Orange Is The New Black Season 4 saw a number of new inmates walk through the doors of Litchfield, one of whom was Stephanie Hapakuka. Now actress Jolene Purdy dishes on how she was welcomed to the set
Orange Is The New Black Season 4 premiere saw over a hundred new inmates arrive at Litchfield and were set shake things up for the prisoners whom we've come to know and love. One of these new ladies is Stephanie Hapakuku, played by Jolene Purdy. Stephanie was assigned to Piper's bunk, and was immediately appointed to be her bodyguard and also a panty-fetish employee. In true Piper fashion, she wrecked her relationship with Stephanie by declaring that she wouldn't be able to protect her against her enemies, and so Stephanie sold her out to the Latinas, where they burned a swastika on her arm.
Purdy had the opportunity to speak with In Style magazine about how she was welcomed onto the set of OITNB. She revealed: "My first day was actually the scene where I walk in and the entire cast was there. And Emma [Myles, who plays Leanne Taylor] brought cookies. And her giving me a cookie felt like, 'OK, you're in with us now.' It was really a welcoming experience - everyone is so lovely and supportive of each other." It's good to see that art doesn't dictate life behind-the-scenes of Litchfield prison.
Getting into character as an inmate in a women's prison is something that even experienced actresses need help relating to. This is something the creators of Orange Is The New Black anticipated, and therefore gave the new actresses unique welcome gifts. Purdy explained: "They give you these welcome packages based on what real prisoners get. It's a toothbrush and an all-in-one shampoo/conditioner/body wash/lotion in a travel-size bottle, a roll of toilet paper, and a pillow and blanket." Prison certainly can't be knocked for its efficiency.
Moving onto where her character is headed in Season 5, Purdy shared: "I think Stephanie is really good inside, so she likely did something awful for a good reason. There are a lot of Mormons in Hawaii, so maybe she got wrapped up in that and her only way to get her family out was to kill someone, but it was really to protect them." That would certainly be an original backstory for the show to explore.If you're beginning to miss Orange Is The New Black already, Dascha Polanco recently spoke about the Season 4 finale cliffhanger, and where the show is headed next. Did you like Jolene Purdy's character this season?