Dylan Bruce is just like the rest of us: he’s addicted to Game of Thrones and still hasn’t come to terms with the fact that season four is over.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do with my evenings,” he tells ANDPOP half-jokingly while on the phone from Los Angeles.
This Saturday, another one of his favourite shows will end its run for the year. Only this time, it’s one the Vancouver-native stars in: the hit sci-fi show, Orphan Black. The show follows Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany), a young drifter who gets thrust into a conspiracy after witnessing the death of a woman who happens to be her clone. It turns out she’s not the only one – there are at least a half dozen more. Bruce plays Paul Dierden, Sarah’s first and extremely secretive love interest.
Like his character, Bruce would be in serious trouble if he revealed too many secrets – especially if they involve the show’s much-hyped season two finale.
We push ourselves to create a show that is engaging and dynamic and forward thinking, and I think people really gravitate towards that.
Thankfully, he was willing to give ANDPOP an exclusive tease and promised his character, who has been conspicuously M.I.A. for the past few episodes, will return in the season finale. “It’s unclear which side [Paul]’s on,” he says, adding that viewers will “find out much more about where his allegiance falls in the season finale.”
As fans would know, Paul’s past is filled with secrets and viewers will see a whole new side to the character. “Key pieces of his past will certainly come to life.”
“There’s a lot at stake for everyone,” the 34-year-old actor adds. “Sarah still needs to put Kira at risk in order to save Cosima, Mrs. S could lose Sarah and Kira to Rachel – I mean there’s just a bunch of stuff that could possibly happen.”
It blows Bruce’s mind over just how popular Orphan Black has become (the Space original series broke a DVR record with its season two premiere back in April). “We push ourselves to create a show that is engaging and dynamic and forward thinking, and I think people really gravitate towards that,” he says.
The Canadian actor only realized the series had such a devoted cult following when he made his way to San Diego Comic-Con last year and 1,000 people had to be turned down from the show’s panel after it reached capacity.
“That was kind of our come-to moment where we were like, ‘Okay, this is something special,’” he says.
Despite the huge following Bruce admits he and the cast don’t get recognized often on the streets. That being said, he did run into a fan the other day at the department store Macy’s, out of all places, and she just so happened to be the woman helping him pick silverware.
“She’s like, ‘You registered for your wedding here, haven’t you?’” Bruce shares. “And I’m like, ‘No, I’m not currently engaged at the moment.’ I asked, ‘Do you watch Orphan Black?’ And she was like, ‘Oh, son of a bitch. I’m so sorry.’”
Bruce knows more than anyone how serious his character comes across, but he assures that’s not the case once the cameras stop rolling. “It’s always in the stage directions like, ‘Paul and his perfect poker face,’” he laughs. “It makes people think I’m an emotionless guy, but I’m really not in real life.”
In fact, he’s convinced Paul would make one hell of a poker player. “You never know if the guy wants a fricking taco or if he’s going to shoot you in the head.”
What he does know for certain is that co-star Tatiana Maslany, who plays practically half of the characters on the clone-themed series, has incredible acting chops.
“It’s so odd and it’s so amazing – there’s nothing this girl can’t do,” he gushes. “[Maslany] differentiates between each of her clone characters so much, and they’re all so believable. She’s so invested in all of them, that it feels like you’re with a different scene partner.”
It’s so odd and it’s so amazing – there’s nothing this girl can’t do.
Dylan Bruce on co-star Tatiana Maslany
Last season, his Paul had most of his scenes with Maslany’s Sarah, the main character of the show. This time around, he shared a good chunk of his screen time with two of her biggest rivals: Rachel (also Maslany) and Dr. Leekie (Matt Frewer). Bruce admits he was afraid at first that the fans would turn against his character, but thankfully that hasn’t happened.
“You can never think that way, you just got to think for the greater good of the story and script,” he says. “I had so much fun playing with those two characters.”
The Vancouver native has high expectations for Paul next season. “I really think I would like Paul to come face to face with new players in the world of Orphan Black, people he’s never met before,” he says. “And I think in that process, crazy new alliances will be forged and enemies will be made as well.”
Just in case fans are anticipating going through an Orphan Black withdrawal following the season finale, fear not; they can get their dose of Bruce in the recently aired Lifetime movie, Petals of the Wind, where he plays a completely different character that’s 15 years his senior. He’s also set to co-star in The Write Man, a romantic comedy alongside Person of Interest’s Amy Acker, which is tentatively scheduled for a 2015 premiere.
“I just want to show people, and prove to myself also, that I have a considerable amount of range and I can do whatever I put my mind to,” he says.
Orphan Black’s season two finale airs Saturday at 9 p.m. ET on Space/BBC America.