Interview: Branden Wellington talks Orange Is The New Black and more

Orange Is The New Black Season 6: CO Jarod Young (Branden Wellington). Image Credit: Netflix; image acquired via Katz Public Relations
Orange Is The New Black Season 6: CO Jarod Young (Branden Wellington). Image Credit: Netflix; image acquired via Katz Public Relations /

During a recent interview with Branden Wellington, we talked to the aspiring actor about his role on Orange Is The New Black as well as the other projects he’s working on.

While most people recognize Branden Wellington’s name from his hosting contributions to the Mets’ last few seasons, he’s making a name for himself outside of the commentary box. Wellington recently landed a role on Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black as one of Litchfield Penitentiary’s newest correctional officers. He plays Jarod Young, a level-headed guard with a good moral compass.

Wellington’s casting on the series is important because this is his first step in a larger acting career. In a recent interview, he shared his hopes and dreams for acting, poetry, and much more.

Hidden Remote: Branden, your character on Orange Is The New Black isn’t like the other guards in Litchfield Correctional. He’s a good guy and possesses a well-rounded moral compass. Do you think the prison could corrupt CO Young, possibly changing him further down the line?

Branden Wellington: You know the saying “Birds of a feather flock together”… unless my environment changes, maybe it’s only a matter of time before my character blurs the line. You have to stay tuned.

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Hidden Remote: Do you think such a change is possible in the upcoming season?

Branden Wellington:  The writers are creative and innovative in how they push the narrative, so I’ve learned to keep an open mind.

Hidden Remote: Have you spoken with Netflix and OITNB’s producers about returning for Season 7?

Branden Wellington: I will return for season 7. I’ve been in the gym routinely to be in tip-top officer shape and brushing up on my craft to stay sharp. Looking forward to the journey through the season!

Hidden Remote: As for your life outside of Orange Is the New Black, are you still hosting and providing commentary on New York Mets’ games?

Branden Wellington: I stepped away after the all-star break this season to lock in on another opportunity, but the door is always open for me to return. My main focus right now is acting but I wouldn’t rule out stepping back into hosting if it’s the right opportunity.

Hidden Remote: In regards to your work as a poet, are you working on any new pieces at the moment?

Branden Wellington: Indeed I am. I’m in production on a new spoken word video called “Choose not fear” which was written as a response to domestic terrorism. Also, I am writing new sports spoken word pieces with the intent to distribute to the NBA or a major sports apparel company.

Hidden Remote: Having won an Emmy for poetry writing, do you feel like there’s more pressure on you to produce award-winning content? You obviously don’t have to write anything, but being that you won a prestigious award, are your peers pushing you to write more?

Branden Wellington: To answer your first question, I don’t necessarily feel any pressure to create Award Winning content. For me, I write about what moves me and what I think others may find interesting. If awards come from it, that’s great but it’s not my focus. I just want to put out things that resonate with me.

Secondly, I firmly believe that you can’t force creativity. I feel as if the job of a writer, or any creative, is to constantly seek inspiration, ideas, and gather different point of views about a variety of topics. By focusing on that process, maybe just maybe… some words will come from it.

Hidden Remote: What inspires you to write poetry? Life, love, goals, current events, social issues, etc…

Branden Wellington: Lately, I’ve found myself writing poetry from a life coach kind of approach. Meaning, I feel as if I’ve been writing things lately that are geared towards moving people to action on a certain idea, cause, or belief.

There’s a saying I like, “Where your focus goes, out energy flows.” I’m noticing that in my writing. I’ve been attacking my fitness pretty consistently lately and the mindset that I need to do that daily seems to be bleeding into my poetry. Looking forward to sharing with everyone the things I’ve been working on.

Hidden Remote: Branden, you’ve involved yourself in different areas of work, ranging from a professional sports hosting to acting, but where is your focus at right now? What I mean is that you’re doing so many things, it’s difficult to tell where you’re heading in your career. Could you tell us what type of projects you’re focusing on?

Branden Wellington: My main focus is acting right now. But I’m also a firm believer in utilizing all of your talents. One of my favorite people in entertainment is Jamie Foxx. He tackles acting, stand-up comedy, music, and hosting. It’s hard to label him as one thing but he brings so much to the table, I hope to one day be viewed in the same light- a man of many talents who utilized them all.

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Orange Is The New Black is currently available for streaming on Netflix. Season 7’s release date is TBA.