Orange Is the New Black is one of Netflix’s first and most popular original series. The show revolves around a group of prisoners at the Litchfield Correctional Center. Each character has a unique and interesting backstory, sometimes intertwining with other prisoner’s stories in the series. Throughout the show, we get a glimpse at the women both before and while they’re serving their time in the facility. While all of these girls' stories are very different, and their characters extremely unique, they all have one thing in common that’s definitely true: they aren’t always pretty.
Obviously, these women are all gorgeous both inside and out, in the characters they play and the real lives they live. But when you have a show about a bunch of female prisoners and show the illegal activity that sent them there in the first place, you’re definitely going to see an ugly side once in a while. Most of the time, we see these girls stripped down in barely any makeup, mostly wearing orange or gray jumpsuits. In reality, these women are all still actresses who are simply playing roles, many of them looking completely different from the criminal they play in the series.
These women are all gorgeous and we would never say that they’re not, even when they’re at their dirtiest in the show. There’s no denying that there’s a huge difference in the characters they play and the real people they are. See for yourself!
15 Daya - Dasha Polanco
Daya indeed has one of the most heartbreaking storylines on the show. At first, we met her as just a young daughter of one of the inmates already in the prison. She then sparked a forbidden romance with one of the corrections officers, causing some pretty heated suspense once she found out she was definitely pregnant with his child. Since that moment, she became one of the leading ladies, never afraid to speak up for herself and the family around her. It comes as no surprise then, to find out that the gorgeous actress who plays her, Dasha P, is just as confident and outspoken as her character. Dasha is never afraid to show off her body and rock a bold style that other actresses may shy away from. In both Daya and Dasha, we get to watch a strong woman on screen every season.
14 Flaca - Jackie Cruz
Flaca is one of the few characters who still makes sure to keep her appearance in tip top shape while she’s in prison. She’s one of the younger females serving time in the adult facility, as she was only in high school when she was caught doing some illegal activity. Whenever we see Flaca, she’s usually sporting some intricate designed eyeliner, something not allowed inside the prison cells, but somehow she manages to get away with it. Outside of the series, however, you can see that there isn’t much difference between Flaca and the actress who plays her, Jackie Cruz. One thing’s for certain, however, anyone looks way better when they aren’t wearing their prison uniform. Flaca is sassy, smart, and overall one of the funniest characters. She wouldn’t be the same if anyone other than the talented and beautiful Jackie Cruz played her.
13 Crazy Eyes - Uzo Aduba
We first met Crazy Eyes when she was falling for our main girl and protagonist, Piper Chapman. Crazy eyes has been able to charm and entertain audiences the entire time she’s on the show and has become one of the most important characters in the series. Although she seemed a bit strange in the beginning, we’ve had the chance to really get to know her character and realize that she’s not the evil criminal that those who put her in prison in the first place think she is. She had a tragic backstory that would break the heart of any viewer watching. One of the things that make her character so great is the amazing actress who plays her, Uzo Aduba! Not only is Uzo an amazingly talented woman, but she also proves she’s a classic beauty! The decision to not rock Crazy’s knots outside character suits her well and there’s no denying she looks great outside a prison jumpsuit!
12 Taystee - Danielle Brooks
There’s no denying that Taystee is certainly one of our favorite characters on the series. We got to learn about Taystee and her interesting past in season two, with the introduction of one of the villains, Vee. Ever since we knew more about her story, we fell further in love with Taystee’s character! She always has something humorous to say, and her on-screen relationships are some of our favorites! There’s no way that we’d love Taystee as much if she was played by anyone other than Danielle Brooks. Danielle is the extremely talented actress who plays Taystee, and her off-screen character doesn’t differ too much to the version she plays for the show. She’s just as smart and outspoken, she just happens to have a smaller criminal history. We’re sure that even after the show ends, we’re likely to see much more of Danielle Brooks.
11 Lorna - Yael Stone
Lorna is another character in the show who we see often dressed up and always wearing makeup. Her character in the show is very old fashioned, always going on about whichever man she may be dating at the time. First, we thought she was going to be marrying a man who was waiting for her on the outside named Christopher, only to find out that that’s clearly not the case. Then we actually do get to see her married inside the prison walls to a man that truly seems to love her. With the last season, we learned even more about Lorna and her past, and the next season is sure to showcase even more of her story. With all the screen time she gets, there’s no way we’d find her as charming if anyone other than the talented and beautiful Yael Stone played her! Yael is gorgeous both inside and outside of character, but not having to wear a prisoner’s uniform certainly helps class up any look.
10 Poussey - Samira Wiley
Poussey is certainly a fan favorite in the series. Her relationships with the other characters in the show as well as her backstory and current story help us get a deep understanding of who she is and why she operates the way she does. She certainly has lived an interesting life, always traveling and meeting new people. Now we can see that charm get carried into her character in prison. She rarely has serious fights, and even though she’s more of a comical character, our admiration is very serious. Poussey has a certain charm to her that would not exist in the character if Samira Wiley wasn’t the extremely talented actress who plays her. One of the things that help make her and Taystee so great is the fact that they’re actually best friends in real life! There’s no one we’d rather see on screen in place of these two!
9 Norma - Annie Golden
Norma is by far the quietest one in the entire series. She never speaks, and the only time we get to hear her voice is when she decides to use it to sing. She certainly has an interesting past and it’s clear she’s carried that mystery into her present life. She’s quiet, kind, and generally a good person. Although she did get her own backstory episode, it still feels like little is known about who she is and where she came from. The actress who actually plays Norma has just as much of an interesting backstory as the character she plays in the series! Before she was Norma, she was actually a singer in a punk band! Having that mystery behind her has certainly helped make Norma into that much more of an interesting character.
