Tatiana Maslany is Canada’s latest It-girl, this weekend vying for a coveted Golden Globe in the best actress in a TV drama category for her remarkable turn in Orphan Black.
The Regina-born performer, 28, has been toiling away in show business for years, with TV credits including Instant Star, Heartland, The Listener, Flashpoint and Parks and Recreation as well as impressive turns in indie films such as Grown Up Movie Star (which earned her a special jury prize at Sundance), Cas & Dylan and Picture Day.
Her mainstream breakout, however, has been for her unusual role in sci-fi saga Orphan Black: she plays several identical women revealed to be clones and embroiled in a complex, conspiracy-laden storyline. The series, which debuted in 2013, airs in Canada on Space and in the U.S. on BBC America.
Maslany stood out amid the myriad actresses who auditioned for the part because she “was able to shift gears incredibly fast between characters, pick up a new character and wear that new character emotionally and in a very organic way — that really translates onscreen,” says Graeme Manson, Orphan Black’s co-creator and executive producer.
“Even though what she is doing up there is incredibly technical, she is a very organic actor [who] brings it from an emotional place and then is able to bring a physicality to each character, [which] makes them so distinct.”
In the attached video, Maslany talks to CBC’s Deana Sumanac about her unusual starring role in Orphan Black, why her background in improv helps and explains the logistics of shooting a scene with multiple versions of herself.
Tune into Friday's The National for Deana Sumanac's story on actress Tatiana Maslany.