BBC America brought Orphan Black cast members Jordan Gavaris (Felix Dawkins), Kristian Bruun (Donnie Hendrix), and Kevin Hanchard (Detective Art Bell) as well as series co-creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett to Los Angeles for the 2016 WonderCon held over Easter weekend. Season four of the critically acclaimed, award-winning series will premiere on April 14th at 10pm ET/PT with Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) attempting to track down a “mysterious ally” who’s connected to Beth. In our interview with Jordan Gavaris, he talked about what else fans can expect when the riveting drama returns for a new 10 episode season.
Jordan Gavaris Interview
How is season four going to top season three?
Jordan Gavaris: “I would say this is our best since the first season.”
Jordan Gavaris: “Well, when I say the best as in who knows what is the best to everybody but I loved the first season because I loved the pace of the mystery. I really, really liked that hair-trigger mystery of anything can happen. We didn’t yet know who the villain was at the top. We had this sort of obscure sense of villainy and now that Dyad is – you know, we know who the figurehead is at the top of Dyad. They’re very corporate and we’ve been done that road. Neolution is a concept, not a company. So Neolution is everywhere and nowhere which is part of what makes this season scary. There’s an Invasion of the Body Snatchers element as in they could be anywhere at any time. Do you know who are your enemies, who are your friends? Can you trust your friends? Can you trust your family? So, I think that element, the paranoia, is what I really like and it just raises the stakes and gives the season a sense of urgency that maybe the last two they had but it was so much more about character development, so much more about learning who are these women and differentiating these women. Now we’re back to answering some questions. We’re back to some track that was laid in season one. The A-train heading toward maybe the end of the tunnel. I don’t know.”
Would you say this season has been the most fun for you to play as an actor?
Jordan Gavaris: “They’ve all been. It’s so hard to answer that because they’ve always been. There have been enormous and very unique challenges, whether they’re technical challenges because the technical perimeters of doing clone work, they’re so finite. They’re so rigid, just very tight. So to do something artistic and spontaneous when you have to not just hit a mark but talk to no one and do the same thing repeatedly, there’s so much repetition, more so than the act of shooting an average scene. That’s a fun challenge to do something artistic and spontaneous when the canyon is narrow, as narrow as it is.
In season two there was so much space. I just felt it was really exploring the characters, letting them breathe. In this season, for Felix anyways he’s digesting what it means to be the real outsider in his family. So much of his relationship with Sarah hinged on the fact that they were orphans and they had that in common, but they’re not anymore. Sarah has a very strong blood tie to S. and Kendall, very important blood tie. I think he’s just working out what that means for him and his relationship with his sister and if he can get from her what he needs or if he needs to find it elsewhere. They’re not doing so well.”
Will one of the new characters being introduced be someone Felix can rely on?
Jordan Gavaris: “Yes, if only to discover that… Yes. I shouldn’t say that. Yes, I think that’s a fair assessment. Where that relationship might lead him and who it’s with or the person or persons that it might be with I can’t say. But, yeah, I think he’s going to learn some new things about himself.”
Will this be a big storyline in which he’s spending a lot of time with this person or will there be an equal amount of time with Sarah?
Jordan Gavaris: “Of course there will always be time with the sisters. And there will be a good chunk of time with Sarah, but it might not give people the warm and fuzzies. I think there will be a considerable amount of time of him exploring a new threat, following a new threat which was a lot of fun this year to do something like that – something that I kind of think was coming, past due and just for him. You know, you learn the most about characters when you get to play with people who are outside the fold. But there’s so much history with Sarah that it’s weighty. It’s familiar, but that’s not to say you can’t explore new sides of the character. I think we did, especially with Sarah this season. You know your family and it’s warm and fuzzy and you’re close but then you can also really know how to get under each other’s skin and get quite passive-aggressive. It’s that kind of discomfort that makes people really want to leave a room when families are fighting. So, and it’s not to say that they’re necessarily going to fight either, but they have to work out what they mean to each other.”
Do you have any favorite episodes from the upcoming season?
Jordan Gavaris: “[…]I think everyone will really enjoy the first episode back. I think Sarah needs to explore… There are things that happened in the first season that have gone unexplored, particularly Beth’s life, and Sarah needs to maybe sort out who Beth really is. I think everyone’s really going to enjoy the first episode back. It’s scary – quite scary. I was scared.”
Will there be some fun moments with Felix and Alison?
Jordan Gavaris: “I think it’s safe to say that we have a couple of fun moments with them. And there’s maybe some fun moments with some other characters.”
Have there been any storylines that you’ve asked the writers to explore more or even individual scenes?
Jordan Gavaris: “No scene from start to finish has ever been improvised entirely, but they’re really great about taking our input. We had a conversation at the top of the season – I can’t speak for anybody else other than myself but they’ve always been really collaborative and want to know what we have to say because they have ideas but ultimately you play someone for four years, you know them really well. Yeah, we had a conversation just about Felix maybe having a love interest that everyone’s been pushing for and I even championed for a little while. I just went away and thought about it and realized I think that’s maybe what Jordan wants for him and not what he wants for himself. It’s a very kind of heteronormative, traditionalist bias I was putting on him that maybe to be a healthy, well-adjusted gay man he doesn’t necessarily need monogamy. He doesn’t necessarily need a stable partner. I know that’s different than what I think people were anticipating. It’s not to say that he won’t have intimacy, but it just may come from a different place.”
Watch the full interview with Jordan Gavaris on Orphan Black season four: