Press/Photos: Tatiana for ‘Anthem’ Magazine
Tatiana was featured in Anthem magazine last week with Tom. Check out the article and photos below.
In Joey Klein’s impressionistic romance The Other Half, two combustible lives collide to spark fiery passion that’s just as easily extinguished in a series of preludes and aftermaths, and persistent loss and newfound love. The Canadian film marks Klein’s first feature out as writer and director.
Tatiana Maslany plays Emily, a mercurial woman with severe bipolar disorder, and Tom Cullen is Nickie, a morose hothead stunted by depression following the unexplained disappearance of his younger brother years ago. Emily first meets Nickie as he’s unloading unchecked fury onto a pesky patron at his day job. She intervenes, all googly-eyed. As luck would have it, Emily’s in one of her brief windows of stability. They quickly lose themselves in each other’s arms and find solace in their shared dysfunction. Still, Nickie tries to conceal his chronic melancholy and barely-corked rage under layers of bravado and macho posturing, while Emily cycles between wild buoyancy and terrifying manic episodes. Together, they clumsily clear a path towards something profound. In allowing this ill-fated duo to simply exist in their slow spiral towards possible stability—rather than hurtling them into a certain tragedy—Klein is sensitive to the incremental changes that come with fortifying love and the self-destructive demons we sometimes fight in order to maintain it.
The Other Half is a homegrown effort for Klein, modestly undertaken between close friends. It’s beautifully captured by DP Bobby Shore (Closet Monster, The Invitation), and skillfully performed by Cullen and Maslany whose real-life romance offscreen is unapologetically felt onscreen.
The Other Half opens in select theaters on March 10.
It’s been a long journey for The Other Half, if you consider that you, Joey, started developing ideas, I think, around ten years ago now. I know it has gone through quite an evolution since its first conception. Were there times when you thought it wouldn’t get made at all?
Joey Klein: Yeah, I think you have to be dedicated. And delusional. [Laughs] Also, I was fortunate enough to meet people who elevated me and made me better than I was. Somebody just asked [Tom and Tatiana] whether I wrote these parts for them, and while it’s true that I started writing before I knew them and before we all became close to our cinematographer Bobby [Shore], they really informed my process. They all helped with elements of the story and made it stronger. Once we were together, it made it easier for me to find the form and develop what it ended up being.
Things have gone chemically wrong for Nickie and Emily—Nickie with his PTSD and Emily with her bipolarity—yet they’re not entirely tragic characters. They find each other—“they don’t smell each other’s stink,” as you playfully put it in the past—and they push forward.
Tom Cullen: Thank you for saying that because that’s something we really believe in. This is a hopeful film. It’s about two people suffering and people slow to learn that other people are trying to save them. What I like about Nickie and Emily is that they’re not trying to save each other. They’re there to understand one another, without judgement. I find that really beautiful and very real.
These are unpredictable characters. For instance, Emily has a hysterical meltdown after going off her meds and Nickie will get into one of his scuffles on the account of his jealous rage. What did you find most compelling about your character on the page, Tatiana?
Tatiana Maslany: What I enjoyed so much about Emily is that she’s much more complicated than women with mental illness that I’m used to seeing in film. It’s a part of who she is, but it’s not cutesy or romanticized. It’s something real that she has to deal with on a day-to-day basis, which makes it difficult for her to relate to others. She finds a kindred spirit in Nickie. She recognizes something in him that he recognizes in her. It’s unspoken and goes beyond their traumas. Like Tom was saying, there’s an acceptance of the wholeness of a person, as opposed to a shiny veneer. We don’t run away after they reveal themselves to be more difficult than initially thought. Emily and Nickie are brought together by their complexity and what they go on to reveal to one another.
One of my favorite moments in the movie seems improvisatory: when Nickie and Emily take imaginary bullets. It’s very brief in the context of the whole film, but it leaves a strong impression. How much of what we see were found on set, as opposed to being written down?
Tatiana: We were pretty true to the script throughout, but Joey definitely allowed for us to go off in a lot of scenes and sort of find something, like a moment of levity or a moment of connection. Nickie playing the ukulele with Emily sitting on the sofa and improvising a song—that’s just play and a part of it, you know? Joey was really open to that and generous in giving us that space.
