Photos/Video: Fashion Canada Magazine – Behind the Scenes
— Orphan Black (@OrphanBlack) October 4, 2016
• 2016 Fashion Canada: Screencaps
— Orphan Black (@OrphanBlack) October 4, 2016
• 2016 Fashion Canada: Screencaps
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
Actress Tatiana Maslany, the Canadian star of the acclaimed TV series Orphan Black, says she fell in love with her boyfriend once again while they played a troubled couple in a new film The Other Half, which is playing at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
“We got to fall in love again. We got to meet each other for the first time,” Ms. Maslany told a festival forum Saturday, referring to her relationship with actor Tom Cullen, slyly adding, “It was like very kinky role play.”
It was a candid, personal insight, but one that spoke to her work as an actress – one among many in a wide-ranging, on-stage interview with the star of the made-in-Toronto Orphan Black. Ms. Maslany has long been saluted for playing multiple clones, variations on a single person, on the show, but is in the spotlight for having recently beat out stars from such series as House of Cards, Homeland and The Americans to win an Emmy for best lead actress. “It was nice for Canada,” she said Saturday.
Ms. Maslany brought rare star quality to VIFF, a festival that has generally disdained the celebrity dazzle of its higher-profile Canadian counterpart, the Toronto International Film Festival. But much of Ms. Maslany’s weekend forum, in which she was interviewed by Hollywood Reporter TV critic Tim Goodman, was focused on how she works as an actress.
In The Other Half, Ms. Maslany plays a bipolar woman in a relationship with a man, played by Mr. Cullen, struggling with grief associated with a family tragedy. The pair were executive producers of the film, which has been in the works for five years, and was shot in Toronto over about 15 days.
When writer-director Joey Klein heard Ms. Maslany and Mr. Cullen, a Welsh-born actor who has appeared in such dramas as Downton Abbey and the British TV series The Five, were a couple, he tailored the script to them. “Obviously there are parts of us in there, enormous aspects of our love,” Ms. Maslany, 31, said.
With Ms. Klein, Mr. Cullen and others in the production, Ms. Maslany said it was a supportive artistic environment that allowed her to go into an artistic “deep end” although the pair knew her actorly tricks so she had to abandon them. “There was a real safety net there,” she said. “It didn’t seem like an unsafe place to be messy and explore.”
Production is about to begin on a fifth and final season of Orphan Black, which airs on Space and BBC America, and has vaulted Ms. Maslany from a journeyman actress in varied Canadian productions to something approaching stardom. She said she is happy Orphan Black is coming to an intended end and that the rug has not been pulled out from under its creators and cast by cancellation. “Hopefully we get some answers to things, because I have a lot of questions,” she said.
On Saturday, the cinema seemed packed with her fans, sometimes dubbed members of a so-called Clone Club.
One woman, preparing to ask Ms. Maslany a question during the Q&A session, said she watches every Orphan Black episode with a group of 20 people. “You’re kind of on a goddess level to us,” she said, nervously. One man tossed an item – apparently a memory stick – to Ms. Maslany, saying it was a script he hoped she would read. “Thank you,” she said as she caught it, and said, “That’s how things happen.” Another woman nervously said, “Thank you for being so awesome.” After the formal end of the presentation, Ms. Maslany waded into the crowd.
Ms. Maslany took the adulation in stride, respectful and affectionate with the fans, crediting their support for sustaining the visibility of Orphan Black.
As for the future, she said she is looking for challenging projects. She said she has turned down the opportunity to play multiple characters in other projects. She is interested in more comedy, explaining, “Comedy is my biggest enjoyment in life, to watch.”
She appears in another Canadian film Two Lovers and a Bear. She is also the female lead, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, in the coming U.S. film Stronger, in which Mr. Gyllenhaal plays a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing.
One aspiring screenwriter asked Ms. Maslany about the “thing” in scripts, especially in the lower-budget films she is interested in, that piques her interest.
She said she is intrigued by characters who are not the noble, lovely version of themselves.
“I am interested in the things we’re embarrassed to reveal,” she added. And she said she likes to consider the challenge of evoking characters without dialogue. “If I was looking at a scene from a distance, could I understand this dynamic in my guts without hearing clever dialogue?”
She said she is looking for opportunities that terrify her. “I really thrive off something I am not sure I can do,” she said. “I have a lot of fear when I go to work, but why else am I doing it? If I feel like it’s comfortable or that it’s easy I don’t care. I like being thrown into a situation that I am like, ‘I don’t know how I am going to do this.’”
I’ve added photos of Tatiana from the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) this weekend where she was promoting The Other Half. Big thanks to my awesome friend Angela for these.
