Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany came out of obscurity last year, garnering the attention of audiences and critics as the lead actress of Canadian series Orphan Black.
The 28-year-old actress appears as more than one character, as the show revolves around the character she plays, Sarah Manning, an orphan who takes on the identity of a woman who looks exactly like her. The character then discovers that there are more people out there who look like her, and are in fact clones.
The 10-episode long show, which premiered on March 30 last year on BBC America in the United States and Space in Canada, has made it to Time's list of top 10 TV shows for that year.
This year, Maslany was also nominated for favourite sci-fi/fantasy actress at the People's Choice Awards and best actress in a TV series, drama at the Golden Globe Awards.
The first season of Orphan Black premieres today on Lifetime Channel (StarHub Channel 514) at 9pm. Having to play many characters with different backgrounds in Orphan Black means that she has to speak in different accents. A dialect coach, Mr John Nelles, helps her.
"Each of the characters has a very specific voice and a very specific dialect based on where she comes from. To me, that's really fun to play with," she says.
"So much of how you communicate determines what kind of person you are and where you come from indicates the kind of person you might be, and the sort of way you might communicate. It all adds to the characters."
While the series has made her popular, she is not in a hurry to move on to bigger things, such as Hollywood movies. "I'm really happy working on smaller movies and I'm not too fussed to go to Hollywood and do that thing," she says.
"But you know, I always want to work, so if Orphan Black opens doors as far as work goes, then I'm happy."
8 QUESTIONS WITH TATIANA MASLANY
1. Do you read sci-fi books or watch sci-fi movies?
Not really, I haven't been super-involved in sci-fi before the show. I think the closest was zombies. I was interested in zombies for a time. But no, sci-fi is kind of a new thing to me. It's cool because our show is very sci-fi, but at the same time, it feels like a drama and also a kind of a dark comedy. What I think is cool about sci-fi is that it allows for a very specific world to be created and for us to reflect on our own world.
2. When new technology comes out, are you the first to adopt it?
No, not at all. I want nothing to do with it, really. It all feels like it's moving way too fast for the brain to process. We're so keyed into our mobile phones, to our social media and all that stuff that I feel that sometimes, we don't connect with people. So I'll say I'm a bit anti- technology.
3. Were you surprised by the good response to Orphan Black?
Yes, I was surprised. I think we all were. We didn't know that it was going to be received the way it was, and it's super surprising that all these incredible places that we never expected, including India and Singapore, are watching. It's such a nice feeling.
4. Have you met people who looked just like you?
I was at a bar once and some people said, "This girl looks exactly like you". They introduced the two of us and neither of us thought that we looked like the other. So I think it's more of an outward perception than something you notice.