Tom: We only had sixteen days to shoot, so we had to be reasonably structured. Maybe if we had some more time we could’ve experimented more, but the script was really good so we stuck to it. Joey encouraged us to find little moments, little bits that came out organically within the structure.
Sixteen days seems like a mad rush toward the finish line. But you guys did it. You got a lot.
Tatiana: Oh yeah.
Could you tell me a little bit more as to what the collaboration looked like on set on any given day between the three of you, and also with your cinematographer Bobby Shore?
Tom: Bobby is an extraordinary cinematographer. His work is brilliant and his work on this film is just fantastic. I think it looks beautiful. What Bobby offers is immense commitment and generosity to the story, as if he was a third character. He was with us all the time and, with his team, it felt intensely collaborative. This was the most collaborative experience I’ve ever had on a set. Everybody, from the set decorators to the costume designer to the makeup artist and the camera department, was invested in telling this story together as a conglomerate of people. I feel like that translates onto the screen, even though we didn’t have a huge amount of time and we had to jump in really deep. It was heavy, raw work. I don’t think Tat and I felt unsafe to do that at any point. We felt supported. I feel that the real reason we were able to go so deep has got a lot to do with Joey who leads with a very egalitarian, smooth hand when he’s directing. It was a real pleasure. That’s the beauty of doing these small movies: It doesn’t feel out of your control and everyone has space.
Tatiana: It’s not just a machine.
Tom: There was a time near the end of the film where Tat’s having a really big break. It was a night shoot, it was the last scene we were doing, and we were right by a train line—everything was against us. Joey and Bobby had set up the shot, but I felt like Tat and I needed to get deeper into it. So I just got onto my knees and started talking to her as Emily, “You’re going to be okay,” and started the scene. There was still ten minutes before we were going to shoot and I felt like we really needed to stay it because it wasn’t something you can just drop into. Joey sort of noticed what was going on and said to Bobby, “Can we just change it now?” At the drop of a hat, Bobby changed the shot completely and shot it in a totally different way. That’s what the collaboration was like on this.
Tatiana: Even though it was night, the lighting set up a certain way, and everything was precious.
Tom: And working against time. That kind of collaboration where it’s in service of the work is something really rare. You’re often having to compromise your instincts, or yourself, for so many different variables. On this, it felt like the work was driving us. We were in service to that alone.
Joey, you’re also an actor. Directors often talk about how, if they do have that background, it’s easier to empathize with actors. They understand how scary it is to put yourself out there and know exactly what they’re asking of actors. Did that create a shorthand for you guys?
Tatiana: Absolutely! We’ve all acted and we all know what it’s like to be directed. We understand that world, that relationship, and that dynamic. Joey talked so much over the years about the way he wanted to work and the kind of work he wanted make. This is Joey’s first feature film.
Press/Photos: Toronoto Now Magazine
Tatiana is featured on the current issue of Toronto Now. Check out scans below and a writeup of the article.
• 2016: Toronto Now
Globally, women are making big strides in the movie industry. But in Canada, we’re lagging way behind. We talked to a group of fierce, frustrated filmmakers to find out why
When Canada’s Tatiana Maslany of the hit TV series Orphan Black won the Emmy for lead actress in a drama, she used her acceptance speech to remind the entertainment industry about a glaring problem.
“I feel so lucky to be on a show that puts women at the centre,” she announced.
Maslany’s moment arrived almost a year after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau implemented gender parity in his cabinet (“Because it’s 2015!”); six months after the National Film Board of Canada announced that 50 per cent of its productions would be by female filmmakers; and a week after TIFF hosted a vital Dialogues session called Women At The Helm: “Because it’s 2016!”
The TIFF panel included representatives from other countries who outlined their initiatives for getting more women in the director’s chair and described the very real struggles in getting there.
Sally Caplan, the head of production at Screen Australia, explained the multiple initiatives in place to achieve a 50/50 gender split in the films down under by 2018. The amazing Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute, spelled out how she had already achieved gender parity in her country’s cinema.
