Windy City Times: Do viewers ever confuse you with your character on TV?
Dascha Polanco: They think I am my character and call me by her name. They don’t even know my real name.
Kate Mulgrew: Yes, lots of times. I get “Red” or “Captain Janeway” all the time. Make up your mind!
Taylor Schilling: I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I don’t think they confuse me with my character. When they say “Piper,” I don’t think that they are concerned I just busted out of the prison gate.
When did you find out that Piper was getting out of Litchfield?
I believe it was in the same conversation with Jenji about the wedding, halfway through the season, and I wasn’t surprised. She said we’re getting married because Piper is getting out and it’s something that you [Alex] know that she wants. But you kind of know these things are coming. You hear different things and when I’m directing, I know what I have to set up and what’s to come. I knew that Piper was going to get out at some point, and I assumed it was going to be the last episode.
How do you feel about her release in terms of where it can move the show? And do you think it pushes the endgame forward?
Well, the endgame is there. As of now, season seven is our last season. So, the endgame is clear. But the reason that it bums me out, obviously, is because I love working with Taylor. She and I love working together. We’ve been working together for six, seven years now and she’s a wonderful scene partner. We were just together the other day and she was saying, “This sucks. I’m out of prison. When am I going to do scenes with you!” (Laughs.)
Through the glass, in visitation?
Seriously! So, that’s a bummer. That’s obviously the main bummer, because I’ll miss her. But our writers are great, so they will always come up with something. These characters are so well-crafted, especially now. When you get to do a show for this long, you can really craft characters that are full, multidimensional people. And at this point, you’ve been with these women for six seasons, so our writers can just have so much fun playing with all these storylines.