‘Orange is The New Black’ star Laura Gómez talks about Blanca's evolution and how fans may find 'closure' in season 7
In an exclusive interview with MEAWW, actress Laura Gómez who plays Blanca on 'Orange is The New Black' shares her thoughts on the immigration issues and her experience of being a part of this phenomenal show.
The seventh and final season of Netflix’s critically acclaimed prison dramedy show “Orange is The New Black” will be airing one final time, and fans can’t wait to binge-watch the series, as all the 13 episodes will be out on July 26, on Netflix. In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), ‘Orange is The New Black’ star Laura Gómez who plays the role of Blanca on the show, shared her thoughts about the character she plays, her storyline on the show, Trump’s immigration policy and more.
Blanca, as we know, is one of the most underrated yet pivotal characters on the show. We have seen Blanca’s character evolving from an unkempt, crazy person who spends an insane amount of time in the bathroom perceived to be talking to herself to a strong woman who stands up for what she believes in. Blanca’s character has several layers to it, and Gómez has nailed the role with her spectacular performance. When asked about her thoughts on Blanca's growth on the show, Gómez said, “I think Blanca has been one of the biggest demonstrations of evolution in this show. We went from a character that went from being kind of comic relief in Season 1 to discovering a clever, rebellious woman who has quite an arc on Season 7. As a person, I was reminded never to judge a book by its cover, and as an actor, it was proven once again that there are no small roles.”
Blanca and Diablo’s relationship has been at the center of Blanca’s character arc. Initially, in season 1, everybody assumed Blanca was a crazy person who spoke to the devil (Diablo means devil in Spanish). But later, we get to know that Blanca has been illegally speaking to Diablo (her partner) using a cell phone she hid in the bathroom. Speaking of their relationship, Laura teases us saying, “I can only say that sometimes, even in fiction, love is the strongest tool we have.”
At the end of the sixth season, we see Blanca getting whisked away by the ICE for being an undocumented immigrant. This opened the conversation on illegal immigration on the show. “We get to explore the whole immigration topic on a deeper level, and as it has been the norm in the past for OITNB, our writers use fiction to expose a hard reality we as a society have been ignoring for far too long. Blanca's story is forcing us to reflect on a person who -before going to prison- had been productive in American society, and in Season 7, we get to see more of the circumstances around that and other immigrants' stories”, revealed Gómez. When we asked Gómez her views on Trump’s immigration policies, she shared, “I think this administration has been demonizing immigrants as a weapon to divide and conquer. The fact that our creator, Jenji Kohan, and our writers were able to do the intense work of exploring this subject and exposing the harsh realities undocumented immigrants are dealing with right now is extremely brave but most importantly necessary. Sometimes the truth is better informed by fiction, and I think Season 7 leaves a deep impact in this regard.”
We are all curious about what season 7 holds in store for our favorite characters on the show, but Gómez is pretty coy about it and only says, “There are so many elements that come to light this season. Life is complex and we are showing a universe of characters that have been living in extra-ordinary circumstances, so not everyone gets a happy ending, but we do get some closure, see some old faces, which I know the audience will love, and there's still the original sense of "dramedy" involved, so there's still light at the end of the tunnel.”
When asked about her experience of being a part of the show, and her relationship with co-stars, her gratitude and love for her co-stars and creators of the show was very apparent. “We've been doing this show for seven years, and as a friend of mine recently told me, that means I've been part of the revolutionary concept of streaming original content online, in that 'Orange is The New Black' is a show that helped put Netflix on the map, and then getting to work with this talented and diverse cast and our incredibly tight crew, not to mention the arc I had as a character. It's a gift, and I'm truly grateful for it all.”
'Orange Is the New Black' season 7 is available to stream from Friday, July 26.