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Kate Mulgrew: 'Orange Is the New Black role is bliss'

Published 09/06/2016

Kate Mulgrew
Kate Mulgrew

Kate Mulgrew sensed that Netflix was onto "something tsunamic" when she was first offered the role of Red in Orange Is the New Black.

Kate Mulgrew is "in heaven" after landing the role of her career in Orange Is the New Black.

The 61-year-old actress has played Galina 'Red' Reznikov in the Netflix series since 2013, and the programme is going from strength to strength. While she's played parts in TV shows such as Star Trek: Voyager and Warehouse 13 earlier in her career, she knew taking on the part of Red was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"I’m in bliss - you only get this a handful of times in your career and at this point in my life I’m in heaven," Kate said during an interview on British television show Lorraine on Thursday (09Jun16).

"I knew it right away. They only gave me a very small copy to audition with and I was immediately struck, and I knew that it would be kismet. And it was, both organically and creatively. And I also knew, or sensed, because I’ve been in this business for over 40 years, that Netflix was onto something tsunamic - this was going to break the wave in a big, big way… and it did!"

Kate stars alongside a host of actresses including Taylor Schilling, Uzo Aduba and Taryn Manning in the programme, which follows a group of women in minimum-security prison Litchfield Penitentiary.

The series has been critically acclaimed since the beginning, and Kate thinks it's because of the bond the actresses have with their on-screen alter egos.

"I do love Red. And that’s what I think you see. We all are having a love affair - that’s what’s jumping into your heart," she smiled. "We’re captivated by our own characters. We know how lucky we are. And for 10, 20 actresses to have this recognition simultaneously and collectively on a daily basis, it’s nothing but uplifting.

"They are all flawed but so are we all. We are used to looking at television and watching people feel far above us and we can’t possibly relate to them, and anyway, why would you want to? They are too perfect to look at, they’re too perfect to listen to. These women we get… they’ve made mistakes and they’re trying to rectify them. Mostly they’re trying to survive under these very appalling circumstances. And they’re doing it - with as much beauty, compassion and depth as they can."

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