“There are many reasons to praise Graeme Manson and John Fawcett’s science-fiction thriller Orphan Black,” writes TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz, “…but the first is that it gave its brilliant star Tatiana Maslany the role(s) of a lifetime.”
Seitz is referring to the numerous clones Maslany plays on the hit sci-fi series, which is currently airing its fifth and final season on Space and BBC America.
“Many actors who play multiple roles rely on hyperstylized voices and movements to sell the notion that we’re looking at a different character each time the camera cuts or moves to reveal another iteration,” Seitz continues. “But it’s rare to watch a hall-of-mirrors performance that allows us to stop thinking of it as a comic or dramatic stunt and instead concentrate on what’s happening to each individual character intellectually and emotionally from one minute to the next.”
Maslany, a Regina native, has played almost a dozen different characters in the Peabody Award-winning series and brings nuance to each individual performance. Whether it be uptight-soccer-mom-turned-badass-drug-dealer Alison Hendrix, misunderstood Ukranian hell-raiser Helena, or streetwise mother Sarah Manning who resides at the center of the show.
The Canadian star’s work on Orphan Black has earned her two Critics’ Choice Awards, four Canadian Screen Awards, one TCA Award, and while initially snubbed by the Emmys, in 2016, Maslany eventually took home the trophy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
The latest accolade from Vulture is simply the latest in the 31-year-old actress’ long list of achievements.
Seitz sums up Maslany’s incredible performance(s) best when he says: “No matter how many hours of Orphan Black you watch, and no matter how aware you are of the behind-the-scenes machinations that allow one performer to interact with multiple versions of herself, there are still stretches when you forget that almost every clone on the show is played by the same actress.”
Later this year, Maslany will star alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in the film Stronger, a drama about a man who loses his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing.