June 11, 2024
Press Releases

Krysten Ritter Talks Challenging New Role in Orphan Black: Echoes in June emmy Magazine

Set in the year 2052, the sci-fi thriller Orphan Black: Echoes stars Krysten Ritter as a clone with attitude. Emmy talks with the highly regarded actress about what made her say yes to the AMC series and how her previous work playing tough characters prepared her for the role. The award-winning official publication of the Television Academy is on sale June 13. 

Ritter's road to fame was unconventional. The actress grew up on a working beef farm in Pennsylvania. "I'm so proud of being from a small town and being from a farm," she says. "You don't meet very many people in Hollywood with those kinds of beginnings." At 15 she was scouted by Elite Models at a local mall and traded farming for modeling overseas. Young, ambitious and already planning for a career beyond modeling, she was determined to get the acting division of her agency to notice her. "I'd find any excuse to walk by their door and go [in an exuberantly cheerful voice] 'Hey! How are you?'" Eventually her persistence paid off, and when an agent offered to send her on auditions for commercials, a Wendy's spot changed the trajectory of her life.

After a series of roles that Ritter describes as "ditzy girls with short skirts and high heels," the actress made a name for herself in Hollywood by playing amoral Chloe in the ABC sitcom Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23; recovering drug addict Jane Margolis on AMC's Breaking Bad; and a complicated onetime superheroine in the Netflix series Jessica Jones. It's no surprise that when casting began for the role of Lucy in Orphan Black: Echoes, a spinoff of the sci-fi thriller Orphan Black (premiering June 23 on AMC, AMC+ and BBC America), Ritter's name was on everyone's lips. When showrunner Anna Fishko began rewatching her previous work, "I felt like there was a lot of overlap there — in a good way — to what we were looking for in Lucy," Fishko says. "Krysten's had a long career of playing tough but also vulnerable women who have an emotional center."

In the cover story "Black to the Future," Ritter shares that she said yes to Echoes not because it was in her wheelhouse, but because it felt like a challenge. The role required her to learn American Sign Language and Spanish and revive her Jessica Jones stunt skills. "Lucy's really good at so much stuff. That was exciting and terrifying at the same time, and that fear was really appealing to me," said Ritter.

Orphan Black: Echoes leaps 37 years into the future from the original series and has its own distinctive story line. "I'm a different kind of clone from the original," says Ritter, whose character is suffering from what was initially mistaken for amnesia. "They're making human printouts from super high-def 3D scans. So, I was printed at age 34 and wake up with a glitch, because I don't know anything." The actress earned praise from her cast and crew. "She's a really unique performer," says John Fawcett, who directed three Echoes episodes and cocreated the original Orphan Black with Graeme Manson. "She's not going to make conventional decisions. When a performer like Krysten is allowed to be open and free, you get interesting results, and a lot of that winds up on the screen. That's what's so cool about her. She's quirky, different, unexpected."

When she's not busy on set, caring for her young son or knitting (she graced the cover of Vogue Knitting magazine in 2018), Ritter is directing (The Girl in the Woods) or writing novels, including the 2017 psychological thriller Bonfire.

Additional feature highlights from the new issue include:

  • As the latest installment of executive producer Ryan Murphy's Feud anthology, Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans, tackles author Truman Capote's devastating high-society tell-all and his subsequent fall from grace, the show's creators and cast — including Tom Hollander, who plays Capote, and iconic actresses Calista Flockhart, Diane Lane, Demi Moore, Molly Ringwald, Chloe Sevigny and Naomi Watts — talk to emmy about bringing the scandalous saga to life in "Côte Tales."
  • In "Lie of the Land" emmy talks to the producers of Peacock's hit reality competition series The Traitors, which in season two brought 22 reality stars to Ardross Castle in the Scottish Highlands for a contest to discover which were "traitors" and which were "faithfuls." Hosted by Alan Cumming, the show is the top unscripted series in the United States across all streaming platforms.
  • In the stunning pictorial, "Private Lives," the stars of Showtime's historical limited series Fellow Travelers, Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey, share their insights on adapting novelist Thomas Mallon's sweeping story of two men who must keep their love a secret during the Lavender Scare of the 1950s.

About emmy
Emmy, the official publication of the Television Academy, goes behind the scenes of the industry for a unique insider's view. With wide-ranging, inclusive subjects representative of the Television Academy membership and the medium as a whole, emmy showcases the scope of television and profiles the people who make it happen, from the stars of top shows and artisans behind the cameras, to programming trends and technological advances. Honored with dozens of awards for editorial excellence, emmy is published 12 times per year and is available on selected newsstands and at TelevisionAcademy.com for single print and digital copies as well as subscriptions.

Download the press release here

For issue/coverage contacts:
Stephanie Goodell

breakwhitelight for the Television Academy

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