PASADENA, Calif. - Tatiana Maslany must realize that after Orphan Black, every single acting job she gets for the rest of her life is going to feel like the easiest thing in the world.
In Orphan Black, Maslany has to play seven clones – and counting - with completely different looks and personalities. Give her merely one part in a TV show or movie? Easy-peasy, right?
“No, my God, no,” the Canadian actress said at the Television Critics Association tour.
“This challenge is in itself crazy, but it becomes just sort of the thing that you're doing, right? For me, the scary next thing might be working in a small independent project where I don't have the control that I have on this. Maybe it's a supporting character. That in itself can be frightening or a challenge.
“I don't think there ever has been a role that I've taken that I haven't worked my ass off for, you know what I mean? It's just all relative.”
So what you're saying is, even Orphan Black seems normal to you now?
“This is normal,” Maslany said with a laugh. “It's like a cakewalk.”
Orphan Black returns for its second season April 19 on Space. Maslany's work in the first season of the innovative series earned her a nomination for a Golden Globe award for best actress in a drama on Sunday night (NBC, CTV).
Many people were shocked that Maslany wasn’t nominated for an Emmy Award last fall, although she did win a Television Critics Association award and a Critics Choice award. But she says awards are “icing” and not the reason she does what she does.
“I’ve been grounded a lot by the acting teachers I’ve worked with and also my family is just like, from Regina, this doesn’t make sense to us,” Maslany said. “I think after the Critics Choice Awards, I called my parents and my mom was like, ‘That’s great … so, we found a baby bird in the backyard and we nursed it back to health!’ And they were so excited. And I was like, ‘That’s awesome.’ My family is amazing.
“We were completely blown away - or I was, at least - by the critical response we've received. We're a niche, odd little show that could have fallen under the radar. It's wild to sort of be seen differently or have more visibility, but it's rewarding. I'm an actor, and I like having attention, I guess. There's a reason I like being on stage. There's a reason I like being in front of a camera. It's that interaction.”
With all those characters in her head, though, Maslany admitted she isn't the soundest sleeper.
“There's a lot of stimulus and my brain is kind of processing a lot of different arcs and personalities,” she said. “I don't sleep. I don't (calm down). Eventually I'll pass out. But for the six months we're shooting it's kind of running on adrenalin.”
Of course, one of the clones could try singing the others a lullaby. If you got 'em, use 'em, Tatiana Maslany.