'Orphan Black' Interview: Maria Doyle Kennedy Discusses Mrs. S' Relationships with Her Mother and Sarah
'Orphan Black' Interview: Maria Doyle Kennedy Discusses Mrs. S' Relationships with Her Mother and Sarah
Meredith Jacobs
Meredith Jacobs
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The clones aren't the only ones who have been through quite a lot on Orphan Black; their friends and family of Clone Club have as well, and that includes Mrs. S. According to Maria Doyle Kennedy, reconnecting with and losing her mother was the biggest event that changed her and impacted her relationship with Sarah.

Read on for part 1 of BuddyTV's chat with Kennedy as she discusses her character's journey, chosen and biological family, and where S and Art stand despite her methods not exactly being in line with his job as a detective.


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BuddyTV: Mrs. S has been through a lot, including reconnecting with her mother only to lose her, and she's had to make some tough decisions. How have the events of the past four seasons played a role in the person she is now compared to when we first met her?

Kennedy: "I think what you just touched on really is kind of the biggest thing for her, and reconnecting with her mother after such a long time, having been so estranged, was a huge thing in her life, a huge journey, and looking again at the idea of that relationship, the idea of trust, of misunderstanding and of motives that are not completely clear. And as they develop their relationship, you sort of see how much like her mother S is and how their continuing that relationship onwards influences the relationship between Sarah and S.

"I went for a walk one day actually just before we began, and normally my work would begin with the scripts and having to look at where the story's going and thinking about that. I actually went for a walk just to gather my thoughts before we began and think of exactly [this] question. Where was and what was the biggest thing now going forward and who was S at this stage.

"And I began to realize that the single biggest thing that had happened was reconnecting with her mother and then losing her mother, her mother dying, and that now, she was just in a slightly different position in the world, her place and her mortality. The idea of that had changed for her, and just where she was poised in the world.

"And she really needed to start looking at the endgame and also really transferring some more of her knowledge and some more of the power in what they do onto Sarah, that she needed to step up to the plate. She really was the elder at this stage, and she needed to take over that role and start to pass things on and downwards to Sarah and to Kira."

We've seen S be a maternal figure for the other clones and not just Sarah. Are we going to get more of that this season?

"Yeah, a little bit. Yeah, we certainly do. That's the kind of relationship she's developed with all of them really, well, apart from Rachel. And as we see at the beginning of this season, everybody's quite separate. They're all kind of isolated and spread out in their own things, and so I think that certainly is part of S' journey, figuring out a way to help the sisterhood come back together where they're strongest so they can fight together in the place they have strength rather than be isolated and apart."

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S was more accepting and encouraging of Felix getting to know his biological sister than Sarah was. Will that still be the case this season, especially after she lost her own family, or will she be more worried about Adele possibly getting mixed up in clone business and hurt?

"I think the idea of identity and family has always been a really big one for S. I think that's why she took Sarah and Felix under her wing initially. She was trying to give them a home and create some kind of stability and family for them. And her ideas of family are very strong and the emphasis on how important that is for a person to develop and become whole is really huge for her. So I think that's why she encouraged Felix. I think while she sees the value in their family -- it's a chosen family, as opposed to a biological one -- she also understands the need to access and understand your roots or where you come from, so when Felix has an opportunity to do that, she'll never shut that down. She'll only encourage it.

"But of course, she has to keep an eye on Sarah, too. Sarah's, in her eyes, her daughter, and she's been hurt there. Sarah's against it because it's really just a knee-jerk jealous reaction to a feeling of losing some part of her brother or some part of her brother's love, so S has to keep that in mind and try to keep them both safe and happy.

"And Adele is less important to her at this stage. She's only important as a result of what she is to Felix as opposed to S really caring for her herself yet."

We've seen clone business affect Art at work, and now he has a new partner who has no problem threatening him to get the answers she wants. Are we going to see any points of conflict between S and Art this season because of his new partner and what happened to Duko and covering everything up as a detective?

"I think he certainly feels that S owes him a lot for that and that he's got a big favor to call in if he needs it because he was so supportive but also so complicit by the end of that whole episode.

"But really, I think that rather than conflict, I think that he and S have really figured out that actually they're most definitely on the same team, and they have to find ways to work together, even if S' methods are sometimes not acceptable to him. He knows that ultimately her aim and his aim are exactly the same, that they are united in what they want to achieve. So, I think it's more figuring out a way to do that, rather than actual conflict. It's more just folding in of methodology maybe, sort of compromised methodology."

Orphan Black season 5 airs Saturdays at 10/9c on BBC America. Want more news? Like our Orphan Black Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of BBC America)