She won a Primetime Emmy Award for her portrayals of complex, multidimensional, strong women. She played five main characters and many background roles in one, single sci-fi series titled Orphan Black. Tatiana Maslany has a slew of new and exciting projects up her sleeve, but she's not done with the Orphan Black franchise just yet.
After the BBC America series ended in 2017, fans all over the world wished for more, and their wish was granted. The second season of the Orphan Black: The Next Chapter podcast just debuted on the Realm platform. Years after Cosima and Delphine pressed "send" in a highly emotional scene and released the report of abuse to the police, clones and their significant others are still dealing with the aftermath and new obstacles in their lives.
I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Tatiana Maslany about the series, the podcast, and how the series affected and influenced viewers around the world – including me and my personal life.
I loved the whole first season of Orphan Black: The Next Chapter and I’ve had a chance to listen to two episodes of the second season. How was it to reunite with the original Orphan Black cast this season?
It was great. They will always be my family. It was nice to have them be a part of it, because the show is so successful because of them. The relationship that the clones have with their brothers, their husbands and their wives; all these people. So it felt very important to have them back for it and super fun to see them again.
It’s amazing. The video that you made with Kristian [Brunn who portrays Donnie] was hilarious.
Yeah, it was “totally random [chuckles]”. I see Kristian quite a bit in LA.
That's awesome. I wanted to talk about clone exposure. At the end of the first season, Charlotte and Kira decide to expose all the clothes, and now they have to deal with the aftermath in season two. Do you think it was the best idea for them to do that and come out of the hiding?
It's complicated. What's so interesting about it is that they're sort of young and making decisions that they think are correct, and they think are right, but other people will feel otherwise. And they're ultimately dealing with a lot of different people's lives and the privacy of a lot of people. What happens is, because the clones are exposed, certain people take really badly to that. Certain people start to hate the clones. There's a lot of hatred, a lot of abuse, a lot of public humiliation, and harassment. There are also people who have always wanted to know this kind of information and feel left in the dark and would have preferred to know it before. So everybody's kind of on different pages in terms of that.
It’s quite interesting how relatable, kind of, the topic of vaccination is. Some people are upset because Delphine and Cosima went around the world, vaccinating others [without revealing what it was for]. It was a very interesting aspect of it.
I recently listened to the second episode of the new season. We have a new character, Blythe. I was listening to it and thought, wow, she has such a soothing voice [chuckle]. What can we expect from this mysterious character that we don't really know?
Yeah, she's definitely a mystery. She's very powerful, very influential and she finds people when they are in deep need and tries to offer them hope. She's very good at what she does. She is coming at a time when a lot of the people who are clones have just discovered that they're clones. They are feeling unsafe and all of that. So she definitely becomes a very powerful figure for a lot of people.
Do you think she’s more dangerous than Rachel was?
I don't know... I mean, Rachel is her own kind of shark. What I love about Rachel is that she has grown so much, she's shifted and changed. She's sort of fallen off of her throne and now is rebuilding herself. But she's still who she is, she hasn't totally softened to the point that she's unrecognizable. She still has her dignity and her entitlements, and all of that. But she also has humility and has something to offer the clones, which is new and very helpful to them.
I love her character development. She changed and she saw life as the other clones have for a long time. It'll be interesting to see how it proceeds. And one of the most important aspects for me personally, because I'm a member of LGBTQ+ community, is the development of Cosima and Delphine.
I was so excited that they got married. We also find out that they're expecting a baby. It was a surprise, because Cosima was very hesitant about that in the first season of the podcast. Was that the future that you envisioned for them? Or would you like to see something else?
I didn't expect it, but I love it. It was a surprise to me, it was beautiful. I love what it does, what it brings up for both of them. They're, again, navigating life together, being on two different sides of how they're supposed to raise their kid or whether telling people how they did this would be helpful, or protecting the privacy of their family. All of these very complicated things that come into play when you have a child. I love that Cosima and Delphina have the most kind of “human” relationship of all of them and their relationship has grown more than anybody else’s. I love seeing the new places that they go to and how they've sort of settled into being a married couple. But now they're contending with this whole other thing.
That’s true. I love it. I was always defending Delphine so much [chuckles]. I was like, no, she's doing it for all her [Cosima]. But I have to tell you something, just personally, I actually met my wife because of the show.
I know, it's a crazy story. I had to tell you that. I met her around five years ago, I moved here [to Los Angeles] around five, six years ago. I'm originally from Poland. And I met her via, like, a Facebook group that was dedicated to Orphan Black.
Yeah, we've been in a long distance relationship for two years until I finished my degree. And then I moved all the way from Poland to LA to be with her.
Oh my God. And when did you get married?
We actually had our third wedding anniversary this past September. We got married in September 2017.
Oh my god. That's amazing. That's so awesome.
Yeah, I had to tell you that I was like, okay, this is my chance.
I love that. Congratulations. And that's so great. I'm so happy for you guys.
Thank you. Cosima and Delphine are so very important [chuckles]. But coming back to the podcast, was there any specific plotline that you wanted to explore the most in terms of the characters or different aspects of the franchise?
I love Vivian and Blythe together. I love that dynamic. I also love Allison's reality TV show with Donnie, it's so bizarre and makes total sense. Charlotte, Cosima, and Delphine are also a really interesting trio in terms of them trying to almost practice parenting with her and feeling very bad at it, feeling like they're failing at it. Having to watch her make decisions that are very similar to what they did and watching the ramifications of her decisions reflect back on mistakes they made, or missteps that they took.
Yeah, it's very interesting because she was with Art and now they have her and it's very interesting to see them all together, living and trying to make it work. We can agree that being on television, shooting the show, and acting with your voice are two different things. What's it like to fully act with your voice only and then what is the biggest obstacle for you or the best thing when it comes to recording the podcast?
It's super creative. It very much feels like playing. You don't have your body available to you, but it puts you in a place of imagination, same as you would when you're on set. And this show has always required a suspension of disbelief and a little bit of imagination in terms of: okay, how do I believe myself as this character when I was just that other character two seconds ago, how do I find something new here? It really taps into that feeling of being a kid and playing make-believe. It's so primal and it's so juvenile in a really fun way. It's doing voices, like what people do when they're joking around and I get to do it for my job, which is just the greatest.
I'm really looking forward to hearing more of the episodes. Thank you so much for your time!
Say hi to your wife from me, please.
Oh my God, she's going to freak out. I will definitely tell her!
To learn more about Orphan Black: The Next Chapter, visit: https://www.realm.fm/shows/orphan-black