Archive for the ‘Articles & Interviews’ Category

[Interview] Ksenia Solo teases what’s in store for Shay on “Orphan Black”
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Categories: Articles & Interviews, Lost Girl, Orphan Black, Turn

AfterEllen: What was it like joining the Orphan Black cast for Season 3? What made you want to be part of the show?

Ksenia Solo: I’ve been a fan from the beginning so it was awesome.

AE: What is your favorite thing about playing Shay?

KS: She has a very different rhythm and energy than any other characters I’ve played. It was interesting to explore.

AE: What do you think it is about Shay that drew Cosima in so immediately, despite her initial hesitations?

KS: I think it’s her warmth and free spirit.

AE: A lot of people come into the clones’ lives with ill intentions… Can we trust Shay?

KS: You’ll just have to watch and see!

AE: Will Shay meet Delphine? How will that go?

KS: I can’t give too much away, but let’s just say that their paths are bound to cross…

Continue reading…

Magazine Alert: People – May 18, 2015
Posted by Brianne • Comments Off on Magazine Alert: People – May 18, 2015
Categories: Articles & Interviews, News

Ksenia is featured in the Body Watch section of the newest People Magazine dated May 18th. also posted a variation on this feature.

For actress Ksenia Solo, food is much more than fuel.

“I love food — it brings me so much pleasure,” says Solo, who joins BBC America’s sci-fi hit Orphan Black this season. “But I’m always trying to find a balance between joyful and healthy eating.” That’s made easier by Solo sticking to a fitness routine, even with her busy schedule. “I love yoga, Pilates and doing impromptu dance parties when I wake up. It’s always a great way to start your day,” she says. “On days when I have no time to go to class, I pop in my favorite Mandy Ingber yoga DVD and get a workout in, even in my trailer at work.”

Solo shared a day from her food diary. Pick up the new issue of PEOPLE (on newsstands) to read more about her diet.

Continue reading…

Interview: The Star Phoenix
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Categories: Articles & Interviews, Lost Girl, Orphan Black, Turn

For five seasons, Ksenia Solo played a human navigating the world of the Fae, the supernatural creatures of legend, on Showcase’s Lost Girl. Now, she inhabits another world of notable figures — the real-life agents of the Revolutionary War in AMC’s period drama Turn: Washington’s Spies, returning Monday.

Solo portrays Peggy Shippen, Gen. Benedict Arnold’s second wife, who’s been described as the most beautiful woman in America. As history buffs know, Peggy was involved with Arnold’s conspiracy with the British to change sides. He was exposed after British Major John André was arrested in 1780 after carrying documentation of the plot.

“I was looking to do something that was the complete opposite of what I was doing for so many years, so I could stretch myself as an actor. Along came Turn and the very complex and intriguing role of Peggy Shippen, and it was exactly what I wanted to do,” says the 27-year-old Latvian-Canadian actress, who joins the show alongside Owain Yeoman as Arnold.

“We pick up in the fall of 1777, and we first meet her at her home where her family is having a party. John André (JJ Field) goes there to try and grill her a bit about Benedict Arnold and her history with him, because when she was 14 years old, Benedict Arnold stayed at her family home.”

As they say, one good Turn deserves another, and Solo has also picked up a role on the acclaimed clone drama Orphan Black for Season 3, debuting April 18. Aside from noting that her character, Shay, makes her first appearance in the fifth episode, Solo can’t say much about the part.

“Shay comes in midseason and is the new friend to Cosima (Tatiana Maslany). She is a spiritual healer and quite different than the people who have previously been in Cosima’s life. We see what happens to the two of them as the season progresses.”

But it’s Solo’s role on Lost Girl — playing Bo’s (Anna Silk) sarcastic friend Kenzi — that first put her on fans’ radar. And when Kenzi apparently died at the end of the sci-fi series’ fourth season, following Solo’s decision to pursue other opportunities, there were questions of whether Kenzi would get the sendoff she deserved.

“I didn’t see Kenzi going any other way but with some sort of selfless sacrifice for Bo and the people that she loves,” says Solo. “That is the essence of Kenzi — to put her friends and family before herself. And I think the most important aspect of Kenzi’s death was that she finally felt like she had a purpose. So in that sense I feel like we did Kenzi justice.”

