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ARI MILLEN Talks ORPHAN BLACK Shocker, His Wolf Pack, and Castor Advantages

Last time we spoke with Orphan Black‘s Ari Millen, we’d yet to see any of the new season. Now that we’ve officially met all the boys of Project Castor, though, we’ve got a heck of a lot more questions for the actor who plays the brotherhood like no other.

Thankfully, Millen’s one of those chill types that lets us bug him with all the questions we’re dying to ask. From creating their bond to that shocking ending of episode two where — spoiler alert, folks! — Seth gets shot, we chatted with him about all the weird and wonderful ways Project Castor has come into its own.

Nerdist: Holy shit, man. These new episodes are amazing!

Ari Millen: Yeah, nothing to complain about here. [laughs]

N: So. At the end of episode two, we saw Seth gets shot and maybe killed. Can you say definitively whether or not he’s dead?

AM: I can’t say anything about that, unfortunately.

N: Well it would be more interesting, I think, if he’s not dead because it plays into the female clones’ vitality as we’ve seen it tested thus far with Cosima and Kira.

AM: Definitely. To a certain extent they’re military born and bred so the vitality and life expectancy of these guys is always something that could be in danger, but I think it’s safe to tease that why Project Castor is so important this season is that they, like Project Leda, have something they’re struggling with and are both interconnected and need each other to solve their issues. So I would say vitality, yes, is going to be a big issue for them. [Castor] has important things to say to solve the pieces of the puzzle.

N: Let’s talk about Seth. What did it feel like when you found out he was going to get shot?

AM: Well if I say ‘he’s my favorite one,’ I know we’ll go to the next clone and I’ll say the same thing. But what I really enjoyed about Seth was how loose he was. When we originally formulated where he was in the pecking order, and made all those little decisions that informed what made Seth Seth, I settled on this looseness. That he was more of a fluid guy, and even though he may not be the smartest, he was a bit of a joker and I really enjoyed [being able to] be a bit of a dummy and roll with the punches trying to keep up with everyone.

N: The relationship between the Castor clones is dynamic and very different compared to the Leda clones. What was it like creating that relationship with them?

AM: That to me is the most exciting part of it. Nick Abraham, my clone double and I, worked with an acting coach during pre-production named Bruce Clayton. Bruce is very much interested in the psychology and the relationship between characters, which was vital for me, because Project Castor was self-aware and grew up together in — for lack of a better term — this wolf pack. In my early-on discussions with Graeme [Manson] and John [Fawcett, the series’ co-creators], what they wanted was this sorta sophomoric or frat-esque dynamic between everybody. When you get a bunch of guys together, hijinks ensue, they’ll take the piss out of each other, but there is an incredible bond between them because they’re brothers. They’re best friends and they are trained with a common goal in mind, so they have this shorthand that men of the military might not have because they are linked so closely.

N: It comes across so well with how we see Rudy react to Seth being shot and how intimately he handled it, which is an interesting juxtaposition to how militaristic they are, too.

AM: I’m an only child so the idea of having a brother or a sister is kind of foreign to me. Bruce was a middle child, though, so he would talk about when [he and his siblings] were fooling around or being dinks with each other and their mother would come in and try to keep them in check. And with one look they’d know exactly what the other meant and would then turn on her and have fun. That’s what I really took from that — I really wanted closeness with them. Because when you grow up in a family you have similar gestures and mannerisms. That said, it was very important for me to find what made them individuals and make their personality theirs. With Seth, we played with him being the runt of the litter and always trying to get Rudy’s approval. Like what we see in episode two, or how pleased he is when he breaks Rudy out in episode one. That’s a big deal for him — he was the runt of the litter and probably got picked on a lot.

N: So the glitching stuff plays out in a very unsettling way. It looks like maybe even Mark is glitching now, too.

AM: I think Project Castor, and the people involved with it, know that there’s something going on, hence the test with Paul. But the extent to which it is, I don’t think anyone knows yet. This is something brand new to Project Castor — even though they’re new to the show, this glitch is new to them.

N: Interesting! That sets up such an imperative thrust for answers. For both of them.

AM: To a certain extent it’s going to be a catalyst for making what Project Castor needs more important. And they’ll become more vicious because of it.

N: They all seem very volatile in a way that feels way more frenetic and unstable as compared to the Leda clones.

AM: And I think you can chalk that up to their upbringing. They were sorta trained to be that and each one has learned to deal with that in a different way, but deep down inside. In season two, with Mark, he’s the stone-cold menace and when you see him with Henrik he’s the complete opposite, he’s a lost boy looking for a father. So Mark might seem like he’s more sympathetic but that’s only because he’s been suppressing certain aspects of his training. So no one can be counted out and unfortunately it’s bred into them so it’s all about how they can control it.

N: Mark honestly seems like the most terrifying to me. They set it up so that it looks like maybe Rudy’s the most, or Miller’s the one we should be scared of, but Mark’s proving to be a bit of a wild card. The most loose canon-y.

AM: Well, to a certain extent both Rudy and Miller wear their heart on their sleeve. You’ll always know where you stand with them and I think you’re right. I think what you perceive about Mark that seems more dangerous is he’s a bit better at disguising it.

N: It leads into the question of what they’re capable of and it seems like it’s a lot more — simply because of their self-awareness.

AM: Exactly, they have such a huge head start on Project Leda. They know who Project Leda is and it appears now, at the end of episode two — maybe even before that — that Paul has been dishonest with who he is all along, almost like a mole inside of Leda. So they’ve got a lot of information that Project Leda needs to catch up and be on an even playing field.

N: It’s such a cool dynamic to inject into the show. I mean don’t get me wrong, season two was great, but season three has come out the gate not messing around in such an exciting way.

AM: I think what’s really great about this season is — with the introduction of Project Castor — a lot of answers that have been searched for will start getting some answers. Project Castor is going to bring us to some answers. And sure more questions will be asked but there will finally be some pay-off for the loyal Clone Club fans who have been waiting all along to find out what this is all about. Project Castor is really going to help us get to some of those answers. So it’s going to be fulfilling for everyone.

Do you think Seth will survive getting shot? Let us hear your theories in the comments.

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