'OITNB' 's Natasha Lyonne Talks Emmys Jitters and Season 3 Spoilers: 'So Much Bloodshed'

The first-time nominee chats with PEOPLE in this week's issue about red-carpet fashion and how her character on the Netflix series hits close to home

Photo: Gavin Bond

Natasha Lyonne‘s up for her first-ever Emmy, thanks to her riveting portrayal of former drug-addicted inmate Nicky Nichols on Netflix’s hit drama Orange Is the New Black.

So has she got the dress yet? Is Lyonne, who successfully overcame her own battle with heroin addiction, anything like Nicky in real life? What’s to come in Season 3?

She dishes on all this and much, much more in this week’s issue of PEOPLE.

Are you nervous about the Emmys yet?
I hope that I look good. Honestly, I’m not going to lie, I really hope I don’t blow it! And if I do blow it, I hope it’s in such a mediocre way that nobody notices.

Okay, best-case scenario?
I dislike ridicule as much as the next guy. I want people to say, “Oh my God, you look so great and comfortable!” At this point in my life, it’s very important for me to be able to walk in my shoes.

You’re nominated for outstanding guest performance against costars Laverne Cox and Uzo Aduba. Do you guys have a pact?
Yes, they’ve agreed that if they win they’ll dedicate the award to me. I’ve made it clear I will not do the same if I win. No, no pacts yet. We’re just so thrilled as a group at the 12 nominations. We’re all just cogs in the wheel.

You and your character, Nicky, share some tough life experiences. Is it painful or cathartic playing her?
Believe me, there’s no shortage of things for me to draw on when it comes to Nicky’s backstory. But while I was filming a hospital scene [when Nicky undergoes open heart surgery after an overdose] it was weird because I had been through something so similar, but had almost nothing to draw on. I had my surgery for the same reason, as a result of drug use. But Nicky’s feeling was “God, I’m still not dead yet?” For me, I had already been doing a pretty decent job of clean living before the procedure. I was like, “Gosh, I really hope this doesn’t take me out.” I’m grateful I’m okay.

Is there anything you can tell us about season 3?
In three words: So much bloodshed.

For more on Natasha Lyonne and her triumphant comeback from a painful past, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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