It only took four seasons, but Tatiana Maslany has finally won an Emmy for Oustanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work in Orphan Black. From the very debut of the show, Maslany’s work has been singled out by both fans and critics alike because she doesn’t have to just play one character well. Given the show’s premise — she plays one of a series of clones — she has had to play multiple characters, each with different personality traits, quirks, and accents, often playing against herself in many scenes.
But for the first two seasons of the show, Maslany’s name was strangely absent when Emmy nominations were announced. Granted, given that the show is a BBC America production, it hasn’t necessarily had the same kind of visibility as other network’s programs, but the unique nature of Maslany’s work has cried out for recognition.
Last year, for the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, Maslany was finally nominated but ended up losing to Viola Davis, who made Emmy history by being the first black woman to win the award. This year, Maslany was up against Davis once again, with other acclaimed actors like Keri Russell (The Americans), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Robin Wright (House of Cards), and Claire Danes (Homeland) also nominated. If anything, she seems utterly shocked at the win, hurriedly pulling up her acceptance speech on her phone before addressing the crowd. And while I generally try to stay away from using this word in stories, sometimes it’s just appropriate: finally.