#MUFFApproved: Orphan Black
Orphan Black (2013-)
Created by Graeme Manson & John Fawcett
Actress: Tatiana Maslany
Tatiana Maslany is a force of nature. She’s the leading actress of Orphan Black—a Canadian sci-fi television series revolving around a group of clones, all of which are played by Maslany. (Bonus points for local pride! Maslany herself is also Canadian, hailing from Regina and currently living in Toronto.)
This woman is magic. Seriously, I can’t fangirl enough. All of the clones are so unique and separate in their personalities that I’m constantly doing double takes, wondering if I’m really watching one single actress handle each of them with such versatility and vigor. Usually there will be multiple clones in a single scene, and I have no idea how she manages to film the same scene multiple times in a day, transitioning from one character to another.
These powerful women are filled with different strengths, vulnerabilities, and weaknesses that make for very compelling female characters with no room for tiresome stereotypes or the male gaze. None of them fall into a single category, and it gives me such cool girl-power vibes when I watch them band together and create a sisterhood.
Here’s a little sample of how unique these characters are:
Sarah Manning - the main character, our bad gal anti-hero. She’s a street-smart con artist who just wants the best life for her daughter.
Alison Hendrix - a crafty, alcoholic soccer mom from the suburbs who isn’t afraid to do what she deems necessary.
Helena - the mangled, instinctual Ukrainian assassin who grew up in a convent and has an obsession with food.
Cosima Niehaus - the “geek monkey,” an extremely smart scientist with iconic dreadlocks and an eccentric personality.
There’s more, but I don’t want to give away too much. My favourite parts of Orphan Black are when Maslany acts as one clone pretending to be another clone. She manages to do it flawlessly, keeping in mind each clone’s unique idiosyncrasies and mannerisms. These impersonations happen quite often throughout the series, enabling jaw-dropping reactions from me each time. Seriously, it’s WILD. #CloneClub forever.
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