Corrections Officer Thomas Humphrey was the one of the most disliked men on “Orange Is the New Black” since his season four entry. He was even loathed throughout the Netflix series’ most recent season, despite the fact that he’d been comatose for most of it, and rightfully so.
“I’m not a horrible human being!” says actor Michael Torpey, who portrayed CO Humphrey. Before “OITNB,” the comedian’s growing resume was marked with television appearances on the opposite end of the genre spectrum, like “The Tonight Show” (2016) and “Inside Amy Schumer” (2013-2016).
The Queens-based actor’s stint on the female prison series was short, yet crucial.
His terrorizing character — who played a horrific game of “Would You Rather” with an inmate that’s still stuck in fans’ minds — changed the course of the series after he brought the gun into Litchfield that sparked the season five riot and led to his own death.
“It was a real shift from playing primarily comedic roles to then playing one of the most hated monsters on TV that year,” Torpey, 38, says. “It was challenging in that way.”
Though absent from the new season, due on Netflix July 27, Torpey’s character will continue to shape the narrative, as the inmates reap the consequences of murdering a guard.
“Professionally, that role was huge for me. It was a high profile show so it was a real step forward for me as an actor,” Torpey reflects. “The amount I learned working on that show will forever change my professional life.”
Torpey’s been spending his time away from the Litchfield set filming an upcoming TV game show, “Paid Off,” coming to TruTV in July.