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Orphan Black: It's about imagination

Actress

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Orphan Black on BBC Three is the story of Sarah, a young woman trying to escape a sordid past, witnessing the suicide of a woman, Beth, who looks identical to her.

Sarah being a creature of instinct and impulse steals Beth's purse and assumes her identity in order to get a quick buck and a fresh start.

However in breaking into Beth’s life Sarah meets other women who look identical to her and she falls deep into a mystery of identity.

‘Ever got the feeling that someone looks familiar?’ A peek at the many characters Tatiana portrays

I play the main character Sarah, as well as the other characters that look like her.

The audition process was intense. In my final audition I had to play Sarah, Sarah as Beth, Alison and Cosima.

Once I got to work with the amazing cast the characters began to shift and grow. They've changed so much since those first explorations.

Music has always been a huge inspiration to me, it changes me or allows me to change. It moves me physically and emotionally.

I created playlists for each of the women based on ideas Graeme Manson, the writer and executive producer, John Fawcett, the co-creator and director, and I came up with.

I am very inspired by dancers, the way they tell stories with their bodies, their tremendous physical vocabulary. Dance for me is a place of unselfconscious freedom and expression.

I use different forms of dance to explore the physical mannerisms and rhythms of each of the women. It helps me explore the characters in a way that isn't intellectual.

A shocking encounter sets Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) on a mysterious and dangerous journey

Playing scenes with myself is kind of like being a kid with an imaginary friend. I have to mentally create a person in the empty space in front of me.

I look insane when we shoot those scenes because ultimately I'm on an empty set talking and reacting to nothing. It's very much about imagination.

At the same time it's a highly technical process because I have to hit certain marks and my eyes have to be focused in the right place in order for the special effects to layer in seamlessly.

It's one of the biggest challenges I've faced as an actor.

I don't like to know too far in advance where the plot line of the series is heading. It keeps me guessing and in the present moment instead of anticipating what the next move will be.

I have a tremendous amount of trust in the writers.

I was immediately drawn to the writing of the series because of the strong female characters. I mean strong in that they are complex, flawed, contradictory, each with their own unique voice, world-view, all very human.

The series explores questions of nature-nurture, identity and humanity through many female points of view. That is extremely exciting to me.

Tatiana Maslany plays Sarah, Beth and others in Orphan Black.

Orphan Black continues with episode three at 9pm on Friday, 27 September on BBC Three. For further programme times please see the episode guide.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

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  • Comment number 54. Posted by pampig

    on 18 Nov 2013 18:37

    what a fantastic little actress this is we were looking really hard to see if it WAS the same girl such a different set of characters she definately deserves an award for this I recorded all ten episodes and couldn't wait to watch the next at 75 yrs young I really should have been getting my beauty sleep unfortunatly I had a power cut half way thro the last episode and can't get it on I player so am fuming hope they do another series thank you Tatiana

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  • Comment number 53. Posted by Stop_it_Aggers

    on 15 Nov 2013 11:33

    Congratulations to Tatiana on a terrific performance(s) - and to the crew for what must have been a technically demanding shoot. +1 to the hope that there will be more - I just hope they resist the temptation to go too Lost-y, it's quite nice to have a biological sci-fi show that doesn't play too hard-and-fast with the facts. OK, it's a bit implausible that they could be DNA engineering and doing mammalian cloning without having the technology for proper DNA sequencing (both Sanger and Maxam-Gilbert published in 1977, so even the historical timeline just about works), but the geek in me enjoyed the AT/GC thing even if it might have passed most people by. One quibble would be that although chromatograms are Hollywood code for DNA sequences, genome data wouldn't be presented like that, it's just annotated text.

    Don't have a problem with double bills just when it's getting exciting - quite the opposite in fact, although I did a series-record so I could watch it as a virtual boxset. It was a shame it didn't get more publicity and was so tightly held on iPlayer compared to a lot of BBC-produced stuff - I know that these days it's all about the boxsets, but perhaps it could be striped on BBC2 after Newsnight Tues-Thurs, like they did with The Wire?

    Anyway, here's to series 2 - surely Felix is Sarah's monitor who doesn't realise he's also a clone?

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  • Comment number 52. Posted by elizabeth haston

    on 10 Nov 2013 15:07

    i wish i could get episodes 7/8/9/10 but not happining not avabile grrrrr

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  • Comment number 51. Posted by Jean Lewis

    on 9 Nov 2013 12:43

    I was in A&E when episodes 9 and 10 were broadcast!
    When and where and how can I watch them?

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  • Comment number 50. Posted by rig82

    on 7 Nov 2013 02:01

    Best and most original show the BBC has shown in a very long time. Shame it took so long to come to our screens and shame that they felt they needed show the last few episodes in double bills. Hope they air the new series the same time as in the U.S..

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  • Comment number 49. Posted by Dances with Donkeys

    on 6 Nov 2013 23:51

    But if a Felix Dawkins Clone were to appear in the next series (we still don't know his progeny) as some kinda gay banker perhaps ... that would be wicked! The Dawkins Delusion ...

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  • Comment number 48. Posted by Dances with Donkeys

    on 6 Nov 2013 17:25

    Enjoyed the series very much. Great acting all round and really good script, music, everything. The comedy's good too - Alison can be hilarious (always thought her hubby was the monitor ... and always slightly suspected Mrs S may be Sarah's monitor, or something of the sort ...) Looking forward to series 2, but guess I'll have to wait another year for the UK viewing. Great stuff Tatiana!

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  • Comment number 47. Posted by Adele

    on 5 Nov 2013 14:55

    Loved watching the series and Tatiana you have a rosy career ahead of you, Each character was unique well done and best wishes.

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  • Comment number 46. Posted by Con

    on 3 Nov 2013 21:31

    What a shame this had to end, this is worthy of a second series!

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  • Comment number 45. Posted by KMac

    on 3 Nov 2013 17:53

    Absolutely superb,, Each clone character is unique, fully formed and totally believable and brilliantly acted.. Kinds Hearts and Coronets this most certainly is not...
    Congratulations to all involved..

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