Press: Tatiana Maslany Talks ‘Emotional’ End of ‘Orphan Black’

“Orphan Black” fans, known as the Clone Club, got a special treat at PaleyFest — a very early look at the Season 5 premiere, which won’t air until early June. The company had wrapped production on the farewell season a mere 36 hours earlier.

Tatiana Maslany remarked, “Every day was somebody’s goodbye. It was emotional. It was sad. It was awesome.” The company is tight-knit and Maslany was sincere when she talked about what she’d miss most. “The community, the Clone Club and the set — it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” she said.

One of the major storylines in the final season is longevity. Co-creator Graeme Manson noted, “John [Fawcett] and I knew that, in this feminist show, there’s a man at the top. Someone’s got to bring the man down. Think of the most evil patriarchal figure — the world’s oldest man. Westmoreland’s the top dog, like Dr. Evil.”

Clone Rachel has also realized her true villain potential, Manson revealed. “Rachel is very deep this year and very powerful.” Fawcett added, “We wanted Rachel to rise to the top through her villainy. We’ve enjoyed finding the deeper aspects and contradictions in the character.”

Another major storyline is the “Cophine” romance between Clone Cosima and scientist Delphine, portrayed by Evelyne Brochu. Manson acknowledged the effect the relationship has had on fans. “It’s a clone show that’s about diversity,” he said. “The Cosima/Delphine relationship has the same weight as any straight relationship. It’s the most important romantic love story of the show.”

Brochu added, “If our show can have even a little impact, if it inspires reality to be more of what it should be, there’s so much pride. Delphine is one of the most important characters I’ve ever played.”

When talk turned to Maslany’s acting process playing so many clones (nine clones are still alive) Maslany said, “It’s always the biggest mindf— on the planet and it’s always full of mistakes.” The star also praised her acting double, Kathryn Alexandre, for her consistently topnotch performance that’s unseen onscreen, but is essential as Maslany can’t do every scene needed for coverage.

“Orphan Black” returns to BBC America on June 10.
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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.
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Press: SXSW Film ‘The Other Half,’ Starring Tatiana Maslany, to Get U.S. Release

“The Other Half,” the indie drama that premiered at SXSW last year, has been picked up by distributor Brainstorm Media for release in U.S. theaters in March. Director and writer Joey Klein’s love story earned a strong review from Variety in its festival bow in 2016.

The storyline centers on a grieving young man, played by Tom Cullen (“Downton Abbey”), and his budding relationship with Emily, an artist depicted by “Orphan Black” star and Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany. Over the course of the film, Emily’s bipolar disorder brings trauma and tension to the already-precarious union.

“This film was a standout for us at SXSW, with such beautiful and intimate performances,” said Brainstorm Media president Meyer Shwarzstein. The distribution company will coordinate the U.S. release in theaters and on video-on-demand, both set for March 10.

Jonathan Bronfman from JoBro Productions and Nicole Hilliard-Forde and Joey Klein from Motel Pictures produced the film while JayJay Firestone, CEO of Prodigy Pictures, executive produced. Cullen and Maslany are also on the film’s team of executive producers.

Press: Interview – Joey Klein on The Other Half

We very lucky to get a chance to speak with Joey Klein, an actor and now writer and director of the powerful and challenging film The Other Half, which first debuted at SXSW, opened the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival in November, and is now playing in select theatres from Mongrel Media. It was especially special for Klein for the press day to take place at the Gladstone Hotel, a place where his parents stayed years ago. Klein was very generous with his time, and his praise for co-stars, and real-life couple, Tatiana Maslany and Tom Cullen, who deliver searing performances in the film.

The following are excerpts from the lengthy interview that occurred.

Scene Creek: (gestures to poster) Are Maslany and Cullen your other half(ves)?
Joey Klein: Guess so, I mean, I’ve known them now for a while. But all because of this, I mean, I met her on an acting job, and someone said “check out Grown Up Movie Star“, and as soon as I saw it, I offered her this. We did my first BravoFACT together, and she started dating Tom around that time. I was as obsessed with him from his work on Weekend and I wrote a role for him anyways, it made sense as it was someone who fled where he was from. So by the time we made the film, we were all really close, but we kind of got to know each other through trying to make it, hoping to make it. I started writing something that became this years and years ago. She was attached four and a half, five years and he was attached two, two and and a half years. Bobby Shore, the D.P., was attached even before Tat. Nicole Hilliard-Forde really picked it up and carried it on her own for a while and was really the force behind getting it made. Jonathan Bronfman, if I can use a baseball analogy, was sort of the star reliever in seeing it through to production.

