It's the last interview of the day at the Orange Is the New Black press junket and Laura Prepon and Jason Biggs, who portray fan fave Alex Vause and fan least-fave Larry, seem to be having a grand time. Jason even very enthusiastically offers everyone a bite of his lemon snack cake. Clearly, the two OITNB stars share none of the rivalry Alex and Larry have over their clashing love interest in Piper. But the two are willing to be perfectly open about just how deeply Larry hatred runs on the Twitterverse, Yahoo's grave mistake, and that glaring Alex omission of season 2.
So how many episodes were you in in season two?
Did you miss being around?
Laura: Girl, it sucked! I hated it! All the girls would text me from set like, ‘Why aren’t you here?’ and I’m like, ‘I know!’ Netflix didn’t put everyone on a six year contract, so I was doing a year-to-year contract and another job came up that was already an existing thing. Jenji (Kohan, OITNB's creator) and I talked about this actually the night of the premiere of season one and I was like, ‘What am I going to do? This sucks.’ And she was like, ‘We’ll work it out, and we’ll have you be in as many as you can.’ And I already worked it out so I’m in all of season three (applause ensues). Thanks! It was really hard. But I feel like everything has a way of working itself. The way they played out my storyline in season two where I got out and then Piper kind of did that crazy thing at the end of the season really lends itself to some awesome story lines for us in season 3. I think the fans are going to be really, really stoked. We’re on episode three already and it is awesome.
Laura: I can’t, girl! But let me just tell you, oh my god, it’s so awesome. I can’t wait for you guys to see it. I can’t wait till we’re all sitting here next year talking about it.
Jason: Does Piper still die?
Laura: I thought we were doing no spoilers, J! He’s terrible.
You guys both have fans from other things, you’ve both played very specific, memorable roles.
Laura: I didn’t have sex with a pie though.
Jason: I did.
But you will be Donna forever probably.
Jason: I don’t know anymore!
Laura: Well now, yeah.
Jason: I’ll tell you what, because the pie fucker is very easy. I will always be the Pie Fucker. And yes, she’ll always be from That 70’s Show, but now her character - Larry, not so much- but Alex?! Vause is such...it’s going to be even more than Donna. Already it’s happening! So I think you’re good.
Laura: Thank you for that. I honestly think that when people would be like, ‘Oh, you’re Donna from That 70’s Show,’ that’s flattering.
Jason: I’m not saying that’s a bad thing!
Laura: Oh, I totally got that! But what’s interesting for me is I started that show when I was 18 and that show is so nostalgic for me. We still have dinners where all the cast gets together. And it’s so funny when we all hang out now, and it’s just like, ‘Dude, we were so young! We were literally 18!’ And that time in my life, that show was so perfect for me. We all grew up on it. And I’ve been really fortunate and done awesome stuff since then, but playing Alex is like the perfect role for me right now. I look at it like different parts of my life. 70s was like my high school/college years and then I kind of graduated into a different demographic, but also I became a woman. I wasn’t a kid anymore.
I’m sure your fans are crazier about Alex. They probably do crazier things. And Twitter wasn’t as big of a thing as it was.
Jason: Yeah, it’s much easier to interact with fans these days...A lot easier...Like, maybe dangerously easier...
Laura: A lot of fans, I, like, know them by their names. I’m like, ‘Aw, yeah, Kelly made me poker chips and Claire made me a T-shirt.’ And Jason’s like, ‘WTF?!’
Jason: Yeah, and "Jessica stabbed me in the neck."
Laura: They’re nice supportive girls!
Jason: I just don’t want you to get Selena-ed!
Laura: (laughs) Stop it!
Jason: I’m just saying, dude!
Laura: He is terrible!
Jason: What?! President of her fucking fan club! Just saying!
Laura: Stop it, scary!
What’s the most fun thing about playing, I described it as an, ‘Edward Cullen-y Lesbian Sex God?’
Laura: (laughs) Oh, shit!
Jason: (to Laura): You know the reference, right? Edward Cullen is the Robert Pattinson from Twilight.
I feel like you are for lesbians what Edward Cullen is for straight teenagers.
Jason: That’s massive!
Laura: That’s a big deal, and I thank you for that.
Jason: (to SheWired's Rebekah Allen) Are you a lesbian?
I am, yes...
Jason: So, here’s the term that I’ve heard thrown out about Laura: Lesbian icon. What do you think?
Jason: By the way, not to personalize this or to hijack the conversation, but if I may: poor Larry. I mean, come on! How does Larry compete with a lesbian icon? It’s true! They’re saying it’s like, ‘Team Alex,’ ‘NFL Alex’ and then like...’Pop Warner Larry.’ There’s like, two people on Team Larry and, like, a country dedicated to you.
Laura: Look, the fans are so awesome. Seriously, I don’t know how to thank them. They’ve really helped kind of, number one make the show what it is, and also it’s so flattering when you portray a role and people relate to it and gravitate toward it, it’s the best compliment you can have. But playing Alex - Alex is by far one of my favorite people I’ve ever played. She’s such a badass and so awesome, and she’s flawed, you know? She’s not this perfect woman. And I think that now nobody’s perfect, so I feel like audiences relate to people who don’t always make the right decision. But the thing that’s so great about her and Piper is they both screw each other over constantly, but they both totally love each other and it’s this tumultuous push-pull crazy thing. It makes for really good TV. But none of these characters are perfect, including Larry and Piper and every girl on this show. It’s awesome. I love Alex.
Jason, how do you feel about the fans’ reaction to your character?
Jason: You know, for the most part it’s been...genuine hatred.
Laura: It’s amazing! I need to go on Twitter more often because I don’t ever see that shit!
Jason: I will say this, as a rule - even putting Larry aside - just Jason. I got more hate than I get love, and that’s because more people are willing to vocalize their hate. People that love you just kind of love you from afar. Some will take to Twitter and say, ‘Oh, I’m a big fan.’ But the people that actually hate you are much more willing to get on Twitter and be like, ‘You fucking suck, I hate you. You’re a shitty actor, and you should die.’ Those people are much more vocal, so I get a lot more of that. Similarly, when it comes to Larry there are a lot more, ‘Why is Larry still on the show?’ and the like. But actually this season I feel like there are some ‘Team Larrys.’
Laura: ‘Club Larrys.’
Jason: ‘Pop Warner Larrys’ that have come out and been supportive. But, again, it’s definitely slanted. But that’s just as much a reflection of Twitter in general and the haters feel in general like they can hide, cause they’re anonymous. But I also feel like it is a reflection of the character and of the show. As a fan myself of the show, I get it. The Piper/Alex relationship is really exciting and it is complicated and dysfunctional and it’s awesome and it’s riveting. And Prepon is fucking awesome, Taylor is awesome and it’s sexy and it’s hot and it’s everything that makes for awesome television, it really is. And vis-à-vis that, you know, Larry’s important and it was important for a while because he was the stakes for Piper. He was on the outside. Now there’s other things at stake, including Alex, so things have changed, so people are less likely, understandably, to root for this guy who, mind you, is on the outside living a life of relative privilege, while these people are inside the prison walls. It’s just harder to sympathize with him.
Laura: That’s a good way to put it.