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WonderCon: Highlights From the ‘Orphan Black’ Panel

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Orphan Black stars Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, and more Tatiana Maslany. The actress plays more clones you can count, so it’s easy to forget that there are other stellar cast members. Orphan Black‘s WonderCon panel featured its male stars — co-creators Graeme Manson and John Fawcett, Jordan Gavaris (Felix), Kristian Bruun (Donnie), and Kevin Hanchard (Art). Here’s what they had to share about Clone Club.

Season 4 Goes Back to the Beginning 
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The panel kicked off with a quick tease of the first episode of Season 4, which featured one of the clones wearing a creepy sheep mask spying on a couple of paramedics burying something in the woods at night. So we basically know nothing yet. Season 3 left Sarah in an uncomfortable place and seeking refuge in Iceland. Season 4 will take us back to the feel of the first season and the uncertainty of who’s good and who’s bad. There is more story behind the train tracks and what Sarah may have missed, and she will once again be playing off her back foot. There’s also the issue of Neolution, which is “everywhere and nowhere,” according to Gavaris.

Last Season’s Untied Ends

Should we be hopeful about Delphine? Manson says Delphine had such a brave journey last season, and what happened to her is a big arc of Season 4. Cosima is having a hard time moving on because she doesn’t have closure, so she’s investigating and trying to come up with some answers. It’s a mystery, and Gavaris advises everyone to “strap on your detective hat.” (Is that a thing?)

As for Shay, Fawcett says they love actress Ksenia Solo and her character. And they like to keep as many balls in the air as they can, so interpret that as you will.

Biggest Fears

Everyone is a little unsettled this season. Art fears he let down Beth. Donnie got in a little over his head last season and is concerned for the safety of his family. He wants to return to the normalcy of suburban life, which may prove to be a little more difficult now that they have new roommate Helena, who is pregnant, very hungry, and just a little bit crazy. Bruun jokes that the grocery bills are now out of control.

Felix’s biggest fear is being left behind. His relationship with Sarah hinges on the fact that they are both orphans, and their home is with each other. Now that she has a legacy bloodline, he needs to figure out what that means for him and their relationship.

Hug, Handshake, Bake a Cake With

The question of which clone would you shag, marry, or kill quickly changed into which clone would you hug, handshake, and bake a cake with. And the decisions were not easy.

Gavaris says he’d obviously bake a cake with Allison. Bruun adds, “She’s gonna nail that cake.” Hanchard would bake a cake with Cosima, because she would put something in it and they would get baked while they bake. Gavaris insists Allison’s cake would taste better, and Bruun says that’s why Donnie has a dad bod.

Rachel gets a handshake. (Though Bruun said he would bake Rachel a cake).

Bring in the Clones

Krystal started as a joke. She was just a character that appeared in a surveillance video with no audio but eventually morphed into a full-fledged clone, and we’ll see a lot more of her in Season 4. However, the team doesn’t take new clones lightly. There’s no clone of the week, and Fawcett and Manson really consider the story purpose before creating a new clone. They’ll then take the idea to Tatiana, who will usually respond with, “Are you nuts? I can’t do this” and then proceed to do it. There is such a rich world of clones that it allows for interesting relationships between them and the other characters, and in this season, there are some interactions you wouldn’t imagine.

Clone Relationships

Bruun loves working with Helena because it’s fun and so out there. What started as an unlikely and suspicious relationship grew into a loving friendship. He likes to watch all the clone relationships because they’re all so different.

Hanchard’s favorite clone to work with and watch is Helena, Helena, Helena. Maslany lets loose when she plays Helena, and he gets to react and riff. He also likes watching the relationship between Sarah and Felix because it feels genuine; Gavaris and Maslany are close in real life and that transfers over on screen.

Gavaris also thinks the Allison and Felix relationship is a fun one. “They both say exactly what’s on their mind for better or for worse. Usually for worse,” says Gavaris. Sarah is so weighty and Allison is light.

Clone Roomies

If they each had to choose a clone to room with, Gavaris would choose Helena because he gets scared a lot in the middle of the night. When someone points out that maybe she’s the one doing the scaring, Gavaris begins to have second thoughts. Bruun chooses Cosima, because “it would be such a chill apartment.” Hanchard also goes with Cosima.

Twerk It

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Last season’s episode “Certain Agony of the Battlefield” featured the memorably hilarious Donnie and Allison twerking scene. When he first learned about the scene, Bruun’s went from his jaw dropping to the floor to laughing to realizing he would have to strip down to his tightie blue-ies to really going for it. The crew let Bruun and Maslany pick the song they would twerk to, and they settled on “Riff Raff, ” because, why the hell not. There were two cameras filming the scene — one slow motion, and one super slow motion. Bruun admits to being exhausted and being covered in glitter afterward. When he went to go shower, he found a $20 bill stuck to his butt. Hanchard chimes in with, “It was only a Canadian 20.”

Felix Gets Dark

In last season’s episode “Certain Agony of the Battlefield,” Felix angrily confronts Rachel and draws a new eye on her bandage (her old eye was impaled by a pencil). Gavaris admits it was violent and one of the more uncomfortable scenes he had to shoot because “unless I’m talking to a customer service agency, I’m usually not that mean.” In Season 4, there are definitely contentious relationships. Felix needs to sort out what Sarah means to him now that she has blood ties to other people. He relies so much on Sarah, and if he’s not getting that intimacy from her, maybe he’s getting it from somewhere else.

Hot Paul’s Hot Send-Off

Paul, also known as Hot Paul or the slightly less safe for work BDP, met his demise in Season 3’s mid-season climax. It was a big moment for the character and the show as we discovered the truth about him and the overall conspiracy. Paul didn’t always get a lot of love from the fans, but the writers wanted to give him a good, heroic send-off. At the end, he sacrificed himself and revealed that he truly loved Sarah.

Art is All In

Hanchard says Art is definitely in Clone Club at this point. He’s had to previously balance his career and responsibility to uphold the law. After some hard choices, he still has an allegiance and love for Beth, so he’s “all in for the sisters.”

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After the Black

If you couldn’t get enough of Orphan Black, fear not, because a new 30 minute hosted follow-up will air weekly after each episode. Called After the Black, the show will begin with the season premiere on April 14 and feature in-depth discussions with cast and crew. The first episode features both Maslany and Hanchard.

Orphan Black is on Thursdays 10pm on BBC America.

See all our WonderCon coverage here.


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