Then came Carolle Brabant, the executive director of Telefilm Canada, our primary funding body. Since spring, Telefilm had been hyping a major announcement.
And Brabant delivered it: “Our intention is to have by 2020 a more diverse portfolio in terms of gender, in terms of cultural diversity and in terms of Indigenous representation.”
That’s it. No initiatives. No specific targets. No ideas on how Telefilm plans to improve representation.
Brabant sounded like that kid in math class who hadn’t done her homework, scrambling for an answer when the teacher called her to break down a linear equation. She latched onto the “50/50 by 2020” movement but left out the essential 50/50 part. Telefilm’s chief representative instead promised a “working group” that will meet this month to discuss how in four years it will achieve some vague sense of improved diversity (from almost none).
“But that doesn’t mean anything,” says Maslany, when I report Telefilm’s some-sort-of-improvement plan to her.
We’re at TIFF days after the panel, and just days before the Emmys. Maslany’s gearing up for the premiere of Two Lovers And A Bear, an Arctic-set drama about a turbulent love affair that opens this weekend. She walked into this interview vibrant and cheery, but her mood gave way to concerned and frustrated. She fought to find words.
“It just baffles me,” she says. “It is really hard for women to get into rooms that men are freely flowing in and out of. There are weird stigmas around female directors, like they don’t have technical savvy. There’s just all this bullshit. It’s like from the fucking 50s.
“This shouldn’t even be a conversation any more,” she adds. “How is there still reticence toward change? We shouldn’t have to get angry because it shouldn’t be happening. I think people are really scared to shift systems. It is such a male system, and it works and makes money.”
Press: Fashion Magazine November 2016 Cover: Tatiana Maslany
This past September, Regina-born actress Tatiana Maslany got another chance to finesse her red carpet skills when she made the rounds to promote her dramatic film Two Lovers and a Bear at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Walking the red carpet should be second nature to the star of Orphan Black, yet she describes the experience as jarring and, in some cases, “downright f*cking scary.” “Let’s just say [doing awards shows] feels like being at a cool person’s party and being one of the nerds,” she says. “Seeing Jennifer Lawrence walk by on the [Golden Globes] carpet, I’m like, ‘She’s cool. She gets it. She knows how to do this.’ I think of it as just another performance, but I’m still trying to figure it out.”
It’s a surprising admission from someone who has tackled more than eight roles on Orphan Black—including a tough-as-nails CEO named Rachel, a soccer mom named Allison, a psychotic murderer named Helena and a transgender ex-con named Tony. Her herculean efforts on the popular Space network series earned her two Emmy nominations and favourable reviews. The Guardian complimented her for “Olympic-level endurance acting,” and ThoughtCatalog.com wrote that she was so good at fooling people that perhaps “for the first year of his presidency, Obama was played by Tatiana Maslany.”
To inhabit these characters, Maslany says she leans on wardrobe and styling to help her understand her many personas. “When I first saw myself dressed as Helena in the mirror—I had these red eyes and I was wearing a huge Twisted Sister wig—I knew immediately who she was,” says Maslany. “There’s something so ‘othered’ about her—so not part of conventional society. I needed to tap into what it’s like to feel that.”
For her latest role, however, she only had to focus on one character. In Two Lovers and a Bear, she plays a young woman named Lucy who lives in Apex, a remote town in Nunavut. Like her partner, she has a troubled and abusive past that she is struggling to escape.
To prepare for the part, Maslany read about survivors of sexual abuse who flourished in spite of their history. There’s one pivotal moment in the film when Lucy goes through a cathartic breakdown in an abandoned military base. In the wrong hands, the scene could have read as pure melodrama, yet Maslany’s performance is compellingly authentic. “I wasn’t worried about getting it right so much as understanding it,” she says.
Maslany brings the same nuanced approach to her performance in Stronger—a film about the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. In the movie, which will be released next year, she plays Erin Hurley, a participant in the marathon and the girlfriend of Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs while waiting at the finish line. To understand what Hurley experienced, Maslany spent time getting to know her over Pilates classes and lunches. Although she didn’t run in the marathon with Hurley this year, Maslany did cheer her on as she crossed the finish line.
