Tatiana Maslany Interview on Orphan Black Season 3 | MuseLed

Though unable to attend Wondercon with the rest of her cast and crew, Tatiana Maslany took time out of filming from a "very remote" location in Canada where she she is filming a movie, in order to do a conference call interview to talk about all the exciting developments to come in season 3 of Tatiana Maslany: Orphan Black!


After last season, how is Sarah's relationship with Mrs. S and Paul? Can things ever go back to how they were after they betrayed her?

Tatiana Maslany: I think what Mrs. S and Paul did to Helena has definitely changed the game in terms of who Sarah can trust. I think Paul was always somebody that Sarah was weary of and at this point, he's really kind of sealed the deal on how she feels about him. But Mrs. S is definitely a more complicated thing because Sarah has started to take on this idea of Mrs. S being her mother, being part of her family, and being somebody she can trust and this betrayal is so enormous that it sort of forces Sarah into some of the most difficult decisions she has to make so far on this series.

Now that Donnie knows about the clones, how will this effect Alison and Donnie's relationship?

Tatiana Maslany: We've definitely seen Alison and Donnie come together by the end of season 2. There's a sense of understanding of why these two get each other and why they work. We've only ever seen them in conflict so it's nice to get to see them explore their romantic feelings for each other and their sense of being a team. We definitely get to see them a lot more in season 3.

Since Delphine is becoming a bit like Rachel in regards to performing her duties, what does this mean for Delphine and Cosima's relationship?

Tatiana Maslany: Delphine and Cosima have always sort of been on opposite sides of the equation in terms of Delphine being her monitor and having to pull the wool over Cosima's eyes a little bit. Cosima continually trusts Delphine and continues to love her and sort of romanticises what they can be. I think the two of them really would love to just be able to be together but unfortunately, Delphine has to cover herself and Cosima has to protect her sisters so they again end up being on opposite sides of the equation. It's an interesting season for the two of them. I won't say too much about what happens but it's definitely a lot of conflict.

Any chance we might see Tony again and what would you like to see him get involved in if he does come back?

Tatiana Maslany: I won't spoil too much but Tony was an awesome addition to our exploration of identity in season 2. I would just like to see him and Felix, and continue to explore what that relationship could be, and to get more back story on who Tony is. I think there's a lot there and we've barely scratched the surface.

Did you have any advice for Ari Millen on playing multiple characters this season?

Tatiana Maslany: We definitely talked about the challenge of it. Ari is an amazing actor and definitely has his own take and process as to what it was for him. But I think when you're facing something like this, it's always nice to have somebody as an ally and we definitely had an open discussion going any time there was something that came up. When I first saw a rough cut of his first clone scene, it was unbelievable. His understanding of the technical side of it while still being able to be present and relaxed and not just make it about the technical, I was amazed by it. He was kind of a natural at it. It's very cool to watch somebody else go through the same process that I did.

Did it take any pressure off of you?

Tatiana Maslany: There definitely was a shift towards the Castor clones where we get to explore them a little bit more and they did take a bit of the brunt off of my shoulders but there's also a lot of cool guest stars and supporting cast that we've seen throughout the seasons taking on a bigger role this season. We get to see Paul, Mrs. S, and Donnie expanded so there's a divvying up of the responsibility of carrying the storyline.

You get to go to these comic book conventions and comic cons. Is it gratifying to see how inspirational your characters have been for so many young women and so many people who cosplay and things like that?

Tatiana Maslany: Those kind of events are the most exciting part of the job. It feels amazing to go and meet the fans and interact with them in a personal way, and for them to get to tell us how the show has impacted them is unbelievable. I didn't expect that kind of response. We've always been really humbled and inspired by our fans and by their dedication to and knowledge of the show, and their breaking-down analysis of the show and also just how it changes their own lives and personal journeys. It's incredible. You don't expect that when you're doing a TV series, to have that kind of impact. We're lucky to be in a world where we're able to interact and discuss important things with our fans. It's totally gratifying.

A lot of show-runners keep things pretty close to the chest but with how many characters you play, do you get a head's up or do you still learn everything just from reading the script?

