Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli Cover OUT’s Annual Love Issue

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Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli Cover OUT’s Annual Love Issue

Samira Wiley and Lauren_Morelli

Photography by Roger Erickson

Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli almost kiss

Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli (Photography by Roger Erickson)

On December 29 OUT magazine released its annual “Love Issue,” and for the first time the issue features dual covers. Two couples, Olympic free-skier and medalist Gus Kenworthy and actor Matt Wilkas as well as actress Samira Wiley and writer-producer Lauren Morelli, strike intimate poses on this year’s sensual covers. OUT sat down with the couples, who opened about the first time they met, past relationships and the sacrifices they’ve made for one another.

In the issue, Morelli and Wiley share their love story on how they met and the first time they said “I love you.”

When asked about the first time they met, Wiley says: “… Lauren wrote episode six of the first season [of Orange Is the New Black], one of the first scripts really featuring my character, Poussey. We spent four days in row working together. Honestly, I thought she was gay the first time I met her.”

Below are other excerpts from the feature.

Morelli on the first time they met
“… I was on set, sitting in front of the monitors, and she and Lea DeLaria, who plays Big Boo, walked up to me. Our set is like a lesbian utopia, and I remember thinking, They’re flirting with me.”

Lauren Morelli and Samira Wiley in OUT Magazine

Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli (Photography by Roger Erickson)

Morelli on her sexuality
“I started questioning my sexuality as a result of being in the writers’ room and talking about all the themes on the show. I was still very confused, but I knew the attraction between us felt magnetic.”

Wiley on saying “I love you”
“I was so scared to be the first to say “I love you,” so I did a little pussy version. I said, “I heart you,” which actually ended up in one of Lauren’s Orange scripts. I believe Alex says it to Piper. It felt safer than using the L word. It’s hard to step out on that limb. I thought I’d just be one of those people totally in love with her friend.”

Morelli on mixing business and pleasure
“Being able to write words for someone as talented as she is, watch her perform what I write, and then go to bed with her is the best thing. Last year, police brutality against black people in our country was something we were talking about a lot. It felt really important for the show to address it. Also, we hadn’t had this heartbreak tragedy yet, and when Jenji [Kohan, Orange creator] came into the fourth season, that was her mandate. I was obviously honored to write the episode in which Poussey is killed. When I sat down to write the scene and typed the part when she dies, I just started sobbing. I called Samira sobbing so hard that I couldn’t get the word out. I’d never had the experience of not only killing a character, but killing a character played by my girlfriend.”


Eboné Bell
Eboné is the Editor-in-Chief of Tagg Magazine. She is the illegitimate child of Oprah and it's only right that she continues their legacy in the media world.