Taryn Manning Reveals Tragic Behind-The-Scenes Details About Britney Spears

Taryn Manning may be recognized most for her role as Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett in "Orange Is The New Black," but in the early noughties, she and Zoe Saldaña starred alongside pop star Britney Spears in the 2002 film "Crossroads." The teen drama saw Manning, Spears, and Saldaña play three best friends who decide to go on a road trip across the United States to rekindle their friendship after graduating high school.

While the film wasn't exactly met with critical acclaim at the time, it's become somewhat of a cult classic among Spears' fans, as well as a nostalgic look back at the post-millennium era (via Metro). Any girl would have dreamed of replicating the journey the trio took in "Crossroads," who looked like they were having a blast on and off-set. But according to Manning, Spears's experience was less than ideal and somewhat controlling — to the point where she couldn't talk to anyone.

Taryn Manning said Britney Spears wasn't allowed to socialize when they weren't filming

In September 2021, Taryn Manning appeared on an episode of Paris Hilton's "This Is Paris" podcast. The two struck up a conversation about their mutual friend Britney Spears (via Us Weekly), which eventually led to a discussion on what it was like for Manning to work with the pop star on "Crossroads." Having not spoken for over a decade, Manning revealed that Spears "was never allowed to talk to anybody" on-set outside of filming. "I don't know if she was ever allowed to just have a friend, to be honest with you," she added. "I don't know for sure, but it didn't seem like she could just call a friend and go kick it. Way before [the conservatorship]."

When asked by Hilton what it was like to work with Spears, Manning had nothing but positive memories. "She's the best. She's so sweet. She's the greatest," she said of the pop icon. Hilton additionally shared her experiences with the singer, whom she considers a close friend (via People). "She's so sweet and shy and just, like innocent," she said. "Like a little angel. A really sweet girl."

Taryn Manning has remained a strong supporter of Britney Spears

Taryn Manning would later clarify the comments made on "This Is Paris," telling Us Weekly that while she hadn't spoken to Britney Spears in a decade, she remembers the "amazing time" they had together filming "Crossroads." "We spent months in the car that we took 'cross country' sharing stories, joking, laughing and had a friendship for years, especially while filming," she said. "I wish her only the best and am so happy about the progress of this week," referring to the motion to remove Spears' father as the conservator of her estate (via CNN).

Manning was a strong supporter of Spears throughout the conservatorship drama. As the #FreeBritney movement reached fever pitch in July 2020, Manning shared a throwback of their "Crossroads" days on Instagram, reminding Spears that she's "strong" and could get through it. "How about let's give this wonderful woman the dignity she deserves and earned," the actress wrote. "We all know she's under a type of control that's unfair and things will be fixed."