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'Orange is the New Black' season 3 spoilers: Mary Steenburgen's role revealed

The Netflix original series debuted the second season of "Orange of the New Black" earlier this month, and the upcoming third season is already getting new cast members. On June 20 TVLine posted the news that actress Mary Steenburgen will join the cast as the mother of George "Pornstache" Mendez, a former guard at the prison. Steenburgen was previously hinted for a role on the series, but it was unclear if she would be an inmate or someone on the outside.

Mary Steenburgen
Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Mendez was an inappropriate prison guard at the women's prison in Litchfield who was caught having sex with Dayanara "Daya" Diaz in a closet in season one. Diaz has a romantic relationship with another guard, John Bennet, who gets her pregnant. Diaz, her mother, and Bennet come up with a plan for her to have sex with Mendez and cover up the pregnancy so Bennet doesn't go to prison and can raise the baby.

In season two, Mendez returns to the prison after a suspension only to learn that Diaz is pregnant with what he believes is his child. He is hauled off to the men's prison because inmates cannot consent to romantic relations while locked up, so he broke the law but confesses his love for Diaz while being taken away. The arrival of Mendez's mother means that Daya's plan for Bennett to raise the baby is in jeopardy.

It's unclear how many of the thirteen episodes of season three Steenburgen will appear in, but it should be a multiple episode arc since Daya is still a few weeks away from giving birth. It's possible that Steenburgen, whose character name has not been revealed, will arrive at the prison to see Daya and try to claim what she believes is her grandchild. Mendez can't take the child since he will be locked up for several years, and it's likely that a DNA test many be a season three story line now that Bennett has confessed to his relationship with Daya.

International Digital Times revealed on June 20 that the third season of the series is expected to debut on Netlfix in June 2015. Filming is well underway at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, and cast members have tweeted photos of possible episode titles and behind the scenes shots of everyone in costume. The trend of revealing each inmates backstory will continue into season three as well, with several cast members becoming series regulars.

Some characters with more screen time include Dayanara Diaz, Lorna Morello, Joe Caputo, Gloria Mendoza, and Poussey Washington. Laura Prepon will be returning as Alex Vause and will be appearing in all thirteen episodes after having a smaller role in season two. Kimiko Glenn, who plays new inmate Soso, will appear in at least one episode which has already been filmed.

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