Notable TV roles: Several clones, Orphan Black (BBC America)
The buzziest new show of the TV season has a premise that calls for an actress capable of intense heavy lifting. Orphan Black went with a relative unknown, and the result is one of the most surprising performances of the year. Plenty of actors have pulled double duty playing twins, doppelgangers, or in this case, clones—but Maslany played seven on the first season of this upstart. That she’s able to give each and every one a distinct personality is remarkable, and as the show gains more popularity, so will she. This is the show your geeky friend (read: us) has been telling you to check out for the past few months. Hop on the bandwagon.