Tag Archives: Space

Ari Millen steps into the Orphan Black spotlight

Canadian actor Ari Millen is poised for great things. From one viewpoint, his position is enviable: he’s playing the new male clones (all four that we know of!) on sci-fi TV zeitgeist Orphan Black and is the focal point of Season 3. Looking at it another way, it’s downright terrifying—his performance(s) will be a make-or-break scenario for the show, and he’s stepping into some gigantic shoes after castmate Tatiana Maslany expertly played more than six different clones for two seasons.

TV, eh? spoke with Millen in a dark-lit apartment in Toronto. Simply put, Millen is an absorbing man, very passionate about his roles, and his eyes have that thing where they stare directly into your soul. His gaze never wavers, and his slow, deliberate tone foreshadows what’s most likely going to be an intense season of Orphan Black.

Trained in classical theatre at Toronto’s Ryerson University, Millen brings a solid repertoire along with his striking look. Yes, he’s not just a pretty face. Maslany, also schooled in theatre and improv, transcends the typical TV actor in the same way. Together the duo are a formidable pair, and on screen they deliver the goods. There is a tangible exchange between the two, and Millen did his best to learn the tricks of playing multiple clones from his predecessor.

If they were the Seven Dwarves, Seth would be Dopey. I look like my maternal grandfather with that moustache, it’s kind of scary.

“I sat in on the clone dancing party shoot in the Season 2 finale, just to get a taste of what that sort of scene is like, where you play different characters,” says Millen. “No one spoke to me about how to do it, I kind of learned through osmosis. All actors have different ways of getting into things, but I definitely learned from watching Tat.”

It is quite the challenge. Millen is playing four Project Castor clones—probably more as the season progresses—and like Maslany’s characters, they vary wildly. There’s Mark, who we already know, who’s run off with Gracie. Rudy, who we saw in the Season 2 finale, is the “alpha-male peacock” (Millen’s words) with the scar, always looking to push somebody else’s buttons. Seth is the moustachioed clone, the goofball.


“If they were the Seven Dwarves, he would be Dopey,” laughs Millen. “I look like my maternal grandfather with that moustache, it’s kind of scary.”

Perhaps the most intense and multi-faceted character Millen is going to play this season is Miller, a military-minded clone who lost his leg in the field. He is sharp, refuses to take any pity, and still resolves to be the best soldier he can be. Despite his disability, he yearns to be top military brass. From these four characters, it’s apparent there is a wide spectrum of personality traits Millen has to hit.

“For me, the whole process was done completely in reverse,” he says. “Normally I would develop the character after reading the scripts and figure out who the person was. When the guys were introduced, the two ones at the end of Season 2, I don’t even know if the writers or producers knew who they were, as characters. I only had visuals on them for most of the summer leading up to shooting. I knew Mark, obviously. For Rudy, Miller and Seth, it wasn’t until I sat in the makeup chair and they adjusted the hair or added the scar or moustache, then I could figure out who they were.”

Millen has been appearing here and there in a number of projects over the past couple of years. (“I died six times last year!” he jokes.) Again, like Maslany, who starred in several independent films before making waves at Sundance and ultimately getting the gig on Orphan Black, Millen has appeared in several TV shows (and a couple films) in small-yet-diverse roles, often starring next to some of Canada’s finest talent.

I was so excited to get to play more than one character, sometimes in one day. I can’t wait to explore different parts of my personality, and make them bigger.

He played The Shadow King in Reign alongside Megan Follows, deliciously chewing the scenery as a fraudster. He played former CIA analyst and whistleblower Adam Wexler (think Edward Snowden) in 12 Monkeys, and had bit roles in both Nikita and Rookie Blue. Film-wise, he appeared in retro-horror movie Hellmouth and the as-yet-released werewolf flick Hunter’s Moon, which stars none other than legendary actor Colm Feore.

Weirdly, Millen’s acting trajectory looks very similar to Feore’s, and that is not lost on him.

“Colm Feore is definitely someone whose career I admire,” says Millen. “If I could emulate his career, I would count myself very lucky. That, for me, is the pinnacle of making it —someone who can do a healthy balance of film, television and theatre. And it’s on the world stage too.”

All of Millen’s experience culminated for Orphan Black, and he poured himself into the roles with every single ounce of energy.

