The new BBC series “Orphan Black” features a large cast of smart, beautiful, and tough young women – but the cast list names just one headliner, Canadian actor Tatiana Maslany.
The sci-fi series has 27-year-old Maslany play a series of clones as they try to discover the secret to their identity, and premieres this Saturday.
It’s a challenging role that has critics predicting major stardom for this starlet from Regina, Saskatchewan. But if you don’t know much about this new face, formerly seen on CBC series like “Being Erica,” “Heartland,” and “Instant Star,” then here’s a good place to start.
She started young. She has been acting and dancing since she was nine years old, and told The Globe and Mail “I was the kid who would force my parents to sit down and watch me dance to Jesus Christ Superstar in the living room night after night.”
She can do serious, but she also has a highly trained funnybone. She participated in the Canadian Improv Games during high school, competing in the national tournament twice, and won in 2002. Now she’s a certified improv trainer, and has worked with some of Canada’s top improv instructors.
Her first major film role was in the Canadian werewolf horror movie “Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed,” where she played an evil blonde girl named Ghost.
Her brother is another actor and playwright, Daniel Maslany, whose play “O.C.Dean” is on next month in their hometown Regina.
She tried making it in Los Angeles, but is far more comfortable at home in Canada. “I didn’t know what I was. I was very self-conscious, a fish out of water. I never felt like myself. If I’d had any calmness about me, I would have talked about films I love and actors I like and not the weather and driving. How do you make an impression in five minutes anyway?” she told NOW Toronto.
With “Orphan Black” set to premiere, Maslany is still keeping busy with Jason Priestley’s feature film directing debut, “Cas & Dylan,” in which she stars opposite Richard Dreyfuss. Something tells us we'll be seeing a lot more of Maslany in the near future - and not only because of TV shows where she plays multiple characters.