Every Orphan Black fan knows Tatiana Maslany is an acting genius, but do you know how she keeps each character's mannerisms and speaking inflections straight? Or what her own actual nationality is? Or where Jordan Gavaris gathers inspiration for his role as Felix? Or how long the concept for the show was in play before the first episode ever aired?
Well, read this article, and you will.
1. The episode titles reference historical reflections on society
For example, episode titles in season two are taken largely from the published works of Sir Francis Bacon, an English philosopher. He was very fond of scientific methods of study and exploration, and is even considered the "father of empiricism." A proper muse for Orphan Black if there ever was one!
2. Co-creator John Fawcett was largely inspired by the 2000 film Memento
Memento is a film about a man searching for the person who raped and murdered his wife. His efforts are hindered by his impaired memory. The film illustrates how he utilizes certain methods by which to remember information to aid him in his quest. Memento is often enigmatic, and at times feels dystopian, lending to the mystery and intrigue found throughout Orphan Black.
3. Tatiana Maslany is Canadian, but represents half a dozen nationalities on Orphan Black
In addition to Canadian roles, Maslany has played characters from Great Britain, The United States, Germany, France, The Ukraine, Italy, and Austria. Knowing the cultures, mannerisms, and backgrounds of her characters' countries of origins enhance her ability to represent them authentically.
4. Maslany establishes a separate background for each clone
Maslany and writer Graeme Manson work together to create individual life histories for each of the clones. This helps Maslany to keep each character straight while acting, but also gives much more depth to the roles. The best films never reveal the extensive personal details and experiences of each character, but developing such intricacies off screen provides the foundation for the true art of acting.
5. Co-creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett originally came up with the idea for Orphan Black in 2003
It takes a lot of time to develop character backgrounds and storylines, not to mention tackling the technicalities of funding, locations, casting, and all the other things that go into such a sophisticated production as Orphan Black. The ten years between the concept and the airing of the first episode of this show were obviously well spent on hard work bringing it all together.
6. Jordan Gavaris draws inspiration for Felix from Mick Jagger and Billy Idol
Mick Jagger's way of thrusting his jaw forward while performing gives the impression of a man with unfailing confidence in his swagger.
Billy Idol is known more for his sullen, yet brazen, sexuality.
Jordan Gavaris brings them together gorgeously as the delicious Felix!!!
7. There is a real life Cosima
Cosima Herter is a consultant for Orphan Black. She is a scientist and philosopher, not unlike the aforementioned Sir Francis Bacon, and of course, her namesake on Orphan Black. You can follow her on Twitter @RealCosima!
8. Filming scenes with multiple clones is a giant pain in the ass
The process of accomplishing a finished scene like the one pictured is a tedious and painstaking process. The scene itself must be shot multiple times - at least once for each clone. In between each shoot, Tatiana Maslany must undergo not only a physical costume change, but a psychological personality change as well. After all of that is said and done, there is still the editing process to contend with digitally bringing it all together.
9. Tatiana Maslany is a real-life baller
According to co-creator Graeme Manson, Maslany roller-bladed to her Orphan Black audition, and then helped other prospects for the same part rehearse their lines. Tatiana is a class-act, on AND off the screen.
10. They do it all for us
Everyone who puts so much of their time, effort, and talent into Orphan Black does so for us, the fans, and we LOVE them for it!!!
In addition to my own knowledge, I used multiple sources for the information in this article, including imdb.com, tv.com, and various wikis.