What up yo.
There is no easy way to explain the depths to which she has gone to portray over seven different characters, clones who constantly interact with each other, for the past four seasons of this landmark show without you watching her in action.
What she has achieved is beyond Golden Globe quality accolades.
She has pulled off what has never been done before;
She has portrayed all 5 to 7 main characters of the series in such a convincing way that you forget you’re watching one actress…
You have to remind yourself that you’re watching 5 to 7 different characters all being played by one woman.
To take on the task is one thing…
But to do it as well as she has is astonishing.
Show me an actress that can do this for a two hour movie during a four month shoot…. and I’ll tell you they’ve gotten nothing on Tatiana.
Hysterical and magical, it was taken away from us way, way, way too soon.
With Tara, you had a woman suffering from multiple personality disorder, and Toni was high-octane, drenched in gasoline good as all the characters. Scary good.
With Orphan Black, these are 5 to 7 independent characters, all with their own distinct personalities and accents.
Different people living independent lives from each other that are, at first, forced to interact with each other and then become “sisters” to one another. Protecting each other from the many outside forces that wish to extinguish them all.
Each clone interacts with each other constantly and each performance is so layered, you literally have to pinch yourself to remind yourself you are watching the same actress play all of these roles.
There are a few constant characters in the series who have to interact with all the clones, all the characters Tatiana portrays, which allow us the audience to invest further into each characters storylines, and which throw us off the trail that they are all in fact acting opposite Tatiana.
These series regulars are:
- Felix Dawkins, step brother to the series primary clone Sarah Manning. He is played by Jordan Gavaris. Jordan is fucking awesome as Felix and is indispensable to the series working as well as it does. He’s a fan favorite of the series for good reason, he’s flat out amazing.
- There’s Mrs. S, played by Maria Doyle Kennedy. Kemmedy plays the stepmother to both Felix and Sarah and as the series goes on we learn she is the reason the clones have a ski and have been hidden for so long
- Detective Art Bell is played by Kevin Hanchard. When the series begins Sarah sees her for her sister clone at a train station moments before jumping in front of the train and killing herself leaving her bag & identification. Having just watched a suicide Sarah is more disturbed that the person who committed suicide looked exactly like her. She was detective Beth Child, Art Bell’s former partner. As the series progresses he learns the truth and plays opposite Tatiana and all of her sisters helping them elude the forces that wish to kidnap and kill them.
- And then there’s Donnie Hendrix, played by Kristian Bruun. My favorite clone in the series is Allison Hendrix, suburban housewife & soccer mom extraordinaire. She is married to Donnie, who is a lovable buffoon, and completely in love with his wife. When she learns she is a clone, she’s told by Sarah that she someone in her life close to her has most likely been assigned to watch her and report back to by the Dyad Institute (the scientific institute that started the clone program), she suspects a neighbor (dude…hahahahaha), and then ultimately her husband Donnie. Once this gets cleared up, the two become a power couple and he is in on protecting sisterhood.
It’s that fun that both Tatiana and actor Kristian Bruun exude while playing these characters that drew me into loving every sequence they are in togther. Their joy explodes off the screen.
(Fans…dancing on their bed in slow motion with the money from their first drug deal….hahahahahahahaha)
He is a deer in headlights when he first learns that he is married to a clone…but slowly, like Felix, Art and Mrs. S, he becomes an integral part of their quest to help them escape, and eventually ultimately take down the Dyad Institute to bring his wife and her sisters to freedom.
Each of these actors would have quite a large challenge on their hands if Tatiana wasn’t as astonishing in each and every role as she is.
They each play opposite the assortment clone sisters and they must make us believe in their acting that they are talking to diffierent people each time…which must get tricky as hell because many times they are playing against multiple clones in one scene.
If we, the audience, believe in each of Tatianas performances, the show has pulled off quite a feat. But if the actors playing opposite Tatiana don’t convey they are playing against different people…the show falls apart.
If we don’t believe that they believe…the show doesn’t work.
The show works.
That is a testament to the awesome abilities of the cast, Orphan Black creators Graeme Manson & John Fawcett, and perhaps most of all…Tatianas body double, Kathryn Alexandre.
“Alexandre’s performances are central to Maslany’s ability to create the characters. Maslany said, of Alexandre, “She’s so amazing. She memorizes all of the lines, all of my blocking, all of her blocking, my mannerisms, my impulses; she, somehow, memorizes all of that and gives it back to me with a performance I can play off of.” Alexandre had worked as a reader for auditioning actors in the casting stages of Orphan Black’s initial production. She auditioned for the role of Maslany’s double and earned the spot because the producers were in search of, in Alexandre’s words, “an actor as opposed to just a double”.
From the first episode to the final episode of season four last year, the storylines have gone from DENSE, to HYPER DENSE each season, Tatiana Maslanys job becoming harder and harder at every turn… and yet, you could tell it’s her passion and love for the project, for acting, and the family of actors and the crew that make the family of Orphan Black come to life that enabled her to play each of these people so goddamn well.
You can watch seasons one through four on Amazon Prime Video at the link below:
Believe me people, I’m doing you a favor.
Season 5 premieres on June 10, 2017 on BBC America
Below are some videos I have assembled from the series, if you haven’t watched it this will spoil the shit out of the show for you But it will also give you a bit of a glimpse into the brilliance of this actress and series
Also I have included a link to an interview Tatiana gave to Variety about how sad she is that series is ending.
Tune in people…seriously.
Leave your mark.
Orphan Black Season 5 Key Art:
Orphan Black Season 5 Teasers, series recaps, Comi-Con Panel with cast & other goodies: