Canadian-born actress Tatiana Maslany named as lead in new series Orphan Black

Bell Media’s Space, BBC America, and Temple Street Productions today announced that rising star and Canadian-born actor Tatiana Maslany (Cas & Dylan, Picture Day, The Vow, and Flashpoint) is set to star in the new original series Orphan Black, produced by Temple Street Productions for Space and BBC America.

The announcement was made as Maslany was feted for her starring role in the feature Picture Day, which received its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

The Genie and Gemini-nominated actor, who received the 2010 Sundance special jury prize for Grown Up Movie Star, is capturing the increasing attention of fans and industry elite alike, including recent critical acclaim from The Globe and Mail, Toronto Sun, and NOW Magazine. Set to begin production in Toronto this October, additional casting for the 10 episode series will be announced soon.

In Orphan Black, Maslany stars as Sarah, an outsider, orphan, and street-wise chameleon who has a murky past and tenuous future after she witnesses a woman’s suicide. After deciding to assume the identity of the dead stranger who looks just like her, Sarah learns the dizzying truth – that she and the dead woman are clones.

As Sarah searches for answers, she discovers another chilling fact: there are more clones out there. They are all genetically identical individuals who were planted in unsuspecting birth parents and nurtured in completely different circumstances. They have no idea who created them – or why – but they need to discover the reason in a hurry. An assassin is killing them, one by one.

“We are extremely excited about Orphan Black, and as soon as we saw Tatiana perform, we knew she would be perfect,” said Corrie Coe, Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. “Tatiana is an exceptionally fine actor, and her star is on the rise. We are confident that she will excel in this complex and compelling role, and that our audience will be fascinated by the chameleon qualities that she brings to the part.”

“Tatiana possesses all the intensity, charm and range that this complex role requires,” said Perry Simon, General Manager, Channels, BBC Worldwide America. “She has all the makings of a breakout star.”

“We have always recognized Tatiana as an extraordinary talent. We have worked with her previously on BEING ERICA and cast her as the lead in The Nativity for the CBC/ BBC. Tatiana embodies all the qualities this unique lead demands and we can’t wait to see her bring the role of Sarah to life,” said David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg, Co-Presidents of Temple Street Productions.

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