An admittedly shocked Tatiana Maslany took home the Emmy for best lead actress in a drama on Sunday for her multiple roles in the sci-fi series “Orphan Black.”
“I should have had this written down,” said the 30-year-old Regina native, who plays several clones with different personalities and accents on the show, after receiving her trophy from fellow Canadian Kiefer Sutherland.
Maslany thanked the show’s creators for “this incredible dream job” during her acceptance speech—delivered while frantically scrolling through her phone — and also said she felt “so lucky to be on a show that puts women at the centre.”
Backstage, Maslany — who was considered an underdog against stars from “House of Cards,” “Empire,” “Homeland,” “How to Get Away with Murder” and “The Americans” — told reporters she wasn’t expecting to go home a winner.
She also said it is “a real point of pride” that “Orphan Black” is held up as a series with strong and diverse female characters.
“The response after the first season was so much positivity in terms of representation and the way that young girls were seeing themselves portrayed on screen,” Maslany said.
“And the LGBT community as well really reached out and supported us. So it’s been a really connecting thing in terms of the fans and has become something we feel responsible for, continuing to tell those stories.
“And it’s also a joy. There’s an immense joy in getting to tell womens’ stories that we don’t normally see.”
It was the second Emmy nomination for Maslany, often regarded as one of the hardest-working women in TV for playing a multitude of characters on the Toronto-shot show, which airs on Space and BBC America.
The sci-fi thriller, which also netted Maslany a Golden Globe nomination in 2014 and three Canadian Screen Award wins, recently aired its fourth season and the next season will be its final one.
Fans — including some fellow TV and film stars — flooded Twitter Sunday night with messages of congratulations for Maslany.
Best actress Oscar winner Brie Larson used a crying emoji to punctuate her congratulatory tweet and Henry Winkler wrote: “You deserve every inch of that statue. I was so happy to meet you even for a second.”
This Emmy win comes after a big year in which Maslany not only had to play new clones, she also took on several other projects — from “BoJack Horseman” to “Robot Chicken” and the film “Two Lovers and a Bear.”
“I felt really creatively stimulated this year,” said Maslany in an interview in July after her nomination was announced. “The two movies I got to do over the hiatus before the fourth season were really near and dear to my heart and just reignited my excitement about acting and gave me a new perspective.
“I got to work with amazing actors and directors and that stuff just opens your mind. So as tired as I was, I guess I felt really rejuvenated and ready to play more in ‘Orphan Black.”’