Actress and producer shares story at VIFF
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
Tatiana Maslany is one of the biggest stars in Canada right now. The Saskatoon-born actress recently won the Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Drama for her experimental performance in Orphan Black, becoming the first Canadian actress in a Canadian show to receive the award. She has also been getting a lot of offers for film roles. Maslany was happy to speak about acting and film in a very inspirational talk she gave at VIFF Hub in the Vancouver International Film Festival this year. The talk took place in the Rio Theater on October 1 and was attended by a large crowd of her fans, mainly fans of Orphan Black, who are called members of Clone Club.
Maslany was in the film festival to promote her film The Other Half, which was shown in the festival this year. The talk was moderated by Tim Goodman, a writer in The Hollywood Reporter. Maslany began by speaking about The Other Half. She discussed how close she is to the director of the film, Joey Klein, and her co-star and current boyfriend, Tom Cullen.
The reason she wanted to do The Other Half and another film that she is in, Two Lovers and a Bear (which is in theaters now), is because of their stories, not because they are Canadian. Maslany said she thinks that a lot of great films are coming from Canada because we make slow, patient films, and that “Our identity is like very much sort of fluid, and we are still trying to find it.”
An upcoming film that she talked about is Stronger, which is about the bombings during the Boston Marathon. Stronger is directed by David Gordon Green, whose other films include George Washington and Our Brand is Crisis. Maslany also discussed Orphan Black, which will be ending this season after five seasons—and if you watch the show, you are probably wondering how it will end. On the last season of the show, Maslany commented, “Hopefully we will get some answers to things because I have a lot of questions.”
She talked about her fascination with directors David Gordon Green and John Cassavetes, wanting to do comedy and more live theatre, and performing in an improvisation group in Vancouver. She described improv as “all about surrendering to the moment and collaborating with people and being part of a team that is telling a story.” Maslany is passionate about acting and filmmaking, and she used her knowledge to discuss them.
Finally, she answered questions from the audience and I asked her two, one related to acting, and one related to Orphan Black. I first asked her what the difference is between acting and producing, because she does both in The Other Half and Orphan Black. She said that in the film, she and Tom (who both produced it) “wanted to do the movie,” and in Orphan Black, the creators of the show let her develop the many clones of Sarah. Then I asked, was it hard playing Helena and was it easy playing Cosima (two other characters in Orphan Black)? She answered that both characters are very close to her, and when she plays Helena, she does not have to put herself in a box.
The talk was very informative, and shows how Tatiana Maslany got to where she is now. You can see the entire talk online at https://vimeo.com/187143382.