After only 10 episodes, Orphan Black made quite an impression on viewers, which makes the eight-month wait for Season 2 that much more difficult.
Over the course of its first season, Orphan Black weaved a tale of mystery and intrigue as to why a group of clones — all played brilliantly by Tatiana Maslany — came into existence and who is pulling the strings. Ultimately, Cosima's digging uncovered that each clone was actually trademarked, making them intellectual property of the Neolutionists with no control over their own lives.
Suffice it to say, the question of freedom will be raised in the upcoming second season, which goes back into production at the end of September. TVGuide.com caught up with Maslany on the set of Parks and Recreation — where she'll appear as a love interest for Aziz Ansari's Tom — to get the scoop on what's in store for each of the clones, including poor Alison, who inadvertently signed her life away in the finale. The 27-year-old actress also discusses the pressure she feels going into Season 2 and being overlooked by the Emmys.
At the end of Season 1, we learned that the clones are actually trademarked, so will the question of freedom be a running theme in Season 2?
Tatiana Maslany: It resonates differently for each of them. There's something about that idea of ownership over your body that I feel is quite resonant to women. It's so interesting that it's in the context of clones, but it's all women dealing with this idea of, "Do I own my body? Is my body mine? Who am I if I don't own my body? Who am I if somebody else has decided all this stuff?" I think Sarah is a fiercely rebellious person, so anybody putting her in a box is when she'll lose her sh--. Cosima is fascinated with this concept because of the science of it and because of the way that she can break things down and understand them better. Alison bought into it. It's cool that they all deal with it very differently.
For Sarah, will her charge be finding her daughter Kira (Skyler Wexler) and trying to get away from all of this?
Maslany: Yeah, I think [she's] claiming something for herself, re-claiming her life. That all involves Kira and Felix (Jordan Gavaris) and whatever Mrs. S' (Maria Doyle Kennedy) deal is.
Yeah, what is her deal?!
Maslany: I don't even know, but I can't wait to know! She's so amazing and is an incredible actor.
When Cosima started showing signs of being sick, did you get nervous about the possibility of no longer playing that clone?
Maslany: Yeah, totally. I'm scared for her. I don't know what's going to happen. I'd be really sad to lose her if that happened. It makes it very tense. The stakes are so high because we've seen them die from this already — Katja didn't die from it, but she would have. It's that panic that could set in for all of them: "Who's the next one to go?" They're kind of — not dispensable — but they're mortal.
The audience knows that Alison's paranoia is now justified. Will she continue down that path or is she content now after signing the contract?
Maslany: I think Alison is f---ed. [Laughs] I think she f---ed up big time. My favorite thing for Alison is the denial that she lives in consistently. It's her favorite place to live. She'd rather pretend everything is perfect, and nothing can be less perfect than her life is right now. This is literally the worst thing that can happen to her, that she signed her life away and she thinks everything is good. Obviously it's not going to be, and we're going to see her lose her sh--, I'm sure.
How do you think she would feel if she found out that Aynsley (Natalie Lisinska) — whom she let die — was actually innocent, which goes hand-in-hand with learning that her husband Donnie (Kristian Bruun) is her monitor?
Maslany: I think Alison really needs to look at herself very clearly and that's probably the scariest thing she could possibly do. If she found that out, it would be major shock and horror over what she'd done. She has all those feelings over what she did regardless of who her monitor is, but I think that would just send her over the edge.
Will you miss playing Helena?
Maslany: Oh my God, yes, so much. I loved her so much. She's such a ferocious, feral creature, so it's really fun to key into those things. I had a huge soft spot for her because I felt that so much of her was misguided and she just didn't know any better and that's why she was the way she was.
Are you looking forward to playing Rachel (aka the Proclone) more?
Maslany: Totally, because she scares me so much because she's so different from any of the other clones and very different from me. All those things that she moves with — the entitlement and the status and money or whatever has given her this power — is really interesting territory for me to delve into. I'm just really excited about her backstory and where she's come from.
Have you heard about other clones coming in Season 2?
Maslany: I mean, it's a clone show, so it's probably going to happen. But I don't know any specifics, which is frustrating because I'd love to get going on them a little bit. But I really just trust the guys to come up with whatever they come up with. It's always going to be great. They're as interested in stretching the form and stretching the characterization, so I think they'll really go for it, whatever it is.
Which clone has been the hardest for you to play?
Maslany: They're all really challenging in different ways. Rachel, by the end, was quite scary to bring out because I had established all of the others and knew them so well. So, to bring someone new in was scary. They're all a challenge though. Whether it's a dialect thing or a physicality thing or a life experience, there's always something different about them that I really need to work at that's not me, and then there are pieces of them that are me, which gives me a [way] in.
I was most impressed by you portraying Alison who was pretending to be Sarah.
Maslany: Right! [Laughs] I think she was impressed with herself in that moment.
I'm sure it may be a touchy subject, but let's talk about the Emmy snub.
Maslany: Oh God, it's so not touchy. It's really not because, to me, the whole Emmy thing came from other people. It wasn't like I did Orphan Black and was like, [in a snooty voice] "I can't wait to be nominated for an Emmy." I was just like, "I'm so excited I'm doing this show. I hope I can get through the day without passing out." All that stuff feels exterior. The support and the ferocious fandom that got angry about it, that's lovely. But ultimately, the awards have no bearing on it. They're great, they open a door for actors, but putting too much of your worth on those things — it's so weird. Doctors don't get awarded [for] things the entire world knows about. It's just so warped. We put so much value on it and it's so not what it's about.
With so many fans, do you feel more pressure for Season 2?
Maslany: It's a mix. I've talked to my close friends about the fear of going in because now people are watching. It is scarier, but they love the show. They're not going, "Well, can you do it again?" They're like, "Oh, we can't wait to see the show." It's for the audience that we're doing the show. We're telling stories, and if they like the stories, that's awesome. We have to embrace the fact that now we have an audience. It is scary because now there's pressure to deliver, but that's a good thing.
Orphan Black will return for its second season in April 2014 on BBC America.