Orange is the New Black returns to Netflix for its fifth season in June, but Taylor Schilling has been keeping busy this week at the Tribeca Film Festival with the premiere of her new film Take Me, a dark comedy in which she’s kidnapped, as well as in her new capacity as the festival’s official co-timekeeper, along with Rosamund Pike (and in partnership with IWC Schaffhausen). Here’s what else she’s been marking her days with, in her culture diet.
What’s the first thing you read in the morning?
It changes. A lot of times it’s a meditation book; a lot of times it’s the New York Times. I recently got a hard copy subscription—I know, I know—but I only get it when I’m living in Brooklyn. I really try to look at it, and it really mocks me whenever I don’t, because they just pile up when you’re not paying attention to the news. But to be honest, the majority of the time, maybe 70 percent of the time, I’m reading it on my phone. I’ve also been reading poetry in the morning, Mary Oliver’s new book. I just picked it up and it’s really lovely.
New interview, stills and BTS pic of ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Season 5
Transcript (by us)
Season 4 was a turning point for Orange Is the New Black. For three seasons, Litchield Penitentiary had existed as its own little universe. Near the end of the fourth season, its world and ours collided with a painful jolt, as one inmate died in a way horribly and deliberately reminiscent of the killing of Eric Garner, a man whose death at the hands of police partly inspired the Black Lives Matter movement. By the end of the season sadness had turned to fury and the prison was embroiled in a full-scale riot.
As scenes for Season 5 are shot a t the series’ New York facility, that sense of chaos is still very evident. A shrine to the character who died – who we won’t name for those yet to be devastated – sits quietly amid the mess of rebellion. The riot is not over at the start of Season 5. The riot is Season 5.
Picking up at the exact moment Season 4 left off, it will take place over just three days, nixing flashbacks that have become series signature. “We’re experiencing the riot [mostly] in real time”, says Taylor Schilling (Piper). “So there’s less room for character development and more focus on the political [impact], within the prison and outside, of an inmate takeover…It’s very exciting.”
The effect on the cast is palpable. “It’s a thrill! It’s a razor’s edge!” says Kate Mulgrew (Red). “The roles have reversed and the commanding officers have been taken hostage [by the inmates]. There will be a lot of things you won’t expect.”
Politics, though, continues to be as integral as ever. Central to that is the jailing of people for profit. When the season was shot it was assumed Hillary Clinton would become President (Empire is on set two weeks before the election). She campaigned against prison privatisation; Trump took the opposite position. His victory, and the likelihood of increased privatisation, makes Orange’s portrait how wrong it can go even more timely. After a confident leap into real-world politics last season, the show is going deeper. The outside world has leaked into Litchfield, and once inside it’s very hard to break back out.
Taylor Schilling doesn’t have a lot of time off. She spends a good part of her year shooting “Orange is the New Black,” which is about to start its fifth season. But sometimes she squeezes in a film between seasons. One was “The Overnight.” Her latest is “Take Me,” a small, very funny indie. Pat Healy (who also directed) plays an entrepreneur with a bizarre business: He loans himself out to people who want to be kidnapped, who see it as some form of therapy. Schilling plays his latest client/victim. But as the job goes awry, it becomes clear that she’s not being entirely honest with him.
Still — and no slight on the film, which you should watch and in which both Schilling and Healy are great — we didn’t get around to the film till our brief time was almost up. We walked in as the actress, 32, was nursing a salad. So we wound up talking food.
How’s your salad?
It’s good. I dunno, I’m simple. I’ve got very plebeian tastes. I don’t care. I’m not a foodie.
No. I really wish I was more of a food connoisseur. I eat eggs, and chicken, and cereal. I eat like a two-year-old a lot of the time. Or a grandmother. I’ll have steamed asparagus and a piece of fish.
Here’s an interview of Taylor Schilling with Madame Figaro
Piper Chapman, the heroine of the series Orange Is the New Black (1), the actress Taylor Schilling – who embodies it – has displayed self-confidence, vigilant relaxation, the superego at half-mast and, as a shield, a charism Oversized which would put the Hydra of Lerne to the carpet in two movements three movements. The young actress needed at least all these qualities to persuade Netflix to engage her in this bold series, inspired by the true story of Piper Kerman, sentenced in 1998 to thirteen months in prison for laundering money drug.
Taylor Schilling does not seem to be pruned to incarnate a taulard. When one discovers it at the beginning of the series, she puts up, as in life, a big blonde New York, rather diaphanous, well raised like one is when one belongs to the good bourgeoisie WASP. In short, we can not imagine for a second that it can survive the regime of the prison jungle. “And yet … Strength has nothing to do with appearance,”says Taylor Schilling. The heroine manages to adapt to the rules of this dangerous and unforgiving microcosm. Where does it find the strength to survive? It was the complexity and duality of the character that seduced me, and that is why I absolutely wanted this role. And when I want something, I put all the means into it. “
CM: The film is really a two-hander with Ray and Anna. How did Taylor Schilling get involved?
PH: She had done a movie with [executive producers Mark and Jay Duplass] called The Overnight. I had this script and thought of it as kind of a contemporary screwball comedy/film noir. And there aren’t too many actresses that are like that classically trained actress – glamorous, beautiful, statuesque movie star – who’s also hilarious and crazy. There used to be so many, there was Carole Lombard, there was Katharine Hepburn, Rosalind Russell, and on and on and on. [The Duplass Brothers] had a list of people who they had relationships with. And having been around the bend with all these scripts I’d written that didn’t get made, I knew how hard it was to cast when you’re going through agents and all that stuff. This was a thing where it was like, Here’s a list of actresses where we can just hand it to. This was such a good part we could be pretty much guaranteed that one of them would want to do it. And [Taylor] was my first choice and we sent it to her and she said yes. So that was it, really. It was pretty easy! [Laughs] This thing was super easy until getting into the post-production process, which was arduous and long. [As an actor] I’m used to finishing when we’re done shooting, but [post] goes on forever and it’s very involved and is the hardest part of it. But casting it, shooting it, prepping it, developing the script with the writer, it was a piece of cake.
CM: Was the Netflix deal in place when you started, or did they see a cut after post?
PH: No. Basically Mark and Jay have a deal with them and The Orchard. Mark and Jay self-finance, and then if [Netflix] likes the movie they can decide to come on or not. So we have The Orchard distributing it [on] VOD, iTunes, all that stuff May 2, and theatrical May 5. And Netflix is later on this year. So we get a nice little run before it goes to Netflix, where so many people see it obviously. But that happened because they liked the movie and the script, and I think that Taylor’s involvement really helped a lot obviously because she’s the star of one of their flagship shows. And actually I had some fans over there too, which helped a lot. I did an original movie with them called Rebirth a few years ago and I knew they were fans of Cheap Thrills, so it all worked out quite nicely.