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First rule of Clone Club: Bring in a Felix.
While the brilliant Tatiana Maslany is undoubtedly the star of BBC America's "Orphan Black," Jordan Gavaris stole quite a few scenes in Season 1 as fabulously snarky Felix Dawkins, the foster brother of central clone Sarah Manning. When the outrageous gay artist befriended uptight suburban mom Alison Hendrix, it was a match made in television heaven.
In Season 2, fans will get even more of Felix and Alison, Gavaris told Yahoo TV, as well as more interactions with other clones. Even better? Felix is getting a love interest!
Find out what else Gavaris had to tease about the highly-anticipated new season of "Orphan Black," which premieres April 19.
The first season of the show was such a sensation. Has it been a wild journey?
It has been wild — and unexpected. When I took the show, I hadn't worked in a little while, and it was a very long audition process. I knew it was something special because the script was phenomenal, and I wanted to be a part of it regardless of whether or not it was commercially successful. I just loved the character and the world.
While we were shooting, I thought maybe a few people would see it in Canada. I knew that BBC America was on board, but I guess I just didn't realize the gravity of their commitment and investment in the show. I really thought no one would see the show. I thought maybe it would go for three or four seasons, and we'll get a couple of nice paychecks and a phenomenal art project out of it. It was a weird show, a weird concept, and we weren't your typical leading actors. We're just real people, which I think actually helps sell the show a little bit more.
But having it catch fire, having the groundswell on social media, just the sheer voraciousness of these fans — it's unbelievable.
Check out Felix's best lines from Season 1:
What can you tell us about Season 2? Will we meet more clones?
It's safe to say we're going to meet more clones, because we are a clone show and we do love our clones! And we just love seeing Tatiana do what she does best. I think DYAD is going to play a big role. Thematically speaking, choice is really important this season — free choice, free thought, free will. You have the character of Rachel, who would prefer if everything was predestined and nobody had any free will. And you have the wildcard Sarah, who demands free will and liberation. So, it's going to be very interesting to watch them clash. I think audiences are going to be in for quite the ride, because we take a lot of hard left turns yet again. We'll lead you down the garden path and then pull you off a cliff.
Do you have a favorite clone to work with?
I think Alison offers me an opportunity to stretch my comic chops. Comedy is really interesting because from a genre standpoint, it's very different from the rest of the show. The scenes with Alison and Felix and Alison and Donnie are very funny, but sometimes you feel like, for half a second, you're watching a different show.
It's incredible that the creators have managed to strike a balance with that, to change genres within a show and within an episode, and not to feel clumsy or forced. But it's impossible to choose a favorite, because they all offer me something different. Sarah offers me a chance to showcase the Felix that is a little more intimate, a little more private.
Is there a clone you'd really like to work with?
I was really hoping that I'd get a chance to work with Rachel this season. She and Felix are so yin and yang, they're so different, and I'd like to see how that clash would play out. Rachel is so severe and choleric, and Felix is so free and loose. They represent to each other everything that the other hates about the world.
We'll get to see him interact with Cosima, which is fun, because they didn't have many scenes. She plays a more central role this season because she's sick. That was fun for me because it's another interesting connection — it's not best friend to Alison, brother to Sarah. They're the kind of people that would be in a club together in West Hollywood, and she'd say "cool pants" and he'd say "cool hair" and they'd start talking. But we'll definitely see more clone interaction with Felix. And [show creators] John [Fawcett] and Graeme [Manson] always want to up the ante as to how many clones you can put in a scene.
Will we see more of Felix's personal life?
Totally. That was something I really, really wanted to do this season. I was talking with Graeme about that. Sometimes, it's easy to get complacent and say "Oh, Felix is so funny, he's the comic relief" and just stick with that. But Graeme and John aren't satisfied with that, either. We're not the kind of show that is happy in mediocrity. So, we wanted to stretch him and give him an identity outside of Sarah, outside of the Clone Club and become his own person, a real human being outside of it all, who makes a phone call late at night if he's scared or takes a lover. So, we are going to see much more of his private life, moments alone, moments with other people, new allegiances, potentially new enemies.
Maybe a new love interest?
Oh, I think there's a love interest buried in there somewhere. It may not be a connection he expected, but it's really good for him.
If Felix had a clone, what would you want him to be like?
In the audition process for Felix, we did like four different versions of him, because they weren't sure what kind of character he would be. There was a Scottish version that I really, really liked, so if I had to play a clone, I'd love to do that. And it would kind of make sense, they're both from the U.K. The Scottish accent is impossibly difficult, but I love it so much.
What similarities do you have to Felix?
Obviously, not our wardrobe! [Laughs.] I say this as I sit here in ripped sweatpants and an old T-shirt, which he would die if he was ever in. I think Felix is the side of me that felt very alienated in school when I didn't have much in common with other kids. Especially in high school, when I felt like I was on an island a little bit. He feels like that every day.
In high school, I coped with that by creating different personas of myself, hoping that one of these versions would connect with someone. And he does that in a different way: He wears the mask of the theatrics, the arch artist, the dramatics. That's the persona he wears when he's afraid, when he feels like an outsider, when he feels alone. Occasionally, we get glimpses of the real Felix, when he has scenes with Sarah.
Felix's wardrobe is pretty fabulous. Do you get any input into his clothing?
I do. Actually the a--less chaps [in the Season 2 premiere] were my suggestion. When John and Graeme were on a plane ride to San Diego and they were telling me what was going to happen in the first episode back, I said, "Well, wouldn't it be interesting if... " thinking that they wouldn't go for it but of course they did.
I actually really relish that, because that sort of fetishism and underground gay club scene isn't something that's represented much anymore. It was more associated with the underground, secretive gay scene from the '80s, where everybody had to hide. So, that was cool. I get some input.
Our costume designer Deborah Hansen is just incredibly brilliant and will present me with several options and I'll put it on. Only rarely will I put something on and go, "No, you know what, this doesn't feel like him." There was a beautiful leather jacket that I loved for myself, but I put it on and felt like it wasn't him. I wanted it to be him because I really wanted to wear it myself.
You'll have to steal it.
Oh, I plan on it!
"Orphan Black" Season 2 premieres Saturday, April 19 at 9 p.m. on BBC America.