EXCLUSIVE: Beth Dover Talks 'OITNB,' Starring in 'Wet Hot American Summer' Sequel With Husband Joe Lo Truglio
By Desiree Murphy
Photo: Getty Images
Beth Dover's been acting all of her life, but thanks to Orange Is the New Black, she's discovered a newfound fame.
The 38-year-old actress recently called ET from her closet (yes, her "very cool closet"… she said her bedroom was recently converted), where she opened up about playing the character everyone loves to hate: Linda from purchasing.
"I have some type of weird empathy for Linda," said Dover, who got her start as a child star, appearing in shows like Keenan & Kel, Welcome Freshmen and Guiding Light. "I know she's not the most likable character, but I like to think of her as a survivor just trying to ride up the corporate ranks, even though she has some type of sociopath tendencies."
As fans of the popular Netflix prison dramedy know, Dover's role in season five completely changed as Linda traded in her blazer and pencil skirt for a prison uniform two times too big for her in order to go undercover as an inmate when a riot broke out in Litchfield Penitentiary.
"It definitely felt like the first day of school because during season four, I was really just working with Nick Sandow [Joe Caputo] and wasn't in the prison at all," she explained. "So when I came to set for season five, I was nervous. It's one of those very tight-knit casts that have been together for five seasons. I was coming in thinking, 'Oh, I hope everyone likes me.' And all my nerves were unfounded. Everyone is so cool."
In addition to seeing Linda behind bars, fans also got a glimpse of her sorority girl backstory and her flirty hookups with Boo, portrayed by Lea DeLaria. Dover describes her co-star as "just this rad activist, cool woman," telling ET the two have become close pals who frequently hang out off-set.
"Lea is a lesbian icon," she gushed. "I did not see that storyline coming, but it was so fun. And Lea is so great, she's such a great scene partner, she's so funny. We really had the best time on set."
At the time of filming season five of Orange, Dover had just given birth to her first child, Eli. She and her newborn temporarily relocated to New York City for six months to shoot the series, while her husband, actor Joe Lo Truglio, stayed in Los Angeles to film Brooklyn Nine Nine. She tells ET he would visit every three weeks during his show's hiatus.
"This past year shooting Orange with a newborn baby was super intense," Dover admitted. "I look back on that experience and say, 'If I can do that, I can do anything."
"Since having Eli, life has definitely changed, but for the better," she continued. "It's just enriched my life. I've experienced such love and I think it's opened my heart. I almost want to cry just saying it but he's simply the best. They say babies bring blessings and I have definitely found that to be true."
Luckily, Dover and Lo Truglio were able to spend much more time together while filming scenes for Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later, the sequel to the classic 2001 comedy, which is now streaming on Netflix. They also starred in the prequel, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, released in 2015.
"It was just really good to get to hang out with my husband for a couple of days," Dover said, laughing. "Most of my scenes are with Joe, and I love acting with him, it's so fun! But listen, everyone is so happy to be there. People bend over backwards to continue to be a part of this project because they love it and they love everyone involved. Everyone's the best. Funniest people ever."
Christopher Meloni, Amy Poehler, Adam Scott, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pine and Paul Rudd are just a few of those funny people who fans will get to see onscreen together once more.
"I'm just beyond excited about this [sequel] because the original movie is one of my favorite movies of all time," Dover said. "Even before I knew all of those guys, I was watching that movie with my friends and quoting it for years, so the fact that I even get to be a small part in it is just like a total dream come true. I just loved the intentional silliness of the movie and I think the Netflix series, both of them, have really just kept that same tone while moving everything forward."
When asked if she was a camp kid in real life back in the day, Dover told ET that she once went to Brownie camp for a week -- but it was "horrible!"
"I didn't get to go to one of these cool Wet Hot camps where people make lifetime friends… I wish," she revealed. "A bunch of the cast did, which is why this series was made, but my experience was the worst. They made us clean the bathrooms, I remember singing Annie's 'It's A Hard-Knock Life' when we were cleaning. It was not great. I did not have a great camp experience, but Wet Hot made up for that."
Before our chat ended, we had to ask Dover what would happen if the ladies of Litchfield spent a day at Camp Firewood. Here's what she said:
ET: Who would be the camp MVP?
Dover: I'm going to go with Lea DeLaria, Boo, because she's a people gatherer. She'll start the party, start the text chain for brunch, like, 'Hey, let's all go here.' I feel like she would really bring us all together as a group.
Which character do you think would stay most true to themselves at camp?
Hmm, that's a tough one. But I think I'm going to go with Natasha's Lyonne's character, Nicky. Yeah.
Who could you see striking up a camp romance?
Ooh, that's good! I could see Yael Stone's character, Lorna Morello, with Ken Marino's character, Victor. Lorna needs a good guy. I feel like he could be the guy for her!