Star Trek: Voyager‘s Kate Mulgrew spoke about playing Galina “Red” Reznikov on Orange is the New Black.
Mulgrew was interested in playing the character of Red because she was different than the usual type of character.
“There was something original about the writing, and this character was unprecedented, from my experience,” said Mulgrew. “I was only given two pages to read (at the audition), and [Red] just leapt into my imagination.”
Mulgrew explained how she viewed Red. “[She] is a survivor of the highest order, someone you want to be in the trenches with,” said Mulgrew. “She’s vivid in her red hair, red nails, and she will identify herself as singular in this institution and will survive it with her soul intact.”
This is not Mulgrew’s first experience with prison life in the pursuit of her acting; she once took part in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, part of which was filmed at Rikers Island. “We shot some of it at Rikers (Island), and that was terrifying,” she said. “I don’t remember experiencing anything like it before or since.”
But prison life in Orange is the New Black is very different than that on Rikers Island. “This prison is very different,” she said. “It is minimum-security, and we have everything we need to survive — except our loved ones.”