Are you ready to (officially) meet Project Castor? While Orphan Black season 2 introduced Mark as a Prolethean, first seen pursuing Sarah in the premiere, the final moments of the finale, revealed that he too is a clone. Season three will delve into Project Castor and who these clones are.
BuddyTV joined a conference call with Ari Millen to find out what’s coming up for the Project Castor clones. What gives them an edge over the Project Leda clones? What’s the biggest challenge playing the male clones? Read on to find out what to expect.
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The Castor Brotherhood Is a “Very Strong Foe” from the Start
Unlike the Leda clones, the Castor brothers were raised self-aware, which attributes to their “very close-knit wolf pack of a military upbringing,” according to Millen. “Just like any sets of brothers, there’s a real closeness. They like taking the piss out of each other. They can be vicious. There’s also a lot of love there.”
That said, there will be conflict because, after all, they are brothers. The obvious answer is that it will involve Mark. “He has his own idea of who he wants to be and where he sees himself going, and his brothers and Project Castor are gunning for him. They’re not going to let him go without a fight,” he said. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any conflict with the other brothers. “They’re reaching a certain point in their lives where something is becoming very, very important, so there is a certain amount of stress that they’re all under,” he teased, trying to be as vague as possible. “But for the most part, they’re a cohesive group and they’re all working towards a common goal. Even though brothers fight, there’s ultimately love and family and that’s the most important thing.”
However, while the Leda clones are still learning who they are and who they can and cannot trust, that’s not the case for the Castor brothers. “As the season progresses, Project Castor is definitely going to hit the ground running as far as making it very difficult for Project Leda because they have something that we want and because we know who we are, we have a certain better understanding and we’re more cohesive,” the actor teased. “Project Castor is all on board with themselves, so they’re a very strong foe right off the bat.”
While Orphan Black has explored the Leda clones’ sexuality with Cosima and Tony, there isn’t that wide range seen in the Castor clones. “They’re ultra-hetero, for the most part,” Millen said. “I think part of how they wanted to position Castor this year was as this sort of testosterone menace, and I think that aspect plays itself out through their ultra-sexuality, sort of a frat boy mentality, but that is just one part of them.” On the other hand, there is Mark, who can be described as “almost virginal and almost innocent to it.” “There’s some interesting dichotomies with them, but the sexuality will play a big part for this season,” he added.
Speaking of Mark, when he was last seen, he and Gracie were eloping, and they’re not only going to be trying to hide from the Proletheans, but from Project Castor as well. But does Mark need to be that worried about being found? Maybe, maybe not, as Millen said that while Rudy, who enjoys pushing other people’s buttons and knocking them out of their comfort zones, is the “obvious answer” for the most dangerous clone, “he wears his heart on his sleeve,” and Mark may be the more dangerous one. “He’s very good at hiding what he’s feeling,” he shared. “You don’t want to cross him. You don’t want to threaten what he’s going for because he will make you pay.”
What Mark wants right now — and what “he had always dreamed of” — is what he’s very close to having after the season finale. “He wanted that fairy tale of disappearing out of wherever he came from and just going forward with the white picket fence, the wife and hopefully soon children.” In that moment, he wasn’t thinking about anything else, including Project Castor.
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Who Is Paul in the Castor World?
That question mark you most likely have next to Paul’s name — keep it there, but maybe not for too long. In the interest of not giving away any spoilers, all Millen would say about Paul is, “we now know that Paul knows more than he was letting on, and I think he might have been paying both sides, so as the season progresses, we’ll find out more of what Paul knows and more of his motives and sort of who he is to Project Castor.”
The Challenges of Playing the Male Clones
For Millen, the biggest challenge was “finding the differences within the similarities, finding the little nuance things that make Rudy Rudy, that make Mark Mark, that make Seth Seth,” because they were raised self-aware and grew up together. He compared it to twins or triplets (or even quadruplets, as is the case so far with the Castor clones). “How do you find the differences within the similarities? What makes this guy uniquely himself?” How would one clone react in a situation versus another clone? “It was just sort of comparing them against each other and finding those little things, whereas Project Leda, obviously, they grew up in different parts of the world, so they can be as drastically different as possible. …That’s the biggest difference between Castor and Leda is their upbringing.”
He also had to learn to plan out the scenes involving multiple Castor clones because he had to pay attention not only to the character he was playing at any given moment and the decisions he made, but also the other character as well. He planned it out with his clone double, Nick Abraham, and the director, “a technical side of pre-planning that wasn’t organic to [him].”
When it comes to creating the clones, it’s “a very visual process” for the actor. “I would put on my wardrobe for the day. I would go to hair and makeup, and they would put that clone on me for the day and I would sort of look into the mirror, and I would drop into the decisions that I had made [for each character],” he shared. “If ever I found I was coming out of it, I would go find a mirror and just settle and take a breath and look at drop back in.”
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Orphan Black season 3 premieres Saturday, April 18 at 9pm on BBC America.
(Image courtesy of BBC America)