Press: ‘People are kind of fed up’: Tatiana Maslany explains why feminist voices are rising
If you ask Tatiana Maslany why feminist voices seem to be taking flight more now than before, her answer is pretty simple.
“People are kind of fed up with the way things have been,” she says.
The star of the clone thriller series Orphan Black has garnered critical acclaim for her multiple roles on the show including a nomination for lead actress in a drama series (for the second year in a row) at this Sunday’s Emmy awards. She’s also joining a number of high-powered actresses speaking out about sexism, body image and inequality in the entertainment industry.
“It’s something I’ve discovered through experience,” Regina-born Maslany told CBC’s chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge during an in-depth interview that will air next month. “The more that I’ve been thrust into this space of being a leader on set and being a voice on set and having more say or wanting more say in the kind of work I do, the sort of stories I’m telling, it’s become an important thing to me.”
Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Aniston and Amy Adams are just some of the women who have been candid about their personal experiences in essays and interviews.
Attending the Toronto International Film Festival to promote Two Lovers and a Bear, 30-year-old Maslany will be in the market for new and challenging roles when Orphan Black ends in 2017. And taking a stand is just one of them. She credits other female celebrities with speaking out as well, adding that “it’s in fashion right now to be politically active in our industry.”
“Beyoncé talks about feminism now and that empowers a bunch of women,” said Maslany, “whether her feminism is something I ascribe to or not, it’s at least getting that dialogue happening.”
Be sure to watch Peter Mansbridge’s interview with Tatiana Maslany in October on The National and Mansbridge One on One.
Press: Tatiana Maslany, Dane DeHaan Indie Drama ‘Two Lovers and a Bear’ Goes to Fox and Netflix
Fox and Netflix have acquired the U.S. rights to Kim Nguyen’s North Pole romance “Two Lovers and a Bear,” which stars Tatiana Maslany and Dane DeHaan.
Maslany, the star of Canadian TV series “Orphan Black,” and DeHaan play young lovers in a town of 200 people near the North Pole, where they “make a leap for life, a leap for inner peace,” according to a statement announcing the deal.
The movie, a Canadian production, will be available on Netflix in early 2017, following the Fox release. Veteran Quebec filmmaker Roger Frappier is the producer.
“We chose to release the film in the U.S. with Netflix and Fox due to their ability to bring our bold filmmaker’s vision to the widest possible audience,” Jeff Sackman, an executive producer who handled the film’s sale, said in the statement.
“‘Two Lovers and a Bear’ is a film whose special love story was brought to life thanks to the dedicated cast and crew who persevered through the production’s harsh conditions,” Nguyen said in the statement. “The amazing performances of Dane and Tatiana brought the truth of the project to life. So it was important that we found distribution that would understand the unique nature of the film and the dedication of all involved.”
The movie premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Press: Tatiana Maslany And Tom Cullen On Being In Love On And Off Screen
A conversation with the stars of ‘The Other Half’
In The Other Half, a bracingly vérité romantic drama, real-life couple Tatiana Maslany and Tom Cullen star as two lost souls who find each other and must deal with the aftermath—for better and worse—of such an intense collision. Cullen’s Nickie masks an all-consuming grief with a tough-guy exterior, while Maslany’s Emily, an aspiring painter, suffers from bipolar disorder. How these two come together and try to build something lasting and real, is the movie’s heartbeat. To make the film, with first-time director Joey Klein, both Cullen and Maslany took time in between their busy TV schedules (she as the star of Orphan Black, he as part of the Downton Abbey ensemble) to co-executive produce and help refine the film’s script alongside Klein. And as two people who spend most of their relationship apart, they relished the time working together. We recently caught up with the couple at SXSW, where The Other Half premiered to great acclaim, to discuss their movie’s complicated love story, falling in love IRL, and balancing a personal relationship with a working one.
This is a passion project for both of you. How long have you been involved with it?
Tatiana Maslany: For like five years and Joey, the director, has been writing it for ten. It was a long time coming, and a lot of different tryouts and versions of it.
Tom Cullen: I think as Joey’s gotten to know us better as very good friends, he’s changed the script, too.
How did you meet Joey?
TM: I met Joey working on a movie. We were both acting in it. We just got to talking on set one day about acting, and about work and art, and we really bonded. Then he offered me to read the script, to see what I thought about it, and he’d seen some of my work and he’d seen Tom’s work. Tom and I had just started dating about that time.
Were you guys friends first or did you guys fall into it fast like your characters?
TC: It was pretty fast, wasn’t it?
TM: Yeah. We were living in Budapest [Hungary] for like six months for our TV series, so we had a lot of time to just bond and see the city together.
TC: Yeah, it was a very romantic six months.
TM: We went to music festivals and went dancing.
You’re saying the script changed after you guys came onboard. Can you tell me a little bit about that process of working with Joey and really informing the characters of the script?
TM: Anything we thought, anything we felt, anything we wanted to go deeper with or change or alter or explore differently, he was so up for it. He’s the most legalist director I’ve ever worked with, in terms of allowing for shifts and giving over trust and control to other people and taking on new ideas. Yet he has a very specific vision.
TC: Yeah. I think the more that he got to know us, the more he wanted to push us as actors and to see what our extremities were.
