Warning: This article contains spoilers for Orange Is the New Black Season 2!
Whether you actually love her a little or just plain love to hate her, there's no denying that Natalie "Fig" Figueroa was one of the standout characters in Orange Is the New Black Season 2. But now that she's lost her job at the prison, will we be seeing her again in Season 3.
In the second part of our interview with actress Alysia Reiner, we talk about Fig's future, why it would be fun to see Fig behind bars at Litchfield, and, of course, that unforgettable scene where Fig makes a last-ditch, very NSFW attempt to save herself.
And don't miss the first half of the interview, where Alysia explains how Fig sees the world, and why researching for the role has turned her into an advocate for prison reform.
Wetpaint Entertainment: So, will you definitely be in Season 3?
Alysia Reiner: There is no definite ever on this show. So I'm not allowed to say anything! [Laughs] I just don't know at this point, and if I am [in it], I don't know how much.
Well, we hope so! But before we talk about Fig's future, we need to talk about that blowjob scene in the finale. It was so unexpected and shocking. How did you approach that moment?
It's so funny, I have chills all over my body just talking about it. I think it was very true to the character and the world. As an actor, that's one of those scenes that you read, and you're like, "Wow. I am petrified of playing this scene." Because it is so scary. To go to that deep place. I mean, I think she is truly heartbroken, and truly so vulnerable. In the beginning of that scene, I think she's been destroyed. It's one of those private moments where she's crying by herself.
I haven't watched the scene, I'm a little afraid to watch it, so I don't know if you see this but I was like "can she be surrounded by candy wrappers?" She's just binged, and is so sad. She will do anything to try to salvage it. When you find out horrific news there is a level of vulnerability that makes you willing to do anything.
[Caputo] has also complimented her. It's such a well written scene to me, because he sort of throws her a lifeline, Caputo — actually you are hot. Here she is looking her absolute worst, and he's like, you know, you're not that bad. He says something like "you're pretty," and I added the line "Really?" I don't know if that ended up in it [Ed. note: It did] but the "Really?" for me was very insightful to her in that moment.
And then, when she gives the blowjob, there might be a possibility of — who knows. It's the kind of thing where I think afterwards, she realizes Oh my god what have I done. Even before he says "it's over," I think she realizes What did I just do?
I haven't really talked about this scene before, so that's a lot of random thoughts about it!
It's really interesting to hear your thoughts on it, what was going through Fig's head.
What was your experience of watching it?
Throughout the season, they'd been setting Caputo up as they good guy to Fig's bad guy. He was the one who cared while she was ruining the prison. But that was such a sick power play move on his part, and suddenly, in that moment, I was on her side, and he seemed evil.
Yes! And so genius to start Season 3 with him being in charge, and he's evil.
But of course he's so complicated, too. He did that, but he also really does want to help the girls.
And he does love his plants! I think that's what makes it genius writing. There is good and bad in all of us, and it's all so grey. I can't say enough, it is the biggest gift for an actor when you get to play nuance that way, when you get to play these scenes that really have so many rich layers. It's beyond, beyond, beyond, beyond.
This season Fig and her husband were trying to conceive. Obviously her position has changed a bit, but in general, do you think she'd be a good mom?
[Laughs] Well, there's almost two questions there — before and after Season 2. I think before Season 2, not so much. I think she had some views on right and wrong and justice and punishment that probably would not make the most compassionate, loving parent. I think having walked through what she just walked through — and this is not part of a story at all, I'm just throwing spaghetti at the wall — were we to now find her pregnant, I think she would be a very different parent. Hopefully. And hopefully a much more compassionate parent.
I still don't know that she'd be a good parent, because, to me, as a parent — parenting takes a lot of work towards learning to be a good parent, and a lot of effort in that direction. I don't know if she would be interested enough in that effort, because she might be still a little bit too in love with the idea of power. I think she's a girl who loves power.
Do you have any favorite behind-the-scenes memories from the season?
The blowjob scene was pretty funny to shoot, I have to say. I don't get to play with the girls that much. It's me and Caputo a lot. I honestly don't have a lot with other people in our cast. It was very fun shooting like the kitchen scene in Episode 11. I have a lot of scenes with Caputo, who's delightful. We end up laughing a lot but I can't say anything specific. I always get asked this question and I always can't think of anything, and then two days later I'm like Oh my god, what about that thing! I have to start writing them down.
Glad to hear the blowjob scene was funny to shoot, and not just uncomfortable.
The director did something really smart. We shot all of the emotional stuff, and then took a nice long break, and then did the comedy stuff. That was was so smart. Once we knew we had the emotional stuff in the can, and I could breath again, I could have fun doing the next part. And we did have fun. When you're giving a blowjob on screen, you have to be funny about it. You have to do as much as you can to keep the cast and crew laughing.
Well, that's one more reason that Fig should end up behind bars — so you can have more scenes with the other women!
Exactly! And give more blowjobs!
Or maybe not blowjobs. Fig might get some girl-on-girl action...
Plus, everyone else would hate her, which would be interesting.
Yeah. It would be intense. Awesome and intense.
She's have to learn to live without power
Yeah, and she would be so hated And she hasn't been paying to attention to the whole dynamic in the prison. I don't think she's paid attention.
What other projects can your fans look forward to from you?
Well first there's my work with the Women's Prison Association, and I designed a locket for them, where 100 percent of the proceeds go to the WPA. [Ed. note: Learn more about the WPA and Alysia's work with them in the first half of our interview, here].
I have four movies that I'm shooting this summer, so that's exciting. The one that I'm shooting right now called Ava's Possession, and that's with Louisa Krause. There's also The Networker with William Forsythe, Stephen Baldwin, and Sean Young. That's a Death of the Salesman type story. There's No Letting Go, which is a movie about mental illness in children that I'm really interested in.
I also have two movies that were just at South by Southwest. One's called Kelly & Cal that just got distribution, and one's called Fort Tilden that's all over festivals right now. And I just shot a movie called Life Itself with Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman.
And my big news is a started a production company! It's all about creating more roles for women both behind and in front of the camera. My producing partner and I took a year coming up with the idea for our new film and we just hired a writer, and she's writing this amazing idea, which will be a wall street tech thriller with a strong female lead.
For more from Alysia, check out Part 1 of our interview, follow her own Twitter @alysiareiner and check out her website! Also don't miss her specially designed locket, all proceeds from which go to the Women's Prison Association.