Everyone has to have goals. It's our goal to be the deodorant every actor on Orange is the New Black uses. It's a lofty goal, but one we think we can accomplish. We've already got our foot in the door with Adrienne C. Moore (Cindy "Black Cindy" Hayes), Nick Dillenburg (CO Blake) and John Palladino (Josh), who are all avid PiperWai users.
We recently got in touch with Nick and John, who have become two of our biggest fans. (The feeling's mutual, guys!) Read more about their dedication to healthier living, what they do when they're not on set and what's in store for season six.
Both of you discovered PiperWai from the SAG Awards gift bag. What was your first impression when you tried it?
Nick: I'm out of the loop. What the heck is activated charcoal? Is it going to stain my armpits? But I absolutely LOVED the way it smelled, so I was up to try it. John and I had rented a house together, and so immediately I called out to him if he'd seen the deodorant and what he thought. We both had found our "new stick" and went to see if anyone else in the house didn't want the stick from their gift bag.
John: I was like, “YES! I Totally forgot my deodorant!” When i opened it, I immediately thought; “Damn, this stuff smells AMAZING, but will it stain my shirt?” I tried it anyway, and was SUPER stoked to find out that it DOESN'T STAIN!!! It really is an amazing product, I turned my wife onto it, and now we both use it daily.
You both were recently recognized at the SAG awards for your work on Orange is the New Black. Tell us about the characters you play and what you enjoy about working on the show.
Nick: I've played CO Ryder Blake on Orange is the New Black for the last three seasons. (Season six is out July 27.) The show goes far beyond stereotype, and I love playing a Mormon who's conflicted about what he has to do as a prison guard. Is he part of the brotherhood? What's his sense of guilt for what he's done? How does he use his background to do good at Litchfield? Last year, as I was being shoved into a dirty port-a-potty, I yelled to Gloria: "Why me? I'm the nice one." There are more layers in this onion that will be revealed in season six.
John: I play Josh from MCC. Basically I’m a cowardly corporate PR rep who is all bravado and no backbone. It was a blast working on the show. The entire cast and crew, top to bottom, were of the highest quality of human beings. Just a seriously funny, sincere group of people.
How did you get involved in acting and what has been one of your favorite characters to play?
Nick: I accidentally auditioned for a play in high school when a friend went to auditions and I had to read the scene with him. I told them I had no interest in acting, as I was playing football at the time, but they cast me anyway. The rest, as they say, is history. I loved doing a show called Hater down in Soho a number of years ago, in which you might say I played the title character. It was a blast because he said the things in society that I only wish I had the guts to say.
John: I started acting in elementary school. And continued into high school. I was also a dedicated soccer player, so when I went to college I couldn’t act because I played for my school team, and they were paying for my college... so I sorta had to dedicate my time to them. After I retired, following some injuries, I moved to NYC to go for it again. I try and like all of my characters, but i think my favorite would be Pale from Burn This. I like the unforgivable brash and hindered.
Your Orange Is the New Black costar Adrienne Moore is a PiperWai lover as well. What will it take to get the whole cast on team PiperWai? 😉
Nick: We've got to get the whole cast on this product, it's true! I'm definitely taking some of my samples on set this year. I talked about it all during my travels around the world. It doesn't even feel like pitching it, I just love it. NO MORE ALUMINUM.
John: A bus load of PiperWai. It’s a big cast.
(Editor's note: let's talk!)
Nick, how would you describe John as a coworker and vice versa?
Nick: John is an incredibly selfless father and husband, and he brings that on set. Life is a lot bigger to John than just his job, and working with someone who has perspective is an easy ride. He doesn't get bent out of shape, he's not demanding, he's always there with a joke to keep the mood light. In scenes, he's focused, "all-in," and offering up different choices with every take. I hope I can direct later in my career so I can cast John in everything. I mean it, he's a fantastic human being.
John: Nick is a total A-hole. I hate him. Seriously, Nick and I connected the first day we worked together. There’s a lot of downtime on a set, so getting to hang with him, his superior intellect, off-kilter sense of humor, and genuine niceness was a blast. He’s become like a brother. My daughter is in love with him. And he brings her gifts every time he comes over. ... Now that i think about it, that might be why she loves him. I don’t know.
Let’s see how well you know each other. Nick, what’s John’s favorite animal and John, what’s Nick’s favorite food?
Nick: I would guess John's favorite animal is the wolf. (It's tattooed on his arm.)
John: Oh. ... Umm. ... Thai?
What’s the real answer?
Nick: I'm now sure what my favorite food is, I'll say burgers though. I'm a FOODIE WHY MAKE ME CHOOSE?
You mentioned you’ve recommitted yourselves to health and wellness recently. What are some healthy changes you’ve made and how do you support each other?
Nick: I've re-committed myself to working out and to eating better. Eat better, feel better, and we're both former athletes who need that adrenaline. I miss that sense of competition I used to have with organized sports, so running a Tough Mudder is just the thing. This career as well can incur a drought here or there for work, so it's about maintaining those positive habits through tough times and turning down yet another chance to "get drinks in the city."
John: We are always texting, sending messages of encouragement. Honestly, it's hard with all the temptations out there. So we try and encourage the discipline that it takes to stay healthy. That is not to say we don’t enjoy the odd beer together now and then. I personally trained for a Boxing match recently, which got me in the best shape I’ve been in since i was a Soccer player. I also stay away from the carbs, and try not to drink too much alcohol or sugar.
When you’re not acting, what do you like to do for fun?
Nick: I love to write. I'm currently developing a television show, and I promise I'll tell you more about it when it gets picked up. Ha, honestly I just love to eat. So traveling the world allows me to try everything these cities have to offer.
John: I chill with my daughter, son, and wife.
What is a hidden talent you have or an interesting fact about yourself?
Nick: I've got double-jointed thumbs, I dance a bit, and before I stopped playing competitively in college, I used to be a near-scratch golfer.
John: I am HORRIBLE at singing.
What's the most embarrassing album you own? (No judgment.)
Nick: I absolutely love this Alessia Cara album, Know It All. "Wild Things" is my jam. Go easy on me.
(Editor's note: not embarrassing.)
John: Let me look. Yeah. ... The Little Mermaid soundtrack.
(Editor's note: mega dad points!)
Have you ever been in the same room as Beyonce?
Nick: I wish I was in the same room with Beyonce. That's when you know you've made it, right? Super weird and possibly funny story — I used to golf with a bunch of prep school kids in high school golf tournaments and I'd sing Destiny Child's "Survivor" on the fairways just to get in their heads. Give it that growl/sing raspiness, it was glorious.
John: I wish.
Anything you're working on that you'd like to promote?
Nick: In case you're in NYC this summer, I'm doing a play at Second Stage called Mary Page Marlowe starring Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black and Blair Brown (Judy King) from OITNB. It's a story of 11 moments from an incredible woman's life, and we've got an amazing cast. I know everyone says that about their shows, but it will be remarkable.
John: I run an amazing soccer school for kids with my wife: PALLADINO ACADEMY OF SOCCER. We are always looking to get sponsors to help underprivileged kids get new gear, sponsors for their participation, etc. I grew up with some issues, and soccer really saved me and kept me on the right track. It helped me understand how to dedicate myself, how to lose, how to keep trying, how to believe in myself, how to work hard, and then how to work harder. So, I really enjoy getting to give that back to the youth here on Roosevelt Island, NYC.
Check it out palladinoacademy.com.
Orange is the New Black season six will premiere July 27 on Netflix.