Canadian Tatiana Maslany has made a big splash at the Sundance Film Festival, capturing a special jury prize for breakout performance in world cinema for her role as a rebellious teen in Grown Up Movie Star.
"Totally overwhelmed. Crazy, like shaking for hours," said a tremulous Maslany over the phone from Park City, Utah, on Sunday. She was handed the trophy at Saturday night's awards ceremony.
"I'm so excited that this film will hopefully get some kind of audience. That's what I'm most excited about."
The film marked the first major onscreen role for the 24-year-old Regina-born performer. She portrays a 14-year-old in the midst of a sexual awakening in the movie by Newfoundland native Adriana Maggs.
Maslany, who says it's her first time at Sundance, praised her co-star Shawn Doyle and Maggs's writing.
"The minute I read the script, I felt I would be so fortunate to play this character, because I loved her so much," said the actress, who also played the character Kit Bailey on CBC-TV's Heartland and has appeared in Being Erica.
"It's such an intelligently written character."
In the film, the main character of Ruby, played by Maslany, is dealing with a family in crisis with her mother running off and her father (Doyle) about to come out of the closet.
Grown Up Movie Star had its premiere at the 10-day festival and was screened six times.
"It was always really scary to hear the reaction … they would laugh at different places and found different things to be shocking and different things to be touching," Maslany said of the audiences.
"It really affects people in different ways."
Maslany says she's doing a few auditions in Los Angeles before returning to her home base in Toronto.
Mongrel Media has picked the film up for distribution in Canada. Grown Up Movie Star opened Jan. 29 in Toronto and St. John's.