This story is part of I'm So Obsessed (subscribe here), our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.
For seven seasons, Taryn Manning starred as Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. She has also been in dozens of films and TV shows like Hustle & Flow, Sons of Anarchy and Hawaii Five-0. Currently she can be seen along with Bruce Dern and Jeremy Piven in the film Last Call. The story follows Mick, played by Piven, as he returns to his childhood home and Philadelphia neighborhood for a funeral. During his time there, he reconnects with his childhood crush Ali, played by Manning.
Manning is known for her authentic and dramatic performances such as playing Pennsatucky in Orange Is the New Black, and her take on Ali in Last Call is genuine, funny and mesmerizing. On CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast, she discussed her approach to acting and how it's based on acting classes from her youth.
"In acting studies that I did since I was 13, our motto was: 'Keep it simple, keep it clear, most of all, be sincere,'" said Manning. "The whole class got the same scene, which I always thought was cool because there was a competitive nature to that, which -- I know acting isn't really about competition, but I love a great competition. The way that I found the genuineness or the instinct was to, first of all, just talk together [with her scene partner]. Because as humans, hopefully, people listen. And that's what you react to."
Aside from Last Call, Manning is set to play the title character in the upcoming film Karen, loosely based on the meme that rose out of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. The tagline of the film is "She's the neighbor from hell."
Taryn is also an accomplished singer, having performed in the early 2000s with her brother Kellin in the band Boomkat and as a solo singer since 2009. Her last single was Time Wasted, released in August 2020.
During our conversation, Manning discusses Orange Is the New Black coming to an end, her love of vegan cuisine and her singing career.
You can listen to my entire conversation with Manning on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. You can watch Last Call on video on demand services like iTunes and Amazon Prime Video. Also, you can subscribe to I'm So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo and I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about their work, career and current obsessions.