Tatiana Maslany had to bundle up for her latest role. PEOPLE recently caught up with the Orphan Black actress at the Cannes Film Festival, where she was supporting her new film Two Lovers and a Bear. The Kim Nguyen-directed indie drama stars Maslany and Dane DeHaan as two souls who live in the Arctic to escape their pasts. To set the scene, the film shot in chilly northern Canada. “It’s freezing cold,” Maslany tells PEOPLE. “You have to cover your face at all times or else you get frostbite, so it’s a pretty extreme experience. But it was amazing. It was one of the coolest places I’ve ever been.” While Orphan Black, whose fourth season premiered on BBC America last month, shoots under less severe weather conditions, playing multiple diverse characters can be just as straining mentally.
“I think Cosima was like my ‘in’ first season. I get her, I know her. We’re very similar,” Maslany says. “And now, Sarah feels very close to me. Allison at times feels very close to me. Helena, for different reasons, feels close to me – I won’t go into that.” But just because these parts are like her doesn’t make them her favorite. “I get to play Krystal, who is so far from me, but I’m obsessed with her. I love her,” she explains. “I would never get cast as that character – ever, ever – so it’s great to have that chance.”
Maslany has spoken out against body shaming before, yet she’s still surprised when the media choses to run stories about her decision not to wax her upper lip – instead of focusing on her work. “I also said 900 other things,” she says with a laugh. “My aesthetic is the thing that leads as oppose to these six characters I play or this movie I did.”
For Maslany, going into acting had nothing to do with the attention for beauty or fashion. “I feel like it’s such a bizarre thing that women sort of become these fashion models,” she says. “As an actor, from my experience, that was never part of my realm. I was never like, ‘I can’t wait to be on a red carpet wearing so-and-so.’ I was like, ‘I can’t wait to be in the mud, crawling around, covered in dirt and playing a scene opposite that actor, or working with that director, or trying this skill out, or seeing if I can go to that emotional place.’ ”
Maslany continues, “It’s such a bizarre juxtaposition to me that this pristine world of fashion is connected to [acting].”