Taylor Schilling talks gaining weight and Juggalos
The "Orange is the New Black" star talks about making indies, like "Take Me," between seasons: "There's so much more I want to do that's outside of prison."
Taylor Schilling doesn't have a lot of time off. She spends a good part of her year shooting "Orange is the New Black," which is about to start its fifth season. But sometimes she squeezes in a film between seasons. One was "The Overnight." Her latest is “Take Me,” a small, very funny indie. Pat Healy (who also directed) plays an entrepreneur with a bizarre business: He loans himself out to people who want to be kidnapped, who see it as some form of therapy. Schilling plays his latest client/victim. But as the job goes awry, it becomes clear that she’s not being entirely honest with him.
Still — and no slight on the film, which you should watch and in which both Schilling and Healy are great — we didn’t get around to the film till our brief time was almost up. We walked in as the actress, 32, was nursing a salad. So we wound up talking food.
How’s your salad?
It’s good. I dunno, I’m simple. I’ve got very plebeian tastes. I don’t care. I’m not a foodie.
No. I really wish I was more of a food connoisseur. I eat eggs, and chicken, and cereal. I eat like a two-year-old a lot of the time. Or a grandmother. I’ll have steamed asparagus and a piece of fish.
Maybe you’ll become a foodie later in life and get really into truffle fries.
Truffle fries are good. But also regular fries are good, too. [Laughs] I’m just as happy eating both. I guess I don’t have a very sophisticated palate. I just like it, you know what I mean? I think that fries are across the board pretty delicious. Crispier fries are better, though.
So crispy fries are the only thing you’re a food snob about.
[Laughs] Actually, yes. That’s actually true. I won’t have soggy fries.
It’s incredible how bad our snack foods are compared to street food in other countries, which tend to be not only healthier but way more delicious.
I just did this movie — not this one, but it’s really good. [Ed. It’s called “Family.”] I was playing someone who was a bit of binge-eater. So I had to gain some weight — which I was really excited about. It was rad.
It was rad?
Yeah. I ate like the rest of America, so it was amazing.
What did you eat?
Pizza and sandwiches, fries. I’d have dessert all the time, like cake. It was hard to switch back. It took me almost two weeks to not crave sugar. Because I couldn’t stop. It’s truly a drug. I’m excited to talk about this movie when it comes out, because [the script] gave me the same vibe as the first season of “Orange.” It was really fun. I play the aunt of a transgender girl who becomes a Juggalo.
Juggalos are fascinating. Even if they drink too much Faygo.
I had Faygo dumped on my head.
“Take Me," like “The Overnight,” is a small film that’s fun, but goes to dark places, and a film you were able to make while on break from “Orange.” Do you get a lot of chances to do this kind of stuff in between seasons?
No. It’s hard. I crave it a lot, and I miss it. I always feel this sense of guilt that I’m not doing more theater. It’s like “Sophie’s Choice” every time my break comes, because I don’t know what to do with my time off. There’s so much more I want to do that’s outside of prison.
Your character here is kind of the opposite of Piper. She’s a lot more confident and driven.
She’s a renegade, this woman. She has this sense of, “I’m going to get what I want. I’m in charge of you, and I’m better than you, and I’m smarter than you.” She knows the recipe to get what she wants. I thought of her as an addict. She needs this particular high. She’s a very lonely person who needs to get this particular high to be able to go on with the rest of her life. She needs to feel dominated, then she needs to dominate. It’s sad. She’s a sad woman. But I’m attracted to that. I’m attracted to people who can’t accept themselves — who are struggling, who are really feeling like they’re on the fringes.
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