Jodie Foster, ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Stars Talk Binge-Viewing, Working with Femmes

“We want it when we want it” — that’s how “House of Cards” co-star Robin Wright described the audience’s response to Netflix’s innovation in the way it launches series programming.

Wright, Jodie Foster and “Orange is the New Black” thesps Taylor Schilling and Kate Mulgrew talked about changing viewer habits and the impact on their work during the “Women Ruling TV” panel sesh held Thursday at the Television Academy’s headquarters in North Hollywood.

Hours before Netflix raised the curtain on season two of “OITNB,” Schilling said that in the past she never felt her work as an actress got much notice. But that changed last year.

“Almost 72 hours after the show was released my experience walking down my street was completely different,” she said. “I had come to realize that people just spent 13 hours with me. It’s a really visceral, intimate relationship with the audience.”

“Kind of perverted,” Wright interjected.

Since Netflix released its original series and all episodes at once, “binge” watching became the new topic of discussion.

Maybe Foster doesn’t sit and watch all at once, but she says she wouldn’t want to watch TV any other way and becomes irritated when multiple episodes are not at her disposal.

Wright echoed, “You don’t have to have a reservation. That’s what it feels like, an appointment. It’s at your whim and that is what society has become for all of us. We want it when we want it.”

Variety’s Jenelle Riley moderated the panel. She asked whether “House of Cards” would have made the same impact if the episodes were released on a traditional weekly schedule.

“Maybe not, it’s a Catch-22,” said Wright. “You hear both sides from the parties that watch. Which are ‘I’m an addict, I want more.’ It’s almost like they want to take your blood. Then in concert with that is the liberty to do what they want. ‘I’m paying for my program so let me dictate when and how.’ ”

Mulgrew said the nature of the storytelling on “OITNB” was liberating for her as an actress.

“Suddenly it’s the understanding that intelligence is in now in the foreground rather than in the background,” she told Variety. “Beauty is not recessive, beauty is always lovely, but what’s more important than beauty is what takes place between two people. And within these prison walls human interaction is at its absolutely most intriguing.”

Schilling said she continues to be enamored with the world of her character, a woman who unexpectedly winds up in prison for youthful mistakes.

“She wasn’t pining after a guy, she wasn’t just some sex pot, she wasn’t getting over some guy — she was finding herself,” Schilling said of the character’s complexity.

Mulgrew added, “I’m going to risk this and say, we do of course have men (in the cast), but by virtual of the fact there aren’t so many men, we are free to be absolutely authentic. There’s a freedom. There’s a trust.”

Foster has directed episodes for both Netflix series. She told Variety that she is drawn to different things as an actor and as a director. “I think I’m drawn to straight drama as an actor, I don’t know why. And I’m drawn to singular stories about one person and lots of lonely people. As a director, I’m drawn to ensembles and how their lives interweave and I tend to be drawn to things that are a lot more whimsy.”

Foster also said she enjoys being a fly on the wall watching Kevin Spacey and Wright work.

Wright said working with Spacey is beautifully comfortable and gloriously surprising.

“He sings with surprise, there’s always a melody and while you’re following it like you would a beautiful classic tune you’re always surprised where he suddenly throws in some AC/DC.”

Jehane Noujaim, director of Netflix’s Oscar-nominated doc “The Square,” about the Egyptian uprising, also participated in the panel.

“Everybody on our team was arrested, tear-gassed or shot at,” she said. “I think when you watch people who are putting everything that they have on the line to fight for what they believe in, you are making this sort of unspoken contract with them that you will give their story a platform. You can’t give up on that no matter what it takes.”

(Pictured: Robin Wright, Taylor Schilling, Jodie Foster, Jehane Noujaim, Kate Mulgrew)

More Digital

  • Hulu-Logo

    Comcast Mulling Sale of Hulu Stake to Disney (Report)

    Comcast is holding talks with Disney to see if they can hammer out a deal to sell Comcast’s one-third stake in Hulu to the Mouse House — which would give Disney full control over Hulu, CNBC reported. The report comes a little over a week after AT&T sold its 9.5% stake in Hulu to the [...]

  • Cox Cable Testing a Form of

    Cox Cable Testing a Form of 'Fast Lane' Internet For Gamers

    Cox Cable is testing a new “Elite Gamer Service” a form of fast lane service for gamers that would prioritize internet use for those willing to pay an extra $15 a month. The service is currently being tested in Arizona and only works with Windows PCs. Cox Elite Gamer “automatically finds a faster path for [...]

  • Angie-Nwandu-The-Shade-Room

    The Shade Room, a Top Instagram Celebrity and Gossip Publisher, Unveils First Slate of Original Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Shade Room, a top Instagram-based media publisher focused on black culture, entertainment and celebrity gossip, is launching three new original series on the social platform. The five-year-old venture, the brainchild of entrepreneur Angelica Nwandu, runs one of the most highly engaged accounts on Instagram: @TheShadeRoom, which has 15.3 million followers (referred to as “Roommates”), [...]

  • Offset, Cardi B. Offset, left, and

    Cardi B and Offset Join Muzik Founder Jason Hardi for Brilliant Minds Conference

    Muzik founder Jason Hardi is scheduled to speak alongside Cardi B and Offset at the Brilliant Minds Conference, taking place in Stockholm on June 13 to 15. The symposium centered around the intersection between culture and technology was founded by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. They join previously announced speakers Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of [...]

  • Fable Premieres "Wolves in the Walls:

    Fable's Neil Gaiman VR Experience ‘Wolves in the Walls’ Gets Sequel at Tribeca

    San Francisco-based immersive entertainment startup Fable is premiering the second part of “Wolves in the Walls,” a VR experience based on the Neil Gaiman children’s book by the same name, at the Tribeca Film Festival this week. “Wolves in the Walls: It’s All Over” effortlessly connects to the existing story, and immerses viewers in the [...]

  • Universal Games - Series Your Story

    Universal Games Launches Episodic Game App With 'Saved by the Bell,' 'Law & Order,' 'Bridesmaids,' Other NBCU Properties

    NBCUniversal sees a potential $200 million-plus jackpot in adapting some of its old TV and movie franchises into an interactive storytelling game. The company’s Universal Games and Digital Platforms group on Thursday is launching a new, free-to-play mobile game, “Series: Your Story Universe” that lets players pick an avatar and play through different episodes of [...]

  • Kenny-Mitchell-Snap

    Snap Taps McDonald's Marketing Exec Kenny Mitchell as First CMO

    Snap, as part of rebuilding its senior exec team and angling to boost growth, has hired its first chief marketing officer: Kenny Mitchell, a consumer-marketing veteran who has worked at McDonald’s, Gatorade, NBC Sports Group and NASCAR. Mitchell will join the company in June 2019, reporting to CEO and cofounder Evan Spiegel. Mitchell will lead [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content