Orphan Black: Echoes' Krysten Ritter Talks Clone Club's Newest Chapter

The Orphan Black spinoff series offers a new take on identity.

Seven years after Orphan Black drew to a close, the series' "galaxy of women" is about to continue in a new way, thanks to the spinoff series Orphan Black: Echoes. Set decades into the future, the AMC and BBC America series follows a new conspiracy surrounding human cloning, and the impact it has on the lives of various people. At the center of Echoes is Lucy, a woman with a mysterious past tied to said conspiracy, who is brought to life by Jessica Jones and Breaking Bad alum Krysten Ritter.

In anticipation of the series premiere of Orphan Black: Echoes, ComicBook chatted with Ritter about continuing the next evolution of the beloved franchise. We also spoke about Ritter's dynamic with co-star Amanda Fix, the influence Jessica Jones had on her performance as Jules, and so much more.


(Photo: AMC, BBC America)

ComicBook: What was your connection to the original Orphan Black? Did you watch it as it was airing, or did you catch up on it once Echoes was in the works?

Krysten Ritter: I watched the show when it was out ten years ago, because of Tatiana Maslany and her performance and how epic she was. She was always nominated, and so I was aware of it then.

It really feels like Orphan Black's themes of agency and body autonomy are even more important now than when the original show aired. How important was it for you, both as the actor and as the executive producer, to tackle that in this new way in Echoes?

Yeah, I think it was an exciting opportunity for me, as an actress, to play a character who doesn't feel the way she's supposed to feel, doesn't have the memories that she's supposed to have. It really is a big study of identity, and nature versus nurture, and love, and 'How deep does that go?' and 'How does that play out?' All of that stuff was what was so appealing to me, when the role came my way.

Without getting too into spoilers, I really, really loved the Lucy and Jules dynamic. It blew me away. What was it like to work with Amanda, and be these mirrors of each other in such a unique way?

I absolutely adore Amanda, and I loved our days on set together — which, there were a lot of them. I always had her next to me. We were always just gabbing, gabbing, gabbing. She's so smart. She actually came to her chemistry read with me wearing a black wig. The sort of physical, obvious resemblance to what I looked like when I was 15, I loved that decision that she made. I felt like it was so ballsy, and it was something I probably would've done. I was so sold on her, and it was exciting working with an actress who is starting her career around the same time I did. She's already got a lot of credits, but I started acting at 23, and when I was starting out, girls were always in short skirts and heels, and that was just how it was. So for me, I had a real kind of sit back, perspective moment and it was a kind of emotional, getting to see her start her career in a completely different world. She's wearing baggy clothes and dressed like Billie Eilish and looks so cool, and that just wouldn't have been how things were when I started acting 100 years ago. So there was just something, I just had such a strong affinity for her. I'm so excited for her. I'm so proud of her. She's so smart. She leans in, she has ideas that are good, and she just kind of reminded me of me when I was young. It was very easy to act with her, and just a natural rapport, because I felt like that connection to her. She's a special actress, for sure.

What would you say surprised you the most about the experience of working on this season?

Well, on a personal level, I was by myself with my son in another country. I'm really proud of us. It was such a big adventure. It was really hard and also really exciting, and we have so many amazing memories together. Like, "Mama going to work and doing her TV show," and bringing my kid and doing it all. And then working all day, and then getting home to my real job, which is mother. It was a very big adventure for me, personally.

What do you hope fans take away from the season once it has all aired? 

I hope people enjoy the show. I hope that the fans of the original spot and find and appreciate all of the Easter eggs. But also, I think it's something that will be fun for totally new audiences that haven't seen the original, because I think the show is its own thing and stands on its own as a fun ride.

Even though there are such fundamentally different characters, were there any ways that playing Jessica Jones helped prepare you for playing Lucy?

When you're number one on the call sheet, especially with something like Jessica Jones, it's a machine. You're getting to flex your muscles in such a big way, and you really learn, on the production side, and how to make your days, and all of that. So that, of course, informs anytime I go to set now. I knew that there was a stunt sequence in the first episode and I was like, "Yeah, I'll be okay. I'll be okay for that stuff." And I love it. I love doing stunts, and so I got to do them so much, obviously, on Jessica Jones, and those were always such exciting, exhilarating, thrilling days. So getting to do that here, too, was really fun for me.

Orphan Black: Echoes will premiere on Sunday, June 23rd on AMC, AMC+, and BBC America.