Felix is the foster brother of Tatiana Maslany 's Sarah Manning on the show. Felix also interacts with other clones Maslany plays: Alison Hendrixa suburban homemaker; Cosima Niehausa biologist; Rachel Duncana cold-blooded executive at something called the Dyad Institute ; and Helena, a pd dead psychopath. Yes, all those roles are played by the same actress, which is not only a challenge for her but for Gavaris, 24, who grew up in the rural suburbs of Toronto with little interest in acting after playing Wilbur in a production of "Charlotte's Web" when he was With Alison, Felix gets to be the older brother.
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With Sarah, there's so much vulnerability and tenderness that you see glimpses of the little boy inside of him. It may have taken viewers a minute or two to figure out the difference between Maslany as Sarah and Maslany as Cosima, but they got Felix in a flash. And speaking of flashes, Felix is a gay hustler and an artist who favors long aprons when he paints.
In person, Gavaris is nothing like the arch boy toy he plays on TV. For one thing, he has no British accent, something Gavaris sees as a necessary part of the character. I felt the humor played better with a British accent.
There's also the way Felix moves. If he suggests a prowling feline Felix the Cat? Although he only had four months of training as a method actor, Gavaris did make it to class the day they talked about doing an animal exercise to create a character and settled on male felines as his body language model, because "they're very smooth and fluid and very alpha. To fine-tune the character's movement, "I started thinking about the most confident people I knew, and that led me to rock stars and that led me to Mick Jaggerand that led me to steal his body language from that music video he did with David Bowie to 'Dancing in the Street.
Pretty calculated for a kid who first fell in love with movies at the age of 15 when he was working at Blockbuster. Unlike some year-olds, Gavaris is pretty clear-eyed about what he wants and doesn't want from his career.
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In fact, on this particular day, Gavaris is wearing a very un-Felix-like steel gray suit, white shirt and tie, his hair neatly combed, his eyes free of Felix's eyeliner. No one was more surprised than Gavaris when "Orphan Black" became an instant hit, although he did know both the show and his role were special.
I loved the characters and figured it would pay the rent. He almost lost the part of Felix during the audition process. In fact, technically he did lose it, at first.
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They paired him with Tatiana and sparks were going to fly," he said. There was no chemistry. Gavaris had another shot at the role and went off with Maslany to rehearse before the final audition.
We were Felix and Sarah. It was magic. Magic is something that Gavaris learned to look for in his career a few years ago when he was hired for a role in a small independent film.
At first, it was a job and he was grateful for it, until his first time on set and something clicked at the end of a very long night of filming. We had been shooting all night and it was dawn, and I was standing at the base of a hill and I had this bizarre out of body experience that took me back to a May 24 Victoria Day weekend in Canada.
This character, he's not a different person - he's a different side of me.
He's the side of me that feels very awkward on the first day of school. It's that side.
It's what I do in that situation. He may not play a clone on "Orphan Black," but he plans to put his own different sides to good use for years to come.
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