As you might expect, playing four-plus main characters on a TV show is pretty exhausting. “Orphan Black” star Tatiana Maslany says that when she’s filming her sci-fi clone drama, love of her job — and some good old-fashioned adrenaline — gets her through those days.
“I think I’m running on adrenaline a little when we’re shooting because it’s sort of nonstop,” she tells a small group of reporters at a press event for her BBC America show. “As soon as I sit down I will fall asleep. But if I keep going, which is most days, then it just sort of perpetuates itself, I don’t know. And I’m so inspired and stimulated by the work that it doesn’t ever feel like work.”
So, how does she get into character when she’s playing one of many female leads — Sarah, the British rebel, Alison, the suburban housewife, Cosima, the biology student, to name a few? It’s all about the hair and makeup.
“Often when the wig goes on, because the makeup’s on at that point, that’s when I see myself and I see that person,” she says. “So much of how you look at yourself in the mirror reflects how you feel about and how you contort yourself, and so I sort of take that and amplify it. But the hair and makeup, it really puts me there.”
Maslany says Season 2 of the clone thriller, premiering Saturday (April 19), will go deeper into the lives of each woman — and the opposing forces surrounding the clones.
“I think Sarah’s desperation is amplified this season,” she teases. “The first scene, in a way it’s an echo back to her on her own, on a phone, trying to get in touch with Kira and with her family, but this year’s different. Every alliance in her life has changed, every dynamic has shifted and nothing is certain anymore and she doesn’t know who to trust. I think a war begins really with her and Rachel this season and it’s because of her desperation. She’s a wild animal at this point.”
That means she’s suspicious of Paul, suspicious of Mrs. S., suspicious of the other clones — and she’s not the only one affected by the discoveries of Season 1.
“All the relationships become tested. I don’t think any of them are stable. I think Cosima and Delphine are in a very precarious place, Donnie and Alison are in a precarious place, Sarah and Kira, Sarah and Mrs. S., Sarah and Felix, Sarah and Paul — I think every single relationship, by the time we get to the end of the season we had no clue what our footing was.”
She continues, “This year is definitely a continuation of that distrust and you start to see alliances form with different people that maybe we didn’t expect. It’s pretty interesting, the dynamics.”
“Orphan Black” airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on BBC America.