Interview: Orange is the New Black’s Julie Lake Talks Season 3, Auditioning and Her Characters Backstory

Julie Lake Orange is the New Black

“There are so many fantastic actors in the cast that it is kind of like every scene is a master class in acting.” – Orange is the New Black‘s Julie Lake


Season 3 of NetFlix’s Orange is the New Black just premiered (shhh… don’t tell me what happens! I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet) and one of its stars, Julie Lake took some time out to chat with us about this season, working with the cast and her character Angie’s backstory.

Lake, who also appeared in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson when it ran at the Public Theatre in New York, also talks about her worst audition and the one person she has yet to work with on OitNB!

Check out the interview below and be sure to follow Julie on Twitter!

How is it working with this huge ensemble of talented women?

Julie Lake: It is fantastic! I am pretty close friends with the people I work with most (the laundry crew), but the whole cast is super friendly, and we all hang out in each others dressing rooms and talk when we are not shooting. And there are so many fantastic actors in the cast that it is kind of like every scene is a master class in acting.

The cast is huge, so obviously you’re not working every day. What are you doing on your time off?

Julie Lake: I just moved from LA to NYC so I am trying to get a bit of a routine going. Usually I work out in the morning and then head to the library to write for a while. I am hoping to do a bunch of hiking and outdoor activities this summer. And I am spending a good amount of time planning my wedding and honeymoon – hopefully in Chile and Argentina.

Since you guys mostly stick to your own storyline, is there anyone on the show you haven’t worked with yet?

Julie Lake: I do not think I have ever worked with Healy – Michael Harney. I remember I met him on set for the first time during the third season and was so shocked to see him in person. Hopefully I will have some scenes with him in season 4.

Angie hasn’t had her own backstory yet. Did you create your own backstory for her? How did you think about giving her an accent?

Julie Lake: I did create my own backstory for her when I first got the role, but I think that has evolved a bit in my mind over time. I tried a few different accents (including no accent) when I was first playing around with the character. This one kind of just stuck. I saw an HBO documentary called “High on Crack Street” that had a character named Brenda who I imagined was a bit like Angie. She had a Boston accent, so I think that is probably why I liked Angie having a slight Boston accent more than some of the other accents I tried.

What was your audition like for the show? How did you get the part?

Julie Lake: I sent in a tape and was cast from that.

Did you always know that you wanted to become an actress?

Julie Lake: Yes, I have wanted to be an actress since I was five. It is pretty much the only passion of mine that stuck. I used to want to be an ice skater, horseback rider, singer, drummer, dancer – so many things when I was little. But acting is the only thing that I have been consistently passionate about my whole life.

I saw that you were in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. I saw that and absolutely loved it! Any chance you’re going to do theatre anytime soon?

Julie Lake: I would love to, but it is going to be really hard to do it while we are shooting the show. Maybe after we have wrapped the fourth season in December. Fingers crossed for that.

I’m sure you’ve auditioned a ton. What was one of your worst auditions?

Julie Lake:
I have never been very good at auditioning because I get super nervous. Almost every acting part I have gotten has been from people seeing my work and asking me to do their project. My worst audition was when I was 9 years old and auditioning to play Mary in a professional production of The Secret Garden. I was taking singing lessons and learning to sing in my “head voice” but could not really do it yet, so I ended up cracking wildly through my song. Then I forgot my entire monologue. I said the first line then stammered “uh uh uh uh uh uh uh” until the producer said thank you and that I could go. As I walked out of the room, I quickly blurted out the last line of the monologue. It was so embarrassing.

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