‘Orange Is The New Black’ Star Taylor Schilling Understands Being An Outsider

On Orange is the New Black, Taylor Schilling plays a bisexual woman and prisoner Piper Chapman. The character is often seen as feeling ostracized for her orientation by those around her, and Taylor says she can identify with that feeling of being an outsider in her own life. The revealing interview took place in Diva, the only European magazine devoted to lesbian and bisexual women, where Schilling also graces the cover, proving that she can stun when she’s not required to don the customary orange jumpsuit on Orange is the New Black.

Taylor Schilling Opens Up About Being An Outsider

On Orange is the New Black, Piper is a convicted drug smuggler, and while Schilling says that’s a lifestyle with which she’s unfamiliar and adds that she’s never even been to jail, she says she can still identify with her OITNB character on another level. Much like Piper, Taylor says she knows what it’s like to feel like she doesn’t quite fit in with society. Schilling recalls feeling like an outsider, trying to find out just where she fits in.

Also important to Schilling is the fact that Orange is the New Black has become about something more than the diversity of sexual orientation of the show’s prisoners. Taylor says the show has expanded to show that each character has a life outside of the prison and that they’re defined by so much more than their gender identity or sexual orientation.

“The lesbian aspect of the story is important, but much more important is the fact that these women are mothers, daughters, girlfriends and working women,” says the Orange is the New Black actress. “The real breakthrough of Orange is that audiences are able to see these women as fully formed characters.”

Orange Is The New Black‘s Taylor Schilling Blasts Carrie Brownstein Dating Rumors

Almost as intriguing as her role as Piper Chapman are the rumors that Orange is the New Black star Taylor Schilling is reigniting a romance with former flame Carrie Brownstein, but the actress now says such rumors are little more than fan-generated fantasy. Taylor cleared up any rumors that she had reunited with Brownstein in a recent interview.

“I’m not in a relationship, but if I were, I would be quite joyful, no matter who it was,” Schilling said. “But I don’t like dating. It takes a lot for me to be into somebody.”

While Taylor may be single, that doesn’t mean she’s unhappy and desperately searching for someone to spend time with. Just the opposite, Schilling says she’s loving the single life, especially because it gives her the time to get a good feel for her new New York City home.

“I love [living in New York City]. I still have those moments like, ‘I’m in charge!’ My life is definitely my own,” says Schilling. “I definitely see every possibility of what could go horribly wrong! But I’ve also developed a certain resiliency; an optimism that matches the pessimism.”

Ms. Schilling was rumored to have been dating the Portlandia actress in July 2015, and although they were very private about the romance, it was said that the two actresses were deeply devoted to one another throughout that summer. Schilling and Brownstein were sighted together at a number of events in 2015, including the 10th Annual Global Women’s Rights Awards, and the two women habitually commented on one another’s projects and social media posts.

No one really knows what happened between Carrie and Taylor, but it seems as though things have cooled down, particularly with Schilling making public statements about her enjoyment of single living. The Orange is the New Black actress also commented that living a public life and pursuing a romance in the public eye can be self-defeating and hazardous to one’s own peace of mind, which is something Brownstein has echoed in her own statements..

“I see the importance of visibility and think that it can be corrosive to be hidden, but I don’t think anybody ‘owes’ anything,” says Brownstein. “I think that kind of terminology is dangerous – this ‘owing.’ I think we need to change the conversation from ‘Do you owe me this?’ to ‘Are you living your best self?'”

Orange is the New Black premieres today on Netflix.

[Image by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]