Tatiana Maslany has been acting since she was 9. She’s Canadian, but has Ukrainian, Polish, German, Austrian and Romanian roots.
Maybe it’s her diverse background that helps her with her multifaceted role on Orphan Black, the BBC hit now in its second season.
Let’s look into the creative mind of the 28-year-old starlet who’s shocking us on Saturday nights.
1. Her Boyfriend’s on ‘Downton Abbey’
She’s been dating the actor Tom Cullen, who plays Lord Anthony Gillingham, since September 2012.
They attended the Toronto Film Festival together that same year.
They both acted in World Without End, a miniseries about the Black Death.
When discussing her dating life, the
actress said, “Most of my dates have been friends that then became a date scenario.”
Cullen shared this picture of them in the snow on his Instagram page:
2. She Plays 7 Different Characters
In 2013, she was awarded for her portrayals, winning the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series for Orphan Black.
On the BBC show, she has partaken in some pretty outlandish plots twists.
In one form or another, she has committed suicide by train; locked tongues with a female classmate/spy; threatened a man at hot glue gun-point; rocked out to a”90s one-hit wonder in the sanctity of a minivan.
The show’s creator, Graeme Manson, had this to say about her talent that shined through during her audition:
Imagine the pressure of trying to find one actress to play multiple people — I mean, we were asking a lot. When she auditioned, we had her in a room with 15 executives all yelping, ‘OK, do your Sarah!’ ‘Do your Alison!’ ‘Do your Cosima!’ ‘Do Sarah being Beth!’ The way she would just do a 360 in a snap and inhabit a whole new person was just crazy weird.
With Interview magazine, she discussed how the initial filming of the show was daunting:
The first time we shot it, we had no clue how it was going to turn out or if anybody was even going to watch it or like it. It’s kind of an odd show and unlike what’s on TV right now, so it’s amazing that it’s been received the way it has.
3. She’s Fascinated by Improv
Being adept at the art of improvisation has fared well for the actress on set.
Because we don’t have a set. We don’t have props. You know, it’s all created in your mind and created through your physicality so I think that lends itself to me being able to act opposite nothing in a way because you know I’m not acting opposite myself, obviously.
Her love of the genre has definitely assisted her in the unique roles she has on Orphan Black. She acknowledged that by saying, “I think in the inception and creation of the characters, improv was the most important part for me, because I wanted to feel at home in those characters. I wanted to feel like I could commit to them.”
Considering that she is playing clones of herself, she has to work with things that do not exist, and her improv skills definitely aid her in the process. “I think the improv also helps with the imagination of dealing this person across from me who’s not physically there,” she said.
4. Her Younger Brothers Are Also Artists
— Tatiana Maslany (@tatianamaslany) October 11, 2013
She finds motivation in her family, and told Interview magazine that her brothers’ “work and the way they see the world” inspires her.
” [My brothers] are so much a part of who I am, and such a large part of my heart and my drive,” she gushed.
The actress does push herself to try different genres of acting. In the above picture, we see her in Parks and Recreation in 2013.
She played Nadia, a doctor who has a run in with Tom, played by Aziz Ansari.
5. Jason Priestly Directed Her
— Scene Creek (@SceneCreek) March 10, 2014
In his first feature film, Cas & Dylan, the 90210 alum directed the young actress.
While she was filming the movie, she found out she had won the role in Orphan Black.
“She’s a wonderfully talented actress as I’m sure you saw in this film,” Priestly told the audience at the Whistler Film Festival in 2013.
She complimented him to Anthem Magazine, saying, “He was so fun to work with. He’s such a dude. He’s easy to chat with, hang with, play with, and collaborate with.”