Actor Vas Saranga steps into the final season of “Orphan Black.” His role as Amar is part of a pivotal storyline that fans are looking forward to seeing. This super talented actor/director can also be seen in the new CBS thriller called “Salvation,” and the second season of the critically acclaimed Starz series “The Girlfriend Experience.” Vas knew he was going to be an actor. Born in Calgary and raised in Toronto, he was a high school filmmaker who earned multiple awards for his short films, and before knew it, he had landed lead roles. He is best known for “American Pie Presents: Beta House” opposite Eugene Levy, Teletoon’s live-action animation hybrid “Mudpit,” “Flashpoint,” “The Strain,” and the feature film “Little Italy” starring alongside Hayden Christensen and Emma Roberts.
Colleen Bement: “Orphan Black” is one of the most brilliant shows on TV right now. What can you share about your experience filming the final season?
Vas Saranga: Stepping into the final season with a recurring role was an incredible experience. It was surreal being a fan of the show; seeing how amazing the previous four seasons, and the critical acclaim and the awards recognition. I had auditioned many times for different roles and I finally landed the perfect role. One that I think really challenged me physically and emotionally, and I got to perform scenes with Tatiana Maslany; every actor’s dream. The character I’m playing is Amar. He appears in a pivotal storyline in the final season at a Neolutionist camp called Revival. He’s a hunter and dog tracker in charge of two Dobermans. He’s dispatched along with his two hunting party mates to track down people who have left this camp, and the founder of Neolution wants to bring back. He’s working with dark forces but as we’ve seen in the first episode of this new season, he’s sort of one of those characters that questions some of the things that are happening around him. I think the fans of the show are going to enjoy my character’s arch, and relate to the character of Amar who started on the bad side, but there’s a long road ahead.
It was actually a very physical role. There was a lot of running with two 80 pound Dobermans who are running a full speed through the woods on rough terrain. John Fawcett’s directing, and he’s on this camera rigged on wheels that are on all-terrain wheels just bounding along-side and capturing all these shots through long lenses. There are two or three cameras shooting at the same time, and a ton of crew members and fog and light and all kinds of crazy stuff going on. The experience of filming it is very much like watching it.
CB: Are there other projects in the works that you are allowed to share about?
VS: I play a recurring role in the new CBS thriller called “Salvation” it’s coming out on July 12th. It;s a show about an asteroid that’s on course to collide with the Earth in six months’ time, and this is a secret found out by an MIT grad student and billionaire genius. They bring this discovery to the Pentagon and they have to figure out how to stop it from destroying the Earth. I play Dexter, a Pentagon analyst who’s right along for the ride. He’s a very, very smart scientific character who advises a lot of the leads with situational updates and the mathematics and science behind the asteroid and its collision course with the Earth. It’s a great cast and a really engaging story, and I think it’s going to do really well.
I’m going to appear in the second season of “The Girlfriend Experience” which is a critically acclaimed show on Starz. It’s something really different this season with an entirely new storyline and a new cast. It still deals with some of the same themes and dives into the world of escorts, but this time takes a political angle. It’s set in the world of Washington super packs. They are lobbying to raise money for political campaigns and the main character of Erica Myles and gets involved in the world of high-priced escorts. My character Tim works with her at the political action committee. It’s going to be really interesting to watch because I think it’s six or seven episodes of each story, and they’re going to air each story back to back.
CB: Are you a big sci-fi or comics fan?
VS: Absolutely. I love genre TV. Right now I’m really big into “Wynona Erp;” actually my younger brother is on the show, and I love “Killjoy” and “Dark Matter.” I’m a big DC and Marvel buff too. I grew up on comics but grew up on the cartoons and the movies. I’m watching all the Netflix shows and all the stuff in the DC verse on the CW. This is a great time to be a comic book fan or a superhero fan. I got into “The Walking Dead’ pretty late, but I’m pretty into it right now. Actually, it was my dad who was the one got me into “The Walking Dead.” Sometimes I try to visit him on Sunday night, and try to talk to him and then “The Walking Dead” comes on he’d push me out of the way. LOL. You wanna talk? Talk during the commercials.
CB: I saw that you adopted your Calico cat and Yorkie. I’ve adopted all of my pets. Tell us about the Happy Tails Rescue organization.
VS: Happy Tails is a rescue organization in Ontario specifically for small breeds. They rescue these dogs and put them into foster care. They vet potential owners very closely, and they try to really match the owners with the best fit for adoption. We’re so happy that they posted their new dogs up for adoption on Facebook and Instagram. We first adopted our cat; she’s 8 and half years old. Lola is her name; she’s a Calico and we absolutely love her. We always wanted a dog and “adopt don’t shop” and so actually adopted a senior dog. He was 10 years old when we adopted him, and everybody thinks he’s a puppy. He’s amazing. The second he saw us he fell in love with us, and he’s on my lap right now. It just feels really good to give a home to an animal that wouldn’t have one otherwise, and every day it brings me joy that he can live a good life.