The “Orphan Black” cast hit Thursday’s (March 23) PaleyFest carpet for what may be the last time. With the fifth and final season of BBC America’s sci-fi series officially in the can, the mood on the carpet was as surreal as it was emotional, as the actors recounted the final moments after hearing those fated words: That’s a wrap.
“There were a lot of tears and there was a lot of laughter,” Kevin Hanchard (Detective Art Bell) tells Screener: “There was a lot of joy. It was just a mix of everything. But we’ve all sacrificed and gained a lot over the last five years — and we’re really appreciative of the relationships and the opportunities we’ve been given.”
Kristian Bruun (Donnie Hendrix) continued: “We just started clapping! But we didn’t know what to do, we should be doing more than just clapping! — so we started screaming and yelling. And then we gathered and started hugging, and then the tears came.”
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Amid the laughter, the tears and the screaming, everyone was quick to point out Maria Doyle Kennedy’s (Mrs. S, Siobhan Sadler) singing voice: Getting the group together, she improvised a call-and-response song that was the highlight of the big goodbye.
“Everybody who was in Toronto came anyway, and stayed all night, so that we were all there together like a big pack of wolves,” Kennedy explains. “Everybody spoke. I made everybody sing. I made up a little song and made them all sing it with me. It was really fun. It was just very emotional, you know?”
It was pretty clear that everyone at the Paley event was still processing the show’s ending. Each actor will move on, eventually, but it’s clear the past five years working on “Orphan Black” has made a profound impact. Paying tribute to their characters, each actor gave us insight on the one Clone Club character trait they’ll never let go.
Kevin Hanchard: You know, I’ve always thought about Art as being a really grounded, cement-like kind of guy — who would really take a broad picture of everything first, before making a snap decision. And that ability, to take a step back and really analyze the situation first, is something I think I’ll take into my life as a parent, as a husband — and as an actor, even.
Jordan Gavaris (Felix Dawkins): His politics, his activism, his vulnerability, his femininity… That taught me so much about people like Felix, people who move through the world — men in particular — that are very open and unself-conscious about their femininity… It’s part of who they are, it’s part of their prescription. The world makes them feel abnormal — and it’s not their problem, it’s the world’s problem. And nobody like Felix should ever have to feel self-conscious. I was unself-conscious in it, as him. I felt very liberated. I felt very free.
Maria Doyle Kennedy: I think I will be a little bit braver, take a few more chances. You know, through her toughness — and her sometimes odd choices — there’s a really strong moral compass, always. And I love her, you know. I think: She’s not perfect, that’s fine, I don’t think anybody is. I just think she was always rooting for the underdog, and always trying to give a voice to those who find it more difficult to have one. She’s really compassionate. I love her. I miss her.
Kristian Bruun: His underwear! No, I think Donnie is always going to be very special to me. It’s funny, because as a character he’s so far removed from who I am as person — and yet at the same time, [show creators John Fawcett & Graeme Manson], as they’ve gotten to know me over the years, worked into the script certain skills and things that I do in real life… He’s really been a hybrid of myself, and the original Donnie. I’m just going to miss so many hijinks in the suburbs!
Evelyne Brochu (Delphine Cormier): I think the part of Delphine I’m going to keep with me is her strength and her focus, no matter what. I don’t think she really cares what people think, I don’t even think she minds that people mistrusted her for a while. She’s a big-picture type of girl, and she just goes for it. She has this tunnel vision and when she’s into something, she’s so deeply into it — so deeply engaged.
“Orphan Black’s” fifth and final season premieres Saturday, June 10 on BBC America.