Sci- fi show­down

Ta­tiana Maslany is a woman of many parts, as play­ing mul­ti­ple char­ac­ters on the SBS thriller Or­phan Black re­veals. Guy Davis gets to know the ac­claimed ac­tress’ va­ri­ety of roles.

Geelong Advertiser - TV Guide - - COVER STORY -

It’s an ac­tor’s job to in­habit myr­iad char­ac­ters and con­vey many dif­fer­ent per­son­al­ity traits.

But not ev­ery ac­tor has to do it over the course of one project. And not ev­ery ac­tor has to ramp up the de­gree of dif­fi­culty by por­tray­ing mul­ti­ple peo­ple all shar­ing the same scene.

That’s what makes Ta­tiana Maslany’s work in the sci­ence- fic­tion thriller Or­phan Black, pre­mier­ing Jan­uary 14 on SBS 2, so spell­bind­ing.

The 27- year- old ac­tress plays seven dif­fer­ent peo­ple in the se­ries. Ac­tu­ally, that’s not 100 per cent ac­cu­rate – the seven char­ac­ters are all clones, ge­net­i­cally en­gi­neered as part of a mas­sive sci­en­tific con­spir­acy, but aside from a gen­eral sim­i­lar­ity to their fea­tures, they’re all ex­tremely dif­fer­ent in terms of their ap­pear­ance, ac­cent and de­meanour.

IIt’s a per­for­mance that’s been widely re­garded as a tour de force, with Maslany re­cently nom­i­nated for a Golden Globe for her work on the show.

But she ad­mits it took its toll and, af­ter film­ing wrapped on the show’s first sea­son ( a sec­ond sea­son is in pro­duc­tion), she im­me­di­ately sought a lit­tle seclu­sion.

“I was ex­hausted,” she said. voice to the ex­tent that I couldn’t speak,” Maslany said.

“So, yeah, I worked ev­ery day, and it was some­times 18- hour days and three char­ac­ters a day or three char­ac­ters a scene or what­ever.

“It was the big­gest adrenalin rush. I think I used up the adrenalin I would have for the du­ra­tion of my life on that show, just be­cause there was no down­time.

Maslany: ‘ Some­times I’ll go into a shop and speak in a dif­fer­ent ac­cent to see if I can pull it off.’

But the phys­i­cal and emo­tional de­mands of the role were coun­ter­bal­anced by the sheer thrill of slip­ping into the skin of so many di­verse char­ac­ters.

“I think I had one day off the en­tire shoot, and that’s be­cause I lit­er­ally lost my va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent peo­ple to por­tray on Or­phan Black, Maslany’s main char­ac­ter is Sarah, a street- smart con artist who finds her­self thrust into the story’s bizarre sce­nario when she wit­nesses the sui­cide of Beth, a po­lice of­fi­cer who is her iden­ti­cal look- alike.

Ini­tially as­sum­ing Beth’s iden­tity as a way to drain the dead woman’s bank ac­count, Sarah not only finds her­self stuck in Beth’s life – not the eas­i­est sit­u­a­tion, given Beth is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for a li­neof- duty shoot­ing – but also cross­ing paths with sev­eral other clones, such as the tightly wound Ali­son and the em­pa­thetic Cosima.

Maslany’s back­ground in im­pro­vi­sa­tion the­atre, in which she’d trained and per­formed since she was a teenager, held her in good stead when it came to de­vel­op­ing th­ese dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters, es­pe­cially Sarah.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.