Tatiana Maslany on her Saskatchewan roots and filming 'Two Lovers and a Bear' in Nunavut

By Anna Redman

There’s a certain magic to Tatiana Maslany’s latest movie. Filmed in snow-covered Iqaluit, Nunavut, and featuring a talking polar bear, Two Lovers and a Bear feels like a snow globe come to life. But that doesn’t mean the film is light and fluffy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – gritty in its realism, it follows the lives of young lovers Lucy (Tatiana) and Roman (Dane DeHaan) as they struggle to move on and leave ghosts of the past behind.

TAP FOR GALLERY Tatiana won her first Emmy in 2016.

It’s a dramatic turn for Saskatchewan native Tatiana, 31, who – to the delight of her many longtime fans – recently won her first Emmy Award for her work on TV’s sci-fi hit Orphan Black. We spoke with the star about her movie after its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

Tell us a bit about playing Lucy. Do you share any traits with her? I feel like growing up in Saskatchewan, there was a similar experience in terms of being able to withstand months of snow. That felt like a kinship with her. Being part of that kind of landscape, I think, makes you a certain kind of person.

Were you at ease with the cold? It was pretty extreme, and you’re in it the whole day. We didn’t really shoot inside at all. But I slept better than I normally sleep in a production, just because [being in] the cold and then being in your warm bed, it’s very extreme.

The Saskatchewan native stars in Two Lovers and Bear opposite Dane DeHaan.

Lucy gets around by snowmobile. Did you know how to drive one? No. I trained for three days in Timmins, Ont. I think [the challenge is] getting used to the speed. They’re pretty amazing. It’s not like skiing, where you feel every bump.

You share many scenes with Dane. What was he like as a co-star? He is very generous in scene work and as a partner. There was just some unspoken thing that made it feel so [emotionally] safe.

Is that unusual? I’d say so. I notice it. I notice it more than when I don’t [feel safe]. I think I’m more used to working in a circumstance that’s not conducive to vulnerability, so when you meet someone like Dane and you get that chance, it doesn’t make the work feel like work. It’s just play – it’s awesome!

Off screen, the 31-year-old has been dating Downton Abbey star Tom Cullen since 2011.

What was the best part of premièring your film at TIFF? My brother [actor Daniel Maslany] and four of my best friends [came]. [It was] nice to share it with them.

What’s next for you? I did a film with David Gordon Green called Stronger, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal. And season five of Orphan Black is coming at ya!

Did you learn anything from working with Jake? Oh, my God, yeah! He’s unbelievable. And working with David, too, he’s such a bizarre guy – but so much fun!