Jolene Purdy talks working with Taylor Schilling on ‘Orange Is The New Black’
What were you excited about in terms of joining the cast, and what made you most nervous?
I was super excited just to see the set and be in the bunks and see how dirty the bathroom was, and just kind of play with everybody and see what life was like inside one of my favorite shows. But I was super nervous about being the new kid at school, especially on an Emmy-winning show! It’s kind of intimidating. But from the first day, Taylor Schilling, who plays Piper, just took me under her wing and was so lovely and welcoming. The whole cast was. Everyone leaves their door open, and it’s like a greenroom party in the hallway.
Going back to Piper and Hapakuka’s early relationship, there’s a scene right before Hapakuka turns Piper over to Maria to get the swastika branding, and she tells Piper she was turned off by her the moment that she met her. Why do you think that was?
Because Piper had that panty business and felt like she was “gangsta with an a,” she was really trying to fill that role and become that person. I think my character sniffed that out right away, and it was off-putting to know that there’s this person who was being inauthentic and trying to front like she was a badass when she wasn’t. People like that just aren’t trustworthy.
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