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

With Season Four leaving us on a colossal cliffhanger, Orange is the New Black Season 5 has a lot of questions to answer — and a lot to live up to. While the June 9th Season 5 premiere date may seem far off on the horizon, we can fill the Litchfield void by watching endless Netflix re-runs, and getting up to speed with the cast and characters of Orange is the New Black Season 5.

With many of our favorites guaranteed to return along with some familiar and some new faces, we must also pay respect to some of our favorites (one hooch loving inmate in particular) who won't be making the OITNB Season 5 cut. So, without further ado, here are all the cast & characters of Orange is the New Black Season 5.


Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman

Starting out of Litchfield's naive, slightly snobbish rich girl, has gone on a long story ark which included her founding an illicit panty-smuggling service and (briefly) turning into the prison badass — or at least, so she thought. Recently branded with a swastika, she rekindled her love with Alex after they shared some crack in a small corn crop which was grown in Red's prison garden.

Laura Prepon as Alex Vause

Surprising Piper in Season One, Alex is Piper's old heroin-smuggling flame, and they're both currently the reason why they're stuck behind bars — which is sort of romantic when you think about it. Sort of. Season Four saw Alex and Lolly murdering a hitman posing as a guard who was sent to kill Alex, then dismembering him and burying him in the garden. Although Lolly has now been somewhat held responsible for the discovery of the hitman's remains, it remains unclear as to whether Alex truly got away with it.

Laverne Cox as Sophia Burset

Litchfield's only trans inmate, Sophie has had a particularly rough ride of it. Being moved to the SHU for "her own protection," it was thanks to her true friend, the former nun Jane Ingalls, that she managed to get transferred back to good old regular prison. Safe to say Season Five will probably feel the wrath of Sophia in one way or another. Here's looking at you Gloria.

Uzo Aduba as Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren

Possibly the inmate who needs most guidance within the prison, Suzanne has a heart of gold, but this doesn't always translate well through her seemingly strange behavior. Having been goaded into attacking her sort-of ex girlfriend Kukudio and then encouraging the riot which inadvertently got Poussey killed, we might see Crazy Eyes getting moved over to psych in Season 5.

Natasha Lyonne as Nicky Nichols

Litchfield's lovable lady, who has good intentions, but a horrible addiction to crack has been in and out of Red's good books since Season 1. With the end of Season 4 seeing Nicky getting back on the junk, we'll be sure to be in for a drug-fueled/cold turkey ride next Season.

Danielle Brooks as Tasha 'Taystee' Jefferson

The life and soul of the party, and probably one of the characters with the biggest heart in the Show, Taystee is loyal, loving but also incredibly outspoken. Becoming Mr Caputo's secretary in Season 4 however exposed her to some of the huge failings in Litchfield's management, especially where the death of Poussey was concerned, causing Taystee to lead the riot which ended the Season on a cliffhanger.

Taryn Manning as Tiffany 'Pennsatucky' Doggett

Being the bane of Piper's life in Season 1, Doggett has gone on a long journey over the course of the Series and has now opted for a much quieter existence, finding God and becoming much more of a pacifist overall. Hopefully for the other inmates, this will continue.

Kate Mulgrew as Galina 'Red' Reznikov

The grand Russian maître d'of Litchfield, robbed of her position as head of the kitchen but instead finding a new role as head of the allotment, Red's cunning bids for power nearly always pay off. One of the most loyal inmates, she's always looking out for her brood, although if you cross her, you may not live to tell the tale.

Dascha Polanco as Dayanara Diaz

After engaging in an illicit affair with CO Bennett and having his child who was then mysteriously taken away by the state, Daya has had a bit of a heart wrenching story so far in OITNB. With the Season 4 finale ending in her pointing a gun at a fellow CO, it's likely that things are going to get a whole lot worse for Daya in the upcoming Season.

Jackie Cruz as Marisol 'Flaca' Gonzales

One of Litchfield's youngest inmates, Flaca is a big fan of Depeche Mode and the Smiths, and actually has a surprising entrepreneurial streak. She is virtually inseparable from her prison BFF, Martiza Ramos, and her eyeliner.

Kimiko Glenn as Brook Soso

Having had by all accounts a rather heartbreaking Fourth Season, all eyes are on Soso as she learns to come back from her devastating grief. Whether she will use it as a force for anger, institutional change, or as a means to wallow in a deep dark depression however, we'll just have to wait and see.