Viewers were relieved when Season 5 opened with Bo sacrificing herself for Kenzi, and Kenzi essentially rising from the dead but ultimately deciding to move to Spain. In the second half of Season 5 (which doesn’t yet have a premiere date), Kenzi will pop in occasionally before the series signs off for good.

“I’m very grateful to our producer, Jay Firestone, and our writers for finding a very creative way to bring Kenzi back in Season 5,” says Solo. “It meant a lot to me to come back in whatever capacity I could for the fans, who have been so wonderful and loving and supportive from day one.” (Source)

Watch a video interview here (sorry, guys I can’t embed it!).

Interview: DuJour
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Categories: Articles & Interviews, Orphan Black, Turn

Everywhere you look, there’s Ksenia Solo. The Latvian-born, Canadian actress—who fans know from Black Swan and the series Lost Girl—is returning to Turn as Peggy Shippen, the second wife of Benedict Arnold, in the Revolutionary War thriller. She will also make her debut on Orphan Black as Shay, a love interest for one of the series’ infamous clones.

With a brief break in her busy schedule, Ksenia spoke to DuJour about making each series, keeping her characters straight and what she’s up to next.

You’re on two anticipated series with new seasons kicking off the same week. That must be odd.
I had finished the last season of Lost Girl and the next day I got on a plane and went to Virginia to start on Turn—and while I was filming Turn, I was also doing Orphan Black. But having everything air at the same time is definitely an interesting experience. I’ve had to rewire my brain because each role is so specific, and I need to be secretive about Orphan Black. I’m basically not allowed to say anything. I didn’t think this year I would have three projects airing within a week of each other, but I can’t complain.

Considering you can talk about Turn, what can you say about the new season and what it has in store for Peggy?
Peggy is a fascinating young woman. People had this idea of who she was, this party girl and very much a socialite, but what people didn’t know was that there was this whole other dimension to her: she was very well educated, cunning, critical and savvy. She understood the way men operated and she used that to her advantage. And so, we go on this journey with Peggy that involves getting mixed up in a love triangle with John André and Benedict Arnold. That’s what I can tell you without giving the whole thing away.

Do you do a deep dive on the history books for a character like this?
When you’re playing a real person, there’s a responsibility that comes along with that. I wanted to make sure I knew everything I could about that time period and about Peggy. So, I bought every single book and DVD about the American Revolution, and to be honest I’m still watching and reading. I’ve read fiction, I’ve read non-fiction and I’ve just tried to really capture who she was while going by our script. At the end of the day, that’s my focus.

And what about Orphan Black? Were things kept secret from you on set or is it only post-filming that things get so hush-hush?
To be honest, I’m a big fan of that show and I tried to read as little as possible because I wanted to watch the show as a viewer along with everyone else as the season came out. So, I did a good job with keeping myself in the dark. What I can say is that I play a character who’s a spiritual healer— she’s very open, very compassionate—and who’s quite different than the people we’ve seen in Cosima’s life. She brings a completely new energy and perspective.

Being a fan of the show, is it hard to get to work once you’re on set and seeing how scenes with multiple clones are filmed?
Absolutely. One of the first things I did when I was on set was find John Fawcett, who is one of the creators, and says, ‘You have to tell me how you filmed this clone dancing, it’s so genius and so much fun to watch.’ He explained it to me and it was nice to get that inside scoop. I think that technology is advancing, so if people thought that they did crazy things in the past seasons, they’ll be in for quite the ride this new season. It only gets bigger, better and wilder.

Now that you’ve got some time off, are you going to leap straight into another series?
To be honest, I would love to take a vacation! It’s been nonstop for me since August of last year. In addition to the TV series, I directed a music video last year with a talented artist named Craig Sickland. I always wanted to get behind the camera, so to direct a video was really exciting. I like to be very selective and work on projects that I am crazy passionate about. Those don’t come along every day. (Source)

Interview: Hello! Canada
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Categories: Articles & Interviews, Lost Girl, Orphan Black, Turn

“I’ve been craving an iced cappuccino for literally the last four months,” actress Ksenia Solo tells Hello! during a visit to Toronto in late March. “Even though it’s cold and miserable outside, I feel like I have a little slice of heaven with my Timmy Hos! It doesn’t get more Canadian than that!” [ Laughs]. It’s a busy time for the Latvian-Canadian actress who is all over primetime television thanks to her roles in three hit shows – Lost Girl , Orphan Black and TURN: Washington’s Spies. Now in its second season, TURN (Mondays, AMC) tells the true story of the American Revolutionary War and the figures that helped shape the history of the United States. Here, Ksenia opens up about stepping into the 18th century to portray the politically minded Peggy Shippen, corsets and her penchant for playing strong independent women.

