Galina Reznikov

Galina Reznikov

    Orange Is The New Black
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... as the most powerful inmate in Litchfield Penitentiary. Back in Russia her husband got involved in organized crime, and she learned valuable lessons about power and punishment that she has used to her advantage behind bars.

Profession... Head Chef, a position she uses to become unofficial “head inmate.” Red is known for being ruthless, starving women who cross her. And she’s close enough to the guards that they’ll turn a blind eye to her power plays.

Interests… cooking, maintaining her bright red hair, and finding a mysterious chicken that roams the grounds of the prison. She says, “All I wanted was to eat the chicken that is smarter than other chickens and absorb its power.” But the chicken that is free enough to evade her captors might represent more than just a delicious meal to a woman behind bars.

Relationship Status... married before she ended up in prison. Now most of her relationships are mother-daughter or adversarial. She helped Nicky beat her drug addiction and treats her like a daughter. That’s one reason she’s extra cold toward the guard known as Pornstache – he’s trying to smuggle drugs into Litchfield.

Challenge... holding onto the throne. Other inmates want to be Head Chef, and some guards feel threatened by her power. But Red’s tough and smart, and she’s been at Litchfield long enough to know how to deal with any threat to her reign.                         

Personality... ruthless and cunning. Red tells a fellow inmate, “As soon as you’re perceived as weak, you already are.” Red, however, is only perceived as terrifying. But a parental sentimentality comes through when she takes a liking to a girl. You’re either with Red or against her – and depending on your place in her life, she’ll either lift you up or take you down.


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