Who Taylor Schilling
Accomplishments Stars as Piper Chapman in the Netflix prison dramedy Orange Is the New Black; star of drama Stay, which will premiere this fall at the Toronto International Film Festival; starred in The Lucky One
Base New York
What’s the first information you consume in the morning?
That depends. If it’s a good day, I get The New York Times on my iPad, and if I have a little time in the morning, I like to look at that while I’m eating. I just recently got on Twitter, but that’s not the best way for me to start my day.
You’re blowing up on Twitter—in about a month you’ve gotten 60,000 followers. Feeling any pressure?
I am so grateful to every single person who follows me because I have no idea what I’m doing. I still don’t know how to quote a tweet. I need help!
Are you a TV junkie?
I’m more of a documentary movie junkie. Right now, I’m halfway through The Age of Innocence, and it’s amazing! I’m about to watch No Direction Home, which is about Bob Dylan.
Have you ever binged on a show?
Totally. The one I’ve hardcore binged on was Downton Abbey. While I had a holiday break from Orange, I watched all three seasons in about a week. Hardcore.
How did you prepare for the role of Piper?
I tried to keep it as much as I could to what her reference points were before she went into prison. So, a little bit more on where she was living, her relationship with [fiancé] Larry and her family, so as to have more of a prison experience going in blind.
Do you have a favorite Season 1 episode or scene?
My favorite part about Piper is the variety of things I’ve been able to do with her. I loved that Michael Jackson dance, but I also loved the last scene of the last episode. I love all of the stuff I was able to do with [girlfriend] Alex and Larry. I love the extremes.
Any character really freak you out or crack you up?
Pennsatucky scares the crap out of me, and Uzo [Aduba, who plays Crazy Eyes] simultaneously cracks me up and breaks my heart.
How do you pass the time on set?
There was a moment in time last year when I tried to get into Words With Friends, which I quickly gave up because Natasha Lyonne and Lea DeLaria made me feel really, really insecure about my vocabulary and my ability to spell across the board. They still play it; I don’t touch it anymore. They’re so good that they would start to make up prison words, shank, screwdriver—references to the show and being in prison. They’re very smart women.
What would you need to get through prison?
If I had access to a DVD player, I’d like to watch AFI’s 100 best movies of all time. I’d like to try to get through those movies. I would probably need a subscription to The New Yorker and a lot of books.
Got any favorite apps?
There’s this app called Band of the Day that’s kind of cool. It’s fun to have it on when you’re getting ready. I also like to draw on set with this app called Paper. It’s pretty awesome.
How do you wind down at night?
Most of the time I read. Right now, I’m reading How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. She’s an interesting British feminist. And I’m just finishing Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. It’s a fantastic book.
Your show is a big hit on Netflix. Do you consider yourself a pioneer?
Maybe that’s something you think of after the fact. I don’t really know how that plays out on a broader scale. But I think what Netflix is doing is incredible, and I’m really proud to be part of it.