Taryn Manning is behind bars. The singer-actress appears in Netflix’s new original series Orange Is The New Black, which streams on July 11. She plays Tiffany, a meth addict turned evangelist. We called up Taryn to get the dish on her exciting new role.
The series is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir, Orange Is The New Black: My Year In A Women’s Prison. Taylor Schilling plays Piper, renamed Piper Chapman for the show, and Taryn’s character Tiffany is one of the many women that she meets while incarcerated.
“My character is not in the book as much,” said Taryn, explaining how she handled the source material. “It wasn’t as pivotal, but I did still read it, because I was interested in just the whole world and what was going on. But at the same time, when you go into prison with somebody you don’t know, you’re not going to know a ton about them. [So] why would I need to know all of her backstory?”
She told us that rather than an episode or a storyline, it’s the entire season that stands out to her. “I’m proud because I feel just as an actor I reached a new kind of understanding. I realized how much you need to continue to evolve in your craft,” she continued. “Because I just really dove in. I did it a little different. I was just really present on that set. I couldn’t really read for other parts during the duration of filming. And that was new for me. There’s a lot of physical changes I also go through with the part. I just kind of went with it a hundred percent. I think that made for an authentic performance.”
It’s not Taryn’s first TV role. You’ve also seen her in Sons of Anarchy and as Steve McGarrett’s wayward younger sister Mary Ann on Hawaii Five-O, just to name two. Would she ever consider moving on from those supporting parts to star in her own TV series?
“Absolutely. Of course,” she said. “I’m open to doing anything when it comes to acting and my career. TV’s tough because it’s such a grueling schedule. But I don’t know exactly. Obviously [it would be] something that inspired me daily and kept challenging me. I still haven’t seen exactly what I want to do. I know it would have to involve action, and possibly singing and dancing.”
That’s because she is still actively pursuing her musical career, too. “There’s always music going on,” added Taryn, who has a new single on the way later this year. “That doesn’t really ever change. Being around music I just think it’s a very fulfilling thing.”
She’s a multi-talented, creative and always busy woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind on social media (you can find her on Twitter at @tarynmanning). So is there anything possibly left that Taryn wants you to know? It’s not so much about her and more about the business in general. “Actors aren’t the roles that they play,” she said. “We’re not our stereotypes.” And with the variety of things she’s doing, Taryn shouldn’t have to worry about ever being stereotyped.
Orange Is The New Black will be available to stream on Netflix beginning on Thursday, July 11.