Welcome to Orange Is the New Black Week! Each day this week, we're bringing you exclusive content about the ladies of Litchfield ahead of the Netflix show's season premiere on June 17. Click here for everything you need to know.
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Credit: JoJo Whilden/Netflix

It's no secret that we are *big* fans of Orange Is The New Black here at InStyle, so when we got the opportunity to sit in on an intimate panel with the cast at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, Calif., we were all ears. We got the inside scoop on all things Litchfield, and when the conversation turned to what it's like to work on such a female-driven series, we loved what the cast had to say.

Natasha Lyonne, who plays inmate Nicky Nichols (below, right), explained to the audience, "There’s sort of an element of an outsider thing--sort of like a bit of a band of misfits--a mutual respect for hard work and like, together we’ve put together this kind of band. But out on our own, sometimes there wasn’t always a place for us in traditional [Hollywood] … of, you know, one female part who’s the sexy attorney at the office in a pencil skirt, etcetera. I don’t know who that is in our cast." One thing is for sure: We would love to be a part of their "band of misfits"!

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Credit: JoJo Whilden/Netflix

Selenis Leyva, who portrays Gloria Mendoza, weighed in, too. "Isn’t it a relief?" she said. "To go on set and not have to compete with, you know, who’s wearing the pencil skirt best or whose boobs look better? It’s heavenly, to just go in and it’s about the art. It’s about what we’re creating," the actress explained. "And each one of us--each one of us--has had moments on the show from season one up until season four that are just breathtaking--that are genius. I’m obsessed with all of these people on the show because each one makes me want to be better, you know? And it’s just a relief."

Leyva went on to gush, "I’m so grateful. I never thought that I would be a working actress on a hit show, because I had been told for 20-plus years that I wasn’t enough--pretty enough, young enough, old enough, tall enough---enough. So finally, I have found my band of misfits and we are enough." And with that, the panel audience broke out into applause.

We love that Orange Is The New Black is not only empowering for its viewers but for its cast members, too, and we can't wait to watch their journeys continue in season 4, debuting this Friday, June 17, on Netflix.