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Orange Is The New Black star Natasha Lyonne is an expert at breaking the ice at holiday parties.

“I like walking up to people and being like [N.Y. accent] ‘oh hey, you’re pretty good looking. Where’s that from?,’” the good-natured actress, 34, jokes this week during the Gotham Independent Film Awards held at Cipriani Wall Street.

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Still, that’s not her only go-to party line.

“Or ‘oh, what’s that, cashmere?’ [touches arm/shirt] ‘Oh yeah, let me touch that cashmere. That’s high-quality cashmere.’ I do a lot of that. That’s usually how I get to know strangers—get inappropriately touchy. Once they’ve experienced the awkwardness of you being way too close for comfort, after that, it all gets easy.”

She adds, “Also, I always find ‘what was most painful about your childhood?’ to be a terrific ice breaker.”

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After starring in a string of 90’s hits including American Pie, But I’m A Cheerleader and Slums of Beverly Hills (other credits include 1986’s Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and 1993’s Dennis The Menace movie), she descended into drug addiction. Her rap sheet includes a 2001 arrest for DUI and being charged with mischief, trespass, and the harassment of a neighbor (and the neighbor’s dog) in 2004. Her health struggles include a collapsed lung and hepatitis C in 2005.

What’s the biggest misconception about her?

“I don’t know,” she tells me. “It’s probably all true. Let’s face it. I’m an open book.”

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What do you think of Orange Is The New Black? Will you be using Natasha’s party tactics at your next event? Tweet us @OKMagazine.

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