Orange Is The New Black's Taylor Schilling forms sisterhood with co-stars
Orange Is The New Black star Taylor Schilling says she and the cast have a familial bond
If Taylor Schilling was actually stuck in jail with anyone, she would pick Carl Sagan or Oprah Winfrey as cell mates.
"There would be lots to talk about. Lots. I would be taking notes," she said.
The star of the hit Netflix TV series Orange Is The New Black was talking to journalists at the London hotel in New York City to promote the fifth season, which premieres on June 9.
Pretty and delicate, the 32-year-old US actress was dressed head to toe in Marc Jacobs, definitely relieved to shed the prison garb that she wears as felon Piper Chapman in the show, which revolves around how she and a host of other colourful characters learn to survive prison life and deal with each other.
It is her most prominent role to date, after starring in films like The Lucky One (2012) and Argo (2012).
"I don't wear a lot of orange," Schilling said.
"I feel like it's a little bit too on the nose. I do like fashion, yeah. I like clothes a lot."
The new season unfolds in real time and over the course of three days, and the storyline takes the women through a prison riot sparked by fellow inmate Poussey's (Samira Wiley) death. Chaos erupts in the halls of Litchfield Penitentiary, leaving their lives forever changed as they are emboldened to fight for redemption, resolution and the respect they deserve.
Seasons 6 and 7 have already been ordered.
Can you talk about Piper's journey this season, especially under such circumstances that are completely out of control?
In a macro sense, Piper is much more on the periphery.
What Piper has done for the past couple of months is (she) tried to insert herself into situations and manipulate things to make them right, and to do things as she sees fit.
This year, you are seeing her acknowledge that her behaviour has hurt her and other people.
So she is taking a step back. She is choosing to not be in the middle and to admit that she doesn't always know what's right. She is trying to change.
What is the relationship with your female co-stars after five seasons?
I think it is very familial now. We all know each other very well. We know each other's families, patterns and rhythms.
A lot of us live quite close to each other, and I feel really fortunate. It is one of the most exciting things about this show, I think moving forward, that there is a tribe that has developed, a really beautiful group of people.
It just got tighter and closer. It does feel like a sisterhood.
You had an interesting job before you got your break, on the NBC drama Mercy.
I was working as a nanny. I had wonderful kids whom I worked for. I am not really in touch with any of the families right now.
I was a really good nanny. I had no interaction with my maternal side so being able to spend time with kids, I learned a lot about myself and that stuck with me for sure.
Why did you want to be an actor?
Seeing plays. I remember when I was eight, we had moved from a neighbourhood in Boston to a suburb, and I walked to the middle school to see a production of (the musical) Barnum.
I was in fourth grade, and I remember so clearly that energy and the dynamic between the audience and the performers.
It was in a lunch room and it was a bunch of 12-year-olds on stage, and that was when I decided I wanted to do it.
You have a movie, Take Me, out later this year. How do you make time for other projects while filming Orange Is The New Black?
I feel like Orange is sort of the beginning for me. It has been a slice of what I feel capable of and it is expressing a section of who I am and what I want to do.
I'm really tired when the season's over, but I feel really, really hungry to do other things and to explore other characters, so it is sort of a catch-22.
It is like I want to rest, but I also really want to try some other things, so it has been fun to explore the other opportunities that come up. I am very grateful for them.