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Hollywood Flashback: Tatiana Maslany made ‘Orphan Black’ a hit

Tatiana Maslany, who is from the first season of Disney+ She-Hulk: lawyeris no stranger to spades on the small screen.

As part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she plays lawyer Jennifer Walters, who “inherits” her cousin Bruce Banner’s (Mark Ruffalo) superhuman abilities after a freak accident, and begins to attract the attention of nefarious organizations. Maslany is familiar with that too, as her star-making twist came in the BBC America sci-fi series Black orphan.

It debuted in 2013 and starred the Canadian actress as con artist Sarah Manning, who discovers that she was part of an illegal cloning experiment and that someone is planning to kill her and her clones. Critics were immediately impressed — The Hollywood Reporter‘s 2013 review called the series “hugely entertaining” and Maslany “fantastic” – so much so that the actress surprised the competition at the third annual Critics Choice Television Awards. Maslany won the award for best actress in a drama series, beating seasoned stars like Native country‘s Claire Danes, who had triumphed the year before, and The good woman‘s Julianna Margulies, who took the podium for the category at the 2011 Opening Ceremony.

Maslany spoke after her win THR that the recognition of the award was “truly amazing” but that she took all the accolades “with a grain of salt”. She would go on to play nearly a dozen different clones Black orphan‘s five-season run, and recorded a repeat win at the Critics Choice Awards in 2014.

Fans and critics alike were dismayed that she was overlooked for Emmy consideration for the first two seasons, but the TV Academy caught on — she earned her first of three nominations in 2015 and won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2016. However, her love of work always remained her top priority.

“The pricing thing doesn’t matter to me,” Maslany said THR ahead of the 2015 Emmys. “Everything I Think About When I’m Busy Black orphan is Black orphan.”

THR chose the show as one of the best television dramas of 2013.

This story first appeared in a standalone November issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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