By: Denise Warner
Maybe you know her as a stand-up comic, maybe you know her as a jazz singer, maybe you know her from Broadway, or maybe you’ve just discovered her as Big Boo in Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black. Either way, with the success of OITNB, it’s time to share Lea Delaria with the rest of the entire world after thirty years of lesbians feeling that she was just ours. Well, butch up, ladies! We knew this day was coming.
When you first read the script for Orange Is The New Black, what were your immediate thoughts?
Oh my God, I f*cking loved it! It was the first script in I don’t know how long that I didn’t have to wish was funny. I mean, granted, I only had one line in the pilot episode, but you get to read the whole thing, so I knew it was good. Plus, the actors
hadn’t all been cast yet, so like Jason Biggs, Natasha Lyonne and Laura Prepon hadn’t been cast yet. Man, when they started pouring in these actors, I thought, “Oh f*ck yeah, this is going to be AH-MAZING!” And you have Jenji Kohan. Ya know? I mean, Jenji Kohan! So, yeah, we knew. We knew this was going to be special.
Were you at all familiar with Jenji’s work, like Weeds?
(laughs) Oh Christ, honey! Are you kidding me? Hello! Weeds! I’m a daily pot smoker, girl! So, uh, yeah, very familiar! (laughs) Plus, listen, I love Mary Louise Parker! Remember Fried Green Tomatoes? Everyone wanted Mary Stuart Masterson, right? Not me. I wanted Mary Louise Parker! Love her! And we’re theatre girls, so I know her. We did New York public theatre together, so we go way back. But Weeds, oh my God, of course I loved it. But, to be honest, we all know Jenji from Six Feet Under, even before Weeds.
Oh, yeah! I totally forgot about that! Jenji’s style of TV is something so unique I’d imagine anyone who is lucky enough to work with her must feel it immediately.
F*ck yeah, you do.
Does it shock you how well-received the show is, even going into its 3rd season?
Seriously, who the F knows what’s going to happen going into it, right? No, no, no, wait, let me re-phrase that. We’re doing something so new in this age of digital TV, and it’s so unchartered that there is really no way of knowing how it’s going to be received, you know what I mean? But, I’m not sure “shocked” is the word, It’s more like, ummm, well, maybe shocked IS the word? (laughs) Listen, we were ready! We were ready to see how it was going to be received, and my God, it all happened so fast. I don’t know if shocked describes it, but one day I’m in the laundromat doing my laundry and the next day, and I mean the very next day, I can’t walk down the street without someone asking for a picture! It was literally that fast. That’s the other thing. I mean, nowadays, no one is without their phone in their hand, camera ready, you know? Some people can’t handle it. They don’t like it, being photographed all the time. But, I’ll tell you what, I’m having the time of my life! (she laughs her big hearty laugh) When somebody asks me for a picture, I’m like “Sure thing! Take my picture!”

>> Read more in our current issue...

    _DEC 14 issue  

...I’m in a fabulous place with my career. I feel so strongly about not letting the success of this
show change me and I’m grateful that it’s allowing me to continue on my path to change
the world’s ideas about butches.
That’s always been my job.”


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