’m scared of Vee, she’s the counterpoint to Red (Kate Mulgrew) she’s really smart and I’d say she’s more okay to fight dirty than Red is, which sometime could give you the upper hand. She’s gonna be the one to bite and I think that rivalry is going to play out and be really exciting for viewers. Even in season one we saw that Red was the queen of the prison and that no one could touch her in terms of the other inmates, but now we see someone that poses a real threat to her. Things are dark and things get serious really quickly.

Are there any characters that you would love to see more of this season?
I love Lorna and I love Yael (Stone) who plays Lorna as well. But I think there’s a lot going on there and we will have a lot of questions answered.

What would you like to say about this season?
I think it goes more into the things that we loved about the first season. In some ways it’s darker and in some ways it’s more comedic. Frankly for my character I’m not sure if people are going to like Bennett as much as they have in the first season, which is sort of an interesting place for me to be as an actor. It’s also been very fun to play a different side to the character I think people know him as the sweet guy, I don’t think he’s the worst guy ever but it’s definitely a different flavor from what they’re used to.

Is there anything you would love to see in season 3?
Selfishly I’d love to see Bennett’s back-story and the back-stories of more of the guards as well. But I’m just very excited to watch season two, I’m such a huge fan of the show.

Matt will also be on one of ABC’s new fall pilots HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER. I asked him about the show and about his character, Asher.
It’s a suspense driven legal thriller. Viola Davis plays Annalise Keating who is a law professor who has an unorthodox style; she has five key law students. Asher Millstone is one of them. Rather than just being an academic teacher she teaches them how to think on the fly, how to get involved with her cases where she is the actual lawyer. Asher Millstone in some ways is the opposite of Bennett, he’s sort of that guy that you love to hate but hate to love. I think we all have at least one friend in our circle that’s a little bit of an asshole or that’s a little bit of a bitch. I think we love them because we know things about them and they are generally insecure even if it’s not visible. But sometimes they are also a lot of fun to be around and usually they are the ones to say the things that no one else will say and it’s incredibly entertaining. That’s a lot of who he is, other than that he comes from old money and he is a privileged guy. It was very cool and very different to play something so aside from Bennett who is a working class, veteran, super nice guy to playa a rich, spoiled douche bag.

You can watch Matt in the second season of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK on Netflix and can follow him on twitter @MattMcGorry

Victoria Nelli loves TV so much that she is paying $30,000 a year to learn about it in College. When she’s not learning about TV she enjoys writing about her favorite shows, interviewing anyone in the industry that will let her, and ranting about how underrated Parks and Recreation is. She is very much aware of her Netflix addiction, and no she will not be seeking help anytime soon. You can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaNelli

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