Press: Tatiana Maslany brings rare star quality to VIFF

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.’”
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Press: Tatiana Maslany on Movie Role With Boyfriend Tom Cullen: “It Was Very Kinky Role-Playing”

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.
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Press/Video: Tatiana Maslany Teases Orphan Black’s “Tragic” Final Season

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.
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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.

Happy Birthday Tatiana + New Design!

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!

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.
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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.
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