Today was Tatiana’s birthday and in honor of that I have put up a new design on the site and gallery to celebrate. We wished her a happy birthday on twitter earlier today and this is our surprise in honor of her birthday. I hope you all like it as much as I do!
The Orphan Black star is the first Canadian actor to win an Emmy for a Canadian series
Last night, Tatiana Maslany finally won an Emmy for playing Sarah Manning and her many clones on Orphan Black, a series that’s earned her widespread acclaim since it debuted in 2013.
The win is a big deal for a few reasons.
For one, it wasn’t widely expected by industry pundits. Many had predicted How To Get Away With Murder star Viola Davis to score a repeat win in the category. Robin Wright and Taraji P. Hensen were considered next in line for their work on House of Cards and Empire, respectively. Like Maslany, neither of those actresses had won heading into last night. Instead, it was Maslany’s name that was read when her fellow Canuck Kiefer Sutherland opened the Emmy envelope.
Second, the win represents a rare major award for the sci-fi/fantasy television genre. Just ask fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Battlestar Galactica, who collectively spent a decade protesting the lack of Emmy love for stars Sarah Michelle Gellar and Mary McDonnell.
But rarer still is the fact that Maslany is a Canadian actor starring on a Canadian show. While she certainly isn’t the first Canadian actor to win a major category (Edmonton-born Michael J. Fox has five Emmys for his work on Family Ties, Spin City and Rescue Me, respectively), Maslany is the first to appear in a homegrown production.
The usual narrative for Canadian artists involves heading south of the border to find “true” success. It’s a tradition that’s long and complicated, especially for actors. From America’s onetime “sweetheart” Mary Pickford to contemporary heartthrob Ryan Gosling, our biggest stars were more-or-less established in the States by the time they became famous.
But even after four years in the American spotlight thanks to Orphan Black, Regina-born Maslany lives and works in Canada. She’s based in Toronto, and she uses to her downtime from Black to focus on largely Canadian projects, such as Kim Nguyen’s Two Lovers and a Bear (which just screened at TIFF) and Ben Lewis’s upcoming short film Apart From Everything.
And that didn’t stop her from winning an Emmy last night.
The most obvious comparison to Maslany is perhaps Sarah Polley, who also resisted Hollywood when her fame began to rise. The CBC-TV series Road To Avonlea became popular in the United States after it was picked up by the Disney Channel in 1990. It too was a success story at the Emmy Awards (receiving 16 nominations over its run, though none of them were for Polley herself), and could have easily launched Polley’s career in a major way Stateside. But instead, she actively turned down notable roles in American films (most famously the Almost Famous role that won Kate Hudson an Oscar nomination) to work with Canadian directors including Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter), Don McKellar (Last Night) and Thom Fitzgerald (The Hanging Garden).
Ultimately, Polley earned an Oscar nomination, and it was on her own terms. Her screenplay for Away From Her, adapted from the work of Alice Munro, got a nod at the 2007 Oscars. It’s one of the few Canadian films to ever receive major recognition at the Academy Awards.
Like Polley, Maslany is proving you can still garner major international success as an actress — or an artist of any kind — without leaving Canada.
She is conversely sending a message to the film and television industries of this country, who don’t always make things easy for actors trying to stay in Canada when they consistently hire non-Canadians to act in their projects. Just look at some of the Canadian productions or co-productions at TIFF this year. Collectively, they starred the likes of Sally Hawkins, Ethan Hawke, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriquez, Anne Hathaway, Chloe Moretz, Gerald Butler, Willem Dafoe and Alison Brie, hardly a group representative of the Canadian acting community.
Their arguments for doing so surely have something to do with the assumed marketability of American or British names over our own talent. The success of Orphan Black, however, shows this is not necessarily the case — and that was true before Maslany won an Emmy.
But perhaps by winning one, she’s busted the dual myths that Canadian productions need non-Canadian actors to thrive, and that Canadian actors can’t thrive without heading south.
When all the Emmy Awards speeches are done, only one winner can reign supreme on social media. This year, the night belonged to Tatiana Maslany, whose best actress victory for BBC America’s Orphan Black became the most talked-about Emmys moment on the internet.
According to Facebook, more than nine million people had 14 million interactions focusing on the Emmys, and the No. 1 person on the social media site was Maslany. She was also No. 1 on Twitter, where users reacted to the Canadian actress’ first Emmy win for her critically acclaimed performance and impassioned acceptance speech. It’s been a long time coming, as Maslany has been portraying various clones with unique accents, mannerisms, and looks throughout the series’ four-season run.
Coming close behind in the No. 2 spot on Facebook is Game of Thrones, which landed at No. 3 on Twitter. The fan-favorite series had arguably its most pivotal moment at the Emmys, making history by earning more Emmys than any primetime series ever. Meanwhile, Twitter’s second place goes to Rami Malek, who won the trophy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series thanks to his performance as Elliot on USA Network’s Mr. Robot.
As for No. 3 on Facebook, Sterling K. Brown’s win for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie for his performance as prosecutor Christopher Darden in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story had people talking, while that memorable acceptance speech only made it a bigger deal.
For even more Emmys excitement, find out who else won and then see which stars had viewers reaching for the tissues.
Returning CBB champs Tatiana Maslany and Kristian Bruun of Orphan Black join Scott to chat about the times they broke their foot, the process of crying on camera, and exclusive monologues that will appear on their show. Then, Janice Cramps stops by to tell us all about her new pregnancy. Finally, children’s entertainer Big Chunky Bubbles makes his way into the studio for the first time to tell us about how he’s trying to branch out of entertaining children.
This episode is sponsored by HBO’s High Maintenance, Jack Threads, Leesa, and Legal Zoom.
Tatiana won tonight for Best Actress in a Drama Series at the 2016 Emmy Awards for her many roles on Orphan Black. She deserves this honor and acknowledgement and it has been long over due. Tatiana, continue on shining and humbling us with your presence.