EXCLUSIVE: 'Orphan Black' Star Tatiana Maslany Shrugs Off Sci-Fi Stigma in Favor of Telling Good Stories

Getty Images

If Tatiana Maslany had any say, sci-fi dramas would be
getting a fair shake during awards season.

Maslany scored her first Emmy nomination for her impeccable
work on BBC America’s ambitious clone drama, Orphan Black, in 2015, but the
30-year-old actress is well aware of the rarity of such an occasion.

“There is a weird stigma around sci-fi -- because it’s not
straight drama, that there’s something arched about it,” Maslany tells ET.
“Some of my favorite shows and some of the best acting is happening in sci-fi.”

MORE: Tatiana Maslany and Boyfriend Tom Cullen on 'Joyful' Experience Working Together and Those 'Orphan Black' Spoilers

The Toronto-based actress mentioned such sci-fi fare as the
British drama Black Mirror and the latest Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, as
being prime examples of rich storytelling. She even credited genre favorite,
The X-FilesGillian Anderson, for being a genre trailblazer.

If there’s one thing Maslany is optimistic of, it’s that the
perceived stain of sci-fi will go away. At least, that’s her hope. “That’ll
change,” she says emphatically.

If Maslany had any worries over being typecast, she’s not
sweating it. “I’ve done four movies since I’ve started Orphan Black and they’ve
all been vastly different,” she says. (One of those films, Woman in Gold,
co-starred Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds.) “I don’t feel like I’m being
pigeon-holed in that world at all.”

While many have fallen in love with Maslany’s innate ability
to impressively portray nearly a dozen clones on Orphan Black, sometimes in the
same episode, she’s always up for the challenge of doing more.

MORE: Tatiana Maslany Talks Beth's Addiction 'Darkness' and 'Invasive' New Clone on 'Orphan Black'

“As long as we’re still telling interesting stories and
haven’t done this clone before or the character is vital for some reason, then
I’m all for it,” Maslany says, admitting it’s a fine line between making sure
new clones don’t become “a gimmick.”

At the end of the day, the exhausting hours on set are worth
it, Maslany promises, though it’s never easy letting go of the clones at the
end of each season.  

“There’s always a bit of a grieving process, where I have to
let go of certain mannerisms or character traits and put them out of your
head,” she admits. “They mean a lot to me.”

Additional reporting by
Stacy Lambe.

MORE: Standout Performances of the Season