It’s still not totally clear what’s going on with Laura Prepon and her role on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. Last week, rumors began to spread that she would be leaving the show. Now, other pieces of information have come out.
UPDATE: Here’s what co-star Taryn Manning had to say about the situation.
The rumor first began when BuzzFeed reported that she would be leaving after returning to resolve her storyline in a limited number of episodes in the second season, but would have the option of returning later. Netflix, meanwhile, said that the rumors of her leaving were “inaccurate,” but that the “season is still developing and nothing is confirmed.”
After remaining silent on Twitter for the majority of the month, Prepon finally tweeted this:
So stoked to be working on some great projects lately. Can't wait to get back to NY soon to start shooting. #thanksforallyoursupport
— Laura Prepon (@LauraPrepon) August 17, 2013
Orange is the New Black is currently filming in New York at Kauffman Astoria Studios (just a floor below where they shoot Sesame Street). However, we already knew that she was supposed to return for a limited number of episodes, so that’s not really all that reassuring.
Vulture flat out asked Prepon of she was returning, and she said, “Yeah, of course. It’s just scheduling. It’s all scheduling, girl.”
That was before the BuzzFeed report, however, and again, it could just mean that she’s returning for those few episodes to wrap her story up.
In fact, it’s looking more and more like BuzzFeed’s report is accurate. TV Guide has since reported that “a source close to the show” confirms that her character’s story is wet to wrap up early in Season 2. From TV guide’s Friday report:
According to the insider, Prepon hasn’t been on set since production began on the second season weeks ago, and when she does return, it won’t be for long. The Season 2 premiere, which will be shot later this year, will “[wrap] up Laura’s stuff and [resolve] the cliff-hanger” from the Season 1 finale, the source explains.
The reasons behind Prepon’s departure are still unclear, and the actress has not commented on the situation. But to say her exit is surprising is an understatement, given the show’s immense buzz and the fact that Prepon told TVGuide.com just last week that she felt there was “a lot of story line left to explore” for her character. Neither Netflix nor reps for Prepon have responded to e-mails about the report.
Speculation about how they’re going to “wrap up” her story is running rampant, as you would expect. Possibilities being discussed include Prepon’s character getting killed off or getting out of jail. Her reported option to return would seemingly point more toward the latter, but you never know. There’s always dream sequences and flashbacks. If her storyline is really going to be wrapped up in the first episode of the second season, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for her to get released from prison, unless a great deal of time passes between seasons.
Prepon’s Alex character has been a major part of the show so far, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be just as good or even better without her. Shows have survived the deaths of main characters and flourished. Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire fans know what I’m talking about. While Prepon’s presence on OITNB has been appreciated by many, the show will be just fine without her. It has too many other great characters not to be (some of which are getting expanded roles).
If you find yourself jonesing for more Prepon, and you’ve already been through all of That 70s show, might I suggest checking out Lighting Bug?
Image: Laura Prepon (Instagram)