Here’s a new interview of Taylor Schilling with Le Figaro
From LeFigaro (Google Translation)
Point of no return. After months of waiting, fans of Orange is The New Black discover, since Friday morning on Netflix, how the revolt took hold of the prison of Litchfield. The final episode of Season 4 of Jenji Kohan’s series ended with dramatic moments. Revolted by the death by suffocation of their comrade Poussey, asphyxiated by a guard who kept her lying on the ground, the inmates of the prison mutinized and defied their masters. The balance of power swung in their favor when Dayanara (Dascha Polanco) recovered the weapon of a guard and put it at stake. Season 5 opens a few seconds later … More committed, very political, these thirteen unpublished episodes are questioning the notions of resistance and humanity. A reflection that left none of his marble interpreters. Starting with Taylor Schilling, the interpreter of the ambitious and often narcissistic Piper. Le Figaro met her last week in London.
LE FIGARO – This fifth season depicts almost minute by minute the mutiny that seized the Lichtfield Women’s Prison after the death of an African-American inmate by asphyxiation in the hands of a guard. What can we expect?
TAYLOR SCHILLING – These new episodes focus on the abuse of power of the all-powerful and what happens when those who have never had power seize it abruptly. It was like we were doing a new series. Seeing these women protest was deeply cathartic. It was exciting to shake things up, to sack the scenery. But nothing will be the same as before. But I wonder: how can all these prisoners stay in the same prison?
How will your Piper character deal with this turnaround?
This riot will reveal unknown facets in characters that are believed to know the fingertips. Initially, Piper tries to blend into the masses and abandons his leitmotiv of wanting to “win in prison”. She wants to avoid the eye of the cyclone but it proves untenable … The excesses of some comrades make her feel uncomfortable and she fears losing her humanity. By adopting this passive attitude, she becomes an accomplice … it is inhuman not to react to injustice.
The new order that the detainees are trying to establish is reminiscent of the aftermath of revolutions when the construction of a democracy is accompanied by as much hope and idealism as revenge and violence.
We talked a lot about the parallels between this season’s plot and what was going on in our lives. I do not know if our creator is doing it consciously or not, but Jenji Kohan has an unparalleled flair for seizing the air of time, which is troubling our societies. Orange is The New Black reflects what is happening in the United States. We are very well informed and have a responsibility to future generations. At what point do we mobilize? This question we met at every turn of our history: the struggle for civil rights, the mobilization against AIDS and so on.
Orange is The New Black is a committed series that has denounced the prison system, police violence, racial inequality. What do you want us to remember this season?
I would like the spectators to leave with the desire to fight, to resist.
These thirteen episodes focus on only three days. Has this very dense rhythm caused you unexpected difficulties?
It took me a lot of mental gymnastics to know where my character was emotionally at every moment. What we had been able to shoot two months ago could very well have taken place in the series only two hours ago. I had a notebook filled with notes to establish the timeline of events. Often one felt like in A day without end! This also affected the intensity of the shooting: everything is important, there are no breathing scenes or stopping-hole. It was always necessary to be decided and concentrated.
After five seasons, what do you think about Piper?
When I auditioned, I enjoyed Piper being at the heart of his own story. He is an ambiguous and sometimes amoral character. She seeks herself, is obsessed with the idea of doing what is just what makes her self-centered and narcissistic. She does not feel comfortable and I like it. She gives us a disturbing mirror in which we can all recognize each other.
How do you imagine his future? Orange is The New Black has been renewed for two additional seasons.
I can not wait to see her outside, in freedom. She will not be able to return to her former life. I will see her continue fighting for better conditions of detention. Even I as an actress, I do not go out unharmed these five years … The prison in the United States is an industrial organization that dehumanizes beings. Our system is an heir of slavery. It is the painful reflection of the way our nation is built.
Do you think Orange is the New Black helps to raise awareness of this?
I hope that the series has made the daily life of the detainees more visible. I met former convicts. They constantly emphasized the importance of the ties that are being formed in prison. A human, friendly or even antagonistic connection is vital to overcome this ordeal.