Interview: Jason Altman Talks ‘Orange is the New Black’ – Exclusive
Jason Altman stars as the villainous Herrmann in the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black. The highly anticipated sixth season of the hit show has been the talk of fans this summer after an intense batch of episodes.
We had the chance to chat with Jason Altman about season 6 of Orange is the New Black, developing the role of Herrmann, the emotional impact of the series, and what his hopes for the show are moving forward.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Jason Altman below:
What motivated you to initially pursue acting? Is there anyone who influenced or inspired you?
Jason Altman: I began pursuing acting professionally after high school. I had played lead roles in plays in grade school and summer camp including Oliver and Bob Cratchit. I had an instinct that I had a knack for it. Some actors that I was influenced by early on were Tom Hanks, Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington, and Michael Keaton.
Tell us about your role on Orange is the New Black and what originally attracted you to it. Were you a fan of the series before you joined the show?
Herrmann is a really intense character. He’s a dirty cop who frames the ladies of Litchfield for a murder that his SWAT team is responsible for. I was a huge fan of the show since the beginning! Never missed one episode. I was attracted to the role at first because it’s by far the biggest and most intense role I’ve ever played on screen.
The role of Officer Herrmann was originally intended to be comparatively minor. What was your reaction when you learned you would be such a pivotal component of season 6? Was there a scene or element that you were especially excited for viewers to see?
It was a huge rush when I found out I was going to return and my role was being developed. Definitely was excited for fans to see the first scene that Herrmann appears in during the season 6 premiere! It really built up his character as he took things into his own hands, and was able to influence the direction season 6 goes.
Taystee was easily the most sympathetic character of the season, and Officer Hermann was instrumental in framing her for a murder she didn’t commit. From that perspective, how have fans reacted to your character since the season was released on July 27?
Well I’ve seen some hate comments on the web towards the character. Most people I speak to about the show, now say how they hope my character is caught and goes to jail, or even dies!
Any word on whether Officer Hermann will return for season 7? If you could write the script for next season, where would you like the story to go?
There isn’t any word yet, however next season is only in the very early stages of production… If I could write a storyline it would be that Taystee sees some sort of justice, and Herrmann is caught in his lies. Perhaps make Caputo even more of a hero character..
Orange is the New Black is an intense and often emotional drama. Did the tone of the show take an emotional toll on you?
Not really, I was just so excited and in awe by being a part of it. As a viewer of the show, the intensity and the great writing lasts with me long after watching.
On a lighter note, are there any fun on-set memories that stick out to you? Despite playing adversaries on the show, were you and the rest of the cast members able to share some laughs offscreen?
It was a great experience working with Nick Sandow. He plays Caputo and was also the director of the season finale. We were working together as actors but also going through this amazing storyline together with our characters.
As one of Netflix’s flagship original series, OITNB is among our top shows to binge-watch! What are some of your go-to binge-watching favorites?
Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, I’m Dying Up Here, The Affair, and of course OITNB!
What else are you working on? What can your fans look forward to from you next?
I’m shooting a pretty good role on Elementary that will air on CBS this fall, and auditioning here and there for multitude of New York based TV shows as well.
Thank you so much to Jason Altman for taking the time to answer some questions for us!
Don’t forget to check out season six of Orange is The New Black now streaming on Netflix!
Keep up to date with Jason Altman by following him Instagram.