Lee DeLaria as Carrie 'Big Boo' Black

Big Boo is the bawdiest inmate of them all. Frequently involved in some scheme to get into a fellow inmates prison-standard underwear, Boo is both extremely tough, and extremely protective of those she lets within her small inner circle.

Yael Stone as Lorna Morello

The hopeless romantic, dangerously obsessive Morello looks for love in all the wrong places. Or, if she does find love, manages to dramatically destroy it due to her jealous, possessive demons which come back to haunt her time and time again. In Season 4 it looks like she may have pushed her marriage to Vinny to breaking point, and only Season 5 will tell us whether they can survive it.

Selenis Leyva as Gloria Mendoza

Taking over the kitchen after Red's fall from grace, Gloria runs a tight ship and, most of the time, manages to keep her girls in line. However Season 4 saw Maria rise to power in a way that Gloria couldn't control, watching her kitchen team gradually getting more involved with the darker side of prison life.

Adrienne C. Moore as Cindy 'Black Cindy' Hayes

Since converting to Judaism in Season 3, Black Cindy is also occasionally referred to by her Jewish name, 'Tova.' Possibly one of the wittiest, funniest inmates, Cindy is also selfish, and doesn't really think her actions through before acting on them.

Emma Myles as Leanne Taylor

Distinguishable by her greasy her and lack of a full set of teeth, Leanne is not exactly the sharpest tool in the box. Easily manipulated and quick to become caught up in radical ideas, Leanne is a rather unlikable character, with Pennsatucky being her mortal enemy in Season Two, and Soso taking that position in Season Three. Having been part of the White Power Group in Season Four, Leanne and her BFF Angie alerted the outside world to the ensuing riot in the prison in the Season Finale.

Julie Lake as Angie Rice

Leanne's inseparable BFF, also distinguishable by her lack of teeth, greasy hair and her rather impressively basic IQ, Angie has quite a low self esteem and finds it difficult to stand up for what she believes in — unless Leanne is at her side. Becoming a strong follower of Norma in Season 3, Angie and Leanne are always on the lookout for drugs that find themselves getting shipped in to Litchfield, and will take any opportunity they can to get high.

Diane Guerrero as Maritza Ramos

Maritza is outspoken sassy, and quick to defend herself. Best friends with Flaca, she used to be a con-artist on the outside, although she's not directly a malicious character. She often plays dumb to get what she wants, and in doing so inadvertently proves herself to be very intelligent.

Abigail Savage as Gina Murphy

Most notable for her unwavering loyalty, Gina is Norma's sidekick and diehard Red follower — well — at least until she gets permanent facial burns from an oven that Red sabotages in Season 1. Making peace with Red in Season Two, she goes on to be one of Norma's loyal followers in Season 3 when Norma creates a cult religious group within the prison. Little is known about Gina's role in Season 5 but you can expect she'll be out to protect the ones she loves.

Jessica Pimentel as Maria Ruiz

While in the first few Seasons Maria plays more of a secondary character, she really steps up in Season 4, especially after Piper gets a lot of extra years added to her sentence. Having nothing left to lose, and burning with rage, Maria ends up becoming the head of the Latina crew who begin to smuggle drugs into Litchfield. You can be sure that she'll play a big role in the next Season, and it's probably not going to be pretty.

Laura Gómez as Blanca Flores

Remaining somewhat of a reclusive mystery throughout Season 1, Blanca was seen as largely mentally unstable after she was released from Psych back into Litchfield. However, in Season 4 we were given her backstory where we were exposed to her more rebellious nature, and her volatile relationship with bad boy, Diablo was finally revealed. Leading a protest by refusing to wash in the last Season, we can expect much more from this potential live spark amongst the Litchfield ladies in Season 5.

Nick Sandow as Joe Caputo

The ever morally ambiguous 'Director of Human Activities,' Mr Caputo has proven to be both a kind, reasonable man and a lecherous, power driven creep. Stuck between the world of the Litchfield ladies and the Litchfield management board, Caputo frequently finds himself in impossible situations in which he just can't win. Season 5 will no doubt find him in yet another difficult dilemma, least of which will emerge from the prisoner led riot, and Daya ultimately drawing a weapon on an officer.

Vicky Jeudy as Janae Watson

A trained athlete before she ended up at Litchfield, Watson is defined by her temper. Quick to anger, and frustrated with her lot in life, especially since the decision to lock her behind bars was somewhat unjust, Watson arrived to Litchfield the same day as Piper and Dayanara and has since become a key player in Tastee's crew.

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