Netflix's Orange Is the New Black almost looked very different. The show's creator Jenji Kohan revealed to E! Online that she considered Dawson's Creek alum Katie Holmes for the lead role as Piper Chapman, the bisexual drug-smuggling inmate who's now played by Emmy-nominated star Taylor Schilling.
"I'm a big fan of hers," Kohan said of Holmes at a Directors Guild of America event honoring OITNB before adding, "You know, I met with her."
So why didn't Holmes take the part? Was it because of Piper's risque storylines and steamy lesbian love scenes? "She had other things to do," Kohan said matter-of-factly. "And also, in the beginning, no one knew what this was."
OITNB, which has released two full seasons on Netflix and is currently filming Season 3, has become a massive hit for the streaming network, but the idea of a show about a prison full of women — all of them with criminal pasts and most of them dabbling in same-sex relationships while behind bars — might've been a tough one to pitch to stars. Especially to more well-known stars, and especially to stars still well-known for doing teen dramas like Holmes.
Holmes has said that OITNB is one of her favorite shows, so maybe there's still hope for her to put on a prison jumpsuit for a few episodes, or to appear in someone's backstory flashback.
Piper and her ex-girlfriend Alex (Laura Prepon) have a very tumultuous relationship. After Alex turned Piper in as part of her drug-smuggling ring, the two reunited at Litchfield and it wasn't long before their anger turned into sparks (again). Piper was sent to the SHU for dancing and flirting with Alex, and when she got out she took their relationship to the next level, making her a cheater as her fiancé Larry (Jason Biggs) was oblivious to her prison antics out in the real world.
YouTube is flooded with fan videos dedicated to the on-again/off-again/on-again coupling of Piper and Alex — here's one that shows the ladies' chemistry without getting too NSFW:
Can you imagine Katie Holmes doing that?
Watch this video to see all of Season 2's many pop culture references: