One of our stops during San Diego Comic-Con took us to the exclusive press room for the CW’s hit post-apocalyptic drama The 100. After the explosive season 2 finale back in March, I knew from the get-go I had to ask Eliza Taylor about how Clarke was going to cope with what she did and what it meant to the rest of the cast. With the blonde protagonist out on her own for the foreseeable future, season 3 is set to open in a dramatic way. And according both the cast and Executive Producer Jason Rothenberg, we’re going to learn more about why the apocalypse happened, see new locations, and characters that are new to the show.
First up we spoke with Eliza Taylor who plays Clarke Griffin.
How long do you expect Clarke to be on her own?
Eliza Taylor: I reckon it’ll be a few episodes at least. She’s got a lot of stuff to work through. I definitely think she’s on her own mission for the foreseeable future.
Did the finale of season 2 shock you as much as it did her?
ET: Yeah. I mean it’s pretty crazy. She’s come such a long way from where she started. Shooting that scene at the end of season 2 where we kill a whole lot of people, that was really tough on me.
Do you think she will have a chance to redeem herself during season 3 from that kind of blow?
ET: Oh yeah. It’s Clarke, she gets through anything she sets her mind to.
Do you think she’ll forgive Lexa or do you think she already did?
ET: She definitely hasn’t. I don’t think she’s worked through that at all. I think that when Lexa left, she was like, “Right, not going to think about it, not going to get emotional. Time to kill a whole bunch of people and take care of business first.”
How did you feel about playing such a strong bisexual character and did you always think she was bisexual?
ET: I didn’t. It’s so funny. We get to play out a world where there is no gay, bi, anything. It’s just people loving people, so it makes sense to me. I’m very proud to represent a little bit.
How much do they tell you about what to expect for your character.
ET: They’ve told me a bit. But, they like to cap it at two episodes and then keep us guessing. We are only ever two steps ahead. Which is cool because I think if we know too much, you think about it too much and it’s not natural.
What would you like to see for Clarke this season?
ET: I would like to see her go on her own little adventure, get a little bit crazy, lose her mind a little bit. I think that would be really fun to play. I think she needs to resolve this stuff with Lexa. That’s the only way for her to really move forward.
What’s been one of your favorite moments to play?
ET: I’d have to say I really loved episode 7 of season one, where I had to perform surgery on Finn. That was really intense and I learned a lot medically and otherwise. Apart from that, the scene in the finale with Ray, who played Dante, in the control room where I shoot him. It was really sad, but was full on fun.
Next, we chatted with Ricky Whittle who plays the role of Lincoln.
What excites you most about season 3?
Ricky Whittle: We’re going to go very sci-fi this season—more so than the previous two. We’re going to have two worlds that run in tangent, as we always did. We had space and the woods, and then we had the mountain and the woods. This season we’ve got the AI story, so we’ve got Murphy and Jaha getting up to all sorts of shenanigans. That’s going to open up a whole new perception of the world and what has happened. We’re going to investigate into the history and why we’re in the apocalyptic world. So, what ended it all basically, how did it end, and why did it end.
Meanwhile back in the woods, times are tough for the grounders and the sky people. Nothing’s really changed there. They were betrayed at the end of last season—friendships will be frosty. More lives will be lost, no doubt. We’re going to investigate more into the politics. We’re going to find out that there’s more of a civilization there than we first thought. They don’t necessarily just live in trees. We’re going to see more environments and learn more about other factions that we’ve touched upon like the ice nation and possibly even the boat people. There will be a lot of new characters coming through.
Who is the biggest joker on the set?
RW: Me. I’m a big joker but I have to admit the biggest child on set is Henry Ian Cusick (Councillor Marcus Kane). You expect it from me because I always mess around. He’s so professional. He’s an older gentleman and is very civilized and trained [but] he’s the biggest kid on set. He will not keep a straight face, he’ll say stupid stuff in your ear when you’re trying to say your lines. And you’re like, “you can’t say that. You’re a grown man! What are you doing to me?” He likes to throw hand grenades in there and just mess up your stuff while his stuff great and he kills it.
Do you have any funny stories from your time on set?
RW: Marie Avgeropoulos is a naughty girl and ran around with a little hose and while people were doing scenes she would wet their groin so you would have a wet groin while you were doing the scene. We were hoping that it was dark enough in the scene that the fans wouldn’t notice.
After that we talked to Marie Avgeropoulos who plays Octavia Blake.
What excites you most about the third season? What’s going on with your character?
Marie Avgeropoulos: I’m just excited to put on that warrior outfit again. It makes me feel good.
Did you go a little primal?
MA: Yeah, Octavia definitely went a little primal in season 2 in comparison to the young girl that stepped off the ship in season 1. She’s had one of the most dramatic character changes and arcs on television and its been such an honor to play her. It’s like playing two different people.
Do you think Octavia feels like she has a home with the grounders or that she’s feeling misplaced after the season, like she’s not sure where her home is?
MA: Yeah. Octavia’s always been such a black sheep character because she never really had a chance to begin with. To find out who she was, being the second child, with a one child rule on the ship and being locked up her whole life? It sucks. She’s always going to be resentful to the sky people I think and with Lincoln she really found her place on earth which was with the grounders. She found her inner strength and her place within the pecking order of things.
Now that she’s with Lincoln do you think her strongest alliance is still with Bellamy or is she wavering between Bellamy and Lincoln?
MA: Yeah. She’s not a sky person and not necessarily a grounder anymore but will always be a Blake and that will never change. She’s got that special relationship and is the only one from Sky Crew that has a sibling.
We heard a story that you squirted water on your co-stars.
MA: To make everything look slimy and gross in the caves they had these spritzers and so every time Henry and Cusack would go and say really serious lines I would walk up behind them and spray their crotches with it to make it look like they peed their pants. I need one standing by at all times.
Do you have any future prank plans?
MA: Yeah but I can’t spoil them! Absolutely. In the winter time we throw snowballs at each other. We’re locked in the woods for 18 hours a day with no cellphone service. We can’t even contact anyone other than each other.
What was your favorite moment that Octavia had last season?
MA: Definitely the Octavia and Theo fight where she gets her ass fed to her over and over again. I did that entire fight myself and got to learn how to really master that sword and kick butt. I felt like I was shooting Braveheart all of a sudden.
What do you think is coming up for Octavia?
MA: She’s finally found her place with the grounders. She’s worked really hard for that place so I hope it’s not suddenly taken away from her, because then I don’t really understand what her purpose in the group would be
Do you think that Octavia and Lincoln’s relationship is pretty strong at this point or do you foresee some large hurdles?
MA: So far I think this has been the longest lasting relationship other than the one between Octavia and Bellamy, but that will never change with them being family. They just constantly make these immense sacrifices for one another on the show that can’t really be compromised, so that love will always be there. In season three you are going to see them at odds with one another. She has to remind him where he came from. He puts on an article of clothing and it reminds her of something.
Then we talked to Isaiah Washington who plays Chancellor Jaha.
What’s coming up this season?
Isaiah Washington: Everything. More people, more blood, more characters, new characters: very tall, magical looking characters. I want Jaha to look significantly different. My goal is to have him look completely different from where he began to the look he has in the second season. What you see will be completely different for the third season, and hopefully completely different and so on and so on until he can’t write for the character anymore.
Do you see Jaha abandoning his core principles next season? Is there going to be some fallout for leaving Murphy behind?
IW: Have you looked at social media? People are still mad at Jaha for leaving Murphy behind. I get the Tweets. Man I’m like, “It’s a character guys. I love Richard Harmon.”
Why do post apocalyptic shows resonate so well with audiences?
IW: I think we have an opportunity fortunately or unfortunately put up a mirror to where we are right now. Unfortunately every year, there is some inhumane incident that we’ll all have to deal with in our global society and in America that we’re not, as a human, being necessarily proud of how we can be so cruel. What I think this show does so well, is wow, if we don’t get ourselves together now then potentially 100 years from now we’re going to have to do it all over again and it’s going to be worse.
Is this the toughest show you’ve ever worked on?
IW: Yes. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever loved. Technically as an actor it allows me the fortunate opportunity to be creative at the highest level of my intellect as well as physically, and emotionally. I don’t like being an actor that feels like he’s out of control. I think restraint, particularly for Jaha, is more interesting than just breaking bad so to speak. It’s like, when is he going to burst? It’s a lot. We’ve explored that with his mental obstacles when he was on the ark, dealing with the loss of his son or not. My character Jaha is going to continue to go even more internal. Visually everything is going to very fun, but different.
Finally, we talked to executive producer Jason Rothenberg.
Are we outside the books now?
JR: We’ve been outside the books since the pilot. We don’t really pay attention to the story in the books. I feel like they’re totally different mediums and the book is good for what it is. The truth is that when I wrote the pilot, there was no book yet. There was a book proposal. I read the idea and some of the character biographies and then I created the story that I wanted to tell. So, because of that we were sort of on our own course from the beginning.
What can we expect from the first episode?
JR: The first episode is definitely different for us. We introduced this character of Ally the A.I. last season, and that story line is dominant this season. We have two dueling A stories, one is the continuing grounder/sky people conflict and we’ll go deeper into that world. We’ll understand various clans a lot better and how they came to form a coalition, where that’s going and the sort of climax of that. And then, we’ll have the Ally/A.I. story where we’ll shine a light on how we got here and how the world became post-apocalyptic. It’s essentially an origin story. We’re going to understand a lot about how we got here.
Was it your goal to push Clarke past her own morality?
JR: Yeah, the theme of season two was, “how dark can you go and still be a good guy?” When your goals and what you want is morally good—which is to save your people—can you go too far to get that done? I knew from the beginning that that was what was going to happen. She was going to have to come up to that point where [she’s asking herself], “can I kill all of these people?” Many of whom were helping them, hiding them, kids etc. She obviously did it and now she’ll be dealing with it, and thats why she left. She realizes that as she said, “I bear it so they don’t have to.” She has all of that horror she’s responsible for: she’s a big hero to everybody she’s saved, but sees herself as a monster. so I did always intend to push her a lot.
Do you have plans to explore PTSD or how these characters are coping after what happened last season?
JR: We’re definitely going to tell a PTSD story, almost at large. If you think about it, the people on the ground from the ark who have it the best experienced a crash landing in a space ship in space. If you are in a plane crash, that haunts you forever. Every single person was in a plane crash times ten. We’ll see that manifest in different ways with different characters. We’ve done some research into PTSD, the way that soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and the stages with that. Certain characters will feel it more than others.
Are you excited to check out season 3 of The 100? Let us know in the comments below.