That’s one of many questions at the center of Orphan Black‘s second season, and this tonight’s episode (BBC America, 9/8c) promises to expose even more of Mrs. S’ secrets.
Below, Maria Doyle Kennedy reveals what she really knows about her mysterious character and previews a heated reunion.
SECRET KEEPER | Kennedy is not privy to Mrs. S’ secrets — at least not all of them. The actress admits she’s plenty in the dark about her character’s storylines, but a talk with co-creator Graeme Manson at the show’s start did uncover some intel about Mrs. S. “It was clear that she was going to be an interesting person and that she had a very colorful past and that she was a mixture of things,” says Kennedy. “And the other thing he said to me initially [was] his original inspiration for Mrs. S had been Patti Smith, the singer. She’s a huge beacon for me, so that sealed the deal. I was totally happy then.”
MRS. S IS NOT ALL GOOD OR ALL BAD | Her recent behavior – kidnapping Kira, lying about Project Leda, showing off an ease with firearms – certainly put Mrs. S’ motives into question. Can she even be trusted after decades of keeping the truth, whatever it may be, from Sarah? “I always see her main intention as being good,” maintains Kennedy. “I think she really loves Sarah. Part of their problem and their relationship is that they’re actually so alike. They butt heads against each other all the time… I think she does love her, but there’s issues of trust on both sides.” And classifying Mrs. S as either hero or villain is not so simple. “Nobody is all good or all bad,” adds Kennedy. “I think she has a very strong moral compass, and sometimes she acts outside the law and sometimes even with force, but always with a sort of old fashioned code of honor. Sometimes, the actions are not great, but she does things to justify a higher cause or to protect the ones she really loves.”
BUT SHE IS A BADASS | Mrs. S’ incredible “prowess with firearms and other types of weapons” was quite a surprising revelation for Kennedy this season. “I didn’t know we were going to go quite there,” she says with a laugh. Mrs. S proved herself to be someone who you don’t want to mess with when she took a carving knife and fork to her old contact, but it was Kennedy who was frightened while filming the scene with actress Nora McLellan. “I was terrified that I would really hurt her,” recalls Kennedy. “Even in all the scuffling apart from the weapons, I’ve got to grab her and push her and pin her to the table. I was terrified I would do some damage, and she refused to let the stuntwoman do any of the things. She was just like, ‘No, no, no. I’m trained in theater combat. It’ll be no problem.’” At the end of the shoot, the sequence “got a big clap from the crew. I think they were probably clapping with joy that we were both still alive more than anything else.”
A FIGHTER AND A LOVER | When an important person from Mrs. S’ past resurfaces in this Saturday’s episode, we’ll glimpse yet anther side of the surprisingly feisty woman. “Mrs. S is an incredibly strong woman. She’s a survivor. You don’t get the feeling that anybody would get one over on her,” Kennedy teases of the encounter. “But at the same time, all that commitment and conviction, it does often infer a passionate person.”
TATIANA MASLANY FAN CLUB | While Mrs. S may have not gotten a lot of action last season, Kennedy did get to share some powerful scenes with the show’s leading lady and marvel at her talent in the process. “The biggest thing for me last year was, literally, just watching Tatiana [Maslany] with amazement,” raves the actress. “I was just astonished by her work. To do some of the scenes that had multiple clones in them, I was really blown away by the work and the detail.”
‘CRACKERS’ ALISON FAN CLUB | “There’s one particular [clone] that I haven’t worked with yet that I would really, really like to, and I’m hoping that will happen in the next [season],” shares Kennedy. In the meantime, she’s content to have fun with the crazy suburbanite who broke down in her kitchen. “Alison is just so fantastic and hilarious and crackers. If I see anything written down that she and I are going to be hanging out, it makes my day.”Follow @VladaGelman