Taylor Schilling Covers The June Issue of Elle Canada & Talks Social Media

Taylor Schilling Covers The June Issue of Elle Canada & Talks Social Media

Via Elle Canada:


Wearing a worn-in navy-blue Céline coat, skinny black jeans and a little black cashmere sweater, Taylor Schilling quietly appears beside me for our breakfast at the Four Seasons in Toronto. “This is so nice!”: she exclaims after giving me a huge hug and surveying our little booth surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Yorkville Avenue. I was relieved, as Schilling had requested that our table at Café Boulud be as private as possible. I would later come to understand that this request wasn’t because Schilling was worried about being spotted (she actually adores hearing from fans); she just prefers to keep things as simple and serene as possible. As she settles into the corner and folds her long legs under her, her relaxed, cool sensibility immediately comes through. It’s a far cry from her role as the high-strung Piper Chapman on the award-winning Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, which returns for its third season this month. Today, Schilling seems more like that fiercely intelligent, curious-abouteverything friend you can call up day or night for advice – or just to ponder the nature of the universe. Minutes into our chat, she’s enthusiastically discussing society’s obsession with celebrity and her own conflicted take on social media and how it hinders her desire to live an honest and authentic life.

I think most people realize that the images we see of celebrities aren’t real, but do you still feel a certain pressure to live up to that ideal? “I’m still relatively new to the business – I started just five years ago – but I can see how the pressure becomes internalized. And knowing how powerful it can be, I can’t even imagine being outside of this industry looking in. I love meeting the people I admire and seeing they’re all human – they have bags under their eyes and are dealing with their own insecurities and struggles. I think it’s so vital to keep that context in the forefront.

I worry there is less context because of social media. In real life, you see the layers, but online it’s just this patina. “It takes a lot of bravery to be authentic and honest and to take that social mask off in order to connect with another human being. So much of what makes us who we are is smoothed away online. And what truly connects us is the wrinkles, not the smoothness.”

Participating in social media is supposed to be about making connections, but is it? “There is something so sad about going online and seeing almost everyone shouting ‘Notice me, notice me!’ Which is such a human desire—to be acknowledged. But me responding to that with some sort of ‘You’re noticed, you’re seen’ only perpetuates the loneliness. Because I’m not seeing you; I’m not noticing you. And whoever you are, you so deserve to be noticed and valued. I feel lucky to have not grown up with the Internet because it forced me to get out, struggle and be so messy.”

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