Orange Is The New Black – Cast & Crew talk about Taylor Schilling in THR interview
JEN EUSTON, CASTING DIRECTOR People were passing. That first season was a lot of begging. Nobody knew what this was. Piper was the hardest role to cast. Jenji said she needed a unicorn and I had nobody. I was looking for Piper the entire pilot and didn’t end up casting her until two weeks before.
HERRMANN We met with Katie Holmes and Kate Hudson.
EUSTON I had been tracking Taylor Schilling the whole time we were reading people but she was on vacation. I finally got her in and sent her best readings to Jenji. I said, “I found her.” And Jenji said, “You did.” [Editor’s note: Taylor Schilling was not available for interviews and did not respond to emailed questions before publication.]
HERRMANN There was a naturalism to Taylor that is undeniable. And the match was made during the chemistry read between Laura Prepon and Taylor.
LAURA PREPON (ALEX VAUSE) A lot of the girls read for other characters. When I read Alex, I was like, “This makes way more sense.” When Taylor and I read together, it was that X-factor you can never explain. When I left I thought, “That was awesome and special.” I got the call and moved to New York three days later.
MAJOR SPOILERS on how Orange Is The New Black ends!!!
PREPON I hoped Alex and Piper would end up together [after Piper’s release]. It would have been an injustice to not have them together at the end. At the end of the day, love is love is love. And Alex and Piper love each other.
BIGGS That’s what everyone wanted. When I left after season two, I felt like something was incomplete. To be able to come back and have this final moment with Taylor gave some closure personally and creatively.
KERMAN The story of Piper Chapman has diverged so wildly. Larry and I are still married, we are parents. But that Orange’s Piper and Alex get to be together is a tribute to all of the prison families, whether it’s romantic partners or parents or children who fight to stay connected to their loved ones who are behind bars. That’s something you will see in every single prison visiting room in this country. Some version of love. And those lifelines to the outside world are totally essential.
PREPON Taylor and I were happy that it ended with them together. Piper Kerman and Larry [Smith] were there that day. The real Piper and “Alex” make a cameo — they were sitting to our left in that visitation scene.
You can read the full interview at THR