8 Pennsatucky - Taryn Manning
Although Pennsatucky is racist and homophobic, we still can’t help but find something about her a bit charming in the show. She’s a meth head with messed up teeth and the attitude to go with it. She almost killed our main character in the first season, only to get a new set of teeth because of it! She’s white trash in the show, always hating on other people and willing to give away her conservative opinions. But regardless of all her negative qualities, we still can’t help but feel a bit charmed by her character. That certainly has to do with the actress who plays her, Taryn Manning. She’s able to be a pretty terrible person without us completely hating her. Outside the show, she still has a fierce personality like her character, despite her tiny size! She’s often seen rocking different styles too, something easy to do when you don’t have to worry about wearing a prison jumpsuit!
7 Sophia - Laverne Cox
Sophia as a character is certainly a fan favorite throughout her time in the series. She takes care of all the girls by doing their hair and ensuring their beauty is taken care of. In the most recent of seasons, we saw as she was forced to go into solitary confinement, “for her own safety.” Although we didn’t get to see as much of her character this season as we would have liked, we certainly have not forgotten about Sophia and are definitely hoping for a longer and more talked about storyline on the upcoming season. One of the reasons we’re so in love with Sophia on the show is because of the incredibly talented and gorgeous actress who plays her, Laverne Cox. Laverne isn’t just a talented actress in the show, she also does a lot of philanthropy outside, giving powerful and encouraging speeches to people all over.
6 Red - Kate Mulgrew
There’s no denying that Red is certainly good looking in the series, but when we see it side by side next to this older photograph of her, it’s clear to see she used to be quite the looker. Red is both gorgeous on screen and off, past and present, but the photograph on the right is certainly a way we’ve never seen her before. Before Red was Red, she was just Kate Mulgrew, an actress who also happened to appear on Star Trek! Big Red is one of the top characters, seeing her first as someone who knew how to boss people around and remain in charge. She lost some of that status in the second season, but that didn’t mean that we really liked her any less. The only reason Big Red is able to remain one of our favorites is because of Kate Mulgrew’s incredible acting skills.
5 Boo - Lea DeLaria
Boo is definitely one of the funniest characters on the show. She’s always ready with some snarky comeback and she rarely takes anything too seriously. Although she has had a tough life, as seen in her backstory, she still manages to go through life a bit more positively than others. She’s quick, witty, and not afraid to say exactly what’s on her mind. The same can closely be said to the talented actress who plays her, Lea DeLaria. Lea is always popping up in the media for calling out homophobes on the train or some other thing that would totally fit into Big Boo’s character. The two are certainly similar, but we wouldn’t choose to have it any other way. Lea isn’t like the rest of the girls on the list and probably wouldn’t be caught out in public in high heels and a long gown. But part of that is exactly the reason why we love her and the character she plays so dearly!
4 Blanca - Laura Gomez
Not much was really known about Blanca until we got to look into her backstory on this most current season of the show. To us, for most of the series, she was just the crazy girl with crazy big hair. But this past season, we got to see a totally new side to her. She used to be an old woman’s caretaker and sought revenge after her death. She also stood up for something this past season by literally standing up and refusing to sit down on the cafeteria room table. So, she might have been forced to do that in the first place, but resisting is still a powerful movement. It comes as no surprise to find out that outside of the show she is just as stunning and beautiful as the character she plays.
3 Janae - Vicky Jeudy
Janae is a character that certainly has an attitude. But that is what is so great about this show. So many of the girls that hang out together are all incredibly unique even though they’re in the same place. Jane is certainly no exception. She’s always got an attitude and is ready to tell you how it really is. In the show, she’s a passionate athlete who had to put her dreams on hold. Now she has to hang out with all the other weirdos, forcing her to put up a bit of a front when building relationships. She’s a character that we could definitely use more of and would like to learn a bit about, especially after seeing what she looks like in real life! All of the characters on the show are interesting and unique, and it’s very clear that whoever the casting director is has a very good eye for picking the best characters on the show.
2 Cindy - Adrienne C. Moore
This show would definitely not be as good if Cindy wasn’t in it. Ever since the moment when we first met her and got an idea of just how hilarious she was going to be on the show, we fell in love. She’s always ready to try something new and interesting to make money or gain power. But unlike a lot of the other characters on the show, she’s way funnier about it all. She doesn’t hurt or harm people, and she certainly has a charm to her even when she’s partaking in criminal activity. The actress who plays her, Adrienne C. Moore, is similar to her character in how much sass and wit she always gives off. She doesn’t have the biggest part of the series, so hopefully, we’ll learn about her more in the next seasons. We certainly can’t get enough of both Cindy and Adrienne C. Moore!
1 Angie - Julie Lake
Angie is a character that we know very little about at this point. All of the characters on the list have had their own backstory, but Angie is someone we still have yet to learn more about. Just like Pennsatucky, she too has had her bad history with drugs, causing her to have some pretty messed up teeth. But as you can see from what she actually looks like in real life as the actress Julie Lake, her teeth are just fine! One of the greatest parts of the series is how the creators are able to make everyone look like real people. They’re not all glammed up, and they shouldn’t be; they’re in prison. They’re made to look ugly and run down, and we can definitely buy it. When all of these talented ladies aren’t on the show, however, it’s clear to see that they’re incredibly beautiful and talented without a doubt.