I’m developing a revenge movie hopefully with these cats, if we all get on the same page together, I mean, we will, but first it’s got to get on the page.

SC: There is heavy subject matter in this film, but it is also hopeful.
JK: This is not an autobiographical movie, but it is a personal movie. Yes, I wrote from a point of experience and a point of knowing a lot of this stuff, but I want to represent what grief over time is like and to look at what is true to me about the grace of two very sick people finding themselves these days. I wanted to be as respectful to the subject as I could, and I wanted to do it in a way that I could explore realistic hope. I appreciate you bringing up the hope aspect of it because I think there’s true hope in it. I want to put some love back in the world and I will do it any way that I can.

SC: What would you like an audience to get out of this film?
JK: My favourite films have saved my life a little bit, and I just hope that this film stands for something for anyone who unfortunately does know at all about this, and for anyone who is older than twelve, you’ve gone through something, maybe that you shouldn’t have.
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Press: Two lovers and their bear come home to Iqaluit

If you have ever lived in Iqaluit, you might want to want to catch Kim Nguyen’s latest feature film, Two Lovers and a Bear.

Like the audience that packed both theatres at the Astro Theatre in Iqaluit Oct. 28 for the film’s Nunavut première, you’ll likely get a kick out of seeing people and places you recognize.

One of the magic-realism film’s major backdrops is Nunavut’s capital, where Nguyen spent six weeks filming in 2015.

And if you haven’t lived in Iqaluit, the film’s Canadian-born and Emmy Award-winning star Tatiana Maslany offered all sorts of reasons to visit the place and see the film.

“It’s one of those places you never get used to how beautiful it is. When you land, one side of the plane is the most gorgeous sunset, and on the other side is a white out,” Maslany told Nunatsiaq News from the premiere’s reception Oct. 28 at the Hotel Arctic.

Two Lovers and a Bear, which had its world première at the Cannes Film Festival in May, is a story about two lovers haunted by their own troubled pasts.

The couple, desperate to escape their nameless northern community, are helped from time to time by a talking polar bear who offers insights and enjoys whisky.

Before the film screened at the Astro Theatre, Maslany tried to say a few words to the audience but was cut short when emotions got the better of her.

“I’ve been crying since I landed basically,” she explained at the reception.

“It was such an amazing experience to be here for those six weeks that we shot. It’s a part of Canada I didn’t know.”

But it’s a part that Maslany said she quickly connected with deeply because the place and people reminded her of her hometown, Regina.

“Something about my experience in Regina, there was an echo of it here. I felt at home, like I was around the people I would’ve been friends with growing up. I loved the community and the people I met.”

The film, even though it’s set in a fictional, nameless Arctic town, does not shy away from some of the most serious troubles that plague Iqaluit and Nunavut.

For example, Maslany’s character, Lucy, is chased by the ghost of her father, who sexually abused her as a child.

“I don’t think the film is seeking to tell the story of what it’s like to live [in Iqaluit]. The place is more of a setting that allows for themes of love and the deep need for connection, the past being ever present—things that we can’t just run away from,” Maslany said.

Although the two main characters are not Inuit, Maslany said there’s significance in using Iqaluit as the backdrop to the film.

“Even just the exposure of what it looks like up here. It’s not this mythical place, but there are people up here who party, go to the Legion, have a great time, watch A Tribe Called Red—it’s got a lot of similarities to what it’s like in the South.”

But the audience at the Iqaluit screening picked up on details and humour that audiences at the film’s other screenings simply missed, Maslany said.

“When we screened at Cannes, people were going, ‘Oh, what an interesting thing, I didn’t know that.’ Whereas here, you’ve lived it, you know these things. This was my favourite screening,” she said.
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Press: ‘It’s magical:’ Tatiana Maslany on filming Two Lovers and a Bear in Canada’s Arctic

‘You can kind of let the environment be a scene partner,’ says actor.

