Another season of Orphan Black wraps up this weekend, and one character who has truly developed into his own suit in the process is Alison’s suburban hubby Donnie, played by Kristian Bruun. The once-monitor, accidental killer and novice drug dealer has been slowly but steadily reaching out to his mojo, even if that has resulted in a couple of punches to the face and a close shave of getting his nose cut off by a paper trimmer. The thrill of dealing pills around the neighbourhood seems to have worked great for both Donnie and Alison’s marriage, serving it up as comic relief from other sorts of clone drama. He has, in fact, become the fun ‘weekend dad’, a companion to Tatiana Maslany when she is not involved with Sarah’s mission, Rachel’s rehabilitation or Cosima’s illness. There is more than meets the eye to Kristian Bruun than just being Donnie Hendrix. Even though it has immortalized him through a series of comics and gifts, we have come to know quite a few things about the Toronto-based actor through an extended conversation. Here’s ten things about him:-
1. He almost didn’t audition for Orphan Black
In 2012, during the casting call for the first season by BBC America, Bruun was starring in a British play called Eigengrau. The auditions for Donnie were held during tech week, meaning extra work before the opening of the play, so Bruun told his agent to cancel all auditions for that week. Fortunately for him, nobody fitting was found for the part in the first round. When the role came across his agent’s desk again, Orphan Black had begun production on episode 2 already. Eigengrau had already opened, and Kristian had his schedule free! After confirming the audition right before an evening performance, he had only a couple of hours to learn three scenes before the audition, including the infamous glue gun scene from episode 6. He credits the play for getting him in ‘good acting shape’ and getting the role on the spot.
2. He loses weight between seasons
While the play may have conditioned him to be in good acting shape, he had to gain almost 15 pounds to portray his role of the ‘fat bloke’. This was his weight when he was booked to be “schlubby” Donnie, never realizing that he had committed to that body type for years. So, after each season, he hits the gym to get rid of his ”Donnie boobs”, though he does admit that it gets harder with age, yet finds the Paleo diet to be extremely effective.