Tatiana Maslany had to bundle up for her latest role. PEOPLE recently caught up with the Orphan Black actress at the Cannes Film Festival, where she was supporting her new film Two Lovers and a Bear. The Kim Nguyen-directed indie drama stars Maslany and Dane DeHaan as two souls who live in the Arctic to escape their pasts. To set the scene, the film shot in chilly northern Canada.
“It’s freezing cold,” Maslany tells PEOPLE. “You have to cover your face at all times or else you get frostbite, so it’s a pretty extreme experience. But it was amazing. It was one of the coolest places I’ve ever been.”
While Orphan Black, whose fourth season premiered on BBC America last month, shoots under less severe weather conditions, playing multiple diverse characters can be just as straining mentally.
“I think Cosima was like my ‘in’ first season. I get her, I know her. We’re very similar,” Maslany says. “And now, Sarah feels very close to me. Allison at times feels very close to me. Helena, for different reasons, feels close to me – I won’t go into that.”
But just because these parts are like her doesn’t make them her favorite.
“I get to play Krystal, who is so far from me, but I’m obsessed with her. I love her,” she explains. “I would never get cast as that character – ever, ever – so it’s great to have that chance.”
Maslany has spoken out against body shaming before, yet she’s still surprised when the media choses to run stories about her decision not to wax her upper lip – instead of focusing on her work.
“I also said 900 other things,” she says with a laugh. “My aesthetic is the thing that leads as oppose to these six characters I play or this movie I did.”
For Maslany, going into acting had nothing to do with the attention for beauty or fashion.
“I feel like it’s such a bizarre thing that women sort of become these fashion models,” she says. “As an actor, from my experience, that was never part of my realm. I was never like, ‘I can’t wait to be on a red carpet wearing so-and-so.’ I was like, ‘I can’t wait to be in the mud, crawling around, covered in dirt and playing a scene opposite that actor, or working with that director, or trying this skill out, or seeing if I can go to that emotional place.’ ”
Maslany continues, “It’s such a bizarre juxtaposition to me that this pristine world of fashion is connected to [acting].”
Hey guys, I caught up today on all the missing season 4 featurettes of Orphan Black and have added them to the site. I also added more photo sessions of Tatiana from Cannes while promoting Two Lovers And A Bear. She looks STUNNING.
• Photo Session #064 – recent additions
• Orphan Black Feature: Cosima Goes Underground || Watch Video
• Orphan Black Feature: Down A Rabbit Hole || Watch Video
• Orphan Black Feature: Inside Susan Duncan’s Return || Watch Video
• Orphan Black Feature: Origin of the Sheep Mask || Watch Video
• Orphan Black Feature: Sarah, Beth, And Flashbacks || Watch Video
• Orphan Black Feature: Seeing Krystal Clearly || Watch Video
• Orphan Black Feature: Tatiana’s Grossed Out By Leekie’s Head || Watch Video
• Orphan Black Feature: Will Krystal Ever Be A Clone Club Member? || Watch Video
Kim Nguyen’s new film, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Directors’ Fortnight, is called Two Lovers and a Bear. But there almost wasn’t a bear in it at all.
“It took quite a while to write the script,” the Montreal director says. “And at a certain point I left the script for a little bit.” This would be when he made 2012’s War Witch, which was nominated for an Academy Award in the foreign-language category that year; not a bad sidestep.
When he came back to Two Lovers, he says, “there was something that was missing in the script, and I realized it had to be letting go of rationality, and making the Arctic an inner voyage rather than just a prosaic quest. That’s when the bear came in.”
The bear is Agee, a trained polar bear with 20 years’ experience stretching back to the 1996 film Alaska. Gordon Pinsent provides the beast’s voice; grumpy, tired, often hungry.
The lovers, meanwhile, are played by Dane DeHaan and Regina-born Tatiana Maslany. Their characters, Roman and Lucy, are living in a small town in the Far North (the movie was shot in Iqaluit), clearly in love but also struggling with personal demons that eventually drive them to flee the town and into an unforgiving, lunar-like wilderness landscape.
Nguyen relied in part on local actors and crew while filming in the tiny community on Baffin Island. “They’re really aware of the risks involved in driving an hour away from their city,” he says. “People always have a little survival kit in case something happens, whereas we have 24-hour autonomy with this.” He taps his phone.
The danger is explained in an early scene in which Roman helps to move a body. Someone asks how the person died. “He got lost.”
Two Lovers and a Bear is a richly philosophical tale. The talking bear discusses karma with Roman (he alone seems able to understand the animal), while hidden in the end credits is a quote from Japanese writer Haruki Murakami: “Time expands, then contracts, all in tune with the stirrings of the heart.”
Nguyen wanted that quote at the beginning of the film, but felt it would distract viewers from the opening scene. “It’s about how our relationship to time and space is also an emotional experience,” he says. “We think that it’s very quantitative and precise, but … it’s hard to prove that what you experience is really real rather than a construction. Is truth based on your experience, or is truth something that’s objectively outside out you? Which is the closer truth?”
It’s a bit like asking which of two jokes is funnier. Nguyen learned that in a pivotal scene in which Lucy tells a joke that begins with two lovers and a bear walking into a bar.
“I was going to have a joke that was funnier,” says the director. “Before filming that scene it was clear that it was a bad joke. And it was long. And so I had them do another joke, which was funnier and snappier. And then I told them: definitely the shorter one.
“And then Dane said, I don’t know, the long joke reveals character in their relationship, and I think you should consider it.” The shaggy dog story stayed in the picture.
I’ve added 11 more High Quality photos of Tatiana at Cannes Film Festival. Big thanks to my friend Angela for sharing these with me. I’ve also added what looks to be a promotional image of some sort for The Other Half. Enjoy!
Phew. Tatiana has been busy promoting Two Lovers And A Bear at Cannes. I’ve added photos from her whole coverage from appearance photos to screencaps to portraits. I will add more as I come across them. Enjoy!
• Photo Session #064
• 2016: May 18 – Cannes Film Festival: Day 8 – Appearance #1
• 2016: May 18 – Cannes Film Festival: Day 8 – Appearance #2
• 2016: May 17 – Cannes Film Festival: Day 7 – Red Carpet
• 2016: May 17 – Cannes Film Festival Interview: The Hollywood Reporter
• 2016: May 17 – Cannes Film Festival Interview: Deadline
• 2016: May 17 – Cannes Film Festival Interview: Le Tappes Rose
• 2016: May 17 – ET Canada #1 – Caps
• 2016: May 17 – ET Canada #2 – Caps
• 2016: Cannes Film Festival – Caps (May 17)