“It certainly is a challenge unlike any other that I’ll encounter in the acting world, but it’s been nothing but exciting,” he says. “I was so excited to get to play more than one character, sometimes in one day. I can’t wait to explore different parts of my personality, and make them bigger.”


He still considers himself somewhat of a rookie in the industry, and is set to do what is probably the right thing—ignore the Internet—when it comes to comments or blogs about the show. Knowing how rabid Orphan Black fans are, and how critical they can be, Millen doesn’t want it to colour his performances in any way going forward.

“I’m going to ignore a lot of it,” he says. “Positive or negative. Thankfully we’re done shooting. The danger might be, if I read it, if it was positive, I’d be like, ‘Yeah I’m doing great!’ and then lose sight of what I’d found. If it was negative, I’d start changing the way I approached it. I’m not going to go looking for it, that’s for sure. I’m too green. I haven’t built up a callus yet. I need more time in the industry before I can laugh it off.”

But he couldn’t be happier being a part of Orphan Black. As most of the cast and crew have attested, the feeling on-set is one of harmony, a collective group giving their all to deliver.

“It’s very seldom that you get the entire package,” he says. “This is one of those projects where everyone across the board is equally enthused about bringing the product to life. It’s never going to work on Orphan Black unless everyone is invested. It’s a very good, supportive and healthy atmosphere.”

And what can we expect from Season 3?

“It’s a really exciting season. The introduction of Project Castor is forcing Project Leda to batten down the hatches and become more cohesive. It’s really challenging Sarah and her sisters. They’re nobody to mess with!”

Orphan Black returns Saturday, April 18, at 9 p.m. ET on Space, CTV, Bravo and MTV.


Killjoys lands on Space in June

This just in: Killjoys takes off on Space in June. The specialty network made the announcement earlier today, noting Season 1 launches Friday, June 19, at 9 p.m. ET on Space.

As previously announced, the Space/Syfy series—starring Aaron Ashmore, Luke Macfarlane and Hannah John-Kamen—comes from the folks at Temple Street Productions, who head up a little show called Orphan Black. Michelle Lovretta (Lost Girl) serves as writer, creator and showrunner.

The trio portray three interplanetary bounty hunters—a.k.a. Killjoys—as they fulfill deadly warrants across a planetary system called the Quad. (Check out the explosive teaser trailer below.)

Here’s how Space describes each character:

“Hannah John-Kamen stars as the gorgeous, complicated, and deadly Dutch. A top-level Killjoy, she’s a much loved and charming presence in her community, with a unique gift for earning people’s trust and respect regardless of their class. Under her banter and protective flirtations, there is pain, maturity, and a deep solemnity resulting from a dark secret past.

Aaron Ashmore takes on the role of John Jaqobis, a Level 3 Killjoy who, despite his profession, is a peacemaker who hates conflict. Cheerful and kind-hearted, John prefers not to fight, but his sarcastic wit has put him into the fray enough over the years to teach him how to do it well, and dirty. Give this man any machine or situation, and he can fix it, build it, and fly it.

Luke Macfarlane stars as D’avin, a handsome, rugged, sarcastic, and incredibly loyal former soldier. He dreamed of enlisting in the military since boyhood, and his hard-won expertise in tactics, manoeuvres, and hand-to-hand combat make him an instant asset to the Killjoy team.”

Who is pumped for the debut? Tweet @tv_eh!

Killjoys debuts Friday, June 19, at 9 p.m. ET on Space.


Orphan Black return blocked from AMC in Canada

Turns out the only place Canadians will be able to catch the Season 3 debut of Orphan Black will be on Space. Bell Media, which owns the specialty channel, announced Monday afternoon that fans would not be able to tune in to AMC for their clone fix on April 18.

“Space is the exclusive Canadian broadcaster for its original series Orphan Black,” confirmed Scott Henderson, vice-president of communications for Bell Media. “As a result, Orphan Black will not air on AMC in Canada.”

It makes sense for Bell Media to make the move; it means their broadcast and ratings aren’t watered down by viewers tuning to another channel.

The news comes days after AMC Networks announced BBC America’s flagship show would be broadcast across four other networks in the U.S.—AMC, Sundance TV, IFC and We TV—in a bid to capture as many viewers as possible. AMC broadcasts in Canada, allowing viewers north of the border access to series like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and Halt and Catch Fire.

AMC will air a repeat episode of Mad Men in that timeslot.