• 2016: September 29 – Vancouver International Film Festival
The Emmy-winning ‘Orphan Black’ star says co-starring in ‘The Other Half,’ an anguished relationship drama, with her real-life beau called for falling in love all over again.
Tatiana Maslany says her latest movie is a complete 180-degree turn from her Emmy-winning TV role in the Orphan Black.
The Canadian star has been falling in love on and offscreen with real-life boyfriend Tom Cullen, with whom she stars in the anguished relationship drama The Other Half. “We got to fall in love again, we got to meet each other for the first time. It was very kinky role-playing,” Maslany told a Vancouver Film Festival audience on Saturday.
The indie by director Joey Klein has Maslany playing Emily, a bipolar woman falling in love with Nickie (Cullen), a grief-stricken man. “Through the characters, we got to explore these firsts again, including falling in love, and it didn’t feel like we were grasping from stuff we’d experienced together. It was a different courtship, and a finding of each other,” Maslany explained.
The Canadian actress was first nominated at the 2015 Emmys for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for her role in Orphan Black, now set for its fifth and final season on BBC America. But Maslany had to wait for her second nomination to prevail in the category.
“I feel like the Clone Club was the reason any of that happened, and the reason anyone cared,” Maslany said of loyal Orphan Black fan support stirring eventual interest by Emmy voters in her playing multiple clones in the BBC American drama.
Here’s a shocker: the Emmy-winner is these days mostly offered clone roles by Hollywood that don’t interest Maslany. “I get a lot of, do you want to play multiple characters on this thing? No,” the Canadian actress said Saturday.
As she chooses her next roles after her Emmy, Maslany is also betraying tiredness at having to go to a deep, emotional place on screen. Maslany co-starred alongside The Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Dane DeHaan in the indie romancer Two Lovers and a Bear, and played opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in David Gordon Green’s Boston Marathon bombing drama movie Stronger.
“The roles I’ve played recently have been highly emotional and that’s kind of what people are asking me to do. And that’s the kind of roles I like to do,” she said. “But I’d like to try to be the reporter,” Maslany added wistfully about shifting to a less demanding character.
And, recalling playing a love interest for Aziz Ansari’s Tom Haverford in NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Maslany insists she’d also revel in a comedy or two. “I was peeing my pants there… working opposite Aziz Ansari. I was just terrified,” she said, as she declared comic actors geniuses on screen.
And speaking of fear, Maslany said her next role may well, like the dozen characters she plays in Orphan Black, fill her with the dread that keeps her in the acting game. “I have a lot of fear when I go to work. But why else am I doing it? If I feel comfortable, or it’s easy, I don’t care. I like being thrown into a situation where I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Maslany said.
Thanks to my friend Kayla we have a couple new outtakes to Tatiana’s photo session she did a few months ago for Cannes while promoting Two Lovers and a Bear. Enjoy! More photo updates this weekend.
• 2016: Photo Session #005
Tatiana Maslany may have just won her first Emmy for Orphan Black, but next season will be the end of the road for BBC America’s critically beloved scifi clone drama. The fifth season (which doesn’t have a premiere date yet) will bring to a close the story of Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany), Alison Hendrix (Tatiana Maslany), Cosima Niehaus (Tatiana Maslany) and…
OK, fine, you get the picture. Even if you’ve never watched the show, you can imagine that the balancing act of playing upwards of eight different clones — sometimes simultaneously — is a tremendous feat that’s made fans and critics alike fall in love with Maslany, as well as her various characters. But after several of the clones were left in very, very bad places at the end of the fourth season, it seems like we may be headed for a few unhappy endings before some of the characters reach their happy ones.
“They’re all probably going to have different ends,” Maslany told TVGuide.com while on the red carpet for the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards. “Some of them might not be happy, and some of them might be … a little tragic.”
Though it’s tough for fans to think of losing any of their precious clones, it’ll be even harder for Maslany, who has to say goodbye to playing not just one lead character, but several. Still, that didn’t stop her from choosing favorites when we asked which member(s) of the Sestra-hood she’ll miss the most.
“Maybe Helena,” Maslany mused. “Or Allison, because they kind of allow me to do a bit more bizarre stuff. … Like Helena, the character, I get to be a bit of an animal creature and do the things that we’re not supposed to do in everyday society. That’s always fun as an actor, to make a mess and freak people out a little!”
As long as Cosima is safe, we’re golden.
Orphan Black returns to BBC America for its final season in 2017.
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.
Today was Tatiana’s birthday and in honor of that I have put up a new design on the site and gallery to celebrate. We wished her a happy birthday on twitter earlier today and this is our surprise in honor of her birthday. I hope you all like it as much as I do!