Taylor Schilling terrified by visiting real prison

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 8 June 2014
Taylor Schilling

Taylor Schilling

Taylor Schilling visited the Rikers Island prison complex in New York to get into character as Piper Chapman in 'Orange is the New Black'

Taylor Schilling found it "terrifying" visiting a woman's prison.

The 'Orange is the New Black' actress was moved to tears when she spoke with young inmates as part of her research into her role as incarcerated Piper Chapman in the Netflix series.

She told GQ magazine: "I did visit a prison, going into the second season. It was terrifying, sad, and really moved me.

"I was at the women's camp at Rikers Island in New York and what struck me was that so many of them were so young, in their early twenties, but everyone had children and they were overwrought about what was happening to their kids."

Taylor's experiences made her vow to give as honest a portrayal of life behind bars as possible.

She added: "They talked about how, on the outside, it's so difficult to get help, get a job and get their kids back. It gave me even more impetus to tell the truth in how I play the role."

The 29-year-old actress also spoke with her father, a former prosecutor, when researching her role.

She said: "He would sometimes work on prosecuting people involved in the prison system, such as guards who had misbehaved [as they do in the show] so I didn't end up with a strict view of prisoners being wrong and law-enforcement people being right. It's more of a grey area."

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