**Warning – spoilers for season six ahead**
Taylor Schilling is getting ready to leave Orange Is The New Black after season seven.
The actor plays Piper Chapman in Netflix‘s prison drama, who is incarcerated in Litchfield Penitentiary for 15 months for criminal conspiracy and money laundering.
Despite Chapman being released from prison in season six, the show’s executive producer Tara Herrmann told The Hollywood Reporter the character was “the grounding force of the show” and the series would continue to follow her out of prison.
However, in an interview with the publication, Schilling said she was getting ready to “say goodbye” to the role. “It certainly is an end of an era,” she said. “Orange has been such a huge chapter in my life, personally and professionally.
“I’m so grateful to have been able to play this part of Piper,” she continued. “I’m excited to let Piper go and put her to rest beautifully as I’m sure Jenji [Kohan, creator] will do, and let her kind of live on in her own world, when that time comes.”
Speaking about filming the finale to season six, which arrived on Netflix last weekend (July 27), Schilling said: “Everything that we’re talking about in terms of the political, social and cultural aspect of what’s happening right now, that was emotional. Then the piece of this character whose life has been upended and nothing will ever be the same again in going back, whatever that means.
“And also, just me as an actor getting ready to say goodbye to a role that I’ve lived with for six years. It’s very poignant. It’s a very poignant moment in time because, we’re not done. I’m about to go back and shoot season seven. So it’s a very kind of surreal time.”
Meanwhile, Schilling’s co-star Danielle Brooks, who plays Taystee, said the show was “changing the face of Hollywood.” It’s incredible to be part of a show that’s trailblazing Hollywood and how we view television, from literally the inside out, from having a more diverse cast but also having a more diverse crew too – [that] has been really cool,” she told NME.
She continued: “I think it’s really changing the face of Hollywood, and I think our show has definitely spoken about things – like #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, LGBT rights, the list really can go on and on, the topics that are ringing true to America but also the world, clearly. And I think we really are influencing people to change their views a lot.”
Orange Is The New Black has already been renewed for a seventh season, which is likely to arrive in summer 2019.