Before Orange Is the New Black, Taylor Schilling had starred in The Lucky One opposite Zac Efron, the little seen Atlas Shrugged, and the short-lived NBC nurse drama Mercy. At last! Success! Critics are loving Jenji Kohan’s new Netflix prison drama, adapted from Piper Kerman’s novel of the same name, in which Schilling plays Piper, a Waspy organic-soap-maker who is busted for smuggling drug money several years after the fact. The actress talked about the show’s filthy sets (which are actually filthy!); working with Jodie Foster (who directed the season’s third episode, "Lesbian Request Denied"); and how Crazy Eyes’s eyes are in real life. We also asked her about Mendez (a.k.a. Pornstache), who is grotesque, but apparently not far off from the guards who mistreated the real-life Piper.
Silly question first: Did you really cut a chunk of your hair for the show?
Ooooh, haaaa! No, I didn’t have to do that. I wore an extension, like a clip-in weave, for about three months.