‘Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany Looks Back on Clone Club, Ahead to Table Read
The first rule of Clone Club when it comes to the upcoming Orphan Black virtual reunion for a table read is … tell everyone about it!
The cast and producers of the BBC America hit — Tatiana Maslany, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jordan Gavaris, Kristian Bruun, Kevin Hanchard, Dylan Bruce, Evelyne Brochu, Josh Vokey, Michael Mando, Inga Cadranel, Eric Johnson, Natalie Lisinska, Kathryn Alexandre, Graeme Manson, John Fawcett, Kerry Appleyard, Will Pascoe, and Mackenzie Donaldson — are reuniting for a virtual reading of Episodes 6 and 7 from the first season. (Tune in to the show’ Facebook page on Sunday, May 17 at 3/2c.)
It’s timed to Mental Health Awareness in May and International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, and viewers can donate to CenterLink and Sistering. “The two charities that we’re raising money for feel very linked to the themes of our show,” Maslany tells TV Insider.
Here, Maslany discusses choosing these two episodes, looks back on Orphan Black and the clones, and more.
Obviously the first question is will there be a tail?
Tatiana Maslany: [Laughs] You’ll have to wait and see. We definitely weren’t planning on doing this during quarantine, so we’re all having to improvise a little bit with our props.
What about the show still resonates and draws new fans in?
Right now, people are probably looking for an escape, and Orphan Black is an interesting universe to dive into. It’s pretty twisty and bizarre and fun, so new fans might enjoy that. We’re just excited to hopefully reach new people but also to do something for Clone Club because we know how hard this time is and we’re all feeling that and we certainly know our fans are. It feels like a nice connective thing to do.
What makes these two episodes quintessential Orphan Black? Other than the hilarity of that craft room torture scene and of course the aforementioned tail.
Those two were for sure iconic moments in the first season and really set the tone for what the show would end up being. Those were definitely important ones we wanted to play with.
Also there’s the budding relationship between Delphine and Cosima that was really exciting to see start up in these two episodes. We get their first date, their first kiss, and all of that tension between them, which was really interesting. Hopefully the fans will like that.
And then there’s a lot of great Art stuff in these episode and Mrs. S and Felix has some really great stuff, and there’s clone swaps. There’s a lot going on.
Are there any other episodes you considered for the table read?
Yeah, I went through the whole series and was looking at stuff and trying to find ways to incorporate as many of the cast as possible. These two just stuck out as a good jumping off point and also what I like about them, especially 106, is it’s the first Alison-Donnie farce. We did every season one Alison-Donnie suburban episode that was wackiness and hijinks, so it was fun to go back to that first one.
Did you have a favorite clone to play for the dramatic and emotional scenes and favorite for the comedic?
Alison and Helena were always really fun for the comedic but also for the dramatic stuff, too. Actually all the characters. I was really lucky to get to play in both worlds with them. Even if Sarah was the emotional heartbeat of the show, she also got to do clone swaps and pretend to be Alison, and that always felt fun to put a dramatic character in an absurd body swap situation.
Do you have a favorite Clone Club scene and has it changed as more time has passed since the end of the series?
We just loved any of the scenes that were all of us together: the dance scene, the dinner party. Any of those ones where it was multiple clones and multiple other characters in scenes were always so fun and so hard to do and we all would lose our minds halfway through the process of filming them. It just felt like so much fun to get to share those moments with the whole cast.
And what do you consider the craziest moment from the entire series? There were some wild ones.
I know! The last episode having Helena give birth to twins while Sarah’s giving birth to Kira in the past, having that double birth flashback connective theme was really bizarre and surreal and meaningful at the same time. But there have been so many. Of course Alison glue-gunning Donnie is so fun and Helena and Sarah in the tent. Helena impregnating that pastor guy.
Where do you think Sarah, Cosima, Alison, Helena, and Rachel would be today?
I’m sure a lot of the sestras would be hiding away at Alison’s house because she’s got a nice backyard.
Which character’s death hit you the hardest?
Mrs. S’s was definitely the one that was most painful for all of us. I just remember the last scene that Maria filmed, the whole cast, we were all there and it was 2 in the morning and everybody had come to set to watch it. It was just really meaningful and it was also our last season, so we were all feeling really nostalgic and really grateful that we were still getting to do the show. That was probably the one that was the most impactful on all of us.
Are there any fun behind-the-scenes moments filming the two episodes you’re doing for the table read?
It was the beginning of a lot of things. Kristian and I hadn’t had so, so much to do together up until that point. That episode that felt like the beginning of our dynamic in a lot of ways. He’s still one of my best friends, and those scenes always were such a high point in filming.
If you were trying to get someone to watch Orphan Black for the first time, which episode other than the pilot and these two would you recommend?
Episode 4 is the one where we really start to see Helena and Sarah and I think they have the moment in the hotel room. That was a pretty special clone scene in terms of how it was shot and the tone of it and the beginning of that friendship or frenemy thing that the two of them had, the deep bond.
As if the virtual reunion itself wasn’t awesome enough, you’re also doing this to bring awareness to and encourage charitable support for important causes. It’s so great that this is encouraging that sense of community that the show did for years.
The first charity we’re donating to is CenterLink. They help support LGBTQ centers across North America and the world, Australia, Canada, everywhere, Puerto Rico, so there’s a real reach out to the LGBTQ community, which we have always had a really deeply important place for in our show and in our hearts when we were filming it and when we were writing it and always and going to Comic-Con and all of that. And Sistering in Toronto, which is an organization that helps emotionally and practically support women and trans people across Toronto who are precariously housed or socially isolated.
For us, the themes of family and sisters and community and all of that has always been really important, so at this time when people are feeling so far away from each other, it feels really good to be able to not only give to these charities that have such an important reach but also to reach out to the Clone Club and to do it in this way that is about family and community and really driving home those themes.
Orphan Black Table Read, Sunday, May 17, 3/2c, Facebook