Maritza & Flaca on OITNB Are the World’s Coolest Work Besties

Sometimes, you meet a coworker and immediately click — sparks fly, magic happens, and you’ve found yourself a lifelong soulmate, all thanks to your crappy job.

And that’s exactly what happened to Orange Is the New Black stars Jackie Cruz and Diane Guerrero — well, minus the crappy job part, because their jobs are sick.

Jackie and Diane play Flaca and Maritza, respectively, on the show, which just premiered its fourth season this week. They provide major comic relief — both onscreen and off, as we realized when they visited Galore for an interview and photo shoot recently.

Read on to find out all about their friendship and see photos of them both.

What was it like the first time you two met?

Jackie: Diane, can you tell the story? You’re the one who says it really good.

Diane: It was my second day on set and the first episode I had ever worked on. I was really awkward and didn’t know what to say to anybody and didn’t know how to, like, act on a proper set. I was quiet and fearing people would already think I was a bitch because I was quiet. That whole “if a girl is quiet” thing, or has a funky look, you think she’s awful. So I’m already thinking everybody hates me. You want people to like you! So I saw Jackie came in and she was very happy and kind of didn’t have a lot of that shit that I was carrying on my shoulders, and she just looked really friendly and I went up to her — did I go up to you?

Jackie: We were all [the cast] hanging out in one room, right? And then there was an available seat next to me. Diane was like, can I sit here? and I was like, yeah, you can sit here! [laughs] It really felt like the first day of high school, like some people knew each other, but I didn’t know anyone. I had seen Diane the first day we went in and I was getting my makeup done, and she walked past me and I looked at her like, she’s really cute, and it started from there.

Diane: After that, because she was so friendly to me, I was like, okay, things [on the show] are gonna be okay. I just felt like I had a friend there, you know?

On Diane, left: Jill Stuart top, Benho pants, Hilfiger Collection blazer, Stazia Loren vintage Chanel chain belt, Linda Farrow sunglasses, Monika Chinag pumps, Ashley Pittman necklace, Alexis Bittar fractured spear, Laruicci& Glory and Honor rings. On Jackie, right: LaQuan Smith Collection top and skirt, House of Cuoco sheer skirt, Hilfiger Collection blazer, Genny pumps, Linda Farrow sunglasses, Sarah Appleton and Wouters & Hendrix earrings, Glory and Honor and Parme Marin rings, Parme Marin leather bracelet.

So you two had that thing where you see a girl from across the room and go, “I’m making her my BFF.”

Jackie: Yeah! I’ve done that before and that was it. I definitely marked her. I didn’t want anyone to be her friend but me.

Diane: You know what some animals do — how they pee on each other and mark their territory? It was like she sat on me and said, “You’re my bitch now.”

Jackie: Pretty much. And she accepted it.

Diane: That’s what it was, we became friends. But Jackie was friends with everyone else and she would get jealous when I became friends with them!

Jackie: She would get jealous too in the beginning, not anymore.

Diane: Jackie, oh my god, I still get jealous. We were so opposite in that way. Believe it or not, I know I seem like such a joy but it’s not as easy for me as it is for Jackie to make friends

Jackie: You’re better than me in some ways because I trust too easily, and she doesn’t trust anybody at all. That’s actually my problem.

Diane: I’m like, “Jackie, you didn’t see her give you that side eye?” I’m always like, “You looked at me funny.” She’s like, “No, he’s so sweet, what are you talking about?” A lot of that is because, you know — I didn’t want her to be friends with anybody [laughs]. She had an easier time making friends and it opened me up to be like, “Okay, can I be friends too?” The whole time, I wanna be best friends with everybody, but sometimes it’s hard to say that. It comes up in an awkward way.

Jackie: That was just in the beginning.

Diane: Now it’s like everyone’s their own person and no one’s worried about who’s friends with who because we’re all friends.

On Jackie, left: Di$count UniverSe leather jacket, Juan Carlos Obando tank, Seafarer denim, Linda Farrow sunglasses, Bliss Lau and Glory and Honor and Yaya rings, Monika Chiang sandals. On Diane, right: Thomas Wylde shirt, Di$count Univer$e leather jacket, One Teaspoon denim, Faeth Millinery visor, Glory and Honor earrings, Glory and Honor cuff, antipearle and Erickson Beamon rings, Monika Chiang pumps.

Were you guys always supposed to be like a comedy duo on the show?

Jackie: In the beginning, Diane was working more with Elizabeth [Rodriguez, who plays Aleida Diaz] and then when they put us in a scene together, Jenji saw our chemistry and was like, “Oh, these girls work good together.”

Diane: Our characters are similar to us. I’m a little like the same thing. Even you [Jackie], your character likes more people than I like. You have more friends. And I have gotten pissed at you. In the third season I got mad that you left me

Jackie: That was a real moment. We stopped working together for a few episodes.

Diane: But we’re back in action. We fight like we’re sisters. But we haven’t fought in a while because we got better at communicating.

Jackie: Well you hurt my feelings.

Diane: You hurt my feelings, too!

Jackie: That was in the beginning, when we were getting to know each other

Diane: Yeah, learning what offended you and what offended me. Yeah, I can be very dry. I’m just an angry girl.

Jackie: When I tell her it hurt my feelings, she’s like, “Oh my god, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that.” We didn’t communiate with each other. I’m also super sensitive. She can act bitchy but she’s not. I’m a bitch too but whatever.

Diane: She’s an undercover b. I just let it all hang out. She’ll be like, “That’s what you’re gonna wear today?” And I’m like, “You got a problem with this?”