While filming the marathon scene, Maslany recalls being incredibly touched by the extras who were running with her. “Some of them told me, ‘The movie means so much to the city.’ I obviously internalized that…I’ve never been afraid to feel big things.”
Maslany—who proudly identifies as a feminist—is not afraid to rebel against the “normal” expectations of young actresses either. “[When I first went to L.A.], I was drawn into this thing where I thought that I should lose weight, curl my hair, tweeze my moustache, whiten my teeth and wear more makeup [to get more parts],” she says. “My pride stopped me from all that. I realized I’ve always loved that I don’t look like everyone I see on television. I also don’t want to play perfect people or a conventional-looking person.”
“I realized I’ve always loved that I don’t look like everyone I see on television. I also don’t want to play perfect people or a conventional-looking person.”
— Tatiana Maslany
This sense of defiance came at an early age. “As a girl, you’re seen as silly and weak,” she says. “I didn’t want to be associated with that.” But with time, Maslany has tempered her view. “I’ve recognized so much internalized misogyny in my life [through] what I’ve done…especially in terms of how I look at other girls and at myself, and the way [I used to] consider feminine qualities to be lesser than masculine ones.”
She also acknowledges that living in Canada has positively shaped her world view. “There’s something about our politics and our lack of extremism that has contributed to a gentler society,” she says. “This resonates with me. I feel like [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau has done such great work in setting a tone for the country just by being who he is.” Maslany applauds Trudeau for not only his feminist sentiments but also speaking openly about mental illness in his family. “It’s this kind of vulnerability that makes him an amazing prime minister,” she says. “He can be vulnerable and a leader. Who’s doing that nowadays? Nobody. What he’s doing in terms of advocating for indigenous women who have gone missing [is also important]. He’s tackling things that have needed to be tackled for a long time.”
Another man who has positively influenced Maslany is her boyfriend, actor Tom Cullen (a.k.a. Lady Mary’s love interest on Downton Abbey). The pair met when the Welsh actor starred with Maslany in a miniseries called World Without End; they later co-starred in a film called The Other Half. “At the beginning, I was terrified at the prospect of working with him [on The Other Half]. I was just self-conscious,” she says. “When you’re opposite somebody who respects you as an artist, knows you deeply and wants to play with you…that’s all you can ask for. He’s someone whose bullshit meter is so high that you can’t lie to him.”
“When you’re opposite somebody who respects you as an artist, knows you deeply and wants to play with you…that’s all you can ask for.”
— Tatiana Maslany
There have also been several important women in her life who shared insights that she cherishes. Helen Mirren (with whom she starred in Woman in Gold) taught Maslany about “maintaining a quiet elegance and total confidence” with characters. Amy Poehler, with whom Maslany worked on Parks and Recreation, showed her how to be a powerhouse. “Since I was a kid, I’ve watched Amy on SNL,” she says. “She did the weirdest characters and was this tiny little thing that was so bold and brave and hilarious. She’s my hero [because of that and because] she fosters a community of young women. She’s the reason Broad City is around!” Maslany also had the opportunity to work alongside Quebec’s Suzanne Clément in The Other Half. “I’ve always felt that [Suzanne] has this huge lack of vanity, which can be rare for an actor,” she says. “She was on set every day with her full heart, open, going, ‘This is so fun! Oh, my God, I love working!’ It was like she’d never done it before. She has this beginner’s openness. It’s something I want to make sure I never lose either.”
With Maslany’s dramatic range and unabashed curiosity, it’s hard to fathom that this actor will lose herself to the superficial—or traditional—side of Hollywood. Instead, her chameleonic ways and her empathetic process could mark the beginning of a new rising force in film.
• 2016: Fashion Canada Magazine – proper scans to come
• 2016: Fashion Canada Magazine – Photo Session
Photos: Gallery Update + More Upcoming
Since Tatiana is not busy filming and is laying low I will be working on the gallery to add tons of missing photos I have saved on my computer. This will include missing projects, magazine scans, appearances, interviews, photo sessions, Orphan Black, and much more. So be sure to follow us on twitter to be the first to know of any new additions! Will post on the site when I’m done.
