Is it just us, or does the plot to the hit Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” seem too good to be true? From insane cat fights to corrupt prison guards it’s safe to say there was hardly a moment our jaws weren’t dangling wide open from the wild scenes.
And there’s a reason for that: According to reports, Piper Kerman’s seemingly adventurous story was a tiny bit embellished in the Jenji Kohan series. How do we know? Well, because Catherine Cleary Wolters, the woman Alex Vause (played by Laura Prepon) is based on, debunked scenes that didn’t actually occur in real life during her interview with Vanity Fair.
First of all, it’s important to say we knew “OITNB” was going to be loosely based on Kerman’s life. We just didn’t know how fabricated the plot was once it hit the small screen.
1. Wolters didn’t “seduce” Kerman in real life: In the series, a doe-eyed Piper gets lured into the world of lesbianism after Alex seduces her in a bar.
“I was not the older sexy, glamorous, lesbian who snatched her from her pristine Smith College Cradle … I was not Piper’s first, and I certainly did not seduce her,” Wolters revealed to the magazine. In fact, the two met in 1991 while hanging out in the “lesbian social circle” of Northampton, Mass.
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2. Kerman dabbled in the world of drug trafficking before her relationship with Wolters began: “OITNB” insinuates that Piper got her hands dirty in the business of mulling after she and Alex had started their affair.
“When we were traveling together I started developing a crush on her. And eventually that turned into a crazy mad love affair,” Wolters said. “But that was after she had already done the deed that made her complicit.”
3. Wolters wasn’t the one responsible for Kerman getting locked behind bars: A huge plot point during “OITNB” is when fans find out Alex was the one who told authorities Piper was involved, which resulted in her arrest. However, that’s not how it went down in real life. According to Wolters, everyone talked.
“Yes, I named her, she named me, and we all named each other. Fact was, we all thought we were doing the right thing, confessing, getting protection, and saving ourselves from certain death at the hands of a Nigerian drug lord who we knew would soon find we had all been arrested.”
4. The women didn’t actually do time together: In the series, Alex and Piper spend a large chunk of their imprisonment together. But in real life they were only in the same facility for five weeks. Most of which Kerman refused to talk to Wolters.
5. Wait. So, the joyous sex-in-the-prison-church scene didn’t actually happen? Sorry, guys. But no. In fact, the two ladies never had intercourse. “Not even a little bit,” Wolters stressed.
6. Wolters and Kerman weren’t actually “girlfriends”: In “OITNB” is seems pretty obvious that Piper and Alex are “a thing.” But in actuality they were just “friends with benefits.”
7. Prison sex isn’t as romantic as Piper and Alex might make it seem: “Usually what you would do was have sex in your jail rooms,” she explained. “You’d have sex anywhere you could: the tennis court, the outdoor squash court, or the rake pile. Anyplace! When the guards aren’t around all bets are off. Everyone goes to it! They romanticize sex on the TV show.”
After exposing the fictitious plots within the Netflix series, Wolters revealed that it must have taken Kerman “balls the size of Oklahoma” to put her story out there.
“This story isn’t about a fun ride through some old familiar haunt, giving me little glimpses and peeks of some fond old stomping ground,” she said. “Christ, it’s my nightmare, the one that wakes you gasping on your rubber legs that won’t run. . . . This stress is real, it is unrelenting. I've had a heart attack, a five-way bypass, been judged, humbled, and hobbled, but I made it.”
Wolters added that she watched the first season of “OITNB” and plans on watching the second installment, which will premiere on Netflix on June 6.
“I can’t help it. It’s a great show. The actors are incredible, the story line is interesting, and come on, who doesn’t want to see Donna from That ’70s Show have lesbian sex?” she quipped.
True that, Catherine.