In what way did he push you?
TC: He pushed it in the story. He created two really complex characters, quite dark characters, troubled characters, and also, there’s this fire in both of them. I think in that way, he wanted to see every facet of human emotion, and I think that he really wanted to see us move through that. It was fun. We shot the film in 16 days, and it was a real fast ride where we just jumped in headfirst. It was a thrilling experience.
TM: I got to work opposite Tom, who inspires me and riles me up and knows me so well, so I feel safe. There was a lot of trust in play. I think you can overanalyze it too much, and these two characters were so burdened and so heavy, but I think we all have that in us, it’s just acknowledging it. It’s acknowledging that our emotional life is vast and it’s always there at the surface. We all have really good poker faces, but we’re all feeling a shitload of things and we’re all scared, and we’re all searching for love and acceptance and somebody to go [to]. “I see you and I love what I see.” You know what I mean? I think it’s an easy thing, but at the same time key. It’s very universal.
Tom, tell me about Nicky’s look in the film. The ’50s shirts—why don’t men dress like that more often?
TC: I wish I had the gall to dress like that!
You should do it.
TC: That’s how I wanted to dress I think.
TM: You still have those shirts…
TC: I do, yeah. That was a really specific choice because he’s lost his brother in such awful circumstances, where there’s no reason why it’s happened. There’s nobody. There’s no conviction. He’s just gone, disappeared. I lost a friend this year. I remember the feeling of waking up the next day and getting into the tube in London and being so angry at everyone for not understanding that somebody had died. They didn’t know how amazing that person was. For Nickie, he has paused and is stuck in that place. He has become completely disillusioned with the world. He sees it as this fake, unjust place, and he wants to reject it. He’s dressing a certain way just to fuck [with] you. Don’t come anywhere near me, don’t look at me, don’t talk to me, I’m different, I’m hard, and I will destroy you. Of course, underneath all that, he’s just a little boy who needs saving and help. I looked a lot at ’50s London—both anti-establishment, but renegade by generations, fighting against something. The rock and roll that’s coming out of the second world war. Punk rockers in the U.K. rebelling against bachelorism and capitalism.
Is their relationship saving them, or is the relationship actually hurting them because they have not had the time to deal with their issues?
TC: Really good question.
TM: I think that’s exactly the kind of thing that we’d want people to question and wonder about. I like the idea that Emily and Nicky feel like a destined relationship and at the same time so dangerous. From the outside, they look like the worst enablers of each other, and yet at the same time the best.
TC: They’re the only people who get each other.
TM: Yeah, they get each other, and yet they also push each others’ buttons, but they can also defuse each other. There’s something really volatile about the two of them.
TC: I think the reason they fall in love is because they recognize something in each other that satisfies something inside themselves. For Nicky, he meets somebody that gets him. He sees a level of pain, but understands and is patient with her, and she brings out something in him that he thought was missing.
Since you were working together while maintaining a relationship offscreen, did you make it a point to spend some time apart?
TC: I mean, we always have fun. We’re best friends, it’s very respectful, and I think we’re very good at getting each other.
TM: We’re long-distance so we get a lot of alone time in there. Like when we don’t have a lot of time, we freak out.
TC: Alone time sucks. I don’t want any alone time!
TM: We have lots of time apart, and we’re both very independent people and working and doing our thing, and really support each other in that. At the same time, we really need time together and make sure that that’s a priority, too, because I think in this industry specifically, it can become the only important thing.
Are you guys going to work together again?
TC: Oh, definitely.
Press: Regina’s DANIEL MASLANY plays struggling trumpet player in new CBC show
The following article is about Tatiana’s younger brother DANIEL Maslany. I thought I would share.
A new CBC show called Four in the Morning features a Regina actor with a familiar last name.
Daniel Maslany, who is the younger brother of Emmy-nominated Orphan Black actress Tatiana Maslany, stars in the show which airs Fridays at 9 p.m. CST on CBC television. Maslany grew up in Regina and is now living in Toronto.
The show bills itself as “an unconventional comedy spiked with a touch of magical realism. The show follows four friends in their twenties as they navigate life at the unpredictable, emotional, but illuminative hour of 4 a.m.”
Maslany stars alongside Lola Tash, Michelle Mylet and Mazin Elsadig.
Maslany said he relates to his character, Bondurant, a performer and Prairie boy who has moved to Toronto.
“He’s a struggling trumpet player who is very passionate and eccentric and theatrical and says what he feels as he feels it in the moment,” he said.
Maslany comes from a theatre background, so he said he was really excited when reading the scripts because it’s written like a play: fast-paced and sometimes bizarre.
“They were really specific early on in the audition process that they wanted it fast and big and sharp: kind of like performance style,” he said. “So I went into a kind of caricature of people that I knew or characters that I had seen before. And it really is maybe more theatrical than characters I’ve played in theatre.”
Maslany said his family is excited about his new project. He said art runs through the family, adding his brother is an illustrator.
“We’re all very close and supportive of each other in our creative endeavours,” he said, adding that he practiced lines with his sister when he was first auditioning for the role.
To go along with the debut of Four in the Morning, Maslany said he’s also in an upcoming movie called Goliath. The filming just wrapped up and the movie’s set to hit screens in fall 2017.
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