Born on July 27, 1984, in Boston, Massachusetts, actress Taylor Schilling earned a bachelor's degree from Fordham University in 2006. She made her film debut the following year in Dark Matter. In 2009, Schilling landed her first major TV role in the short-lived medical drama Mercy. She went on to star opposite Zac Efron in 2012's The Lucky One. In 2013, Schilling began playing Piper Chapman on the hit Netflix series Orange Is The New Black.
Early Acting Career
Born on July 27, 1984, in Boston, Massachusetts, Taylor Schilling discovered acting in middle school. An appearance in a production of Fiddler on the Roof ignited this passion. On her way home after the performance, she "was thinking, 'Whoa, I can pretend. That's what I'm going to do with my life.' I'm still not as clear about anything as I've been about that," she told The New York Times.
In 2006, Schilling earned her bachelor's degree in acting from Fordham University. She then went to graduate school at New York University for a time before deciding to pursue her acting career full time. Schilling made her film debut in 2007's Dark Matter with Meryl Streep, but her first major break came two years later. She landed a leading role in the medical drama Mercy. Unfortunately, the show proved to be short-lived, lasting for only one season.
Schilling fared a bit better on the big screen. She starred opposite Zac Efron in the Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Lucky One (2012). Schilling also played Ben Affleck's wife in the 2012 critically acclaimed film Argo, but her role was cut down substantially during the editing process.
'Orange Is The New Black'
Schilling's career received a substantial boost when she won the role of Piper Chapman in Orange Is The New Black. The series is based on the prison memoirs by the same title written by Piper Kerman. Schilling's fictionalized portrayal of Kerman, a well-to-do white woman imprisoned on drug-related offenses years after she committed the crime, earned wide acclaim.
Shortly after the show's debut on Netflix in 2013, Orange Is The New Black proved to be such a hit that it was quickly renewed for a second season. The series has continued to be popular, with season four launching in June 2016 and season five scheduled for 2017.
Schiller also appeared in the 2015 film, The Overnight, and has a couple other movies on the schedule in the upcoming months.
While her character differs from the real-life Piper, Schilling has been able to form a connection to Kerman. She told Allure magazine that Kerman is "such a cool woman. I have a friendship with her that is very important to me." Schilling especially admires Kerman's work with the Women's Prison Association.
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