TIME Television

Orange Is the New Black Star Taylor Schilling on Feedback from Real Former Prisoners: “We’re Doing Something Right”

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Barbara Nitke / Netflix

Schilling, who stars as Piper Chapman, talks to TIME about making the show realistic

When Orange Is the New Black returns to Netflix June 6 for its second season, fans from all backgrounds will be excited to binge-watch (or ration out) the episodes. But some of those fans will have more information than others, at least when it comes to how the show depicts life behind bars at a women’s correctional facility.

When star Taylor Schilling spoke to TIME for this week’s issue, she discussed how those fans responded to the first season:

TIME: Have you gotten any feedback from people who have been in prison and have seen the show?

Schilling: Yeah, I have had some people come up to me who have been in the prison system and talk about how much the show seems true to life and how much they appreciate it, and that means so much to me. It’s a pretty cool thing that happens.

What’s that feel like?

It seems very vindicating. It really feels like we’re doing something right.

Though Schilling says that such fans tend to single out the characters as being realistic, the show doesn’t skimp on realism when it comes to objects, either. The uniforms that function as costumes are prison-issue, Schilling says, and “pretty much everything” on the show, from cafeteria cutlery to visiting passes, is either from a prison-supply source or a close replica.

One thing from last season that wasn’t real: the chicken. Schilling says there were several chickens and a chicken wrangler brought in, and though the bird remained uncaught on the show the cast posed for poultry pics when the camera wasn’t rolling. No word on whether the chicken will ever return.

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