Shalom Life | August 23, 2014

Breakthrough Jew - Yael Stone

Currently starring on 'Orange is the New Black', this young Australian star has a long and fruitful career ahead of her.

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: August 29th, 2013 in Culture » Society » News

Breakthrough Jew - Yael Stone

Hot, hip, and heady, the next wave of Jewish artists and influencers has already arrived. This is Breakthrough Jew, your weekly showcase of those on the verge of discovery and ready to be a regular figure in pop culture; setting trends, redefining genres, and simply getting it done-whatever ‘it’ is. These days, it’s not enough to know what’s hot now; you need to catch someone when they’re just starting to simmer.

Featuring those in film, fashion, food, and beyond, we’ll find the story before substance is obscured by style, before hype meets backlash, and before talent and purpose gets lost in a maze of Internet chatter. See an artist in the cozy bar before they hit the amphitheater, dine at a chef’s new restaurant before the line begins, and catch a young writer’s work before the demands of ratings and longevity encroach.

Follow our lead and we’ll follow yours – send us tips or suggestions via email, comment below or tweet us @ShalomLife, as we explore the Jewish landscape for pop culture pioneers.

Name: Yael Stone

Age: 28

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

Breakthrough Cred: Plays Lorna Morello in the Netflix hit, Orange is the New Black

Australian thespian, Yael Stone, certainly has a lot to be thankful for, least of which, that she didn’t chose to bid the acting world fair adieu. Currently staring in Netflix’s universally lauded “dramedy”, Orange is the New Black, a few years back Stone had enrolled in a master’s degree in international studies, lest the acting wouldn’t prove a viable endeavor.

“I’ve tried to shimmy away in the past, thinking this is going to disappear, this will stop, I can’t invest in acting because it is too wonderful, in a way that it can only disappear,” Stone told Australian Vogue in 2011.

The acting endeavor did prove a viable option, as Stone kept getting cast in film, theatre, and television roles alike. Truth be told, she has starred opposite a who’s who of Australian actors. Stone’s first role came in 1999 at the age of 14, when she appeared in Me Myself I, with Rachel Griffiths. Two years later came the Aussie mini-series, The Farm with Greta Scacchi and Colin Friels. Stone was then accepted into Australia’s prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).

In 2008, a mere two years after graduating, she received two Sydney Theatre Awards, one for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (The Kid), and Best Newcomer (The Kid, Frankenstein). During this period, she was also starring in fourteen episodes of All Saints.


Australian theatre, television, and film offers poured in, including a reoccurring role in TV series Spirited. After undeniable success in her homeland, Stone decided to try her luck in the U.S. Coincidently, the day before she auditioned for the role of Lorna Morello in Orange is the New Black, Stone wed her husband, Australian actor Dan Spielman.

“Yeah, we got married and we were out pretty late. The next day I headed in for my first round of auditions. It was kind of unusual,” Stone explained to Daily Life.

Find out more about Yael Stone and her role of Morello on Netflix's 'Orange is the New Black' on page 2!

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