Things get kinky between proclone Rachel and her newly promoted monitor Paul on this Saturday’s Orphan Black (BBC America, 9/8c) .
In fact, their, um, unusual encounter, is so “creepy” and “steamy” that star Dylan Bruce proclaims to TVLine that he’s “never seen a scene like [it] on television before.”
Below, the actor also opens up about Paul’s loyalties to the Dyad and Sarah and reveals why he’s not just a pawn in their war. (Let’s just say he’s got some “tricks up his sleeve,” Bruce teases.)
TVLINE | Paul’s been MIA for a couple episodes. How does he return, and what state is he in?
He’s in a more disturbed state than when he left. There’s a new level of understanding with what Rachel really is. She certainly terrifies him to a certain extent, as well. He’s definitely well versed in Mandarin. [Laughs] He comes back in a big way in this episode. I absolutely had so much fun playing this episode on all fronts. I got to [confront] Felix, which was really hard, and then there’s this really creepy and steamy sex scene at the same time. And also, I just loved the dynamic between Rachel, Paul and Leekie. It’s a very fun orbit, for me as an actor and for Paul, to be in right now.
TVLINE | We’ll get back to that sex scene, for sure. I wanted to ask you first, are we going to get more hints about what’s going on in Taiwan? It seems like there’s more story to that trip.
I think it was just a necessary storyline for them to go. I do think the writers probably have something in mind with why they were in Taiwan, because I was definitely thinking that myself: “OK, what are they doing over there?” There could be a million different things. They could be visiting some crazy lab or dealing with the government or whatnot. But that really is not delved in too deeply after he gets back. But I can tell you this: Paul and Rachel had not been intimate in Taiwan. The first time is in Episode 5. It’s very funny, because it seems like Leekie is always prodding Paul like, “Have fun in Taiwan, Paul. How was Taiwan, Paul?” It’s almost like he’s poking him in the ribs a little bit like, “Hey, if it hasn’t happened yet, you’re in for it, because something crazy’s going to happen.”
TVLINE | There’s a line in this episode where he’s like, “What is it that you did? Personal security, Paul?”
Exactly. He’s foreshadowing what’s to come for Paul in the episode. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Leekie knows how Rachel operates.
He certainly does. He helped create her and was a big part of raising her. He definitely knows her suppressed energies and what she does to alleviate them. [Laughs]
TVLINE | What was it like to film that scene? You’ve worked with Tatiana [Maslany] before, but it was as Sarah. Now you’re working with her as Rachel, and she’s this completely different animal.
You’re absolutely right. We all know how brilliant Tatiana is and how great she is. But when she is in these characters, she is firmly immersed in that character. You don’t feel as an actor, acting opposite of her, that she’s Tatiana playing a different character. She is Rachel. She is Sarah. It’s very easy to act opposite her because she is 100 percent into her character at that time. It’s a wonderful thing for an actor to do, because she’s so easy to react off and she’s so spontaneous.
That scene, how it was written on the page was actually different than how we performed it. Our director, Helen Shaver, she’s wonderful and she’s very good at bringing the sexy out of her actors with wonderful notes and directions. There were a lot of moving parts to that scene that she added in for both Tatiana and me. It made the scene a lot creepier than how it was on the page. And it made it a lot steamier at the same time. I’ve never seen a scene like that on television before.
TVLINE | Is it bizarre having love scenes with the same actress, but as two different characters?
She’s so good – that’s the first time anybody’s asked me that question, which is amazing – that has never once entered my mind. She is so into that character, it’s so easy to differentiate between the two. I don’t feel like it’s Tatiana playing a character. I actually feel like “Oh, this is really a person. [Laughs] This is really Rachel.” It wasn’t hard at all.
TVLINE | How would you describe the dynamic between Rachel and Paul now that he’s got this promotion that he maybe doesn’t necessarily want?
It’s interesting because he’s forced to act fast, and he decides that that [he should] become an asset to Rachel. He doesn’t want to be in this position that he’s in. But he’s pushing his own agenda, absolutely. He’s looking out for No. 1… But there’s definitely an aura of unpredictably with Paul that trends in Season 2. You never know what’s going on with the guy. But I’ll tell you right now, he does have a few tricks up his sleeve.
TVLINE | When the season started, I worried that he had crossed over to the dark side. Last season, he seemed to have developed some feelings for Sarah and some loyalty to her.
Right. There’s always an angle with this guy. He’s very calculating. At the same time, I think Paul’s guilt with what happened to Beth is what compelled him to Sarah. But I don’t think that she’d doubt for a second that his own agenda comes first. He’s part of a much bigger plan, for sure. There is a softness in him, in his heart, for Sarah. But she did pistol-whip him in the face. It seems like she’s almost lost all interest and loyalty in him. It almost seemed like he was trying to help her at the same time and not lose that sliver of trust with her… But I think she’s blown him off. Now that she has a new guy in the picture, how loyal can he be to her? But he still does has a little bit of softness in his heart for her.
TVLINE | Will we learn more about what happened in Afghanistan and Paul’s background?
I think we will. I don’t know if I can say if that happens this season or not, but we will. That’s something that needs to be further discussed and played out. It’s too big of an event to be ignored, right?
TVLINE | One of my favorite scenes from last season was when Sarah comes into the club to rescue Paul, and you leaned your head into her. It was such a lovely, quiet moment. Was that scripted?
No, not at all, and I was surprised at the reaction from a lot of fans. For some reason, I was compelled, instinctively, to do that. Like, this guy, [Olivier] would probably have killed me. And the fact that I told her to run, and she didn’t and she could have been out of a dangerous encounter, that she came back… It was very sweet, and I just leaned my head in and it worked. It seemed to have melted a lot of people’s hearts. Now I just walk up to random people, whether it’s in a grocery store or a movie theater, and I just give them a little head snuggle. For some reason, it doesn’t seem to have the same effect somehow. [Laughs]