What is it like to play such a famous historical figure?
Peggy is such a fascinating character and it’s an incredible period of time to explore. She was a very skilled socialite and she hailed from one of the richest families in Philadelphia. But that was just a facade. She was also very cunning, very knowledgeable in politics and smart and charming and witty. TURN explores the events that led up to Benedict Arnold (her husband) becoming a traitor, which Peggy played a very pivotal role in.

You sport quite the wig in the show! What was like getting to dress up as an 18th-century woman?
The wig looks very intimidating because it’s very high and there’s a lot of hair [Laughs], but it wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be. Surprisingly it was the easiest thing to wear out of everything. It was quite painful most days because of the corset and the many layers but I did enjoy getting to play in that world.

Lost Girl’s Kenzi, Shay on Orphan Black and Peggy are all very strong female characters. Is it important to you to play powerful women?
I feel very lucky that the three women that I’m playing now are all independent and strong in their own way. I look up to these characters and try to learn from them. I admire their courage and their sense of self. (Source)

Interview: AMC TV
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Categories: Articles & Interviews, Turn

Q: Peggy Shippen is a real figure in history, but she isn’t nearly as well-known as her husband, Benedict Arnold. What are some of the most interesting things you learned about her? Did you discover anything in particular that helped shape your portrayal of her?

A: What I learned about Peggy was that she wasn’t at all shallow like people thought she was. The image that everyone had of her was just of this party girl, but that was actually a cover for the very well-educated, politically savvy, sharp, and opinionated individual that she was. That was very unusual for a woman of that time, especially a woman her age. What was fascinating about her was that she really understood how men thought and operated, and she used that masterfully to her advantage. I felt lucky that there was quite a bit of information available about her. It made for a very rich understanding of her.

Q: Talk a little bit about developing your on-screen chemistry with JJ Feild (Major John André). Did rehearsing the dance scene in Episode 202 help? How much practice and choreography was needed?

A: Chemistry is a very interesting thing, and you either have it or you don’t. We barely had any time to practice or rehearse our dance scene, and it was quite a bit of choreography that we had to learn. I was surprised by how seamless it looks on-screen, because in the moment, we had to deal with a lot of elements – the dancing, the dialogue, the movement with the talking. That’s a testament to our director and to the editors who cut it together to make it look like it did. They made it look like we really knew what we were doing.

Q: The role of Peggy involves quite a bit of extravagant period attire. Did you enjoy wearing such ornate dresses, or do you remember the corsets more than anything else?

A: Peggy’s wardrobe is quite exquisite. Although painful at times, I do have to say I loved every part of it. If I could, I would totally wear it in my own life, but I don’t think people would understand me so I’ll forgo doing that. [Laughs] It was very interesting to learn about the process, the layers and everything that went into the way women looked during that time. I have to admit, some days I had a couple of pain relievers standing by because wearing the corsets for up to 12 hours a day got a little ouch-y. [Laughs] I was trying not to complain too much, because Heather [Lind] and Meegan [Warner] were absolute champions. They had a whole season under their belt, so I didn’t want to be the new kid on the block. I just quietly experienced the torture.

Q: Any favorite dresses?

A: The dress that I wear in the last episode – although every dress before that was extremely beautiful – has an extra pinch of pizazz. Just when I thought the dresses couldn’t get any grander, they always did. Donna Zakowska, our amazing costume designer, put work into picking fabrics that were not only beautiful, but also were 100% staying true to the time.

Q: Peggy was an 18th century socialite. What kinds of things did you learn about 18th century social mores and etiquette?

A: Something that surprised me about that time was that women were not allowed to refer to their spouses as “my husband,” but only as “mister.” I thought that was very interesting.

Q: Are there any 18th century customs which have fallen out of practice in modern times that you’d like to see make a comeback?

A: What I would like to see make a comeback from that era is definitely hand kissing. [Laughs] Don’t get me wrong, it still exists, but it’s very rare. It’s a very romantic gesture. Team hand kissing!

Q: You posted a number of photos on your Instagram page while filming TURN: Washington’s Spies. What’s your favorite memory from the Season 2 set?

