Season 4 of Orphan Black premieres April 14 on BBC America and it is a throwback to season 1 in many ways. But there will still be new characters, as well as a new clone. We spoke with star Tatiana Maslany about helping to create the new character M.K., a sestra who has intel on the Neolution conspiracy, but has trouble trusting anyone, even her fellow clones.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We’ve seen images of this new clone M.K. in her sheep mask and everything. Tell me about what you can say about this clone and also talk a little bit about the process of bringing a new character to the screen.
TATIANA MASLANY: Yeah, it’s really intensive. [Co-creator Graeme Manson] kind of dropped the idea of M.K. in my head in the summer before we started shooting. So, I had a bit more time to prep her and think about her, which was exciting for me to not be mid-season and be like, “Oh, now you have to create a Rachel.” I was like, “Great.” It was nice to have that space. And in terms of M.K., there were a lot of unknowns. So, she still is kind of a mystery to me as well, but hair and makeup, Stephen [Lynch] and Katarina [Chovanec] — we worked a lot on her look and bouncing photos back and forth of what was kind of inspiring us, and sort of putting her into this stunted place.
She’s a little bit of a kid still, which is really fun to explore because all of the clones have kind of had to grow up quite quickly and take on a lot of big life things. And it’s stopped her from progressing. But, at the same time, she’s got this incredible mind that doesn’t think like anybody else’s and is 900 steps ahead of everybody else. So, I looked at Björk a little bit and the way her creativity works, and the way her mind works, and she has this aptitude for science and patterns, and for structures and then breaking those structures. I kind of looked at her and her music a little bit for M.K.
And as you’re figuring this all out internally and going through all these things, how much do you have to share that with Kathryn Alexandre, your performance double, who acts those scenes with you. I know that her performance is really important as well so how do you work with her to make sure she knows what’s going on in your head?
Well, luckily we had two weeks of rehearsal where we got to not extensively rehearse, but we did get a few hours in a room where Kathryn, [co-creator John Fawcett], Graeme and I sort of hashed things out, played with the characters, improvised a little and tried to find M.K. together. So Kathryn was very integral in that process and she always asks questions that I would never think of. The way she sees things is so detailed and she sees things that we don’t see necessarily, and sheds light on something that really opens up a character, opens up a scene. So, Kathryn’s so integral to the process and luckily we got to kind of create M.K. together in that way.
At the end of season 2 we had a clone dance party, and at the end of season 3 we had a clone dinner party. I know John Fawcett must have had something big planned for you at the end of season 4 as well.
Yeah, I think John especially is very interested in always pushing the limits of those clone scenes and what we’re able to do with them. And the more comfortable we get with the technology the more we try to get uncomfortable with it. So, the scenes this season, I’d say there’s an emotional like risk in them. Like, there’s a complexity to the emotion of it and maybe more so than the showy technical side of it.