How do you two help each other?

Diane: She gets fashion advice from me. And I like that her heart is open to other people.

Jackie: She trusted me and saw me befriend certain people and I was like a buffer for her in the beginning. 

Diane: I like how she approaches people — she’s not afraid to be herself and care about what she cares about and love the things she loves and she’s a go-getter. I admire that about her. It’s sweet.

Jackie: I’m really proud of Diane too but I don’t wanna kiss ass now, I’ll kiss ass later.

Diane: You have to kiss ass now because it’s an interview!

Jackie: Okay, it was very courageous of her to tell her story in her book. I didn’t know a lot of the things — I cry, I have to stop talking about it because I cry. I didn’t know she went through so much and it’s hard to tell her story. It’s hard and even I was ashamed to tell my own story… But I feel like good actresses have to get that struggle in, because you have to get it from somewhere. You know, Diane is an incredible actress too. 

Diane: She thinks I’m talented.

Jackie: I think you’re very talented. I can’t really talk about it but we have a scene in the next season [season four] that’s intense and it let us show our vulnerability again on screen. I think our first time we got to share that was when we made out. Which was awesome. People ask me what my favorite scene is. That was one of my top three favorite moments.

On Jackie, left: C/MEO Collective dress, Hilfiger Collection jacket, One Teaspoon denim, Perola cuff, Laruicci earrings, Erickson Beamons rings, Monika Chiang pumps. On Diane, right: Chromat bra, Zana Bayne leather harness, Jill Stuart pants, Dzojchen jacket, Monica Sordo earrings, RVS sunglasses, Bliss Lau and Glory and Honor rings, Monika Chiang pumps.

It wasn’t weird?

Jackie: Well I’m always grabbing her ass. I’m like, you love it. She’s like, stop it, I hate it. 

Diane: She hugs me in a very strange way.

Jackie: Well you’re mine. Like, you’re my property.

Diane: I know, but it’s so… tingly. You always hug me like I’m your prom date.

Jackie: I never had a prom date! It’s because she’s smaller than me and I just like to hold her. I’ve always wanted a My Size Barbie.

Diane: That’s another thing. She’s tall, I’m small. We get noticed everywhere because of it.

That’s so valuable for a comedy duo, you even look funny together.

Jackie: I would always grab Diane’s ass on set and you gotta be careful what you do. I’m like, you just wanna make out with me, and she’s like, oh my god, no I don’t…

Diane: … I’m curious as to where this is going…

Jackie: So they wrote it onto the show! 

Diane: Jackie wished for it and her biggest dream came true. She got to touch these sweet lips.

Jackie: Yeah right, when she has champagne she’s like, “KISS ME!”

Diane: Okay, I get emotional when I drink.

Jackie: Either way, I thought that was a sign. So I went for it. But you gotta be careful what you talk about on set, they’ll write it in the show. Our characters are similar to us.

Diane: I like to separate myself from Maritza Ramos completely. That bitch is not me, I’m done with her.

Jackie: Flaca’s like me. She’s courageous, she says what’s on her mind. Like Diane says, I would keep it in. I wouldn’t say what’s on my mind — I’d just tell her later. But Flaca’s very bold. That’s something that I admire and it’s kind of cool to be bold and be someone else and tell someone else off, because I wouldn’t do that. 

On Diane, right: Jill Stuart crepe top, Jill Stuart skirt, Adrienne Landau coat, Erickson Beamon earrings, Variance Objects rings, Monica Sordo ring. On Jackie, left: KAYAT gown, Jill Stuart trench, Amanda Pearl rings, Joanna Laura Constantine earrings, Alexis Bittar ring, Joanna Laura Constantine ring

You guys are really the funniest people on the show.

Diane: We’re the funniest people on the planet.

Jackie: We want Netflix to give us our own show.

Diane: A variety show.

Jackie: Like “Saturday Night Live.”

Diane: I think that’s a great idea. I think we should talk further. 

Were you always supposed to be the show’s comic relief or did it develop later?

Diane: I think it happens naturally. As the seasons go on, they see what feels right, comparing the character with the person. 

Jackie: I don’t think they knew what was gonna work. In my first scene I got in a fight over a King Cone. I thought that was my only episode ever. I was a day player. They never told me they were gonna bring me back.

Diane: In this business you think it’s a one shot deal. You got one day, one shot to shine. Cue the Eminem song.

Jackie: I can’t wait for people to see season four. Diane kills it this season.

Diane: Honey, I been killin’ it since age five. In the playground, just killin’ it.

Jackie: What’s good about our friendship also is that this business is really hard and I’ll have a bad day and tell Diane what happened and she’ll be like, it’s okay, it’s just one, don’t worry. She’ll give me the number of her acting coach. We share secrets, we share information. We help each other out. We audition for the same roles too. 

Diane: Everybody in this business is just trying to get a leg up.

Jackie: Diane auditioned for this one movie I really wanted — she’s like, it’s my first audition for this role, I don’t care. It was my third time and I was like, “Diane, if you get it let me know, because I’m dying for this movie.” And then she [got the role]. I was devastated but I was really happy for her. But the great thing was she was like, “Jackie, they really loved you, they talked about you.” Nobody in this business would do that. She won me over that day. It as two or three years ago. I was like, that’s it, she’s my homegirl.

Now watch our video of Jackie & Diane hanging out in NYC…

 Photos by Alana Tyler Slutsky

Styled by Christina Pacelli

Fashion assistant Saulu Santana

Makeup by Anne Kohlhagen

Hair by Matthew Green

Nails by Elizabeth Garcia

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