You can view all last updated albums here which includes magazine scans, photo session additions, tv and film stills and behind the scenes, posters, and more! Thanks to my friends AliKat and Mary for some of the scans.
Press/Photos: Tatiana Maslany On ‘Orphan Black’ Diversity: “It’s Something I’m Most Proud Of On Our Show” – AwardsLine
BBC America’s acclaimed sci-fi series Orphan Black rests on the shoulders of series star Tatiana Maslany. Ostensibly a story about a shadowy corporate monolith and the consequences of illegal human cloning, in the details, it’s a character study focused largely on a set of identical female clones—11 of them by the end of Season 4—all of which are played by Maslany. Her uncanny ability to play every character so distinctly that it can feel to viewers like separate actresses in each part has won widespread acclaim and a passionate fan base drawn as much by her performance as by the show’s depiction of people from all walks of life, and various sexual orientations.
“I’m really proud that our show never really vilifies anybody, that everyone has a humanity and that everyone has vulnerability, and needs, and wants love, and deserves love, regardless of what they’ve done or who they are,” says Maslany about the show, and the intensely positive reaction from fans. Now looking at her second Emmy nomination for the role(s), Maslany talked to AwardsLine about Orphan Black’s devoted fans, the way TV is changing to reflect an increasingly diverse society, and being recognized in a crowded and competitive field.
This being your second Emmy nomination for the role, the interesting thing is that it’s for an often overlooked genre—sci-fi. What are your thoughts on being recognized, along with the show itself, by the Television Academy?
We’re really lucky to get this recognition because I do think there’s a stigma around science fiction. But so many shows that are science fiction speak about the world in a way that’s really subversive, and I think that TV is changing in general, that the stigma about television is changing. It’s really open to more complicated storytelling, and the structure of it allows for a lot of in-depth character progression and exploration. We’re just lucky that we’ve made any kind of splash—especially because right now, television is so strong.
I’ve always felt, also, that our show kind of transcends the genre. The conceit is sci-fi, but it focuses more on the human aspect, what it is to be human, what is it to be an individual; how do you exist as an individual in a system that seeks to commodify you? We’re lucky that we’ve hit onto something in that balance.
Your performance seems as though you’re asking, “What does it mean to be 11 humans?” If someone is eliminated, for instance—being trained by years of television viewing—one’s first thought is, “Who are they going to get to replace that actor?” But of course, they don’t have to, since it’s you. What’s it like for you playing these roles with such distinction that they feel like they’re being played by completely different actors?
That’s a testament to the other actors on the show, too, who, the second I walk on set as a different character, are imbuing me to that character, so it’s really a joy on my part to get to wear different shoes like that. I’ve always loved character work and have never had the opportunity to do it so much—definitely not as much as I get to do it on this show. But I feel like it’s the most natural thing for an actor to want to do, to inhabit different lives, and it’s a total joy. It’s amazing the audience believes it, that they allow us to do it. It could have fallen on its face so easily because it’s kind of a risky thing. I love what makes people tick, what makes people move differently, how our bodies reflect emotional lives, our past, our secrets. For me, it’s so fun to get to explore that sort of acting exercise in such an in-depth way. The writing is so strong for each of the voices, it doesn’t feel off ever. It’s a testament to all the parts of our show that people believe it.
How long did it take you to get a handle on who these characters were going to be, and what was that process like?
I still feel like there are days when I get to set where I’m like, “I don’t know who this character is,” especially if I’ve been playing someone else for a week. If I’m with Sarah for a week, switching into Alison is always a bit of a shock. Or playing Cosima and then I change into Helena. I think my body has started to understand the shorthand, but it is also a degree of trusting that I know them and that they’re in my body at this point, so to speak. Coming back to the writing, allowing that to lead me, just being a kid who can believe they’re an astronaut or a dinosaur, going into your imagination: It’s taken me a while to trust that, and not feel like I have to do 900 things, you know, like wear my lucky underwear to make sure that works. (Laughs)
Orphan Black has a devoted fan base and has also been championed by critics, and something I’ve found interesting is the reaction. Before you received your first nomination, many considered it a snub. What was it like when you were finally recognized, in light of those strong reactions?
