Interview: Lori Petty on a New Team in ‘Orange is the New Black’

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CHICAGO – Lori Petty will never be predictable, nor put into some show business box. The free-wheelin’ Ms. P applies her expansive performance skills to the role of Lolly – a guest spot that turned into a recurring character – on Netflix’s hot series “Orange is the New Black,” which released its third season on June 12th, 2015.

Lori Petty has gone through several show business lives. She began her career in the late 1980s, and established herself in popular films like “Point Break,” “A League of Their Own” – she wears a Rockford Peaches hat in Joe Arce’s Exclusive Portrait that accompanies this interview – and “Free Willy.” She readjusted her image from ingenue to badass in “Tank Girl,” and has gone on to character roles that exemplify that image. She even directed the film, “The Poker House” (2008), that featured the movie debut of Jennifer Lawrence.

Lori Petty
Lori Petty at the Chicago Edition of ‘The Hollywood Show,’ May 2nd, 2015
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for talked briefly, but freely, with Lori Petty at The Hollywood Show, a convention of TV and film celebrities who sign autographs and meet their admirers. The next edition of the Show will be in Los Angeles, July 31st through August 2nd, 2015. Click here for details. One of your latest roles is on one of the hottest shows in the new media, ‘Orange is the New Black.’ What did you understand about the character that won you the part?

Lori Petty: I didn’t audition, they wanted me on the show… Okay, what was it about your persona do you think the producers wanted?

Petty: Dude, I’m in jail, I’m awful. [Laughs] What is your opinion about image and branding for an actor, since you’ve gone through a few images? Does it feel like sometimes it’s beyond your control?

Petty: My love, I am old school. I don’t get imaging or branding. I’m a person. Love me, hate me, kick me, lick me, f**k me…I think ‘Tank Girl’ said that, but it’s true. What classical actor from the studio era in the 1930s, ‘40s or ‘50s do you admire, as the type of the actor that emulates your style, and why?

Petty: Bette Davis! She was like, ‘are you serious right now?’ She would walk into a room, look around, and give a look like she was asking that question. That’s Bette Davis. What do you have to love most about yourself to achieve a career as a performer, in the sense of having the drive to keep going?

Petty: No no no! I love you, I love everybody. We’re all one, we’re all doing our best. That’s it. You told me in 2009 that ‘I hope to have a dream, and make a project out of it.’ What dream of yours since then could possibly make that statement true?

Petty: I have a film that I wrote, and I’m trying to get money. Getting money is so weird. I’m like, ‘dude, I’m Lori Petty, hello!’ I put Jennifer Lawrence in her first film, hello, catch up to me. I would love to direct.

Season 3 of “Orange is the New Black” is now available on Netflix. Click here for details. “The Hollywood Show” will feature a new array of celebrities in Los Angeles, July 31st through August 2nd, 2015. Click here for more information. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Writer, Editorial Coordinator

© 2015 Patrick McDonald,

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