Taylor Schilling hopes her 'Orange Is the New Black' alter-ego Piper Chapman "lives on in perpetuity".
The 34-year-old actress admits it's difficult saying goodbye to the character, which she has played for 78 episodes since launching her career on the Netflix prison drama series in 2013, as the cast prepare for the final series next year.
The 'Argo' star - whose cast mates include Uzo Aduba (Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren), Laura Prepon (Alex Cause) and Kate Mulgrew (Galina 'Red' Reznikov - told Story + Rain: "This is a huge part of my life. I was young. I was 27, just so little ... What I hope for Piper is that she lives on in perpetuity.
"That she finds some freedom, some self-acceptance.
"It's been really interesting playing a character that has not found any internal resting point. With a lot of gratitude, is how I'd like to say goodbye."
'Orange Is the New Black' - which follows the antics of the female prisoners of New York's Litchfield Penitentiary - will bid farewell after its explosive seventh series next summer.
Meanwhile, Taylor has already signed up for a number of projects since, including the forthcoming thriller 'The Prodigy', in which she plays a mother concerned about her son's bizarre behaviour which she thinks is the result of the supernatural, but after her current filming schedule ends, Taylor plans to take a well-deserved break, before figuring out what she'd like to do next.
She told the lifestyle platform: "This is a huge new chapter. I have a few projects coming out this spring--Orion Pictures' thriller The Prodigy, and the Film Arcade comedy Family. And then I think I'm going to just be very quiet for a minute and see what enters, as opposed to chasing it."
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