If you’re looking for a new kick-ass heroine to root for this TV season, be sure to tune in to Orphan Black. The sci-fi thriller, airing on Space, was created in collaboration with BBC America, and stars Tatiana Maslany a series of clones, making the show a serious mind-bender. We chatted with the Saskatchewan-born star to find out what it’s like playing multiple characters Sarah, Beth, Allison… well, you get the picture.
“It’s not every day you get to play a part like this. It’s a dream and a nightmare.”
While many actresses may have been hesitant to take on such an arduous role, it only made Maslany want it more. “It’s definitely a challenge that made me hungry for this part,” reveals the star, who auditioned for the role three times before she finally got a screen test.
“I dreamt about the pilot from the moment I had read the script.”
In the pilot, Sarah witnesses the suicide of a woman, Beth, who could potentially be her twin. Wanting to leave her own difficult life behind, Sarah assumes Beth’s identity but soon realizes that the life she’s just taken over may be more messed up than her own. Yet another Sarah lookalike is introduced, and the audience is left wondering just how many clones are out there… and why?
“There’s a little bit of me in each character.”
The role tests Maslany’s range as she switches in and out of an English accent for Sarah and Beth. “Each woman is so different and so well established, it was a lot of fun for me to delve into each character,” she says. But she’s proven herself before: her role as a rebellious teen forced to repeat her final year of high school in the Canadian-produced film Picture Day led to Maslany being named as one of four rising stars at last year’s TIFF.
Still trying to wrap your head around Orphan Black? We asked Maslany to describe the show in one word:
“Weird—and I mean that as a compliment.”
Orphan Black premieres March 30 on Space Canada and BBC America. Watch the trailer now.