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‘Orange is the New Black’ Season 3: Mary Steenburgen’s Role Revealed, Plus More Cast Changes?

Orange is the New Black Season 3 Mary Steenburgen Mendez Yael Stone Vee
Netflix / Mark Davis, Getty Images

Some ‘Orange is the New Black‘ fans have yet to finish binging the entirety of season 2, yet already season 3 has been buzzing about with new additions and promotions. Following Mary Steenburgen’s addition to the cast, the ‘Justified‘ actress’ matronly role has been revealed, while yet another star has been upgraded to series regular, and a major villain might not be so departed as we thought!

First and foremost, TVLine has discovered that where previously Steenburgen’s role had been kept under wraps, the one-time ‘Back to the Future’ franchise star will in fact play mother to George “Pornstache” Mendez (Pablo Schreiber), who - spoiler alert! – made a brief return in season 2, only to be framed for impregnating Daya, and taken off to don a bit of orange himself. It remains to be seen if we’ll see Steenburgen visiting her son in another prison, or perhaps interacting with the Litchfield ladies in some capacity.

Elsewhere, Yael Stone (Morello) has become the latest in an increasing number of castmates formally upped to series regular for season 3, following Dascha Polenko (Daya), Samira Wiley (Poussey), Selenis Leyva (Gloria), Nick Sandow (Joe Caputo) and Adrienne C. Moore (Black Cindy). Laura Prepon too will return full-time, despite her somewhat handicapped presence in the second season, appearing in every season 3 episode and evidently sharing a “big” lesbian love scene with Piper (Taylor Schilling).

As if that weren’t enough, Lorraine Toussaint told Vulture that the villainous Vee may not be so dead as the season 2 finale led us to believe, wherein the escaped character was run down by the similarly fleeing Rosa (Barbara Rosenblatt) with a speeding van:

Originally, [Vee] was definitely more dead. And as we went along, she got to be less dead. And then she was less and less dead, to the point where when we got to the day of shooting, I went, “Oh!” Because originally the van went “bumpity bumpity bump!” and you got the death close-up and everything. I went, “Oh, she gets swiped!” I’m telling you, she got less dead as we went along. Maybe she’s stunned. This woman is a survivor. I love that about Vee, actually. The instinct to survive in us as human beings is extraordinary. At the end of the day, we will fight for life, and life is worth the fight, even in Vee.

Well, what do you think? Is ‘Orange is the New Black’ shaping up to be as strong as the first two seasons? Can it be 2015 already? Watch an extended (and spoilery) trailer for season 2 below, and tell us what you want to see from ‘Orange is the New Black’ season 3 in the comments!

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