When he’s not torturing Red (Kate Mulgrew) through sleep deprivation or turning a blind eye to the fact that his men are inciting brawls among the inmates, Capt. Piscatella is clearly positioning himself to oust Caputo (Nick Sandow) as head of the prison. Simply put: Piscatella. Is. The. Worst. Just when we thought no fictional prison guard could be any worse than Pornstache (Pablo Schreiber), Orange Is the New Black introduced us to C.O. Desi Piscatella (Brad William Henke) in Season 4.
But not according to Henke, who seemed shocked when TVGuide.com asked the actor at the Season 4 premiere what it was like to play such an, well, assh—.
Orange Is the New Black: 14 burning questions after the brutal Season 4 finale
“Did you feel like I was an assh—? I never did,” Henke told us. “[Piscatella’s] a prison guard. [He] was there to reform the prison. So it wasn’t hard for me, because I felt like, as my character, I was doing the right thing.”
Especially when filming the final episodes of the season, when the inmates conspire to have Piscatella fired, Henke says it was sometimes difficult to flip the switch between being chummy with his castmates when the cameras weren’t rolling, and being their mortal enemy on the show.
“There were a couple times when I was there all day and no one spoke to me, which was cool, which I liked,” Henke tells TVGuide.com. “Usually you can separate it, but sometimes it’s obviously great to create the energy. They know each other so well, so especially in the intense cafeteria scenes and when there was a lot of them, I would just sit over on the side.”
Right now, all we know of Piscatella’s backstory is that his mother sent him to gay conversion camp when he was a child, and Caputo has some dirt on why he was fired from his previous position at an all-male maximum security facility. Henke says he hopes we’ll get more intel on Piscatella in Season 5 — which, if you read between the lines, means there’s little chance of Piscatella facing any repercussions for the riot in Episode 12.
“I don’t know anything about the [Season 5] story, but I don’t think [he] can be fired,” Henke predicts. “Maybe I’m so entrenched in Piscatella, but I don’t think [he] did anything wrong.”
What’s your opinion of Capt. Piscatella?
Orange Is the New Black Season 4 is now available to stream on Netflix.