Taylor Schilling limps into the IWC Schaffhausen boutique in Midtown Manhattan with the determination befitting an actress who's trafficked a suitcase full of drug money and run a panty-smuggling ring (onscreen, of course). She's here during the Tribeca Film Festival as an ambassador for the Swiss luxury watch brand, which is sponsoring the annual event for the fifth year in a row. "When I was growing up, I knew nothing about watches," she said yesterday afternoon, resting her foot on the floor. "Now that I'm an adult, I notice how everyone has their own expertise. It's like wine and cars!" Here, Schilling gets candid about her recent injury, her two upcoming films, indie comedy Fam-i-ly and the Duplass brothers-produced Take Me—premiering at the festival on April 25—and the new season of Orange Is the New Black.
First off, what happened to your ankle?
I just finished filming this movie, Fam-i-ly, in Atlanta, and I tried to do a move and my ankle inverted. I don't do my own stunts—it was a one-off. I'm really in fighting form right now. [Laughs]
Tell us about the new role.
It's a dark comedy. I actually put on 15 pounds to play the part. Like every woman I know, I have a very complicated relationship with food. The movie really deals with that topic, so it felt really important to me to [put on the weight]. It's not as challenging as you think it would be. Now I understand why people enjoy french fries. Like, I get it. I'm with you. Reubens were my go-to for this one, though. It's just what I wanted to eat. If you eat a Reuben, you're pretty much set.
And you have another film, Take Me, premiering here at Tribeca. What attracted you to that script?
That film was one of the first experiences I've ever had on set where I felt really excited and free. There was something so magical about the first two seasons of Orange Is the New Black—that sense of flow you get from a new creative project. I hadn't felt that in a while. Take Me is wild. The character is crazy. She's got some layers.
How is she different from Piper?
This woman knows who she is. She's driving the story. There's no "deer in headlights" moment, which is a lot of what Piper's story has been. [Piper] is often not sure and figures things out as she goes.
Speaking of Orange Is the New Black, what can we expect from the upcoming season?
Well, it explodes. There's a riot, and the entire season takes place over three days while the riot is happening. It's a really interesting construct because it allows us to get into the minutiae of each character and their responses to a very extraordinary circumstance. Piper is more on the periphery, for sure. Her nature is to go a little bit forward, but she keeps reigning it in, which shows how she's growing. And while she has a very specific reaction to a crisis, every other character has their own too. I think there's an intimacy to this season that may be unprecedented.
Every character on the show seems to have a trademark beauty look, but Piper is always fresh-faced. What is your process like in hair and makeup?
It's quite basic: a little bit of foundation, some mascara, and concealer. We use a lot of moisturizers and cleansers so the palette is as clean as possible.
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Are there any shows that you binge-watch?
Big Little Lies was the last thing that I dove headfirst into. And The Great British Bake Off. I don't know what it is; I don't want to bake, it doesn't make me want to bake, but there's something anesthetizing about it. I can't look away.