What can you tell me about Tatiana Maslany from “Orphan Black”?
—Everett Oreal, Baton Rouge, La.
Maslany, 27, has starred in several TV productions, including “The Nativity,” for which she was nominated for a Gemini Award; the Canadian series “Heartland;” and the BBC America series “Orphan Black,” the latter earning her a Critics’ Choice Television Award.
When asked about the difficulty of playing seven roles on “Orphan Black,” she says, “I have a big background in improv. For me, it’s more of an internal rhythm, a sense of their drive through life that gets me into the character.”
Maslany began her performing career as a dancer when she was just 4 years old, so performing has been part of her life since the early days. She transitioned to acting in community theater when she was about 9. She continued acting while attending Dr. Martin LeBoldus High School, which is where she first studied improv.
After graduating in 2003, she continued working in improv, participating in the Canadian Improv Games and joining the General Fools Improvisational Theatre. But seven years ago, she moved to Toronto and turned her focus to her acting career.
“I try to get roles that challenge me in what I can do and who I think I can portray,” she says. “For me it’s about creating characters with really fascinating stories, because that’s what I like to watch on TV.”
Maslany’s recent feature film credits include ”The Vow,” ”Picture Day,” “Violet and Daisy,” which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, the improvisational feature “Blood Pressure” and “The Entitled.” Her film “Grown Up Movie Star” competed at Sundance 2010 and garnered her the special jury prize for breakout star at the festival, as well as a Genie Award nomination.
Maslany’s television credits include the miniseries “World Without End,” the TV movies “Certain Prey” and “An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving” and the series “Being Erica” and “Flashpoint.”
Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, she lives in Toronto.