Orange Is the New Black Star Kimiko Glenn on Soso’s Romance and Avoiding Stereotypical Roles

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While Orange is the New Black continues to delve deep into dark and tragic stories behind women’s imprisonment, Kimiko Glenn’s character, Soso, had a relatively light touch in season 4, that is until the episode 12, when it’s not the flashbacks that set the horror but the present. Cosmopolitan.com spoke with Kimiko to get her views on the developing relationship with Poussey Washington, played by Samira Wiley, and how it is to be an Asian-American actress today compared to the recent past. If you haven’t binged the whole of season 4 yet…then be warned their are spoilers!

How are you feeling about the season being out there?
Good, but also nervous that things are being spoiled for people already! It’s hard when it all goes out there at once, because people are watching at different times. A few people close to me have already been, like, “Yeah, I know what happens,” and they haven’t even watched it yet. I’m kind of sad about that.

Soso had, by Litchfield standards, had kind of a happy season up until the end there.
It’s a darker season all around, but for me, it’s like the most light. It was like, “Oh my gosh, I get to be happy now. This is great, she gets to smile, she gets to have someone respond to her in a respectful way.” That’s so different from the other seasons for me. But contrasting that, the rest of the season is so dark.

 
When did you find out about Poussey dying?
When I was reading the script for that episode. We all found out by reading the script. And Samira [Wiley, who plays Poussey] knew before we started filming the season, but she didn’t tell anybody! So I was her scene partner the entire season, and I texted her when I read the script and was like, “This is a joke, right? This isn’t real, right? You would’ve told me, right?” And she was like, “No, it’s real.” She just couldn’t [tell me]. I guess I would’ve done the same thing, if I were her. But we all felt like it was a real death. It was kind of intense.

We get to learn a lot more about the way Soso thinks this season and to see her tendency to assume things about people without necessarily knowing, like assuming Poussey’s mom was a crack whore. Where do you think that comes from for her?
She decides that she can read people in a way, and in conversation, she just kind of goes in the direction [that] she thinks will gain a sympathy vote, maybe, and [will allow her to] get what she wants out of a situation. That was an interesting thing to learn about her and why she does what she does and how she talks the way that she talks.

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