Actress Julie Lake. Photo: Vince Trupsin.

Actress Julie Lake. Photo: Vince Trupsin.

GALO: You studied theatre at Yale and were in a number of productions in New York. OITNB is your first television appearance. How has it been different than theatre? 

JL: It was a hard transition. I did a ton of theatre with a lot of well-respected directors, but I moved to L.A. and it seemed like no one really knew who they were [laughs]. I got a break with Nick Jones [writer/producer for OITNB], who sent the casting director my tape and they cast me off of that. It really was my lucky break.

GALO: While TV may be new for you, you have a strong background in comedy. Tell me about the Web series George and Julie! Cat humor seems like a good platform ever since Grumpy Cat.

JL: [Laughs] That’s true! Julie is a desperate actress and George is her cat who is super connected in Hollywood. As in, he’s friends with Matthew Weiner, Kevin Spacey and other celebrities. I’m always asking him for connections or advice with men and he just degrades me like a jerk. It’s funny because it’s mocking Hollywood in a way.

GALO: Going back to OITNB, it’s rare to see a group of actresses take on roles where they look less put together. How long is your hair and makeup process?

JL: It’s actually not that long; the teeth only take 30 seconds. The hair and makeup stylists are really good at it and they know what they’re doing. They make my circles look darker and add spots, add more grease. So, [it takes] 15-20 minutes tops.

GALO: What was your first thought when you looked in the mirror and saw the transformation? 

JL: I laughed and bowled over and took a lot of selfies. I think having bad teeth really changes a person’s appearance; anyone looks hideous with gross teeth.

GALO: Noting how different you look in real life from your character, do you have a lot of people recognize you on the street? Do you prefer that rather than have paparazzi follow you? 

JL: It’s rare that someone recognizes me, and when they do, I’m confused. One time, someone came up to me about the show and I thought he was a friend that I should have known that I wasn’t recognizing and it was so awkward. I prefer the paparazzi staying away; I’m a very shy person.

Anytime someone recognizes me, I think to myself, ‘Am I walking like a normal human being?’ It’s hard and that’s never something that I wanted as an actress. But I think I’ll get more used to it. I think people will recognize me more in the third season because my character is getting a bigger role.

GALO: A bigger role, how exciting! One of the reasons I love OITNB is because in an episode, it highlights why and how an inmate arrived in jail, while still keeping up with the current drama inside Litchfield. We don’t know a lot about Angie’s past yet. Will we see her story in the upcoming season? 

JL: I cannot say. Wouldn’t want to get into trouble!

Taylor Schilling and Laura Prepon in season 3 of Netflix's "Orange is the New Black." Photo Credit: JoJo Whilden/Netflix.

Taylor Schilling and Laura Prepon in season 3 of Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black.” Photo Credit: JoJo Whilden/Netflix.

GALO: We don’t want that either! Why do you feel that OITNB has such a huge following? Do you think being on Netflix helped it achieve that notoriety, and do you think the results would have been different if it was broadcast on a cable network? 

JL: I think it’s just a different show — there are so many women, there are so many minorities, it’s so real. It’s gritty and truthful; there just isn’t any other show like that and it’s such great writing. I had no idea what to expect, though. I didn’t even know that I was going to have a regular part on the show. I thought it was just going to be one episode — and I hadn’t even read all the scripts, so it was very surprising when I ended up being a regular.

GALO: OITNB is a show that many describe as one of their “binge-watching” habits (aka watching an entire season in a few weeks or less). Are there any shows that you binge-watch? 

JL: I binge-watched so many shows this year. I’m getting married!

GALO: Congratulations!

JL: Thank you! And before being with him, I didn’t even have a television. But since we’ve been together, I’ve caught up on years of Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, so many shows that I can’t even remember anymore. I actually think I’ve been watching too much TV… Arya [Stark, played by Maisie Williams] is my favorite [on GoT], she’s so great. I used to think that Jon Snow [Kit Harington] was the hottest guy in the entire world, and he looks a lot like my fiancé. But I saw him at the SAG Awards and I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s him!’ I made my fiancé turn around and gawk at him; it was so nerdy and embarrassing. I actually felt sorry that he had to see me do that.

GALO: Well, in all fairness, I think we can all get starstruck at times, especially when it comes to a beautiful person like Kit Harington. Can you tell us about any upcoming projects you want your fans to know about? 

JL: We start shooting the fourth season of OITNB in June, so that will take up a lot of my time. I’ve been focusing a lot on writing — one of my dreams beyond being an actress is to be a writer. I’m working on more George and Julie as well as Mental, which is about two best friends having a barely functional existence. I’m also writing a pilot I’m hoping to pitch this summer!

Video courtesy of George and Julie Show.

Video courtesy of Netflix.

For more Julie Lake, tune in to Netflix for the highly anticipated season three of “Orange is the New Black.” You can also follow her on Twitter @juliemflake to keep up to date on her current and future endeavors.