The recognition was such a shock in the first place, but the outrage was the most shocking for me. That people actually cared whether I was nominated or not, that they felt they had a stake in it, I think that was such a testament to our fans who are so supportive of us. They’re the only reason we have a show because they sort of forced people to watch (laughs). The critics have been good too. We’re really lucky to have been championed by people who have some influence on what people watch. For me, it felt like it was for the fans that that nomination came through; it really felt like a communal thing, it was for us that the show got recognized. But by no means did I ever expect it, or seek it out, or think I deserved it. It’s a world I don’t necessarily feel part of. I’m just baffled to be in the company of actors like Robin Wright—it’s wild to me. These are women who’ve been working for years, who have such a body of work and such a legacy, and are changing television. It’s just really surreal to be in that company.
One of the things that fans have responded to is the way the show very matter-of-factly treats the diversity of the human experience, particularly in terms of sexual orientation. It’s also very sympathetic to people whose lives aren’t exactly normal. What’s that like playing such a cross-section of people, and do you feel that there’s an importance to that within the show?
It’s something that I’m most proud of on our show, especially that it’s through the eyes of a woman and the experiences of a woman. But also, I feel like nowadays it’s so important for us to remember the things that connect us, and the things that make us human, and the same, as opposed to this idea that we’re different and should be separate. There’s such a divide right now in terms of politics, in terms of people. There’s so much fear of the other, so much hatred. So I’m really proud that our show never really vilifies anybody, that everyone has a humanity and that everyone has vulnerability, and needs, and wants love, and deserves love, regardless of what they’ve done or who they are.
The way that we treat sexuality is something I’m extremely proud of and that I’m very political about as well. One of my favorite lines of our show is when Cosima says, “My sexuality isn’t the most interesting thing about me.” That to me is so important to drive home, to remember that as much as Cosima represents a large community of people, she is more than her sexuality. She’s defined by her intelligence and her desire to learn and her knowledge of science, her huge compassion and her huge heart, her flaws and her selfishness. She doesn’t just sit as this archetype and that is something that I feel really proud of and excited by.
This matter-of-fact portrayal of sexual orientation is a recent phenomenon. Do you think there’s something about the way television has been working, especially over the last decade, that makes it more likely?
There’s a real bravery to storytelling right now—people are kind of fed up with misrepresentations of women, with the LGBT community, with minorities. These groups are so underrepresented. We’re so used to seeing men as the default perspective, and that’s just changing intrinsically. You look at Transparent and Orange is the New Black, perspectives that we’ve never been privy to on television, and now they’re front and center, and they’re capturing people’s imagination, and making them think and feel. I feel that television is definitely taking cues from people, but at the same time, the fact that we’re so lucky that our fans watch our show, feel brave enough to be themselves because of it, because they see themselves represented on television. I don’t know what came first but there’s a real desire to be seen right now and I do think television is reflecting that change, and that loud volume of voice that’s coming from people who never had a voice before.
You were raised speaking several languages. Does the fact that you were multilingual from a young age inform your ability to play these multiple roles?
It definitely exposed me to the way people relate to each other differently in different languages, the words that we use, the way we communicate, the way we express ourselves, and I feel like it has stimulated my imagination. My parents are both multilingual, as are my brothers, my family. Languages were always part of our lives. It was very helpful in terms of expression.
Looking back on Season 4, is there a particular episode, moment, or character that stands out as your favorite performance?
I’m so lucky that I get to do this—like Crystal, this more comedic, arch character I would never be cast in otherwise. And also Rachel, who’s gone through this huge transformation, she has power, scrambling to get back to the person she used to be and find herself in the midst of all this adversity. Sarah had Episode 7 last season, where it felt like a little mini movie; we just got to live with her a little bit and see what it’s like to be her, to carry that weight and not want to have to carry it. It was fun to watch her go back to her old ways and be the sort of selfish, free spirit character she always has been.
Regardless of which character you spend the most time inhabiting, which do you like playing the most?
That’s an impossible question, but it’s usually the one that’s in front of me. But I love Helena, I love playing Alison, I love playing Crystal — three character types I’ve never got to play.
• Photo Session #072