Tatiana Maslany: There's a lot that I learn when I read the script which is nice for me because I can't keep too much plot in my head. [Laughs]. So it's nice to kind of be in the dark a little bit but John and Graeme, the creators of the show, have always kept an open-door policy in terms of what's going on and where we're headed. They've asked for my input, and asked for my ideas about the characters and about new characters. It's a really collaborative thing and I don't think every TV show can say that. It's a really unique position to be in as the lead actress to have that kind of say. I really appreciate it.

It gets really complex with you playing multiple clones, trying to film a scene with more than one clone in it but now that Ari's in the mix with multiple clones as well, has it increased the complexity and the time of filming some of these scenes?

Tatiana Maslany: Yeah, I think what we tend to do on this show is that as soon as we get comfortable with one way of doing something, we sort of try and screw ourselves up a little bit. [Laughs]. We like to push the boundaries of what we're able to do and the limits of those clone scenes. You'll definitely see more complex clone work this season and that's just because we're getting more comfortable with the technology and we're excited by getting to further complicate things. John Fawcett, the show runner, he's crazy about adding new challenges to those scenes and making them more difficult. It's really fun, we get used to what we've done in them already but then we add things like pouring wine or five clones in a scene. We always want to make it more interesting for ourselves and for the audience.

Do you think there would ever a chance of a, going along the lines of the dance scene, some sort of a fight scene between the Leda and Castor Clones? That would probably be insane to film but it would be fun to watch.

Tatiana Maslany: [laughs]. Yeah, that would be super fun! I won't spoil anything but I'll just say there's some very cool clone scenes coming up. Definitely.

Rachel had such an important season finale with getting to meet her father. What about any of those scenes was your favourite?

Tatiana Maslany: It's always cool to take a character that has been seen in one way and get to expand them in a different direction. Rachel had always been sort of buttoned-up and difficult to access emotionally so it was fun to get to push her in a new direction and let her seams unravel, and that austere facade crumble a bit. I think a lot of these clones are dealing with identity so any time we get a glimpse into the back story of any of them or learn something we didn't know about them, it's always exciting. The season was shaken up by it. Especially somebody like Rachel who is so buttoned-up and seemingly together and untouched by any kind of pain; she airs her insecurity.

Do you have a favourite quiet scene? Like the one between Cosima and Sarah in the bed or the dance party, something that you were happiest with?

Tatiana Maslany: There were so many, it's hard to pick one. Helena's slow dance with Jesse in the bar was really nice, a totally different thing for Helena to get to do. Alison in season 1 getting to rip up everybody who's been judging her in her community and have her big blow-up was really fun. Like you said, that scene between Sarah and Cosima in season 2 in the finale, it was a really fun scene for Katherine and I to do together. She's my clone double and she's so incredible. To not have to act with a tennis ball and get to act with this brilliant actress who gives me so much, she and I have a real sisterhood between the two of us so to get to just say those lines together and explore those characters together in this kind of intimate quiet moment that Sarah never gets and that Cosima gives her was really beautiful and fun for us to do.

At Wondercon over the weekend, Jordan talked about how Felix gets to develop a friendship with Cosima in the upcoming season. Can you talk a bit about approaching their friendship from that clone and how that develops?

Tatiana Maslany: The two of them have been a little bit at odds for some reason and not because of any overt thing but I know Jordan was just like, "I don't think Felix trusts Cosima," and I'm like, "Alright, that's interesting." [Laughs]. We got to explore more of a slow burn sort of relationship between the two of them and they have so much in common with their shared experiences and being lonely, and there's a heartache in the two of them. We really get to see that a little bit this season. Cosima's sort of been thrust on Felix this season because she's living at his place and he can't get rid of her so it's another unlikely coming together of two people. Felix seems to have those kind of unlikely friendships with the clones. Alison and him came together; they despised each other but they're two sides of the same coin in that relationship.

The stakes keep rising each season, often even with each episode. Besides Dyad and Castor, will there be any other threats this season or will that keep their hands pretty full?

Tatiana Maslany: There's loads of threats. There's so many threats that I don't even remember all the threats. [Laughs]. There's a lot, it's a huge season, it's an absolutely enormous season. The mysteries continue to unravel and like in seasons past, as soon as you get a little bit of a clue into what's happening, the rug gets pulled out from under you and a thousand more questions. It's going to continue to be a mystery.

What was your reaction when you learned that there were the male clones of Project Castor coming into the mix and how did they effect the whole mythology of the show and the universe?

