Tatiana Maslany was joined by her Orphan Black acting double Kathryn Alexandre for roundtable interviews at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con. This year’s Con marks the final trip the cast will be taking to San Diego in support of the series which is wrapping up its run with a fifth and final season. The critically acclaimed sci-fi drama from BBC America has earned Golden Globe, Emmy, and Screen Actors Guild award nominations as well as the fervent support of a large fan base. During our interview, Maslany and Alexandre discussed the final season and what fans can expect as we say goodbye to the ‘sestras’.
Do you think Rachel can be redeemed for all that she’s done to the sestras?
Tatiana Maslany: “Good question. I feel like there’s a deep vulnerability that we’ve seen over the seasons, and as much as she sort of goes about things in a very misguided way, in a very cruel way, her intention is like all of the clones to just have some control over her life and just have some autonomy and some kind of volition in it. So, maybe. I mean, if we experience something of a…if she gives up somehow or there’s some kind of a…”
Kathryn Alexandre: “…truce of some sort. She kind of gets what she wants, somehow.”
Tatiana Maslany: “I think she reconciles, too, that she’s a clone. She’s like the rest of them, that she’s not different.”
Do you two talk about character choices together a lot?
Tatiana Maslany: “Yeah.”
Kathryn Alexandre: “Well, Tatiana’s been incredibly open to that throughout the process of every season of the show. I think that’s something incredibly unique and that’s something that I didn’t expect from the actor that I was going to be working with before I knew Tat. I could see that it would be understandable for an actor to not be open to the opinions of someone else who needs to play their characters. So, it’s incredibly unique that Tat’s been so generous and open, and open to discussion. It’s never right or wrong. Things can be thrown out; things can be valuable and used. But it’s just kind of that discussion just helps the art grow a little bit more.”
Tatiana Maslany: “Totally. Just having a collaborator in character creation is kind of unique, and Kathryn comes to set having watched all of the dailies and having seen the arc of the characters in a way that I don’t see because I’m there in it. She has questions about the scenes or she has questions about the characters or thoughts or ideas that are stimulating to me and make me see things differently. And we improvise within takes, too. That improv becomes part of the scene when we flip the characters to the other side, so it’s a real collaboration.”
How was it this past season as far as running out of hope for finding a cure?
Tatiana Maslany: “It’s tough because you’ve fallen in love with these characters and they seem fragile at this point. Cosima’s health seems really…I think when we left her at the end of episode 10 it was kind of like she could be gone. So, it’s interesting to play in those places. You know, I don’t want the characters to die but if the story does, then they could. It’s kind of painful, but it is fun to work through those things.”
Alison was separated from the rest of the sestras in season four while she tried to have a normal life. Do you think we’ll see her back working with the others in season five?
Tatiana Maslany: “Yeah, I think so. She’s kind of in the woods with Helena so they have an unexpected – again they’re forced into confinement with each other but now it’s Helena’s world, Helena’s home. It’s different. I would love to see those two do a little bit more together since it’s such an unlikely pairing.”
Alison said toward the end of the season how much she appreciated Helena. Do you think she was being sincere or sarcastic?
Tatiana Maslany: “I think she was totally serious. I think she went through a huge crisis of faith last season where God had abandoned her and then suddenly in her moment just before death or whatever was going to happen with that bot, an arrow through the throat and it’s Helena at the door. So I think she definitely saw that as an angel from Jesus.”
How do you feed off of each other when you’re working together in scenes?
Kathryn Alexandre: “Tatiana’s incredibly easy to feed off of because she just gives it her all every single take that she’s there. It doesn’t matter if you’re in minus 30 degree weather or if it’s hour 22, she’s just a pro. She’s always there. My job is to just try to match that and to give her as much as I can give her to make her be the best that she can be because ultimately she’s the only one that’s seen. But it’s super cool. I’ve never worked with an actor of skill and energy.”
Watch the full Tatiana Maslany and Kathryn Alexandre interview:
(Interview by Alice Balagia. Article by Rebecca Murray.)