'Orphan Black': Jordan Gavaris talks Felix and his lack of pants
We’ll be seeing a lot of Sarah’s sassy foster brother Felix when Orphan Black returns for season 2 on April 19. But then again, we always see a lot of Felix…especially when he happens to be wearing an apron (with nothing else). So exactly…um, how much more of Felix will we be seeing? We caught up with Jordan Gavaris, who plays Fe, in his trailer during a break in filming to get some scoop on what we can expect from Felix when season 2 premieres on BBC America on April 19. (Also make sure to check out Part 1 of our interview, in which Gavaris talks about perfecting his fake English accent and working with all the various clones.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So, most important question first: Will we have more pantless Felix in season 2?
JORDAN GAVARIS: They love my bum! I don’t know why. I mean I do a bit of work on my bum, but, like, I don’t have a Dylan Bruce bum. They love Felix’s bum so much and I’m so proud that they’re using my body as a means of comedy. That makes me feel really sexually secure.
EW: How exactly does one work on one’s bum?
GAVARIS: Squats, lunges. I lunge all over the place. I’m lunging right now. No, not really. What else do I do? Deadlifts are a great one. But Felix doesn’t work out. Obviously, I work out as myself, but I once attempted to go to the gym on a break in Felix make-up and it didn’t work because I can’t lift things as him. He lifts very gingerly. He doesn’t know how to approach a weight. He’s never even seen one before. I mean, I’m sure he has, but only when he’s been cruising in the gym for new clients.
EW: What can you tell us about what we’ll see from Felix in season 2?
GAVARIS: There’s quite an evolution that is taking place. I’ve talked with numerous people about TV audiences these days. There’s a reason why VOD is so popular. You don’t have to wait. There’s instant gratification. The audience wants to be surprised all the time, so evolution was and is necessary and will always be necessary in the show to keep things interesting. And it’s real life, things are always evolving but just faster on TV. I think last season Felix was very much Sarah’s partner in crime. But this season things get more complex because he’s forging relationships with people outside of Sarah. We see a bit more of his life. We have a more intimate look at it, knowing it’s not all contingent upon what Sarah’s doing. He is a person outside of his sister and it’s really him getting caught in the crossfire and in the crosshairs of what is happening. He is wearing a target right now. Many of the characters I’m sure will be tested. Alison is in not the greatest place. She’s hit rock-bottom and is feeling tremendous guilt over Aynsley. And Sarah is in a war with Rachel, and Cosima is sick. There’s a possibility that there will be severe degradation of these relationships and Felix is the glue that holds them all together.
EW: You’re getting to work a lot more with other actors and characters in season 2. Is that fun?
GAVARIS: Always, because you always learn something from your scene partner. Tat has taught me a lot and continues to teach me a lot as we continue to grow and our characters develop. But it’s very exciting to get to play with Art [Kevin Hanchard] and Kevin has a wonderful theater background. He has such a keen attention to detail and working efficiently. I glean something from everyone. And I learn more about Felix. The cool thing about Felix is that he’s different with everyone. The exasperation that he feels with Alison is different from the frustration that he feels with Art or the sibling relationship between he and Sarah. Part of the differentiation of all the clones especially comes from their interaction with other people — Felix in particular because he has more interaction with them than anyone. It’s fun for me to get into a scene with Sarah and then have a changeover and suddenly I’m talking to Cosima. The feeling totally changes. With Sarah, I feel the sibling history. I feel the years and years of growth. With Cosima, I feel suspicion and estrangement. It’s really interesting to know that that’s the same person behind all the makeup and underneath the clothing, and yet Felix is responding differently to her energy to her vibe. And it’s not difficult because Tat’s so brilliant. Cool lesson.
EW: Is there a difference between working on a show that is in its second season, now that you know people like it?
GAVARIS: Yes, definitely. There’s a totally different vibe. I realized there’s a difference between creating a character and sustaining a character. The challenge that comes with sustaining a character is that you have this sudden impulse to think about all the things the audience liked. Oh, they laughed at this line and they thought this was funny and they really liked that relationship. But the problem is that before when the audience liked it we were doing it because we thought that was the right way to go. And the trick is to not let the audience dictate the choices you make narratively. From an acting standpoint you’ve got to continue to trust your gut, because ultimately only that will result in a better product, making the audience more happy and resulting in the right payoff. It’s tough to resist that impulse to go for the humor on this line because they loved it before. Instead of giving them more of the same, give them something different that they’re going to like even more.
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