Taylor Schilling’s interview with ‘Boston Common’ from back in 2014
From Boston Common
Taylor Schilling on Life Before ‘Orange is the New Black’
Golden Globe nominee and Boston native Taylor Schilling breaks out her prison coveralls for an even more suspenseful season of Orange is the New Black.
“The thing that is so exciting to me about this show is the arc that they’ve given Piper,” Schilling says. “She’s dancing really fast, trying to be who she thinks the world thinks she should be, but now she’s forced to look at what’s really happening inside of her.” That dance has been a thrill to watch, as Schilling believably two-steps from a wide-eyed ingénue to a come-hither seductress to a broken-down woman unleashing 13 episodes of rage on a born-again hillbilly.
Perhaps the reason that the show has never crumbled under over-the-top clichés is that Schilling really gets her character. “She makes a lot of sense to me. I always think there’s that negotiation between what you think you need to be for the outside world and what your own honest experience is,” Schilling says. “I certainly think I’m on that quest myself; I relate to that. She has to figure out how to play by her own rules. That’s an interesting journey people go on whether or not they’re in prison. That’s kind of what life is about.”
only took four months to be rewarded for following her instincts, when she landed the lead role in the NBC medical drama Mercy as the tough-cookie nurse Veronica Flanagan Callahan. “It was baptism by fire—such a wild experience. It was the first television show I had ever been in, and I was number-one on the call sheet and in most of the scenes,” she says. “I did not know what I was doing at all. But I’ve always had this thing where I just do it, I don’t even think. It was the same part of me that decided to go to New York or drop out of school or become an actor.”
That was 2012, and Schilling was a bit burned out, pining for a vacation. So she escaped up to her beloved grandmother’s house on an island in Maine, simply looking forward to decompressing over scallop dinners. But her agent was begging her to read the script for Orange is the New Black. Schilling was reluctant. “I really didn’t want to do television again,” she says, thinking back to the frantic, overwhelming shoot of Mercy. Still, she curled up on a hammock and paged through the script. “It was amazing,” she says. “I read it with my grandmother and I was like, This is really special. It was so cool to have my first experience with the script in Maine because I really, really love it there; it’s such a special place to me.”
Schilling doesn’t know when filming will commence for the third season, but she does know that she’s hoping to get back as often as she can to New Bedford, where her father now lives. “I love going there; it’s such a cool place,” she says. In an interesting art-imitating-life mash-up, her dad is currently working on the legal staff for the Department of Corrections, trying to redirect kids from prisons to various programs. “I’m in the Hollywood version of the prison system, and my dad really works with people who would be incarcerated,” she says. “He talks about how the show has brought more awareness to the population he works with, and more respect for those kids. He loves the show.” And so, of course, do we.
Full interview at the source