DO GOOD EXCLUSIVE PART II: OITNB’s Alysia Reiner (AKA “Fig”) Talks Prison, Second Chances

Alysia Reiner, actress on Orange is the New Black.  Mandatory on page photo credit: Josh Merwin/Creative Culture-ID

Orange Is The New Black’s Alysia Reiner, who plays Natalie “Fig” Figuaroa, took researching her character a step further. In an exclusive interview with Reiner, Danity Donnaly chats about Reiner’s experience with the Women’s Prison Association and why she thinks second chances are so important.

In case you missed Part I of our interview with Alysia Reiner, check it out here.

DD: Alysia, while researching this role of sexy, tough as nails warden Fig, you found a way to turn this moment into something charitable.

AR: Well, particularly playing Fig, who is not the kind of woman who does these kinds of things, I personally really wanted to do something by taking this subject matter and then the truth of some people’s lives and our successes based on some other people’s pain and bring it to light. So the truth of it, if you really think about it, and hopefully our job as artists is to take the insight of that pain and compassion and hopefully inspire others to help change our prison systems. But, I personally felt the need to think how much can I do and I started working with the Women’s Prison Association, who does amazing work and I’ve a lot of volunteer work with them. I worked with a designer and we designed a locket and I was so excited that we were able to give 100% of the proceeds to the Women’s Prison Association. We raised a lot of money doing that and it is a really, really rewarding thing.

And with the Women’s Prison Association and Orange Is The New Black collaboration, second chances are a big deal!

Reiner has donated a lot of money and her time to the Women’s Prison Association and the #2ndChances Campaign.

According to a press release,

We’ve all been given a second chance – at life, at love… a chance to change direction, to learn a new way, or to right a wrong. WPA’s 2nd Chances Campaign seeks to highlight this shared experience and bring attention to our work to support justice-involved women and their families. The campaign aims to entertain, educate, and inspire action.

Running from May through September of 2014, the campaign features a video series of personal second chance stories shared by women at WPA, staff, community members and celebrities. Using social media, the campaign will invite the public to share their own second chance stories by uploading their videos to the campaign’s website

The campaign invites opportunities to support WPA programs through donations and an exciting series of Charity Buzz auctions and high-value raffles including lunch with Piper Kerman and Taylor Schilling. We invite you to join the conversation and share your second chance stories with us.

How cool would those opportunities be?

The limited edition locket that Alysia collaborated with KiraKira for charity is available for purchase here. It is available in gold or silver (I’ll take the silver, please!) and is emblazoned with the WPA motto on the back, “Empower. Strengthen. Connect.” All proceeds will go to the Women’s Prison Association!

Alysia Reiner: Making the Most of Today from Women's Prison Association on Vimeo.

Follow Alysia Reiner on Twitter here.

Photo by: Josh Merwin/Creative Culture-ID


  1. Ooo – Reiner looks gorgeous in that purple outfit. Good color for her. That’s very cool about designed a locket where the proceeds go to the Womens Prison Association.

  2. Ugh! I can’t get over how gorgeous she is.

    I just adore OITNB! Great show. It’s popular for a good reason not because it’s trendy but because the story line and the characters are brilliant.

    I love, love, love that she donates to help women that have been to prison!

  3. Great Interview! I don’t watch this show for moral reasons but I think it is great what she has chosen to do with her life. Giving is one of the best things we can do in life!

  4. Great interview! I’ve just started watching this and really loving it. Nice to hear that someone feels this way. I’ve had two people I loved dearly go into the prison system and it’s not nice. Both the person in there and the family suffers. Much more than people truly realize. I hope that those who watch this show don’t just see it as fun entertainment but realize that there are a lot of points that probably have happened in there.

  5. I think its fun to get to know clebs that you think is so different and find out they are really just like you

  6. I have never watched this show before but it seems like everyone but me watches it since everyone keeps talking about how good the show is. Great interview!

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