I waited in line for six hours for this panel and it was worth every single minute. This cast has tremendous chemistry together. The panel was so much fun and also very moving. One person said that Orphan Black had helped her come out of the closet and helped repair her relationship with her mother. “You save lives” this person said, and Tatiana Maslany teared up, as did all of us.
I don’t mean to sound delusional but I couldn’t help having the nagging feeling that only one of the lead actresses came to the panel. Where were the other eight? Oh that’s right – THEY ARE ALL THE SAME PERSON. If you’re not watching this show, seriously – you’re missing out. It’s that good, and not just because of Maslany’s acting, although that is phenomenal.
The panelists were: Tatian Maslany (who plays the clones), Jordan Garavis (Felix), Maria Doyle Kennedy (Mrs. S, the character who is my personal guru), Dylan Bruce (Paul), Ari Millen (Mark), Kristian Brunn (Donnie), John Fawcett (co-creator), and Graeme Mason (co-creator).
- Donnie got some of the biggest cheers of the panel. He is clearly enjoying his character’s trajectory from “eating, farting Donnie” to “Have a SHITTY DAY” Donnie.
- On the show, Paul is extremely wooden and blank, because he’s constantly hiding all his emotions and thoughts. It’s a hoot to see Dylan Bruce in person, because he’s such a crack-up – he’s goofy and silly and seems to love his co-stars.
- Dylan says that he has a “huge man crush” on Jordan Garavis (says Jordan, “Yes, it’s come up several times on set. We try to handle it professionally”). He hated doing the scene in which he gets Felix’s fingerprints on the gun. “I really thought Paul would be irredeemable after that”, he said.
- Tatiana Maslany handled a question about what the hell is wrong with the Emmy nominating committee with class, saying, “We are at a point in which television is extremely exciting…I feel extremely lucky to be in television at this point in history, making a show like this and in company with shows like that”. The Clone Club presented her with a special award in lieu of an Emmy: “The Best Actress in the World Award”.
- Maria Doyle Kennedy regarding the moment in which she pins her enemy to a table with a carving fork: “I wasn’t invited to dinner anywhere for ages”.
- Ari Miller’s character, Mark, was supposed to be killed by Paul in the bar scene. According to Dylan, that’s how they were introduced: “Hey Dylan, this is Ari. you’re gonna kill him”, and Dylan was all, “Sorry, man”.
- Will we ever see more of Beth? What’s with her back story? According to Graeme and John, “Nothing is off the table. We’re both fabulously interested in Beth’s story. We think there’s probably a twist in Beth’s story that we haven’t heard yet.
- The highlight of the panel was seeing how passionate Tatiana feels about the importance of portraying Tony. Tatiana said, “I love Tony. I would love to explore him further…he offers so much in terms of gender identity and expression. He’s a guy I’ve never seen on-screen, and I was so excited by the conversations it prompted. Maria Doyle Kennedy added that she’d like to have Mrs. S. spend some time with Tony, because Mrs. S. would understand his struggles with identity and “she needs to teach him table manners”.
- During the audience Q&A, someone asked where Cosima’s parents are. “Their daughter is seriously sick!”. Graeme explained, “They’re out in Berkeley. They’re a little disengaged”. Tatiana added, “They don’t have a car, so they’re walking. Really slowly”.
- At this point a woman got up and made an incredible moving speech. I’m transcribing from hand-written notes so please forgive any paraphrasing on my part. She said, “Before I started watching the show, I was really in the closet”. she was inspired by seeing that Cosima was more than her sexuality. She started watching the show with her mom and “It rebuilt our relationship because she could see that Cosima was more than her sexuality, and she was OK with that…What’s it like to know the effect you have on people’s lives? You’re saving lives. That’s what you did for me”. Of course at this point everyone, including Tatiana, had tears in their eyes. Jordan responded, “We like to be reductive in life. I don’t know why. We reduce people down to their sexuality or their diseases or their race or gender or whether they watch Game of Thrones. But that is not who people are. People are complex and diverse. There are much more interesting things about you than your sexuality”.
- On a lighter note, someone asked if we’ll see Jesse again. John responded, “One of our favorite moments in Season Two was seeing Helena get a little romance…it would be really cool to do more with him.
- Finally, Maria Doyle Kennedy was thanked for making a career of playing complex women and she said, “I think women are generally pretty amazing and I’m not interested in playing parts where I’m just an accessory for someone else’s actions.” BECAUSE SHE’S AWESOME!