It’s hard to imagine Orange Is The New Black without Taylor Schilling, but it took ages to find the perfect actress to fill the now-iconic role.
The series finale of Orange Is The New Black had us feeling all of the feels! Thankfully, after the finale, a handful of actors and actresses, as well as producers and writers, sat down with The Hollywood Reporter and unveiled numerous must-know facts!
13 hours after Netflix launched the first season of Orange Is The New Black, several viewers tuned into the show. Basically, Orange Is The New Black single-handedly invented binging, and the Emmy award-winning show quickly became Netflix’s most-watched program.
The cast filmed the first season in a deserted psychiatric centre in New York. At the time, the unique personalities making up the cast had no clue what would become of the show, especially since Netflix hadn’t proved its ability to create remarkable, binge-worthy series at that point.
Piper Kerman reveals that Ryan Murphy (creator of Glee and American Horror Story) originally held the rights to her book about her time in prison before it was published. She recalls thinking, "I hope the show doesn't come out before my book is done." Thankfully, it didn’t, and she got the rights back!
Surprisingly enough, Showtime and HBO both turned down Orange Is The New Black. But Cindy Holland, the VP of Netflix Originals, heard of the show from Jenji Kohan, the creator, and she was hooked! It helped that she was already a big fan of Weeds, another Jenji masterpiece.
Netflix, since they were relatively new to the original programme game, wanted to order full seasons at once, partly because they “wanted all the money invested to show up in front of our members as entertainment, and [they] frankly didn't have the capacity to have a big development slate and do a bunch of pilots and then settle on a few things.”
It took Jen Euston, the casting director, a while to find the ideal actress to fill the role of Piper—even Laura Prepon—aka Alex—audition for Piper! But Jenji said, “I don’t believe that girl would be scared in prison. I don’t believe she would go through any of the stuff Piper goes through. I think she’s Alex.”
Want to know who else auditioned for Piper or which actresses were considered? And which other actresses did the creators almost cast for other roles? Tune into our video to find out!