Q) What are the recent projects that you’ve been working on?
Alysia: On the prison level, there are some fantastic organizations that I’ve been working with like Fearless Beauty, which teaches women in prison beautician skills. What else am I doing? I’m just wrapping Season 2 of “The Deuce,” which starts airing September 9th where you can watch me play a 1970’s porn agent. I have a really beautiful arc on that. You can watch me on Season 3 of “Better Things.” My movie, Equity is on iTunes now and the second movie I produced and starred in called Egg was just at Tribeca and hopefully you will be able to see it in the theaters soon.
Q) Last season on “Orange is the New Black” found Fig working to broker a deal between the rioting inmates and the prison. Without spoiling anything, what can we expect from Natalie this season?
Alysia: You know, [pauses] it’s always so hard to talk about a new season of this particular show because the fun of it, is the surprise of it. I think one of the interesting things we did in Season 5 was her relationship with Caputo (Nick Sandow), which continues, and she did come back to the prison. I will say, personally, when I left in Season 2 I didn’t know if that would happen. Like, would she ever go through those doors again? So, its been really interesting seeing what’s gonna be her new role in this new world because this season really is a new world.
Q) Natalie Figueroa is one tough broad. How do you get into character?
Alysia: You know, I was doing a little press this morning and I had a realization; with her, I feel like I don’t get into character. She gets in to me. You don’t always experience that, but I think that’s one of those things about playing a role for a long time. They sort of have a voice of their own. I remember when I first go this job and I didn’t know anything about this world at all, I did a lot of research. I spoke to a lot of wardens and assistant wardens and visited a prison and did a lot of research. This was like when the role was only a couple of lines. I just made some decisions about who she was and how she got there and I wrote for myself that she was dyslexic and wanted to be a lawyer but couldn’t pass the bar. I mean I wrote a whole story for her and now, as we start to shoot Season 7, that’s just part of it. She has her own world and I don’t have to think as much about it I can just play it. The other thing I will say about that is brilliant writing allows you to do that. If you have great writing, you don’t need to do much else.