Taryn Manning Says She Went 'Fully Method' for 'Racist, Homophobic' OITNB Role
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the 40-year-old actress — who has starred as Pennsatucky since season 1— agreed that the character is “racist, homophobic” and “horrible.”
“Everything that I’m not is what she was, so it was very tough,” Manning explained.
“I gave myself a lot of pep talks: ‘Just muscle through this and you’re going to come out the other side. But if you’re going to do this, do it well,'” she continued. “So, I didn’t make many friends that first season. I isolated myself.”
“‘She wouldn’t talk to them anyway, she doesn’t like them,'” Manning explained of her thoughts at the time. “As they all got along and had a great time, I was sitting over on the side in character like, ‘Screw them.’ That’s when I realized that I was a little bit more method than I thought.”
“I thought that I could snap in and out,” the actress added. “But to go to that dark of a place and to own it, to convince people that this is truly how she is, it had to be fully method. Taryn went bye. It was all this girl that I created.”
Manning then said she thought she’d “be assassinated” for playing the role of Pennsatucky.
“She’s such a horrible person!” the actress said. “But when it first came out, I will never forget. I was with Lea [DeLaria, an OITNB costar] in New York the day after and it was like the Beatles were walking down the street. Girls screaming and crying and wanting a hug. I’ve never hugged so many people in my life. … People just relate to this show on such another level.”
The actress also shared that she’s learned “so much” from her time on OITNB.
“I learned so much from that role, it changed my life,” Manning said. “I became very, very religious … And I’ve said ‘no’ to about six roles that I’ve been offered since [that are similar]. I definitely need to work, but I can’t continue to play awful people or stereotypes. It just doesn’t resonate with me … I’m a good person and not this horrible person that people want to send me roles for; I don’t want to play it anymore. It’s exhausting and it hurts.”
“My account was so epically hacked. I am back in and I am sorry,” the 8 Mile actress explained alongside a photo from OITNB, one day after sharing a post that claimed the show “hurt me more than anything has in my life” and accused her castmates of not caring about her.
The since-deleted post did not mention OITNB by name, but seemingly referred to the series multiple times.
“This show hurt me more than anything has in my life and if this is what I have to do to push what I stand for I will,” the post read. “I have to speak out before anything happens to me. F— fame! This show hurts humans. You will never truly know but many were hurt!”
“I do not need to ever work again in this town. I’ve been dropped by everyone for having a backbone. I was dropped because a person terrorizes me daily and them too. So my team, they just turn away. Like a car accident. Rubber neck but don’t help. F— show biz. A disgrace,” it continued.
The message concluded with, “Not one cast member cares about me. Just watch.”
Lori Petty, one of Manning’s OITNB costars, commented on her now-deleted post, leaving three heart emojis and writing, “Hey. I love you.”
“Thx bubs I know you do,” a response from Manning’s account read. “And I love you. I am giving up everything to speak on how awful this career is and how awful we are treated. How I never knew if I was coming back yet I had seven optional seasons. How I didn’t even know how to plan my life, organize anything cause everything was a secret. Self serving bulls—, for whatever sick agenda. How some of the most dear characters were just not there anymore. My pals. F— this show. This show hurt me so bad.”