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10 Actors to Watch: Tatiana Maslany Moves From Indies to ‘Orphan Black’

Canadian actress was blindsided by whirlwind year that included landing key ‘Orphan Black’ role.

Job security is an occupational hazard for actors, but it’s going to be a long time before Tatiana Maslany has trouble finding new parts. Her role on BBC America’s “Orphan Black” gave her seven different clones to play in the show’s first season, with more to come as the cult cable hit begins production for enters season two.

And thanks to the knockout skills she displayed as Sarah, Beth, Alison, Cosima, Helena, Katja and Rachel, the Saskatchewan native came from off the U.S. radar to win the lead drama actress prize kudos from the Critics’ Choice Television Awards and individual drama achievement honors from the Television Critics Assn. — ahead of besting such stars as Claire Danes and Vera Farmiga.

“The show’s really opened doors for me,” Maslany says. “I also know things like this come in waves, and it’s not always going to be like this. You’re hot for two seconds, and you’re struggling to get work again. If it were easy, I don’t think that’s a good place for an artist to work from.”

Before “Black,” Maslany’s film career was quietly burgeoning for several years, with roles in such films as 2010’s “Grown Up Movie Star” (which she calls her most valuable bigscreen experience and earned her a special jury prize at Sundance) and 2012’s “Picture Day,” where she’s distinctive as a “13th-grade” high school student caught between devil-may-care teen life and adulthood.

In addition to more films, coming up soon will be a two-episode arc she has filmed for NBC comedy “Parks and Recreation” shortly before diving back into Clone Club.

“It’s been an insane year,” Maslany says. “I remember where I was when I got the call (for “Orphan Black”), and I was in Sudbury shooting a movie called ‘Cas and Dylan.’ I didn’t expect anything like what has happened this year. It’s been a whirlwind.”

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