Finding out you’re a clone is hard. Then imagine finding out your “sisters” range from a suburban housewife to an unstable assassin to a high-powered executive with plans to steal your daughter.
Well, then imagine that you discover you have “brothers,” too.
The BBC America dramatic conspiracy thriller, Orphan Black, hits the ground running when it returns for Season 3 on April 18 at 9/8c. Sarah Manning and her family face what may be their biggest challenge yet—convincing her sisters to work together as they sort out if the male contingent of Dyad clones can be trusted.
Praised for its ability to bend the mind with countless sci-fi twists and turns, the hit show’s most astonishing feat might lie in the amazing acting range of Golden Globe® nominee Tatiana Maslany, who imbues each “clone” with incredible voice and attitude. Her performance is not to be missed! And now another actor is following her footsteps.
We took a minute to speak with Ari Millen who portrays all those new male clones to ask how it felt to know his work just multiplied, and if we’ll get any answers this season.
How did you feel when you found out that you were a clone and would be playing several more parts?
It’s unlike any other sort of revelation, I guess. Excitement is a word, but unlike any other excitement. Unlike the excitement that I had when I found out I was going to be on the show. I mean, that was one thing—right, I get to be a character on a show I love, but then they’re like, “You get to be three more.” It was pretty cool.
How far in advance did they let you know about that twist?
Not far enough. Maybe two weeks before we shot the season finale. It was pretty quick.
Where you shocked? Had you thought about male clones in this universe?
Personally, no. That was never something I was thinking about. Originally I was slated to be in the first six episodes of the second season. Then when I wasn’t dead when I read episode six, I started wondering “well maybe they got more plot line for Mark, this is exciting.” And I kept reading the episodes—I’m not dead, I’m not dead. I’m not dead! And then the phone call came. It sort of blindsided me.
You said you were a fan of the show before you were cast. What drew you in?
It films in Toronto which is where I live, so I think it’s always important to support and be aware of what’s going on in your town. When you’re an actor, chances are you might get to audition for it. So that was initially why I started watching it. But then, I very quickly realized how much I love the show. It became a weekly ritual, and I really got invested.
Obviously Tatiana Mosley is doing such a phenomenal job and getting a lot of accolades for her work playing all these different roles. How does it feel, now knowing you’ll be doing the same thing?
Oh man. I take it one day at a time. Obviously, there’s a uniqueness to the fact that I’m now playing multiple roles on the show with someone who’s also playing multiple roles and getting nominated for awards. But for the most part, it’s still acting right? I’m not approaching it or thinking about it any different than if I were joining a show and just playing one character. The journey’s just been really fun, and the characters that Graham and the writing team created for Project Castor that I get explore this season are so fun.
I’m just really excited for people to see it.
It’s all about telling the Orphan Black story, and I think fans will really enjoy this season because I think it really deepens the mystery. We’re also going to start getting some answers that we’ve wanted all along through the first two seasons.
Is there one of the clones that you have the most fun playing? Or one that challenges you the most?
There’s a scene in episode 2 with Rudy, which we shot my second day, and I was both really excited for the scene but at the same time kind of bummed because I thought, “I can’t see them toping this scene all season.” I was kind of sad I was shooting it on day two. And then the next episode came, and there was another scene like, “This is even better than that scene.” All season long the different challenges and the different things that they threw at the different Castor boys were really fun.
I guess each clone had his standout exciting point for me. But I definitely can’t say that one is better than the other because they’re different guys. They’re different to me. I’m very lucky.
How lucky are you? How many clones will we see?
I think we know about four. . . .
Ok, kiss, marry, or kill with your clone “siblings:” Sarah Manning, Helena, Allison?
Oh man. It’s a tough one. The thing is you can’t trust any of them. So I don’t know which one you marry. Probably Sarah. I think Sarah would be a lot of fun. Helena kiss, and then Allison kill, but I think that’s unfair. I don’t want to kill any of them.
Interacting with all of those Tatiana characters and being in various roles yourself, do you find that the mood changes as you play different clones? How is the process?
The process for me is a visual thing. I would put my costume on for the day and then go to hair and makeup and find out which clone I was going to be. You put the scar on or put the mustache on and sort of see who I am in the mirror and drop in and go about the day or the half day, because very often after a bit, I’d switch over to another clone. I’d try to sit where they sit.
From the outside, being on set with Tat on different days. Her energy is completely different. It’s so interesting. They’re all Tat, but just the look and feel of Ksemia is so different to Helena to Sarah to any of them. It’s a very interesting process.
It’s a very, very interesting situation to be in knowing who you are talking to, but seeing them in a completely different light with Tat.
Orphan Black returns April 18 at 9/8c on BBC America (Ch. 264).