A: I would have to say my first day, because it was the experience of diving into that era with the sets, the makeup and the wardrobe. It was all so new to me, and it’s an honor to work with such an incredibly talented team that created this world. That’s exactly what it felt like, like I had stepped into this completely new and fascinating world. It felt surreal to be able to play in it. I will remember my first day fondly. (Source)

Interview: The TV Junkies
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Categories: Articles & Interviews, Turn

Given that we’re used to seeing Ksenia Solo as the eye shadowed and fun-loving sidekick (as well as literal and metaphorical heart) on Lost Girl, we’re hoping she can forgive us for almost not recognizing her in her latest role in AMC’s TURN. Solo has traded one fashionista for another, swapping Kenzi’s goth-chick for the fashion-forward corset of 18th century socialite.

The busy actress, who was in the midst of promoting three shows when The TV Junkies caught up with her for TURN (including the American debut of Lost Girl’s final season and the new season of Orphan Black) is taking on the role of Peggy Shippen. Based on yet another real person and big player in the secret side of the American Revolution, Solo’s Shippen will prove to be instrumental in turning another new character, Benedict Arnold, to the British—something the show wasted no time in getting to as John André (JJ Field) used her to soften the general up.

Of course, history buffs may already know what’s down the line for the budding flirtation between André and Shippen, who later married Arnold. Without giving much away, Solo teases “there’s definitely a love triangle that plays a big part in Season 2.”

In the meantime though, Shippen’s clearly keen on André despite some stern family objections that are coming down the line thanks to the Major’s undistinguished heritage. But seeing past that is just part of who Shippen is, according to Solo—who went on a Revolutionary War DVD binge after getting the part.

“She was much more complex than anyone really knew,” she explains. “People saw her as just this very skilled socialite but she was very well educated, she was very knowledgeable in politics and was known for her charm and her wit. It was really interesting to learn how many dimensions she had and what a complex young woman she was—especially for the time. She was very ahead of her time.”

Capturing that complexity was key for Solo, and—it seems—for the show’s creators and writers.

“What I love about TURN is that it explores the behind-the-scenes of the war,” she adds. “We really get to learn and understand where Peggy came from—and where Benedict came from—and why he did what he did. I think it will definitely give people a new perspective on the both of them because human beings are all very multi-dimensional. No one is just black and white. TURN really explores the grey area.”

And it also gave Solo an idea of what it was like to dress as a socialite in the 1700s. The show—notorious for really engulfing its cast in the setting—went all out when it came to the layers of Shippen’s gowns. “It was definitely a challenge,” Solo says about spending entire days in a corset. “But with enduring the pain I did enjoy being able to completely immerse myself in that world and look like Peggy. She’s quite grand and, again, very forward even in that fashion sense.”

Although Solo was thankful at least part of her was spared the 18th century treatment as she talked about a custom-made wig suffering through the complex and stunning styling instead of her own head.

“I was like, if I could just wear a wig forever and just protect my hair, that would be great!” (Source)

Interview: Life for Ksenia Solo took a Turn for the better
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Categories: Articles & Interviews, Black Swan, Lost Girl, Orphan Black, Turn

Yes, it gets better. Just ask Ksenia Solo.

Sitting in a Toronto bistro opposite the poised, confident young woman who is juggling new roles on both Orphan Black and Turn: Washington’s Spies, it’s hard to believe that bullying made her life such hell as a child that she had to be dragged to school every September.

“It’s true,” she says, fixing you with pale blue eyes that look like they have never known a day of doubt. “On the first day of school, my mother had to drag me there, holding my hand, and when I looked at that sea of strange faces I’d break down in tears and Mom would have to take me to the bathroom where I could have my little panic attack.

“And from that moment forward, they’d all know how shy I was and how sensitive I was, and just how they could destroy me.”

Solo has a pretty good idea of why she was such a magnet for bullies back then. “Oh my God, I was tiny, a total shrimp in their eyes and I had this grotesquely kinky, curly hair. They made fun of me for all of that and because I couldn’t speak English that well at first, either.”

She was born in Riga in Latvia in 1987 and has only a few disjointed memories of the country where she spent the first five years of her life.

“I remember my grandmother’s apartment and I remember this forest by our house where I would search for snails, which I was obsessed by in those days.” She giggles. “Yes, there is photographic evidence of that.”

She says her parents’ move to Canada “wasn’t politically motivated,” but “it was just around that time when the whole Soviet Union came crashing down.”

