We recently caught up with Canada’s sweetest and most versatile export, Tatiana Maslany, to chat about Toronto spots she loves, road trip tunes and her newest flick with Richard Dreyfuss, Cas and Dylan, available on home video TODAY!

SDTC: What was your first job that felt like a real ‘break’? How did you get it?

TM: I guess the first job that gave me some kind of visibility was a film I shot in Newfoundland called Grown Up Movie Star. It was a small independent film written and directed by the amazing Adriana Maggs. I learned so much on that shoot about acting, and filmmaking. Shawn Doyle was my scene partner throughout most of the film, and he was so incredible and present and spontaneous, and he subtly showed me how acting was just being, and not acting at all. Adriana allowed us to play and experiment, every take was different from the last, and it was just a really incredible experience to shoot. The film went to Sundance, which was a huge moment for all of us, and then I won a Special Jury Prize.

SDTC: In addition to your work in film, television and theatre, what else do you like to do? That is, if you have any free time at all?

TM: I love travelling, watching films, cycling, eating. I spend most of my free time deciding where/what to eat next.

SDTC: Any advice for aspiring actresses or actors out there? 

TM: It’s a tough industry, rejection wise. But you can’t take it personally. There are so many factors that contribute to any decision in casting, and most of it has nothing to do with your talent. It can be about a certain look, or about the size of your profile or marketability. It’s a strange industry, because it is this fusion of art and business. It can be very hard to navigate without getting hurt. What’s kept me sane in it is taking classes, constantly challenging myself as an actor with new teachers and techniques, and also developing a life that I love outside of the industry.

SDTC: If you only had a day in Toronto, how would you spend it? Where would you eat, shop, drink coffee?

TM: I’d spend the day on my bike with my friends. I’d have espresso at Sam James on Harbord, or Sense Appeal on Spadina. I’d have breakfast at Aunties and Uncles. Eat lunch at Bahn Mi Boys on Queen (beeeeef cheeeeek). I’d have a slab of pie or two at Wanda’s Pie in the Sky. Maybe cycle to High Park and play some frisbee. Definitely have a second caffeinated drink. Have a delicious dinner at Nazareth on Bloor West. Maybe check out some of my friends in a show at the Comedy Bar. Go dancing at Shake a Tail or somewhere that’s playing hip hop. And then cycle home. Oh, this is all assuming it’s in the summer. In the winter, I’d order in Sweet Lulu and never leave my couch.

SDTC: Road movies are the best, as are road trips. What are you favourite tunes to listen to in the car?

TM: This is an oldie but the Snatch soundtrack is one that I associate with a lot of great road trips I’ve taken. Soundtracks are great for long haul drives. I personally love blasting hip hop while I’m driving in the city because then I can pretend I’m in a music video. Beastie Boys, Major Lazer, Iggy Azalea, Busta Rhymes.

SDTC: Can you tell us about the experience of working on Cas and Dylan?

TM: Cas and Dylan was an amazing experience for me. I was terrified to do it because of the comedic aspect but it was such a blast. It was an absolute honour to work with Richard Dreyfuss. He was so generous. He made me feel like a peer, like an equal. He was playful, and thoughtful and an amazing listener. He’s an incredible storyteller, so I just soaked in as much of his experiences as I could. The entire crew became very close and some of us even traveled across the country shooting some b-roll.

SDTC: What was it like working with Jason Priestly as a director?

TM: Jason was fantastic. He’s great with comedy and he himself is a veteran actor, so he understands what makes a great director/actor relationship. He was really focussed on the relationship between Cas and Dylan being real and deep.

SDTC: You filmed Cas and Dylan before Orphan Black. How has your world changed following the huge success of the show?

TM: Orphan Black has been amazing for me, I feel so grateful for it. It’s opened doors for me, work-wise. I’ve had the chance to meet great directors, meet great actors, talk about projects and work that excites me. But for the most part, everything else is pretty much the same.

9. What’s up next for you? What are you excited about working on?

TM: Next I’m working on a film called Woman In Gold, directed by Simon Curtis. It’s based on a true story of a woman who goes back to Vienna to reclaim the paintings that were stolen from her family by the Nazis during WWII. Helen Mirren plays Maria and I play her when she was young.

Check out the trailer below!