Tatiana Maslany is cool as a cucumber about her Golden Globe nomination. It’s not that she’s blasé – she refers to it as “super fun” – but she’s trying to be wise about it too.
Up for best actress in a TV drama for her work playing seven different characters in the clone drama Orphan Black, the actress says, “It’s not my ambition. I don’t do this for awards and the attention. I’ve been doing this since I was nine years old and getting awards was never part of it for me. “
The tiny, almost-frail looking 28-year-old, poised and looking like a star in an all-black lace and leather outfit, was here to talk to TV critics about season two of Orphan Black. And, of course attend Sunday’s Golden Globes. She might well be at ease with the situation but there’s a very good chance she’ll win. Her competition in the category is Julianna Margulies of CBS’s The Good Wife, Taylor Schilling of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, Robin Wright of Netflix’s House of Cards and Kerry Washington of ABC’s Scandal.
While the Regina-born Taslany is a relative unknown in that company, her astonishing ability to play so many characters has awed critics and viewers. The Globes has a history of recognizing new shows and new talent in the TV category and it’s not beyond plausibility that a truly unique achievement is acknowledged.
Speaking on a panel with co-star Jordan Gavaris and Graeme Manson, the show’s co-creator and executive producer, Maslany said of the Globes nomination, "I'm just trying to breathe and take it one day at a time, because it's totally out of my league."
Later, however, she expanded on what it all means and why it doesn’t mean that much. “It’s going to a full day on Sunday. There’s all that prepping for it. That hair, the clothes, and it’s super-fun. But, really this all about a TV drama that gave me this opportunity. And it’s not an ordinary show. We're a niche, odd little show that could have fallen under the radar."
It may have arrived under the radar, but Orphan Black quickly gripped a sizeable audience on BBC America and on the Space channel in Canada. “Women are very loyal to it”, Maslany said “Some are fanatical because, I guess, it’s about these many versions of the same female character. Women see themselves in these women who are versions of one woman, cloned.”
Maslany also says she’s learned from the characters the plays. The main influence on her is the primary character Sarah, young single mother, the one who discovers there are multiple women who look just like her and that she’s part of a macabre conspiracy gone wrong. “I've learned a lot from Sarah's strength. She's so gutsy, such a survivor. She comes up in life when I need her.”
Maslany also says that early training in improvisation helped her with the phenomenal dexterity required to quickly switch from one character to another. “It’s like the fulfillment of something I was being taught years ago. "I know these women now, so [the next season] is just about going deeper with it and challenging them and stretching them. But getting comfortable with it would be dangerous."
Thereby speaks the serious actress. Maslany insists, though, that the Golden Globes and other awards (her first win for Orphan Black was a Television Critics Association Award last August) only carry so much weight.
“I’ve been grounded a lot by the acting teachers I’ve worked with and also by my family in Regina. This stuff doesn’t make sense to us. I think after the Critics Choice Awards, I called my parents and my mom was like, ‘That’s great! So, anyway, we found a baby bird in the backyard and we nursed it back to health!’ And they were so excited about that. So I said, ‘Now that’s awesome.’”
And, no, she doesn’t have an acceptance speech prepared. She’s cool with that too.