Orange is the New Black’s fifth season is available on Netflix and it features the usual combination of humor and drama that has made the show a hit for the streaming network. One of the amazing things about Orange is the the New Black is that it gives actresses the chance to portray women who are down on their luck and incarcerated in a federal prison. The inmates come from hardscrabble backgrounds, are often addicted to drugs and have made terrible choices in their lives.
Druggies Angie and Leanne
This decidedly unglamorous look at the prison system has been heralded by experts as a fairly realistic take on the experiences of prison guards, inmates, social workers and their families. To give the show is reputation for accuracy, the actresses must transform their everyday looks in order to resemble the people they are portraying. Many of the actresses are unrecognizable outside of the show, and that goes double for Julie Lake, the actress who portrays Angie Rice.
Julie Lake’s Glamour Shot
Drug addict Angie was a recurring character for the first four seasons of Orange is the New Black, but during the fifth season, she and her partner-in-crime Leanne become pivotal players in the drama. The fifth season involves a prison riot that features harrowing scenes of torture and drama punctuated with lighter storylines to give the show some levity. Angie and Leanne participate in the drama and pathos, even forcing the prison administrators to hold a talent show at gunpoint.
Lake in Costume as Angie Rice
Angie’s most noticeable look are her grimy, jumbled teeth, which are meant to show how abusing crystal meth can alter a person’s appearance. Off the show, Julie Lake doesn’t have those teeth at all.
In fact, she is truly beautiful, as this selfie before season five came out demonstrates. Julie says it takes a brisk 30 minutes or less for her to turn herself into her character. In an interview with TooFab, she said Angie’s crazy, unwashed hair takes the longest to tease out (literally). The makeup department has the stained teeth down to a science; they can paint on the teeth in less than a minute.
Francesca Curran as Skinhead Helen
Lake is not the only dramatically transformed actress on Orange is the New Black. Skinhead Helen, a new inmate who causes serious trouble at Litchfield, has a shaved skull and sports face and neck tattoos. Skinhead Helen is played by Francesca Curran, who shaves her head every day for the role. Curran posted this photograph showing what she looks like before and after a stint in the makeup room.
Like Curran, Lake said she rarely gets recognized out of costume. She even said that fans who approach her co-stars often ignore her, not realizing that Lake plays a popular character on the show.
Lake Away from Set
Julie Lake and her husband
Away from the set, Lake is a completely different person than her meth-head alter ego. Lake attended Yale University, where she majored in theater, then spending several years appearing in plays in New York City. Lake, who is married, created a web series with her frequent collaborator Shirin Najafi. Their series “George and Julie” is a web series that stars Lake as a struggling Hollywood actress who seeks advice from her snarky cat, George.