Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany: Why My Emmy Nod Is All 'About the Fans,' Plus: Her Cheeky Submission Idea

Tatiana Maslany Emmy Nomination

Emmy voters may soon get an eyeful of Donnie’s tighty whities, thanks to Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany.

Now that the chameleon-like star of the BBC America series has earned her first Emmy Award nomination for Lead Actress in a Drama, she’s thinking ahead to which episode she’ll submit to the Television Academy for consideration. Her pick, with the humble Maslany giving much of the credit for the standout hour to director Helen Shaver: Season 3’s sixth installment, “Certain Agony of the Battlefield.”

“That’s also the episode that Kristian [Bruun] and I got to twerk in, which I think is the only scene that I want to submit,” Maslany adds with a laugh.

Below, the actress tells TVLine why she never thought she deserved a nomination and looks ahead to Season 4, which will return to the “pure roots of the show.”

TVLINE | I feel like I should be sending you celebratory perogies.
That’s so much better than alcohol! Please do that. [Laughs]

TVLINE | How did you find out about the nomination this morning?
I was sleeping. I’m doing night shoots right now, and I had my phone on silent because I was working ’til 5 am. Then an alarm went off in my apartment, like a fire alarm, and then 10 seconds after that, my phone was ringing. But I couldn’t hear it because it was on silent, so it was kind of perfect that the buzz happened right before that.

TVLINE | What was your reaction when you finally saw the news?
It was awesome. I talked to my agents right away, and they were all so excited. It was just a nice thing for all of us to celebrate together. They’ve been with me for years, and I wouldn’t be anywhere without them. For me, it’s super about the fans in terms of them caring about the Emmys and being so supportive and protective and wanting it so badly for me. So it feels like it’s for them, really.

TVLINE | The fans have really been behind the show, but the Television Academy has been a little bit slow to catch on. Why do you think now was finally the time for the nomination?
Oh God, I have no idea. I don’t know that it was meant to happen necessarily. I think that TV right now is so female-centric, and there’s so many amazing, amazing roles for women and so much talent. I have no qualms with never being nominated. I honestly never thought I deserved to be nominated. There’s so many performances out there that are amazing and groundbreaking. I feel like it’s such a really lucky time to be a woman in television. We’re given this new force and this new space. It’s just really exciting. I don’t think it was by any means a long time coming or anything. I just think, somehow, I squeezed in there. [Laughs] I squeezed in this amazing category with all these ridiculous talents.

TVLINE | Now that you have deservedly squeezed in there, do you know which episode you want to submit?
There was an episode I did, 306, and I got to work with [director] Helen Shaver. She’s an actor, as well, and an insane director. She’s so talented, so insightful and so passionate about the show and about the characters. Every time she comes to set, she changes the fabric of our show in the way that she shoots it, in the way that she reveals characters and the sort of work she gets us to do.

TVLINE | After three seasons, is it still challenging to jump from one clone to the next? Or have you found a groove now and it’s easy to transition?
Well, there’s definitely a groove that we’ve hit in terms of that kind of stuff. But when we do clone scenes, the easier they get for us, the harder we try to make them. So now it’s a four-clone dinner party or a four-clone dance scene or the scene where I’m beating myself up. We’re always trying to challenge them, make them more exciting, more compelling and more realistic. We’ve got amazing post-production guys at Intelligent Creatures who just make it look effortless and seamless. It really is a lot of work, and they just make it look so seamless.

TVLINE | At Comic-Con, [co-creators] John Fawcett and Graeme Manson said they were hoping to get back to a Season 1 feel in Season 4. Are you looking forward to that?
Absolutely. That’s the season that I fell in love with the show. That first episode was so thrilling to me and captivating when I read it. So I would love to go back to that and the pure roots of the show.

TVLINE | What other Emmy nomination pleased you?
I was excited for Amy Poehler and Parks and Rec to be nominated again. Key & Peele are so amazing, and I love that show, so I’m really happy about that. And Amy Schumer. Super excited. Transparent, as well. I think all of those people are so talented on the show, and [it has] such amazing writing.

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