Initially the series’ protagonist, fans and critics have argued online that she has been sidelined as the narrative has progressed, in favour of a more diverse ensemble set-up.
Be that as it may, Mulgrew was keen to tell press including Express.co.uk that Schilling is doing a stellar job playing a very difficult character.
“Piper continues to be a controversial character but she’s not, in my mind,” she said.
“She’s absolutely essential. Taylor Schilling plays her like a dream. I’m telling you this because I know it! I’m with her a lot and this actress and character are getting criticised for all the wrong reasons.”
The former Star Trek favourite added: “She has to walk the line, I don’t have to do that. Red is a straight arrow, but she has to be equally funny and sad; proud and stupid. And she is all of those things all of the time.
“She’s a very, very fine actress. She really is.”