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
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
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!”
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