Alysia Reiner Talks Empowering Incarcerated Women, ‘OITNB’ Season 6 & More

While you may know her as the nasty Fig on 'Orange Is The New Black,' Alysia Reiner is the absolute opposite -- with the same amazing style. The actress visited HollywoodLife's podcast to talk about the show, her fashion line and more!

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Alysia Reiner
View gallery

Alysia Reiner is taking over the fashion industry, the film industry and the prison system — so everyone better watch out for this trailblazer! The actress, producer, environmentalist and activist joined the podcast to talk EXCLUSIVELY about Orange Is The New BlackBetter Things and her new, environmentally-friendly fashion line Livari. Plus, of course, she threw in some tips to heat up your relationship in the bedroom! The star answers 5 key questions! Listen to the whole podcast here.

On Producing Her First Fashion Collection, Livari

What was intimidating & exhilarating about doing your first fashion collection, Livari, and presenting it at the recent NY Fashion Week? 

Alysia: When Claudine and Tabitha and I first sat down, it wasn’t, “Let’s design a line.” It was talking about, “Oh my god, in the face of the defunding of the arts, the defunding of protection for the environment, the defunding of protecting women, what can we do?” With the line, it’s really about environmentalism, remnants of fabric, things that would’ve been in landfills. Rust is something we usually think of as garbage, and yet you can use it to dye something. The T-shirts gives back to Cool Effect, which is a carbon offsetting website, which is an amazing thing. The line also has pockets and adjustable skirts, so it always fits! I wore one of the gorgeous dresses we custom designed at the NYFW show! I was totally terrified. If you go to you can buy our T-shirts and our custom clothing.

On Playing ‘Villainous’ Fig On Orange Is The New Black

What do you love about starring in ‘Orange Is The New Black’ and playing your character Fig, the assistant to the prison warden?

Alysia: When the world is so divided in so many ways, I think it’s so important that we find ways to find compassion for one another and that we find ways to find similarities, and we try and look for, “How can I relate to this woman?” because you don’t know. You just saw a fancy woman who looked out of place and didn’t really care. Then you found out, “Oh, she has a lot of stuff going on.” Like she and Caputo — Fig is in emotional denial. She wouldn’t keep showing up if there wasn’t something emotional there. I think one thing that’s amazing about the show is that it takes characters who you might think are terrible people, they’re evil, they’re in prison. It makes you realize that they’re multidimensional, that there’s reasons that they’re there, whether it’s mental illness or they’ve made bad decisions, they’re people that deserve some empathy.

On Supporting Prisoners & Ex-Prisoners

How have you become involved in supporting prisoners as a result of Orange Is The New Black experience?

Alysia: I got Orange and I was like, “I guess I have a voice about women’s incarceration now. I guess I don’t have a choice but to have a voice about it.” Then I got involved with Women’s Prison Association and have done a lot of work with them. I just joined the board of a nonprofit called Still She Rise, which is all about protecting women who are mothers imprisoned in Oklahoma because Tulsa, Oklahoma has the highest numbers of mothers in prison that anywhere else in the country. I love now that it’s an opportunity to spread the word about these important organizations that help incite change. In reference to the prison system, I will say a couple things. One is, find ways to give people chances in your personal life. I would say the other piece is education, education, education, or actually rehabilitating people. We do not actually rehabilitate them. Money is being pulled out of the arts, money is being pulled out of education, money is being pulled out of healthcare. How do we help rehabilitate these people, educate these people, and then give them services coming out?

On Co-Starring In Better Things On FX

You’re now co-starring in Better Things on FX, playing the best friend of the main character who is getting divorced. What makes Better Things so watchable?

Alysia: Better Things is such a joy. The show goes through the real problems of parenthood! It’s about navigating relationships. I can just speak to my personal story. In Season One you think I’m happily married, and by the end of Season One, you find out my husband’s on Tinder. People liken it to Louie in a female perspective. You can watch it on Thursdays at 10 PM ET on FX!

On Why You Should Have Sex Twice A Week, Minimum, With Your Lover

Alysia: I have a lot of friends who are single, and I have so much compassion for them. I did everything I did not plan to do. I met my husband when I was in school. I swore I would not marry early, I would not marry an actor, and I did both of those things. I’ve been with him my entire life now it feels like! But I’m madly in love with him. I believe in sex. I really believe good sex is really important for everybody. Make the time for it, even if you’re married, even if you’re busy, even if you have children, and enjoy sex. Sex should be something we all enjoy. Twice a week is the bare minimum.

HollywoodLifers, you can watch Alysia on Better Things on Thursdays at 10 PM on FX, and you can buy her gorgeous, environmentally-friendly clothing at