"Orange Is the brand-new Black" star Dascha Polanco clarifies her character"s up-in-the-air fate ~ the collection finale of the Netflix jail dramedy.

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Orange Is the brand-new Black had the immense task of pack up multiple personality storylines before signing turn off after seven seasons. And also while Jenji Kohan’s Netflix prison dramedy completed that feat in its final run, one main character’s ending was purposefully left up in the air.

Dayanara Diaz (Dascha Polanco), that is much better known together Daya in ~ the confines of Litchfield Penitentiary, ended her story comparable to exactly how it began. In the an initial episode the the series, viewers are introduced to Daya’s incarcerated mother when Aleida Diaz (Elizabeth Rodriguez) slaps her daughter throughout the face. Aleida, viewers pertained to realize, has actually made numerous mistakes as a mother. Yet her disappointed in her daughter showing up at Litchfield is what cd driver Aleida to lash out in anger.

In the collection finale, Aleida when again sees red, and also this time she rage an answer is pushed by an inherent need to defend her various other daughters. Throughout OITNB‘s run, Aleida and Daya have represented the plights that incarcerated mothers and also daughters face and also how the generational bicycle can continue without ideal care on the inside or enough support ~ above the outside. After getting released two seasons ago, Aleida ends up back at Litchfield as soon as she violates her parole; she story the recidivism play out together a parallel come the much more privileged top inmate that Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling).

In the last moments the the series, the mommy of 5 finds the end that Daya is attempting come pull an additional one the Aleida’s daughters into their cycle and takes matters right into her own hands. Faced with the woman her daughter has become, Aleida strangles Daya. The photo viewers space left with is among Aleida on optimal of Daya with her hands approximately her neck together Daya battles to breathe through an hurt windpipe.

“How perfectly poetic and also tragic,” Rodriguez speak The Hollywood Reporter the the last scene, which she claims bookended she entireOITNB experience. After ~ filming Aleida’s introduce slap ~ above the first day of filming, Aleida and also Daya’s final moment was one of the last to shoot. “You hope the it’s not definitive, due to the fact that there’s currently so much tragedy. Aleida’s remind shows exactly how pain deserve to make you gain to a point of rage yet here, she could likewise be thinking, ‘Daya can’t live this way, I need to do this come her."”

Polanco, however, claims she obtained a definitive keep in mind from the writers around Daya’s fate.

“They made it really clear to me that i don’t die,” she tells THR. “I thought that she did. Yet the authors told me, ‘She doesn’t die, however she it s okay knocked the end really good.’ and also I establish it to be going to be left together that question.”

Below, in a chat v THR, Polanco shows on Daya’s heartbreaking development (“Her story is the product the a cycle”), share what she would have liked to check out for her character’s ending and also challenges Hollywood to proceed to monitor inOITNB‘s footsteps.


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The bulk of the actors had no idea how large their components — or the show — would come to be when signing on for OITNB in 2012.How walk the function of Daya exceed your expectations?

The summary for Daya was basically just a hispanic girl in prison. Ns remember that my audition step was through my mom and also she was telling me, “You should stay far from hamburgers.” I functioned so plenty of jobs at the time and also was in nursing school. Whatever went season through season; ns didn’t also know if i was walking to it is in a component of the second. Yet the an answer from the audience all over the civilization was an extremely surprising. This was my very first experience ~ above a show with a platform choose Netflix. Other human being came native network television, yet I had nothing come compare. Orangereached the masses and our audience was all over.Seven year later, it’s quiet mind-boggling the I deserve to walk approximately somewhere choose France and also hear who calling my name. And also from a service perspective, Orange taught me what I desire as a woman relocating forward in this industry.

Daya gone into the present as someone that was sweet and sensitive; an artist and also loner trying to navigate prison through her mother. Her relationship with C.O. Bennett (Matt McGorry) to be a fan-favorite romance; then everything changed when they got pregnant and also schemed to have Pornstache (PabloSchreiber) take the fall. Top top a larger scale, the storyline explored the society of sex-related abuse between guards and inmates. At the time, were her nervous around the response?