Tatiana Maslany, one of the stars of Two Lovers and a Bear, says her time shooting in Nunavut was an eye-opening experience, and she wants more Canadian filmmakers to work in the North and more Inuit to tell their stories.The film, directed by Kim Nguyen, is an offbeat romance about two lovers who find refuge in the Arctic from their pasts. Two Lovers and a Bear had its first Nunavut screening on Saturday at Iqaluit’s Astro theatre.

Maslany, a Regina-born actor who recently won an Emmy for her work on the TV series Orphan Black, spent six weeks in Iqaluit last spring during filming. Part of the movie was also shot in Timmins, Ont. Standing before a theatre full of the film’s Iqaluit cast and crew, Maslany got choked up. She said the connections she made with the people and the Arctic landscape have had a lasting effect on her.

“I think Nunavut is incredible,” said Maslany. “It’s so varied from what it is day to day. It’s magical. It’s another world entirely, the way the snow looks, the sky, the ocean — everything.” Maslany said it was a luxury to be able to work against the landscape in which the story is set. “You can kind of let the environment be a scene partner,” she said. Despite the cold, and grappling with equipment mishaps and breakdowns, Maslany said she had a lot of fun in the North.

“I felt there were less challenges for me than joys,” she said. She said she had a near disaster on a Ski-Doo when she forgot about the camera rig attached to her machine and ricocheted off the side of a snow drift, causing her co-star Dane DeHaan to get knocked off his Ski-Doo. In the end everyone got out unscathed and the crew gathered blooper reel gold.

Her time in Iqaluit filming Two Lovers and a Bear was Maslany’s first trip to Canada’s Arctic. She said before coming North she knew very little about this part of Canada.

“I was ashamed of how little I knew, how little I’ve been told and how little I investigated,” said Maslany.

“It ended up being one of my favourite places on the planet and I’ve travelled a lot.”
Now the actress wants to encourage other filmmakers to work in in the North.
“It’s important for film crews to come up here and work up here and tell these stories because it’s who we are,” she said.
She said telling stories set in the North is essential to embracing Canada’s true identity.

“We’ve created an identity for Canada that has nothing to do with the roots of Canada and our Indigenous people,” she said.
“I think that’s a big mistake. We’re putting out some other identity which isn’t who we are.”
Her advice to Nunavut filmmakers is: “just tell your story.”

“Embrace everything you know about where you grew up and the stories that you’ve been told and defend those. Because we really need voices from up here to reach out. We need to hear these stories.”
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Press: Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany on saying goodbye to ‘Orphan Black’

“I’m going to be really sad to not be these characters anymore,” Tatiana Maslany told an audience at the Vancouver International Film Festival just weeks before filming for the fifth and final season of “Orphan Black” commenced. She laughed, “Hopefully we get some answers to things because I have a lot of questions!”

Despite consecutive Critics’ Choice Awards as Best Drama Actress for the first two seasons of the science-fiction series, Maslany only received her first Emmy nomination last year for the third season and finally won the Emmy last month for the fourth. It was a monumental achievement, as she became the first Canadian actress ever to win an Emmy for leading a series. Coincidentally, she was presented the trophy by the last Canadian to win for leading a series: Kiefer Sutherland (drama “24” in 2006), who garbled her name.

In Vancouver to promote her new film “The Other Half,” which premiered at South by Southwest in March yet remains without an American distributor, Maslany reflected on her rise to stardom. She lamented that she now regularly receives offers for parts in the vein of her work on “Orphan Black,” in which she plays a series of clones. “I did this part so that I would not be pigeonholed,” she ruefully admits. Yet, in “The Other Half,” Maslany plays bipolar.

Maslany was receptive to the suggestion by moderator Tim Goodman from The Hollywood Reporter that she seek comedic roles. She revealed, “Comedy is my biggest joy in life to watch. I just find it fascinating.” Over the course of the discussion, Maslany cited television dramedies “Louie” and “Transparent,” as well as Aziz Ansari, as inspirations. “I was peeing my pants there,” Maslany recounted about working with Ansari during her 2013 guest spot on the sitcom “Parks and Recreation.” “That is the scariest thing that I’ve ever done,” she revealed.

Maslany can currently be seen in Canadian theaters in Kim Nguyen’s “Two Lovers and a Bear” and star opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in the upcoming film“Stronger.” As for what she will do when “Orphan Black” wraps production, Maslany admitted, “I’ve never kind of known what I wanted to do next. I’d love to go back to do theatre again — do some live stuff.”
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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.”
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