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INTERVIEW: OITNB cast dishes on the must-have items in prison

The cast of Orange Is the New Black is ready for Season 2. SheKnows talked to Danielle Brooks and Yael Stone about those prison essentials.


Photo credit: Brian To/

The cast of Orange Is the New Black gathered for the second night of PaleyFest in Hollywood, California, on Friday to talk about their upcoming season, how rough life in prison really is and those essentials you need in prison. SheKnows was there on the red carpet to get the inside scoop.

Danielle Brooks, who plays Taystee, understands how important it is to have the goods for bartering behind prison walls.

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She explained, “[You need] stuff to trade, you need to be a good bargainer. It’s all about what you have to get what you need.”

Her key essentials were “pads and chocolate. Every woman needs that.” As any OITNB fan knows, maxi pads can be used for just about anything in prison — from cleaning supplies to flip-flops for the shower.


Photo credit: FayesVision/

As for Yael Stone, who plays the small but mighty Morello, she took the safety first approach to prison must-haves. She shared, “A knife, something to defend yourself with.”

However, Stone did think of a good practical item to have on hand while dressed in her beige garb. The petite actress exclaimed, “Oh, what about Q-tips! They love Q-tips! You can clean with them, you can build with them, there’s a whole bunch of things you can do with them.”

While there are some pretty humorous uses for everyday items like maxi pads and cotton swabs, there’s definitely a more somber side to life behind prison gates.

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Brooks summed up what she learned from some of the real inmates she worked with before taking on the role.

“Some of the things that hurt me is the realization that some of the women like Taystee go through this thing of going in and out of prison because they don’t have a place to sleep or a place to work and eat, so they return,” she said. “That was devastating to me, that’s the world that we live in.”

Orange Is the New Black premieres on Netflix on June 6.

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