At very first I was additionally like, “This is a love story. This is for this reason cute.” Then, ~ stepping the end of it, you realize we space in a prison and also this is not allowed. This is abuse the power. However we can’t pretend the it doesn’t happen. I met a mrs who had a relationship with a guard if she to be incarcerated. She remembers the he dropped so in love with her that he would still compose her once he wasn’t there and also outside, when she was released, they remained in touch. He fell in love v her. Friend hear those stories. You view the dynamics in there and also the dynamics of ladies who loss in love through each other. They develop relationships come survive and also that’s what Daya’s story shows: she hoping to survive within her limits and within the circumstances she was dealt.

Matt McGorry was written out because he booked one more job. To be there ever before plans to carry him ago in any type of capacity because that closure?

The response was, “How could he leaving you?” human being were so mad about it and they’re tho mad about it! however I stayed in my Daya lane. Ns would never ever inquire. I was an extremely careful in ~ the time. I try to it is in as skilled as i can and also not ruffle any kind of feathers. It to be my very first opportunity so i cared for it through such delicacy because I didn’t want it to leaving my hands.

All the those at an early stage traumas resulted in Daya choose up the gun and setting off the riot because that season five. She grants Pornstache’s mom custody of she daughter and turns it s her in before viewers see her again in Max. What did girlfriend know around how dark points would revolve for she in these last two seasons?

I had no idea if ns was going to come earlier or no . I didn’t even know what to say for interviews. Ns was waiting and also waiting to acquire that call saying, “You’re back. Don’t worry.” i did not understand that to be going to be the last point you would view of Daya because that the season. Ns was waiting for reassurance, however when you have such a big cast, there’s a lot walk on and also it’s an ext about how whatever is going come move. I think their concentration to be on the bigger picture.


Jenji Kohan and also executive producer Tara Herrmann dubbed the collection regulars to tell you season seven would it is in the end and, for the very first time, castle filled friend in on your season’s arc. How did you reaction to the present coming to an end?

We gained the call prior to we went back for season seven. This season we started a small bit later on in August, so that ran right into February. However when we discovered out, anyone was acquiring the calls roughly the same time. The reaction was: “Wait, is this contact to tell me that I’m excellent or that the show’s going come continue?” Every season ns was like, “Is this the last?” due to the fact that they weren’t so affirmative as soon as it pertained to how long this display would go. I do think it could have gone 10 seasons. There’s so much that we need to cover that can have maintained us going. We could have gone for at least three much more years, however we are finishing strong.

Daya is dealing with life in prison. She emerged a dependency on drugs to gain by, yet she takes things up a notch this season once she takes end Litchfield’s drug trade. First, she (accidentally) killed girlfriend daddy (Vicci Martinez) and in the end, she sets increase her own mother and also puts her siblings in jeopardy. Once you view how much she has fallen in Litchfield, have you reconciled with just how Daya’s story ends?

Oh, Daya. I’m walk to miss her. I want her to have actually a moment of closure through Bennett. I want her come inquire about her daughter. I wanted much more of Pornstache. Despite we do see that through Daya’s baby, I wanted to check out Daya actually inquire about her daughter. I would have loved to view that interaction. She curiosity as a mother, she artistry — the all came to be obsolete. That’s what happens as soon as you have no hope.

Viewers never ever actually check out a dead Daya. What were your conversations prefer with Kohan and also the writers around leaving it increase in the air?

They made it an extremely clear to me that i don’t die. I believed that she did. However the writers told me, “She doesn’t die, but she it s okay knocked the end really well.” and also I realized it to be going to it is in left as that question.I plot that out really well, huh? (Laughs.)


Because i said, “Wait a minute! go she die?” that was defined to me.


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Bookmark THR.com/OITNB for continuing season seven coverage of OITNB, i beg your pardon is streaming ~ above Netflix.

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This interview has actually been edited and also condensed for clarity.


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