— -- For fans of Netflix’s hit series “Orange Is the New Black,” the end of season four took a heartbreaking emotional toll.
Major spoilers follow below.
The death of fan favorite character Poussey Washington -– played by actress Samira Wiley –- came out of nowhere. The scene of Washington's death at Litchfield Penitentiary is one of the most gut-wrenching ones of the entire series.
Wiley, 29, chatted with “GMA”’s Jesse Palmer about her character’s demise and he asked her what it was like to keep Poussey’s fate a secret for so long.
“I look back on that time and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do," she said. "I have no idea how I did it, but I’m happy that I did.”
The manner of her character’s death has led some people to draw parallels to highly publicized racial incidents that have occurred across the country in the past year. Palmer asked Wiley whether the cast and crew had discussed the issue.
“Absolutely ... that is the whole point of it,” she said. “In coming up with the story it’s – you don’t go into something like that lightly.”
She praised the writing staff for being “so socially conscious of what is going on in the world right now and understanding their responsibility and all of our responsibility as artists who reflect what is going on in our world.”
Wiley said she wasn’t nervous before shooting her death scene because there was too much going on – particularly with her castmates learning the news of her character’s death -- for nerves to set in.
“A lot of them had just found out that it was happening really close to when we shot it, so I felt like I had to take care of them, you know what I mean? They didn't have as long to process as I did,” she said.
Despite Poussey's fate, Wiley is grateful for her time on “Orange Is the New Black."
“This job is really given me my life, it's made me who I am, it's given me my career,” she said. “I wouldn't be here talking to you without it, and I have become sisters with every single person on that show and the set is really fun so it's going to be hard not being able to go back.”
Wiley is currently appearing on the comedy series “You’re the Worst.”