Emmys: On the Set of 'Orphan Black' With Tatiana Maslany as She Reveals Her Dream Co-Star

A day spent at Pinewood Toronto Studios to view production on the Canadian clone drama reveals a race down the rabbit hole for a mystery thriller with a growing cult following.
Tatiana Maslany

It's a cold, wintry day in February 2015 and the stars of BBC America's Orphan Black Tatiana Maslany, Ari Millen, Jordan Gavaris and Evelyne Brochu — are tucked warmly onto three stages at Pinewood Toronto Studios to shoot the Canadian mystery thriller's third season.

Between scenes — in which Maslany's clone sisterhood now battles Millen's new Castor clones to discover the truth of who and what they all are — the series' cast and creative crew talk about potential vindication for the clone conspiracy thriller if Emmy nominations come their way.

"If Tatiana is nominated, that's a huge honor for the show. If the show is nominated, that would be so fantastic because we'd be recognized as a drama that's not just a sci-fi show," Orphan Black co-creator Graeme Manson tells The Hollywood Reporter. But Maslany, who seamlessly plays a dozen characters, including a con woman, a soccer mom and a spectacled scientist, is having little of the Emmy talk during one of her many clone makeovers.

"Everybody wants me so badly to want an Emmy nomination. I just want to work on a cool movie with Paul Thomas Anderson, or I want to work with a cool actor like Jake Gyllenhaal. That means something to me," she says, newly sprung from the hair and makeup chair between scenes.

Maslany steadfastly argues that trophies are one thing, but it's her latest movie or TV episode that will get the Canadian actress her next job: "A director looks at your body of work and says 'That's who I want to work with,' not how many awards I have, or what I was wearing on the red carpet," she says.

"The fans can have the Emmy. I wish I could give the Emmy to the fans. They've literally given us wings on this show," an exasperated Maslany adds, her seeming disinterest in awards resembling a sheet of armor. 

Maslany recently lost out to Felicity Jones for the lead in a Star Wars spinoff. Despite that setback, Manson and Orphan Black co-creator John Fawcett fully expect the Canadian actress to eventually clear every Hollywood hurdle.

"We want [Maslany] to be a huge star. She should be considered for huge parts — as long as she keeps making Orphan Black," Fawcett says with a devilish grin. If anything, the meteoric rise of Orphan Black on BBC America and Space in Canada has left the creators of the clone drama dazed, and needing to get down to work in Toronto, well away from Hollywood, to escape the hype.

"It's been amazing watching the show become successful, this weird little thing that Graeme and I were working on for such a long time. And to watch it go into orbit, and watch Tat work through that as a star, it's amazing to watch the success of the show, the fan response to the show, and to know the show is still gaining speed," Fawcett explains.

"Now we have the show existing with a serious audience. When we talk to Tatiana creatively, it's about honoring the characters, especially the new characters, and about finishing the story. Because we know where this baby ends," Manson adds.