Playing one of the most unnerving and intense characters on TV at the moment, Ari Millen’s Mark Rollins on Orphan Black is intimidating. While the sci-fi show itself is mysterious, focussing on Sarah Mannings, a clone who slips into the body of murdered Elizabeth Childs, Mannings and her sisterhood, Project Leda, then become the focus of Millen’s brotherhood of clones, Project Castor. Speaking to us from his hometown and shoot location, Toronto, Millen throws light on what drew him to the show, the evolution of the clones and having himself as a co-worker.
What did you find most appealing ?
I was a fan before I was cast. It films in Toronto, and I live here. I make it a point to follow series that are shot in the area, because there is more hope to become part of it. So I was watching it as a preparation should I be approached to play a role in it someday!
More on the multiple roles you play.
Each clone is weirder than the other and that is what makes the show so exciting. What is interesting about the Project Castor clones is that they are very self-aware. The Castor brothers know what they are, and have clear direction.
Tell us about Mark.
Since he’s the first character I played, there is a certain familiarity. But what is more exciting is that there are so many facets to all the clones. Mark is interesting because you’ve seen him as a single entity, and suddenly, you realise what you’ve been following is a male set of clones. Project Castor is not here to play nice. They are focused on their goals with Project Leda and it will only get more interesting.
What’s been the most challenging?
The days are very long and it is very technical to have to play so many roles at once. If there is a technical problem then we need to go through the whole shoot again. It’s quite intense but great fun as well.
From a supporting character to a regular, tell us about the transition.
I wish I knew what I’d done right! I was meant to be around only for six episodes, and was actually introduced to the person who was to finish me off. The creators, John Fawcett and Graeme Manson, said to me, “Meet Paul. He’s the guy who is going to kill you.” But when I read the script of the sixth episode, I was alive. And the one after too. I guess they really liked me and the character was very alluring. It just wasn’t a fitting end for Mark and so they continued me on. And I’m very glad for it.
Are you involved in scripting?
Since the show isn’t written for an entire season at a go, it’s easier to change things around. While we do pitch ideas, most times we leave it to the creators to build the plotlines. It is more fun to rediscover the character and see what twists and turns they’ve got lined up even for us.
Sneak-peek into the next season.
The last season saw things end on a very unexpected note. Though I can’t reveal too much, I will say that you can expect it to dive deeper into darkness and mystery.
Starts June 13 on AXN at 11 pm.
— Aakanksha Devi