Tay­lor Schilling TAKEOVER!


Orange Is The New Black will re­turn to our screens on 9 June. While we’re busy count­ing down the days, re­watch­ing sea­son four and clearing our sched­ule so we can binge-watch all 13 episodes, we caught up with Tay­lor Schilling (who plays Piper Chap­man) to talk misog­yny, per­sonal growth and the ex­plo­sive new se­ries… Hi Tay­lor! What does sea­son five hold for Piper? ‘It re­ally opens it up. We ex­pe­ri­ence a riot in the prison in real time so there’s less room for char­ac­ter devel­op­ment – it’s more fo­cus­ing on the po­lit­i­cal im­pli­ca­tions within the prison.’ It’s ob­vi­ously a big vote of con­fi­dence that the show’s been re­newed for three more sea­sons. How does that feel? ‘It’s re­ally fas­ci­nat­ing be­cause you don’t know what’s go­ing to hap­pen. I’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced that be­fore.’ Do you love play­ing Piper as much as you did when you first started? ‘I en­joy her. She’s dif­fer­ent, the show is dif­fer­ent and it’s a con­stant chal­lenge. I’m deeply at­tached to Piper and I care about her a lot, so it will be very poignant when I have to say good­bye to her.’ There was a shock death last year – do you ever worry you’ll be next? ‘No. Ev­ery­one in the show is fan­tas­tic. I think at this point we’re all in ser­vice of the show – it’s much big­ger than one per­son.’ Why do you think it’s taken so long for a show like this to be pro­duced? ‘I think we still live in a misog­y­nis­tic cul­ture. We’re climb­ing our way out, but there’s still this per­ceived equa­tion for suc­cess to take a male char­ac­ter, put him in the seat of the nar­ra­tive and then have fe­males tan­gen­tially sup­port­ing. That’s been the way it is, but things are chang­ing.’ How do you think you’ve changed over the past five sea­sons? ‘I’ve grown up. I’m more my­self than I was when I started. I’m so happy to be a part of a show that’s started a con­ver­sa­tion about the prison sys­tem. It’s a priv­i­lege that we can per­haps en­act change.’

Things re­ally hot­ted up last sea­son…

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