Tatiana Maslany: I was really excited about the prospect of it because I think Ari's such a strong actor. I think what they offer us is another exploration of nature vs. nurture, a different perspective, a different kind of experiment. The Leda clones were raised in different circumstances, separate from each other. For them to discover each other is their journey and to come to terms with the fact that they're clones. The Castor clones were raised self-aware and in a unit so there's a very different experience that they bring to the question.

There have been so many great moments of humour over the last few seasons. Will there be more of that coming?

Tatiana Maslany: Oh for sure. Any time you have Felix in a scene, you're going to get some amazing one-liners and Donnie too. Kristian is such an amazing improviser and has created this hilarious character and gives me so much to work opposite when it's Alison and Donnie. There's definitely high-jinx afoot.

Kira has always been hinted at being special and gifted and it seems like she's being set up to have a bigger role in this season. Can you comment on that in any way?

Tatiana Maslany: Kira has been such a driving force in Sarah's world. The stakes of her relationship with Sarah continues to be a big driving force. Sarah unfortunately has to make some really difficult decisions this season and those will effect Kira. We'll see this family unit be compromised. I won't say too much about it but that's sort of a little spoiler.

There's a lot of guest actors coming on this season, such as James Frain and Justin Chatwin. Can you tell us what it was like having them on the show and about their characters?

Tatiana Maslany: It was totally awesome. I won't say too much about the characters because I don't know what I can or can't say but there's definitely awesome characters. James was such a blast to work with. He's such a compelling actor and has this darkness to him that's so fun to play opposite. Justin too, he's hilarious and offers a great comedy to the series. We're really lucky and honoured that these people want to come and do the show with us and take time out of their schedules to come and play.

Is it fun when you get a script and see you're playing a character playing a character?

Tatiana Maslany: I don't do a lot of 'figuring out.' I love those scenes so much and they're such a confusing, disorienting sort of experience but I love them. They're so much fun to play. I feel a little bit out to sea as well. There's a lot of room for mistakes, a lot of freedom to play, and a lot of room to experiment with the size of things and how bad somebody's impersonation of someone else is or how great it is or who's a great actor and who's not. It's really fun, and to play with how the clones see each other, what Alison's version of Sarah is versus what Sarah's version of Alison is or Rachel is, it's really fun.

The rest of the cast has experienced being fixed points while you transform from character to character. How was it for you as an actor to experience that with Ari Millen?

Tatiana Maslany: It's great! It's awesome to watch the process from the outside. Ari has a totally different way of going out about it than I do and that's exciting to see because it's such a unique challenge. It's such a cool, uncharted territory. It's not really a common thing to get to play so many characters on a series. I'm just really happy that we got him and that he was willing to take on the challenge.

The show runners have expressed interest in doing a flashback into Beth's life. What aspect of Beth would you be most interested in exploring or playing?

Tatiana Maslany: There's a lot to her that is unknown and has been hinted at. I think she was going through a lot of turmoil and pain and I'd love to get to the root of that and what that is. Her relationship with Paul, her relationship with Art, I mean there's so many things there to mine and to go into. I would love to do that. I think that's so cool that they said that.

Did you discover any new acting challenges with your respective roles this season and how do you feel you further grew and developed as an actress overall this season on the show?

Tatiana Maslany: I'm so lucky to get to have this challenge of playing multiple characters and revisiting them every season and growing them. The writers are amazing, they constantly expand the characters and give me more to play with and more to explore. I feel really challenged every season. You can't help but change as an actor as you grow and learn more and as you get to work opposite awesome people like James Frain. Every day is like a learning experience for me. It's hard to pinpoint what it is that I learned exactly but I know that I've learned so much in terms of what it takes to lead a series and the kind of stamina it requires to play this many characters.

Is there anything you can speak about with the characters interacting with Art this season?

Tatiana Maslany: Art has always been this kind of moral centre of the show and has fought for the sisters for some reason, we've never really understood why, and we get a lot more insight into him this season. I was so happy for that because Kevin has been an actor that I've watched for years before I got to work with him on the series. I was a huge fan of his work in theatre and he is such an amazing, amazing actor. I watched him play Martin Luther King this last year because he played him in two separate performances of this play. He's just so incredible and we're really lucky to have him and it's great to get to mine his talent and expand that beautiful character that is Art.


Season 3 of Orphan Black premieres on Saturday, April 18, at 9PM on BBC America.


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