ByElle McFarlane, writer at Creators.co
'There's always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.'
Elle McFarlane

With a colossal $6 billion budget to spend on creating original shows in 2017, Netflix is without a doubt leading the pack when it comes to original programming for a video-on-demand platform — but just how much of that is portioned out to its actors?

Orange is the New Black is the streaming service's most popular original show, with season 4 averaging a huge 23 million views 35 days after its release date. However, costing only $4 million per episode, OITNB is a relatively low-budget production compared to the likes of Netflix's The Crown ($13 million per episode) or Sense8 ($9 million per episode), so how much is the cast really making?

Let's breakdown the cast's net worth and work out if doing the time to rectify the crime really pays off.


The 'Orange Is The New Black' Cast All Get Different Pay Packets

'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]

With a huge ensemble cast, blending a mix of household names along with complete newbies to the acting game, Orange is the New Black has an unusually large number of actors on its payroll. Taking into consideration the amount of "star power" the actors had prior to their incarceration at Litchfield — and therefore, their initial viewer-attracting value, as well as the amount of screen-time they wrack up per episode — the actors all make a different amount of cold hard cash per series.

Taylor Schilling (Piper Chapman) Net Worth

'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
  • Salary Per Episode: $35,000
  • Net Worth: $1.5 million

A relative unknown before her breakout as in OITNB, Taylor had clocked up a few smaller roles in Argo, The Lucky One and TV series Mercy. Now, with several Golden Globe nominations under her belt — as well as 5 upcoming movies in 2017 alone — Taylor is becoming an increasingly well-known name on the acting circuit.

Balancing out her relative pre-Orange obscurity with the fact that she plays OITNB's leading role (although somewhat less so in later series), Taylor is right at the top of the Litchfield ladies highest earners, raking in $35,000 an episode.

Kate Mulgrew (Galina 'Red' Reznikov) Net Worth

'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
  • Salary Per Episode: $35,000
  • Net Worth: $5 million

One of Orange is the New Black's biggest stars, Kate is best known for playing Captain Kathryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager from 1995-2001. With a further 65 acting credits to her name, Kate was a big draw for the show, really adding to its overall star-power and consequently landing her on a higher pay tier than most of her colleagues. Although, that isn't to take away from the pivotal importance of Big Red in the show, heaven forbid we cross those fierce talon-like toes!

Laura Prepon (Alex Vause) Net Worth

'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
  • Net Worth: $12 million

With the largest net worth of any actor in the show, Laura Prepon is also likely to be on a similar pay bracket as Taylor Schilling and Kate Mulgrew, although her noted absence in Season 2 put a halt to her raking in that sweet Netflix-branded dough.

Known predominantly for her portrayal of Donna Pinciotti on That '70s Show from 1998-2006, as well as starring more recently alongside Emily Blunt in The Girl on a Train, Laura, like Kate, brings a certain star-power to Litchfield which will be reflected in her pay packet.

Natasha Lyonne (Nicky Nichols) Net Worth

'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
  • Net Worth: $3 million

Indie film darling Natasha has starred in over 80 different movies but is perhaps most well known for her leading role in But I'm A Cheerleader and her portrayal of Jessica in the American Pie franchise, as well as smaller roles in Everyone Says I Love You, Blade: Trinity and Slums of Beverly Hills.

Combining her movie appearances with multiple TV gigs, Natasha has cropped up in everything from New Girl, Weeds and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. While she certainly does have some acting prestige to bargain with, her less-mainstream roles means she's not quite in the same league as Laura Prepon and Kate Mulgrew and as Nicky — while a consistent presence — does not have a huge amount of on-screen time, it can be expected that she makes slightly less then Taylor, Kate and Laura.

Taryn Manning (Tiffany 'Pennsatucky' Doggett) Net Worth

'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
  • Net Worth: $3 million

Piper's unhinged hillbilly antagonist of Season 1, Pennsatucky, makes a rather impressive character transformation, with Season 4 seeing her as a much more thoughtful, repentant character overall.

Taryn, who portrays Pennsatucky, had already amassed quite a bit of cash before landing the role in Orange is the New Black thanks in large part to her role in Eminem's successful movie 8 Mile and with appearances in Hustle & Flow, A Lot Like Love and Crossroads. She is currently sitting on top of a cool $3 million net worth fortune.

Dascha Polanco (Daya Diaz) Net Worth

'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
  • Net Worth: $1.5 million

Dascha has made an incredible rise to fame in a relatively minuscule amount of time. When she auditioned for her role in Orange is the New Black, she was a single mom working in a nursing school — now, only four years later, she's a millionaire! Aside from her role as Daya in the show, Dascha has been raking in the cash from being adorned by all manner of designers who (refreshingly) want to work with beautiful, curvier women.

As Orange is pretty much Dascha's first acting gig, it's pretty much a given that she'll be earning less then some of her more renowned co-stars, but as her star-power has skyrocketed since the beginning of the series, it's likely that she received a pay rise over the course of the past four seasons!

Laverne Cox (Sophia Burset) Net Worth

'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
  • Net Worth: $2 million

The first publicly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy in acting, Laverne has been blazing the path for the LGBT community both with her portrayal of Sophia in Orange is the New Black and beyond. Having wracked up appearances in several TV shows and movies from Law & Order, The Mindy Project, I Want to Work for Diddy, Grandma, as well as the upcoming remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Laverne has carved out a respectable career for herself, which is reflected in her sizable net worth.

Uzo Aduba (Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren) Net Worth

'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
'Orange is the New Black' [Credit: Netflix]
  • Net Worth: $1 million

With a background in live theatre, Uzo is a big name amongst the thespians who tread the boards and while she appeared in TV series Blue Bloods back in 2012, her real television breakout came through landing the role of Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren in Orange is the New Black. Consequently, her role in the show has added a large contribution to the millionaires net worth.

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