If you’ve devoured all 13 episodes of the new Netflix series Orange Is The New Black since their release on Thursday, then call yourself guilty for loving this comedy/drama with all sorts of female love and lust.
The 13-episode first season of the addictive new series, based on the Piper Kerman book about life in an all-women’s prison and created by Weeds’ Jenji Kohan, features Taylor Schilling as Piper, the wide-eyed woman coming into the prison for the first time, Laura Prepon as her former lover Alex and a stellar supporting cast including Natasha Lyonne, Kate Mulgrew, Michelle Hurst and Lea Delaria.
We jumped on the phone with Schilling to talk about playing Piper, whether there’s still love between she and her ex, Alex, and, since the show has already been renewed for a second season, how the actress feels about being able to explore more of Piper in the near future.
Photos via Getty
AfterEllen: Piper and Alex are the core of the show in a lot of ways. What do we see throughout the season? Is there a chance they can be close again, if not romantically, just friends?
Taylor Schilling: I think that the evolution of that relationship is an important plot point throughout the season and it’s important to Piper as she becomes more of who she is and discovering who she is and deciding who she wants to be in the world.
AE: When you first read the script, what had you connect with Piper?
TS: I think there’s always some detective work with this kind of work. The writing was so great I did not have to do very much.
AE: Outside of Alex, who does Piper connect with? I’m guessing it’s not Crazy Eyes.
TS: I think developing relationships especially with a community of women in a prison setting is survival. It’s really what you have to do in order to survive and Piper does that.
AE: A lot of the dialogue is that Piper is no longer interested in women and Jenji has created this world where sexuality isn’t a clear thing. Does Piper’s sexuality change as the season progresses?
TS: Just like every other part of who she is in undergoing shifts and everything comes into question when all the externals of her life are taken away.