We’re five minutes into screening an action-fueled start to Season 2 of Orphan Black, returning to BBC America Saturday, April 19, and amid all the chaos of Kira and Mrs. S missing and Sarah’s (Tatiana Maslany) world falling apart, in enters the lovably flamboyant Felix (Jordan Gavaris) and some great new chaps. Hilarious!
Somehow Gavaris failed to mention that scene when I met up with him earlier this year to talk about the hit series and his character Felix (a.k.a. Fee), who provides much of the series’ comic relief. “I’m not as funny as Felix,” Gavaris confesses. “I’m not anywhere near as witty or clever. I don’t know how that’s even possible from a mental standpoint. I stay in character all day, so I think I sort of get into a particular mindset that allows me to improvise as him.”
And he’s serious when he says he stays in character, accent and all (he’s Canadian, not British), all the time. “I’m still Felix at lunch. Felix in my trailer. Felix in the makeup chair. I’m Felix everywhere until I go home at night. It’s a psychological trick for me to make the scenes as real as possible.”
And real they are — from riffing with clone Allison to counseling his foster-sister clone Sarah — as Gavaris adds a brilliant color and playfulness to each scene. “Riffing with Allison is the most fun I have on the show. Sarah gives me something different. Sarah stretches Felix in a different way. He’s much more tender and vulnerable with her.”
Press details on Season 2 indicate that Felix appears to be forging new allegiances that could conflict with his relationship with Sarah (No, Fee! No!), which may give the Institute the footing they need to gain control over Sarah and get her to cooperate.
Felix branching out on his own more, being less reliant on Sarah, does afford Gavaris more room to explore his character and conflict. “We see more of his personal life. We see more of his private moments. The relationship with me and Sarah is strained. There’s some contention and he has a big decision to make and it’s not an easy one. The relationship between he and his sister is going to be tested in really profound ways. It was very difficult. I think there’s some big payoff there for the audience. It’s less loose, more contained because the stakes are higher, which actually makes it — I find — more exciting to watch. Instead of like a cannonball, it’s like a 9 mm coming out of the gun. The bullet is small, contained and powerful – it’s a lot scarier.”
Season 2 of Orphan Black returns Saturday, April 19 at 9pm ET/PT
Images: Credit: © Steve Wilkie for BBC AMERICA