Usually when my interview subject yawns in the middle of our conversation, I know I'm in trouble.
But Taylor Schilling, who plays Piper Chapman in the hit Netflix prison series Orange Is The New Black assures me that she doesn't find me dull.
And I have to believe her. I'm one of more than two dozen journalists who've been given eight minutes of face time with her and Uzo Aduba (Suzanne/Crazy Eyes), and the duo started the day on a morning television show at some ungodly hour.
"Are you sick of us yet?" I wonder.
"I haven't seen much of you," says Schilling, resisting the urge to roll her eyes. She points out the window. "That's a famous thing over there, isn't it? That tall thing with a circle in the middle."
I congratulate her on being able to identify our signature landmark, the CN Tower.
While obviously getting impatient with the promo demands placed on them, both actors are aware of the payoff: the chance to play in a groundbreaking series with a second season that places them front and centre.
That's not new for Schilling, who plays the lead character, in prison after a drug deal orchestrated by her girlfriend went wrong. This time, though, Piper's toughened up and goes to depths Schilling finds exciting.
Suzanne gets major play in season two and the chance to work with Lorraine Toussaint, one of the best actors on TV, who portrays a charismatic drug dealer and den mother.
"She is a force of nature," declares Aduba. "She brings a power and an openness and a generosity, and she has smarts about her. She's been around a long time and passes down that information."
The new season reveals more of Suzanne's backstory, which gives Aduba the chance to stretch. She says, however, that not knowing the character's past never stopped her from performing the role.
"It's true, when you meet her parents, who are academics and have a certain posture, that helped me understand her itch for literature and poetry. But not having that information before didn't make me feel as if something had been denied. It's just something new to digest."
"You can consider the information as missing puzzle pieces," Schilling chimes in, "which is how television works. You a lay a foundation, and then whatever information comes gets fit in to flesh out the character."
Like many who watch OITNB, both actors learned a lot about the experience of women in prison.
"It was definitely a situation that I did not know much about," says Schilling. "These are stories and women and characters that are purposefully kept from view, so I feel like I learn along with Piper about the injustices in the penal system."
"It really helped me to open up," Aduba agrees. "These are just people from all over the spectrum. I love the tag from the first season: every sentence is a story."
While trying to sell the project, both Aduba and Schilling are careful not to label OITNB as a lesbian series - despite the plentiful girl-on-girl action.
"When I read the first script, it was less about lesbianism but more a love story," says Aduba. "It was a story about how to win her, how to woo her. Love is love, and that was my approach to that character."
Schilling takes the same view.
"One of the cool thing about this story and specifically Piper is that it's a story about characters, and who these women are falling in love with is secondary to their journey as human beings. It feels incredibly liberating - and where we should be culturally - that it shouldn't be a gay person story. This isn't a lesbian drama; it's about women choosing to love who they love.
"The LGBT community has embraced the show, but that doesn't mean that OITNB is a lesbian drama."
This is the kind of thing that usually drives me nuts, but in this case, I kinda have to buy it. Truth is, most incarcerated females who have sex with women inside are not dykes. It's more like, well, lesbianism happens in prison.
"Many groups see their communities reflected, whether it's African Americans, Latinos, people of size, gender difference," says Aduba. "They all see their own faces, and that's what's most exciting about it."