She thought Canada “was very beautiful and so incredibly free,” but she didn’t’ speak any English at first “and that was very hard. It was such a barrier to overcome. I had been taken out of a world I knew and put into another where I was a perfect stranger. For years after that, I always felt like an outsider.”

And the bullying only added to that sensation.

“You know what it’s like. It’s that person or those two people who pick on you and then everybody else jumps on the train. Everybody wants to fit in, so if one person is leading the pack then the others all have to join in hating you so they can feel they belong.”

She looks down at the snow-white tablecloth, smoothing it nervously.

“I switched schools a lot and I had to get my books from the school I was leaving. I was too afraid to meet any of the people who had been bullying me, so I showed up after hours and had the janitor open up the classroom for me.”

Solo is now a director of the anti-bullying foundation Stand for the Silent and offers her advice on survival.

“You have to find people you have something in common with, whether it’s sports or theatre or ballet. You can’t change the bullies, you can’t change the school system, but you can find a way for those of us being bullied to survive.”

For Solo, that way out was initially ballet. When she began to study arts at Earl Haig Secondary School, “things definitely improved.”

There was a line of ballerinas in her family, so it seemed like a logical choice, but that didn’t work out either.

“I have a bad back and my body just wouldn’t allow me to do things a real ballerina needs to do. Ballet was never really my calling, but it taught me a lot about discipline and hard work, and it was a natural transition to acting. But I didn’t have a moment when I said, ‘This is the end of my life.’ I was already going to auditions for acting before I stopped dancing.”

Ironically, she was later to appear in Black Swan, the infamous movie about the behind the scenes neuroses of the ballet world and she laughs about it now. “When I did Black Swan, I said, ‘Oh that’s what I missed! Dodged that bullet.’”

Her acting career took off rapidly and she got two back-to-back Gemini Awards for her work as Zoey Jones on the series, but it was when she stepped into the cult series Lost Girl as Kenzi in 2010 that her celebrity went viral.

“You know, I never thought they were going to cast me on that show. I kept auditioning and auditioning. I thought I wasn’t funny enough, I wasn’t the kind of a girl they wanted. But they kept exploring the image they were looking for and I kept changing to fit what they thought they wanted.”

“I’m happy they saw Kenzi in me, because I never thought I could be a tough funny street kid. But they sensed something inside me. Once we began filming, I was so different from this character it took me a long time to build what I was doing.”

Her work as Kenzi made her so popular with the show’s fan base that she knew when she left after Season 4 that “I would have to find the complete opposite of Kenzi to let people know that wasn’t me.”

And then along came the offer from Turn: Washington’s Spies, the AMC revolutionary war thriller that was looking to sex up its scenarios for its second season.

“The minute I read the script, I just knew I should do it,” she grins. “It’s not often that you find such a complex character for a young woman, especially a historical figure who was a real person.”

They were asking Solo to play Peggy Shippen, the born-with-a-silver-spoon-in-her-mouth daughter of Philadelphia aristocracy who fell deeply in love with the troublesome Major John André only to marry the legendary Revolutionary War traitor Benedict Arnold.

“Nobody expects to see me as the girl wearing period costumes, but it fits me perfectly in every way. When I tried on the dresses and the wigs, I kept thinking, ‘This should feel more strange to me. Why does it oddly feel like it’s where I should be?’”

And she’s delighted to be shattering people’s view of her as Kenzi, something she’s also doing with Orphan Black, where she’ll guest as Shay, a holistic healer who meets Cosima, one of several cloned characters played by Tatiana Maslany.

“I loved being on Lost Girl, don’t get me wrong. But it’s so easy to get pigeonholed in this industry and I’m interested in people seeing that I’m a chameleon. Peggy is sexual and she’s not afraid to use what she’s got.”

She’s also interested in keeping her private life private, which is something she works hard at. “I’m really grateful for my relationship with my fans, but I’m a private person and I’ve tried very hard to protect that so I can live my life.”

And when she thinks back to the bad old days of relentless bullying, she has a certain amount “not of revenge, but of satisfaction.”

“There were occasions when people who were really horrible to me at school have reached out to me on Facebook now. How interesting! My last memory of this person is ridiculing me and now they’re all, ‘Oh my God, you’re on TV!’ I’m proud of myself that I haven’t let that bullying hold me back.

“I’ve prevailed in a way. I’ve taken what happened to me and got over it.” (Source)