Entertainment Television

OITNB's new breakout stars

By Nelson Branco, 24 Hrs

Orange is the New Black stars had plenty of hints about what to expect this season, available now on Netflix. NETFLIX

Orange is the New Black stars had plenty of hints about what to expect this season, available now on Netflix. NETFLIX

Quick, arrest the cast of Orange is the New Black - because nothing this good is legal!

In season 5, the Emmy-nominated dramedy eschewed its overused plot devices and traps. Instead, it delivered a sweeping umbrella storyline for its compelling canvas of performers. As previously reported, the Netflix series has been firing on all cylinders with a ripped-from-the-headline plot as the prisoners rise and revolt against the machine over three days. (Season 5 unspooled officially this past Friday, hackers be damned!) Four actresses have caught our attention - and perhaps Emmy voters' too.

Here, 24 Hours rounded up the standouts to find out what makes this season resonate more profoundly than past offerings, plus other quotable contraband.

Diane Guerrero (Maritza Ramos):

"I think this season is more twisted, for sure. (I know my character has been the) comic relief for a while. Coming from season four, where I finally received meaty material - my character is dealing with abuse - it's been (a transition), especially when I have to go back to light and fluffy, which is hard sometimes. There is pressure delivering those one-liners, man. I hope people respect the performance in its totality. You can't laugh without crying and vice versa. I mean, how freakin' sad is it to contour your face with seasoning!"

On spoilers:

"We keep spoilers guarded. We're not allowed to take pictures on the set and post them on social media because we don't want any leaks.

They have us trained. I think the majority of fans don't like spoilers - it's annoying. I also think they prefer to see the show in high-def!"

This season's theme:

"In the end, I think this season is about community. Before the prisoners were segregated, but now they're 'free.'You see the rivalries between prisoners were really created by the system. Certain groups get more or less because prisons are manipulated and the inmates realize that this season. And no one was hurt [in this prison riot/uprising] other than this guard, who deserves it. Wait - maybe more people were hurt. We can't tell you. People may or may not die."

Her ultimate storyline:

"I would like to see some sort of immigration topic. I don't doubt that we will, especially now under this political climate. How everything is so heightened ... these (travel) bans are coming up ... you talk of a wall and things like that. It's so timely. I don't see how we wouldn't bring it up.

 Danielle Brooks (Taystee) on getting a political story:

"We are causing people to wake up, listen and react. It's powerful. It's giving me a sense of fearlessness to talk about the problems in our society. You feel such a responsibility. People are really going through the topics that we're talking about. It just feels like a big weight on your shoulders, but it's really a weight that we asked for - at least I asked for, as an artist, and always dreamed of as an artist - to tell a story that really matters."

Natasha Lyonne (Nicky Nichols) on backstage loyalty:

"We're a huge part of each others' lives. It's a seminal career high for us we never expected. A lot happens in life over six months. In New York, it goes from sweltering summer to brutal winter and snowstorms. We shoulder the pressure of the show as a team."

Taylor Schilling (Piper Chapman) on her friendship with Lyonne: "It's very sacred. There have been scenes where we have been both weeping and losing it together. It gets real. The intensity of the relationship we have now informs the story. The dynamics on set often feed into the story. It's quite rare."

Jackie Cruz (Marisol "Flaca" Gonzales) on her dream guest star:

"I would love Salma Hayek on the show - as my BFF. Can I be selfish?"