BBC America’s Orphan Black made an appearance at the TCA Winter press tour to tease out Season 2 of the series which premieres on April 19th.
While there, I got the chance to have a quick chat with one of the series star Jordan Gavaris, who plays fan favorite, Felix, about what we can expect for his character this second season.
On how his approach changed from Season 1 to 2 for Felix
Jordan Gavaris: The first season was scary because I didn’t really know this person intimately. I didn’t have a good sense of where the line was. I was taking a big risk with him, and opening myself up, as always, I don’t think a character is good unless you’re opening yourself up to critical backlash, to be perfectly honest. I think you need to take that risk. So the conception was scary, and in season two, my approach was, ‘Okay, well now I’m not conceiving this person anymore.’ I’m sustaining him and changing him. So my philosophy behind season two is evolution, how do I take this person that I’ve created in season one, with a very good friend to Sarah and a good brother and a good friend to the clones and was an excellent support beam for the plot, how do I stretch that and sort of, like, open the trunk and dig further and find what else is on the bottom. That came from…as John [Fawcett] hinted to in the panel, there are some big decisions that are made. There’s some contention between me and Sarah. We get to see a very different side of him, what happens when he’s not just using his trademark sarcasm to respond to something serious. What is his real truthful vulnerability look like? What does his rooted response look like? What does real fear on him look like, not the quippy sort of sardonic…what does all that real stuff really look like? His defense mechanism is being sarcastic and…if he doesn’t take anything seriously then the serious stuff isn’t happening. That’s his M.O. That’s the way he operates.
On surprises in Season 2
Jordan Gavaris: Oh, a couple of things surprised me. I think it’s safe to say that there’s one thing in particular that we’re tackling right now that we’re losing sleep over, because it’s, again, one of those things, like, I don’t know if we can do this. Are we going to be able to do this? Can we pull this off? Are they going to crucify us? What’s going to happen? But like I said before, if you’re not thinking that, then you’re not in the greatest place. It’s a pretty cool place to play from.
On creating depth to the character of Felix and what attracted him to the part
Jordan Gavaris: What drew me to the character was initially the fact that he was a character who was LGBT, who was sexualized, which we don’t see very often in television. Things, they kind of stay very sexually ambiguous which is kind of silly, and so that immediately was kind of like, ‘Wow, this is kind of breaking the mold. This is doing something different,’ and then realizing that I saw a lot in my relationship with my sister and his relationship with Sarah. That was something of the grit that went beyond the quippy remarks and witty responses. That was some of the meat there, his relationship with this woman who he wasn’t blood related to, but he cared a great deal about and what did that look like and was it different than how he treated other people.
On Felix’s relationship with Sarah and Alison
Jordan Gavaris: We see those relationships tested and change, and that’s what a big hook is.
BONUS: Fun quick exchange about Gavaris wanted to be in an action film.
Jordan Gavaris: I’ve been really fortunate to be a part of really good stuff. I, thank God, haven’t had a really horrible project that I’m trying to bury or something.
So we can’t dig and find stuff.
Jordan Gavaris: I haven’t been working long enough. Soon. I’ll do a movie with, like…I’ll do some horrible ‘Rambo’ five or eight. I don’t know how many they’ve made now.
Do you want to do an action/adventure film?
Jordan Gavaris: It’d be really fun if I got to do something physical like that, but I don’t see myself as a leading action star, but you never know. I don’t think people saw Matt Damon that way either, and then the ‘Bourne’ films came out.
You could be Matt Damon.
Jordan Gavaris: I could be Matt Damon. You hear that world? I could be Matt Damon. So, Matt, I’m coming from you.
Season 2 of Orphan Black premieres April 19th at 9pm on BBC America.