Big Boo Actress Lea DeLaria Talks Feminism In 'Orange Is The New Black' Season 3 & The Show's Role In Effecting Political Change
At this point, I'm just going to assume that most of you have already marathoned your way through Orange is the New Black Season 3. Perhaps even multiple times. (Hey, no judgements here.) And who could blame you? This series is a pioneering form of television that has proven time and again that it isn't afraid to tackle controversial topics and force our society to view certain issues in a different light. "Jenji Kohan is a warrior," Lea DeLaria, who plays Big Boo, says of the show's creator. "She's trying to effect a political change. She's trying to get people to talk about the prison system in America and abortion and gay rights and all the things that I'm very pro myself."
That all makes this character pretty much a dream role for the actress, especially when it comes to hoping that these storylines will evoke a positive change in the way society views certain issues. Because, after all, the hard topics are usually the ones most worth talking about. "I think that we do these things on purpose. These things are in there because you bet we have an agenda," DeLaria says of Orange is the New Black including these storylines.
But, it's not just the topics themselves that DeLaria admires, but also the way the show goes about discussing them. "[OITNB is] so feminist without ever saying, 'We're feminist!,'" DeLaria explains. "All these different shapes, sizes, ages, races of women just being who they are and living their lives. Never talking about whether their ass is fat in their jeans or when am I going to get another man? It's about real lives and what women really talk about. That's amazing. You never see that."
Take her character's abortion monologue, for example. It came in the first episode of Season 3, and set the tone right away for the type of content the season was open to discussing in an honest way (which later included rape, sexuality, and more).
It's a big part of what makes OITNB such a standout series, not just on Netflix, but throughout the entertainment industry as a whole. These are the things that real women face on an everyday basis. So, by giving these issues a platform to stand on, OITNB is able to give a mainstream voice to issues that desperately need that. And, if that isn't something worth celebrating, then I don't know what is. So, excuse me while I go and watch the season all over again.
Images: JoJo Whilden/Netflix (2)