Press: Tatiana Maslany, Eugene and Dan Levy among presenters at Canadian Screen Awards

Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany, Schitt’s Creek leads Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Daniel Levy, and Sons of Anarchy alumnus Kim Coates will be among the presenters at this year’s Canadian Screen Awards.

Staged in Toronto on March 12, the awards honour the best in Canadian TV, film and digital media.

This year’s host will be comedian and America’s Got Talent judge Howie Mandel.

Other presenters are set to include:

Oscar-nominated director Atom Egoyan.
CBC satirist Rick Mercer.
Big Brother Canada host Arisa Cox.
Kim’s Convenience co-stars Jean Yoon and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee.
Comedian Sean Cullen.
Actors Wendy Crewson, Catherine Reitman and Stephan James.

Toronto singer Francesco Yates is lined up for a musical performance. The show will air on CBC-TV.

News/Press: Tatiana Nominated for a Satellite Award!

The Satellite Awards released their list of award nominees and our favorite clone and series made the list!

Actress in a Series, Drama / Genre
Ruth Wilson – The Affair, Showtime
Tatiana Maslany – Orphan Black, BBC America
Sarah Lancashire – Happy Valley, Netflix
Evan Rachel Wood – Westworld, HBO
Felicity Huffman – American Crime, ABC
Winona Ryder – Stranger Things, Netflix

Television Series
Game of Thrones – HBO
Outlander – Starz
The Walking Dead – AMC
Westworld – HBO
The Man in the High Castle – Amazon
Stranger Things – Netflix
Orphan Black – BBC America
Black Mirror – Netflix

Press: Orphan Black nominated for People’s Choice Awards

The People’s Choice Awards released their award nominees for 2017 and Orphan Black was nominated! Unfortunately, our favorite clone didn’t make the list (how?! I don’t know.). Take a minute and Vote. I believe everyone can vote once DAILY.

American Horror Story
Orphan Black
Teen Wolf
The Walking Dead

To see the full list of categories and nominees click here.

Press: Why Tatiana Maslany’s Emmy win is a huge moment for Canadian artists

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.

Press: Here’s proof Tatiana Maslany’s Emmys win broke the internet

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.

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.

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