Stars Behind Bars: Orange is the New Black’s Jessica Pimentel



Jessica Pimentel knows the angry, hormonal pregnant role she plays in Orange Is The New Black too well; one of her first roles was a pregnant woman. “I was also in Illegal Tender and the first day of shooting I had to give birth,” the Brooklyn native says. “So I said ‘Hi, nice to meet you, let me go have this baby now.’” Her character Maria, one of Gloria Mendoza’s (Selenis Leyva) minions in the Latina crew, had her baby early in the season, but made sure viewers connected to the experience.“I enjoyed it very much, especially with this cast because when you’re in a dangerous prison when you have to watch your back all the time,” says Pimentel. “You not only have to watch your back, but you have to watch the baby because they influence every decision that you make. Even if it’s something so simple like walking from one side of the room to the other, or someone is trying to make trouble. It made me think twice and it gave me some really good moments with some of the other ladies.”

While secrets of next season’s OITNB are tightly under wraps, the Dominican beauty shared that the cliques will be more intertwined with plenty of jaw dropping moments. “I don’t even know what she’s (Maria) going to do every week, but I think this season you’re going to see some new relationships build (not romantically) between characters who didn’t really interact before,” says Pimentel.

As fans know, the girls spend a lot of time together off the set.”You’ve seen us hang out haciendo we’re always hanging like getting a drink or something, we’re a collection of artists and musicians so we’re always out doing things together as a cast,” Jessica says, who is also apart of two heavy metal bands; Desolate and Alekhine’s Gun. “We’re going to go see a play next week or go to the movies and Adrienne (Black Cindy) is gonna come over and we’re going to go shopping. We all just really like each other and get along really well”.

Like the fans, Jessica gets a little frustrated with the twists and turns the writers have to offer. She tries not to read too much of the script, but the secrets are always exposed. “I was with Matt McGorry (Bennett) and we went to our old high school to talk to the kids and he goes “Can you believe that such and such happened to so and so?” and I go “No! I didn’t read it yet!” It’s so out of control, I’m reading it like everyone is watching it, so we’re looking at it just like you. We have no idea what’s going to happen.”

-Desire Thompson, additional reporting by Dionne Buxton

Photo Credit: Geoff Barrenger