Orphan Black to She-Hulk: Tatiana Maslany’s Best Roles So Far
We're celebrating actor Tatiana Maslany, and her performance in She-Hulk, by sharing five of her best roles so far.
While Tatiana Maslany has mostly leant her talents to TV, she is far from just a “small screen” actor. Whether She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is the first time you’re seeing the Canadian actress showcase her skills, or if you’ve been a fan of hers since before she joined the Clone Club, there’s no denying that she is truly one of the greatest actors out there. Maslany has played a wide range of characters so far (and I’m not just talking about Orphan Black) that prove what a talented performer she is.
To celebrate the success of She-Hulk (and her Sept. 22 birthday!) here are some of Tatiana Maslany’s best roles to date:
In what is arguably Maslany’s most well-known project yet, she plays a total of seventeen different characters throughout the course of Orphan Black’s five season run. While some of these characters we only see briefly in photos, flashbacks, or after they are already deceased, Maslany portrayed around a half-dozen characters regularly onscreen. It takes an impressive level of talent and dedication from an actor to commit to a story so fully. Orphan Black is set in a world where cloning exists, and Maslany plays a variety of characters from different backgrounds whom we follow as they discover the existence of their döppelgangers and the conspiracy surrounding them. This series showed us Maslany’s wide range of skills early on in her career and her performance rightfully earned her an Emmy in 2016.
Parks and Recreation
Even though Maslany’s role in Parks and Recreation is small, her arc as Dr. Nadia Stasky showed her comedic acting talents long before she was cast in She-Hulk. In her first appearance, the season 6 episode “Gin it Up,” Maslany holds her own against the chaotic energy of Aziz Ansari’s Tom Haverford and Aubrey Plaza’s April Ludgate as her character tries to set up a vaccine clinic in one of Pawnee’s parks. Her final appearance in the next episode “Filibuster” gives her the opportunity to join in on Tom’s hijinks and we get to see Maslany go from the “straight man” to straight up having a great time. Her character may have nobly left Pawnee to lend her medical skills to the people of Rwanda, but based on these episodes alone it’s such a shame that we didn’t get to see more of Maslany in the series.
In the 2018 movie Destroyer, Maslany plays Petra – a young woman involved with the gang of bank robbers that Nicole Kidman’s Erin infiltrates. Years after Erin’s undercover job goes wrong, she uses Petra to look for the gang leader, Silas (Toby Kebbell), to get revenge for her partner Chris (Sebastian Stan) who was killed during the undercover op. While this movie is mostly focused on Erin’s journey, and Nicole Kidman’s phenomenal performance as a grizzled and jaded cop, Maslany really holds her own against Kidman in the few scenes they have together. Even though this isn’t Maslany’s only “villainous” role, it is a little jarring to see her holding up a bank and beating up Nicole Kidman on screen when their characters reconnect. However, this Karyn Kusama directed film is well worth the watch for Maslany and Kidman’s respective performances.
Tatiana Maslany’s Sister Alice McKeegan is easily one of the best parts of HBO’s recent Perry Mason reboot. Sister Alice is the evangelist face of the Radiant Assembly of God in 1930s Los Angeles. She serves as the lead preacher and spiritual guide for the church. This is a role that could easily go way too far into cheesy-televangelist territory, but Maslany brings a nuance to Sister Alice that lets us see the duality of this character – the on-stage and in-church persona and the young woman who has been used by others, including her own mother, for years to further their own agenda. Maslany plays this character with compassion, and makes it incredibly hard not to feel for her, no matter your views of organized religion.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
As Jennifer Walters, a.k.a. She-Hulk, Maslany has finally been able to bring her talents to the MCU. While the Disney+ series may have had a bumpy start with mixed reactions, Maslany’s performance is one of the best parts of the show. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law gives Maslany a chance to showcase what a great comedic actor she is, and it seems like she’s having a great time with the role. Maslany somehow makes both Walters and her green alter-ego relatable and down-to-Earth. Maslany and her character are both a welcome addition to this phase of the MCU, and we look forward to seeing how Walters will factor into the bigger story post She-Hulk.