Taryn Manning
Taryn Manning

The Orange Is The New Black star opens up about that controversial storyline and the moment her life changed forever

I’m waiting to meet Taryn Manning in a stylish Soho hotel, and I’m nervous. She’s one of my absolute favourites on Netflix juggernaut Orange Is The New Black, but her character Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett is such a tough cookie I’m not quite  sure what to expect.

This is the woman who so convincingly portrayed a vicious meth addict on a mission to murder Piper with a crucifix, after all. But I needn’t have worried. During our interview, she’s gentle, open and softly spoken with the biggest, most soulful eyes you can imagine.

Can you believe we’re going into the sixth season of OITNB? How much has Pennsatucky changed in that time?

She’s been on quite a journey, but I miss playing the villain – bible-thumping, ignorant, one-track minded, unapologetic – but now where she’s at is so different. That’s the fun part about playing her. She’s so unpredictable.

She really was the villain of the first series. Was it hard to act so cruelly?

It was hard because I’m not homophobic, I’m not racist. I remember feeling pretty bad and it wasn’t sitting well in my soul. But at the same time, it was fun to play unapologetic.