The Real Alex Vause, Cleary Wolters, Explains The Truth Behind 'Orange Is The New Black' — VIDEO
Orange Is The New Black became a phenomenon the moment it hit Netflix, but the real story behind the prison series is hardly discussed as much as the the lives of the fictional Piper, Alex, and their fellow inmates. The show, which is based on Piper Kerman's memoir about her time in prison, has fictionalized many aspects of Kerman's life, including many of the characters and their relationships to one another. One of these characters is Alex Vause, whose real-life counterpart Cleary Wolters is speaking out about what's real on Orange Is the New Black — and, according to her, it seems like much of what we see onscreen is more fiction than fact.
Wolters was imprisoned for smuggling drugs — much like her character Alex was on Orange Is The New Black — but that doesn't exactly mean that the characters were one and the same. Wolters sat down with HuffPost Live to clarify some of the major questions that fans have about the differences between Wolters and Alex, and it might surprise you to know just how many differences Wolters indicated between the show and her real life. Here's what Wolters had to say about Orange Is the New Black, and being forever immortalized by Laura Prepon:
Orange Is The New Black's Infamous Sex Scenes Wouldn't Happen IRL
According to Wolters, while sex does happen in women's correctional facilities, it's hardly out in the open: "There is sex occurring, but it's not happening in the showers without a shower curtain. if you get caught having sex, you go to... solitary confinement."
The Glasses Were A Giveaway
Wolters is still rocking Alex's infamous specs — because they were hers first! "The glasses were a dead giveaway... I immediately recognized it in the commercial."
Alex And Piper's Real Life Relationship Was Very Different
Wolters met Piper Kerman in Northampton, where she was attending school, and the two became friends, then travel partners, and then lovers — but the latter was only for a brief period of time. Says Wolters: "I'm flattered that they picked out me in her life as such an interesting, charismatic character...that they had to make a whole backstory about me."
The Real Alex Was Hardly A Criminal Mastermind
The show depicts Alex as a savvy smuggler, but in reality, Wolters simply fell into the drug business through a connection from her sister's boyfriend. When she realized it was heroin that she was smuggling, it was too late: "It was a series of small missteps, and not paying close enough attention to what in the world I was doing with my life... I got carried away with it."
Wolters Approves Of The Show
Though it's not exactly accurate to her own experience, Wolters says that she enjoys the show and would be happy to be a part of the creative process, but that she wouldn't want to disrupt the creator and Prepon's "creative flow." If there's one thing she would change though, it's how much we know about Alex — she thinks that there's more to explore there, stating: "We know who Piper is... we only know Alex through Piper's eyes."
Well, at least she has great taste in glasses. Check out the interview below:
Images: Netflix; Giphy (5)