Samira Wiley’s wife wrote *both* Poussey’s death scene and her Season 5 flashback
Most Orange Is The New Black fans are still deeply mourning Poussey’s shocking death, and none of us expected to see her in Season 5 at all. Saying the show is sorely missing Samira Wiley is an understatement. Luckily for us, our favorite inmate was brought back to Litchfield, if only for a moment — but the way it came about is sort of strange.
If you’ve been binge-watching the series (raise your hand if it just came out and you’re already almost finished), you know we were treated to the origin story of Poussey and Taystee’s deep friendship in a heartbreaking flashback. But did you know that Poussey’s tragic death and this heartfelt flashback were both written by her IRL wife?
Most of us don’t really expect to ever be writing the death of our loved ones (we’d rather not think about it at all), but Lauren Morelli was up to the task. What’s even weirder: Wiley had no idea Poussey was getting a Season 5 cameo even though her wife was writing it right under her nose. Apparently, Wiley — who was busy shooting Hulu’s Handmaids Tale while Season 5 of OITNB was filming —and Morelli just don’t talk about work.
"We live in a house where I cannot talk about work!" Morelli told The Hollywood Reporter. "I was trying to keep it quiet because we were talking about it in the room, but nothing was really sure. When I got assigned and actually sat down writing, that’s when I told her."
Of course, what wife wouldn’t want to make a cameo on her beautiful bride’s TV show? Wiley was totally pumped to put those prison clothes back on and head to Litchfield (after all, Litchfield’s prisoners are a whole lot freer than literally every woman in Handmaid’s Tale).
"There were so many unknowns, and [Samira] was, of course, really thrilled when I told her about it," said Morelli.
With Wiley’s busy filming schedule, she only ended up making it back to Litchfield for one day. She tried to avoid spoilers for the show and watch it only after its release, just like the rest of us. This wasn’t hard at home because Morelli kept much of the details to herself to maintain a good work-life balance in their relationship, but Wiley’s former cast mates would FaceTime her on set and give away little details.
Much like Taystee and the rest of Litchfield, Wiley is still mourning the death of Poussey. The character was a big part of her life for four seasons.
“They’re my sisters, really,” Wiley told THR about leaving her cast mates.”It’s hard to see someone that you brought to life for the past four years, who you feel like is a real person to you. I miss Poussey. The whole thing of it, it’s really a momentous occasion. When you film it, it’s this abstract idea that someone is gone. To actually watch her die was hard.”
We’re not sure who had it worse: Wiley, who is morning the death of her character, or her wife, who had to write it. The whole thing is just sort of strange, but that’s Hollywood!