“We wanted a weird bad guy,” says John Fawcett. “When I watch television, so often I feel like a lot of the casting feels generic. I’m looking for a mix of something compelling from a physical point of view, which makes you just want to look at them, and someone who brings an energy or interpretation to a character that you weren’t expecting. That’s what I got from Ari.”John Fawcett to Rolling Stone
At the end of season two, it’s revealed that the donor of the DNA used to create Alison, Cosima, and their sisters also donated male DNA, giving the series the project Castor. Unlike the ladies in project Lyda, the male clones were raised self-aware, together, and by the military to become the perfect soldiers. Now, who could possibly match Tatiana Maslany’s performance for her male counterparts?
Ari Millen had already been cast as Mark, a former soldier and member of the extremist religious group the Proletheans, who was tasked with kidnapping one of the Lyda clones. His character originally wasn’t intended to survive the season, but showrunners Graeme Manson and John Fawcett decided Millen was too good to kill off. So halfway through filming, Millen had to determine how he would move forward and play each of his new roles.
Unlike Maslany’s challenge of creating completely different characters for each character, Millen’s challenge was to make each of his clones similar. With the same exact upbringing, military training, and life experiences, it’s only natural that they would have more similarities than differences.
Despite their similarities, they still had to be distinct from each other. In an interview with Teddy Wilson from the CTV Sci-fi channel, Millen described his process for becoming those characters to be a visual one.
“..for me, it was I think it was more of a visual process. Like I said, every day I would put my costume on, go to hair and makeup and get a scar on or get a mustache on or what-have-you. And I would sort of look at myself in the mirror and say okay right I’m Rudy today. Rudy who’s Rudy and sort of drip into the choices and the decision of what makes Rudy, Rudy and what makes Seth, Seth or Mark, Mark.”Ari Millen
Mark is the first of the Castor clones we see this visual process take place in. While he has the bearing and manners of a soldier. In an attempt to break free and allow his softer side to show, he has abandoned the military and his brothers to take up the ideals and style of the Proletheans. Reminiscences of the Mormon LDS, the Proletheans have a very midwest style. Double-breasted button-downs, jeans, brown jackets, and cowboy boots are the Proletheans and Mark wardrobe staples. While he eventually leaves them he maintains the style as a way to feel separate and unique from his brothers.
Seth, Rudy, and Styles are precisely what the military intended Caster to become. Each of them are experts at what they do, whether that be tracking, surveillance, or following orders, they are the best, and their wardrobe reflects that. Seth and Rudy are investing reasons and solutions to the degenerative brain disease they are all suffering from. Their mission requires them to move a lot and be inconspicuous. They wear almost exactly the same thing, a grey hoodie, sweat pants, and back sneakers, making it easy to hide quickly. Seth’s only distinguishing feature is his mustache, while Rudy has a large scar on his face and a navy jacket. Styles is definitely the model soldier. Never out of uniform, he is always doing exactly what is needed of him without question.
Being raised in the care of a project Lyda leader, Ira led a privileged life that allowed him to become a mild-mannered doctor with a superiority complex and sense of entitlement over his brothers. This reflects his upbringing and position as a doctor at the Dyad Institute. His crisp white doctor’s uniform is unique. It’s not your average lab coat, with short sleeves, a stand-up collar, and double-breasted with what seems to be a velcro closure. The coat is clean and modern, reflecting the institute’s value of pushing forward technology. Growing up outside the military also exposed him to the finer things in life. Always the figure of refinement in a monochromatic wardrobe, Ira wears fine suits with wool paints and v-neck sweaters. Unlike his brother he rarely losses control and dresses to reflect that control.
Next week, we will be getting back into the Leda ladies with the greatest sleuth of them all, Krystal.
Want to know more? Check out my sources.
Fallon, Kevin. “Ari Millen, the Genius Behind’ Orphan Black’s’ Shocking Male Clones.” The Daily Beast, The Daily Beast Company, 17 Apr. 2015, http://www.thedailybeast.com/ari-millen-the-genius-behind-orphan-blacks-shocking-male-clones.
Ross, Dalton. “Ari Millen Reveals ‘Orphan Black’ Intel on the Male Clones.” EW.com, Entertainment Weekly, ew.com/article/2015/03/11/ari-millen-reveals-orphan-black-intel-male-clones/.
Ryan, Patrick. “Meet the Face of ‘Orphan Black’ Male Clones.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 17 Apr. 2015, http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2015/04/16/orphan-black-ari-millen-clone/25828629/.
Shattuck, Kathryn. “Ari Millen of ‘Orphan Black’ on Being a Clone and a Dad.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 24 Apr. 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/26/arts/television/ari-millen-of-orphan-black-on-being-a-clone-and-a-dad.html.
Wood, Jennifer. “Meet ‘Orphan Black’ ‘s New Clone on the Block: Ari Millen.” Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone, 25 June 2018, http://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-news/meet-orphan-blacks-new-clone-on-the-block-ari-millen-54783/.
Wilson, Teddy. “A Talk of the Clones: Ari Millen.” YouTube, CTV Sci-Fi Channel, 24 June 2015, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJy21hsVf9U.
Images are courtesy of BBC America.