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Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Canadian actress scores role in gritty British series

  • Tatiana Maslany stars on BBC America's series "Orphan Black."

    BBC America

    Tatiana Maslany stars on BBC America's series "Orphan Black."

The life of an actor can be either feast or famine. Many can't take the erratic nature and fallout. But actress Tatiana Maslany isn't one of them.
"The beginning of last year I did a play in January and was really jazzed about it, it got a great reception," the Canadian actress said.
"And then I went to L.A. for pilot season and had the most difficult time. But I think we're kind of addicted to that high-low thing."
That high-low thing kept her unemployed for almost a year. "And then I got 'Orphan Black.' And it's the best job I've ever got because the part is insanely exciting. The part is like something I would've dreamed about and never thought I could actually do or be seen for."
Americans will catch Maslany honing her dialect skills when "Orphan Black" premieres March 30 on BBC America.
"I had to go in with an accent, and the character is this kind of London, working-class girl. She's a hustler and she's rough and she's lived hard and has a lot of regrets and a lot of flaws, she said.
"It's so far from my world, yet it's human. We all have those flaws."
Though she grew up in the far reaches of Saskatchewan, Maslany has been performing since she was a kid. "I was doing it in high school professionally. So I would leave school for two months at a time to shoot a movie somewhere in Canada, or shoot a series. Even in high school I thought, 'I really love this, I don't know why.'"
Maslany starred in miniseries like "World Without End" and "Heartland," but says she never attended drama school.
"It was always working, learning on the job, learning through making big mistakes on the job. And watching bad things and being, like, 'OK. Our mistakes are right there on screen, on celluloid for the rest of our lives.'
At 27, she thinks she's also retained a childlike view of the world. "I feel like I didn't want to let go of that sense of play or imagination or wonder," Maslany said.
Story tags » Television

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