Alysia Reiner On Why She Misses Her Orange Is The New Black Character - Exclusive

Although we bid farewell to the inmates of Litchfield Penitentiary with the final season of "Orange Is the New Black" in 2019, the show's eclectic characters — and their captivating and often eye-opening stories — continue to stay with us. The Emmy Award-winning series followed Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) as she navigated incarceration in a women's federal prison, staying connected to her life on the outside, and a relationship with Alex Vause (Laura Prepon), the woman who kind of got her there in the first place. Still, it was largely the supporting cast that stole the show, and no character had an arc quite like warden Natalie "Fig" Figueroa, portrayed by actor Alysia Reiner.

Reiner, who stars in Season 2 of "Dinette" now streaming on BRIC TV, told Nicki Swift in an exclusive interview that the series — and her character — are still very close to her heart. "I miss Fig," she said. "I miss playing as her. She's such a specific human and I miss how sharp and fast and Figgy she is." The "Better Things" star, who proudly showed off her chair from the "OITNB" set that now resides in her office, also fondly recalled the screen time she shared with Nick Sandow, who portrayed Fig's on-again, off-again lover and the prison's captain of the guard — but he's not the only cast member she's still close to.

"Beth Dover — who played Linda from accounting, ironically my arch nemesis — and I are very close," she told us. "And I see Taylor [Schilling] sometimes, it's like we all celebrate each other. There has been so many beautiful celebrations over the past [two or three years.] A lot of weddings and births and all this beautiful, beautiful abundance in life, as well as career." However, that wasn't the only thing special about Reiner's experience on the series.

Alysia Reiner originally auditioned for a different character

It's hard to imagine anyone but Alysia Reiner as Fig, but the "tough, smart, bad-assie" character was not the role she originally read for. "I auditioned for so many roles on ["Orange is the New Black,"]" she told us. "I will never forget first reading it, and I first auditioned for Alex and then they had me audition for like three other roles." Even though she didn't nab the role of Piper's lover, Reiner knew she had to be a part of telling this story, especially because of its focus on women and minority communities not typically shown in the media. "I always wanted to tell stories that make the world a better place," she told us, and even though those opportunities are rarer in her work as an actor than they are when she's producing, "OITNB" was the perfect chance.

Although Fig only had "like two lines" in the first episode, Reiner said it was an immediate yes, and it paid off for her, too. Her character's mishaps in leadership and relationships became a fixture on the show, and in 2015, she won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Ensemble in a Comedy Series. "It became this beautiful seven-year journey," she gushed.

Season 2 of Shaina Feinberg's "Dinette" is available to stream on BRIC TV's YouTube Channel.