Orphan Black is a truly outstanding original series that has attracted consistent and widespread critical acclaim as well as a considerable, growing following from viewers,” AMC Networks CEO Ed Carroll told Variety at the time. “AMC Networks is a channel group known for high-quality storytelling and creating a premiere television event for Orphan Black is a perfect opportunity to use our programming assets to help extend the reach of this quality series.”

As previously revealed by Space, the third instalment of Orphan Black begins with Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) fighting to locate Helena while a threat from Castor (Ari Millen) looms. Orphan Black is nominated for a total of 13 Canadian Screen Awards, including nods for co-stars Maslany and Jordan Gavaris.

Orphan Black returns Saturday, April 18, at 9 p.m. ET on Space.


Video: Bitten Season 2 airdate announced

From Space Channel:

Bitten returns Saturday, Feb. 7, at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT on Space.

Based on the New York Times best-selling novels by Canadian author Kelley Armstrong, BITTEN follows Elena Michaels, the world’s only female werewolf in a recognizable world where werewolves and witches live among humans.

Season 1 of BITTEN tested Elena’s (Vandervoort) strength and pushed her to embrace her fierce inner wolf. From the Mutt uprising orchestrated by Pack leader Jeremy Danvers’ (Greg Bryk) father Malcolm, to finding the severed head of ex-boyfriend Phillip (Paul Greene) in her bed, Elena is out for blood. Reunited with The Pack and her true love Clay Danvers (Greyston Holt), nothing stands in the way of protecting her family and hunting down those who seek to destroy them. Season 2 sees The Pack on the hunt for Malcolm (James McGowan). In their quest to capture him, they uncover a more sinister force that threatens the existence of the werewolf species. This season also introduces The Pack to a Coven of witches with whom they are forced to form an uneasy alliance in order to fight a common foe.


Justin Chatwin, James Frain and Ksenia Solo join Orphan Black


From a media release:

− Additional cast members announced for ORPHAN BLACK Season 3 include Kyra Harper, Earl Pastko, and Ksenia Solo –

− Produced by Temple Street Productions in association with Space and BBC America, ORPHAN BLACK Season 3 premieres in Spring 2015 –

Space, BBC America, and Temple Street Productions announced earlier today that James Frain (INTRUDERS) has been cast in Season 3 of the critically acclaimed Canadian original series, ORPHAN BLACK. Also announced as new Season 3 cast members are Canadian actors Kyra Harper (WAREHOUSE 13), Ksenia Solo (LOST GIRL), and Earl Pastko (MURDOCH MYSTERIES). The announcement comes hot on the heels of the recently announced addition of Canada’s own Justin Chatwin (SHAMELESS) to the cast. Season 3 of the 10-episode, one-hour series is currently in production, and scheduled to premiere on Space in Spring 2015.

James Frain joins the cast as Ferdinand, a well-educated, Topside “cleaner” who is at the same time both charming and intimidating. Ferdinand is a powerful player in a secretive, multi-national political faction that operates with questionable ethics and a ruthless modus operandi.

Featured in a guest starring role this season is Justin Chatwin as Jason Kellerman. With rugged good looks and street-smarts, Jason is a savvy drug-dealer in the guise of a charismatic businessman.

Ksenia Solo plays Shay, a beautiful, soulful, and compassionate holistic healer with a great sense of humour, and new friend to Cosima (Maslany). Kyra Harper is Dr. Coady, a ruthless doctor and advisor to the military. Coady is outwardly the soul of reason, but her maternal, nurturing manner conceals an agenda that even her superiors do not suspect. Earl Pastko joins ORPHAN BLACK as Bulldog, the silent, imposing, and violent personal bodyguard to Ferdinand. Communicating with his boss by looks only, Bulldog carries out the dirty work of his shady employers.

Starring Golden Globe® nominee Tatiana Maslany as the “Leda Clones”, ORPHAN BLACK’s second season brought new, more treacherous, enemies to light, culminating in a shocking finale with the reveal of the new male “Castor” clones played by Ari Millen. Season 3 plunges the clone sisterhood into unexpected territory with the realization that they’re not alone. Just when they thought they knew their enemies and allies, Season 3 reveals the clones as more vulnerable than ever before, with the highly trained, identical male-soldier “Castor Clones” complicating matters. And though Sarah, Cosima, Alison, and Helena realize they are stronger together, this season puts that bond to the test.