« The 100, » which is more like 90 now with all the deaths they’ve experienced so far this season, may be losing a fan favorite on tonight’s episode when Clarke (Eliza Taylor) is tasked with saving Finn’s (Thomas McDonell) life. The problem is she needs her mother’s (Paige Turco) help. That means that Raven (Lindsey Morgan) has to fix the radio to make contact with the Ark, but since Raven is Finn’s girlfriend, she has a whole lot of motivation to do so.
Examiner.com sat down with Eliza Taylor at the recent WonderCon roundtables for « The 100 » in Anaheim, Calif. to talk about her character, the triangle with Clarke, Raven and Finn, her relationship with her mother, and what we can expect in the finale.
Clarke is a take-charge character and she gets flak for it. Do you want to see a point where Clarke’s decisions get less flak?
Eliza Taylor: When I first signed up for the show, I was really worried that I was going to be that character that people would [she moans], because she’s so serious and wants to get things done. The rest of the characters have a bit of a sense of humor about them. But the response has actually been really great. I’m really happy about that. Something that I did kind of fear I now really love about her. I think that she should keep that mentality. She’s the only one on the show who really has it. She’s kind of holding it together. So, yeah, I’m all for it. It’s nice when I get a scene where I smile, it’s amazing. I’m like, « Oh, my God. She laughs in this scene! » That just doesn’t happen very often. It makes it more special.
We see a lot of her as a leader and she has a head on her shoulders. We see a different side of her with Finn. We are seeing it, too, with Bellamy (Bob Morley). What else can we expect from her?
Eliza: I love the cheeky scenes with both Finn and Bellamy. I think there’s some great moments because [Clarke and Bellamy] obviously don’t like each other, but they respect each other. They don’t care what either one thinks about the other, so they can say really mean things and it’s kind of funny, I think, to watch for the audience. And then Finn definitely gets to see the lighter side of Clarke, that’s about as light as she gets in this series. Doing Episodes 4 and 5 was really fun to show a softer side.
Can you talk about Clarke’s relationship with Finn going forward? It is a triangle now that Raven — his girlfriend from the Ark — is down on the ground.
Eliza: There is a lot going on. Clarke’s whole mentality is, « I can compartmentalize. I can put this whole situation in a box, put it away and just get back to survival mode, » which is what the show is really about. I think you see her certainly struggling with these feelings she has, but she’s very good at putting it away to deal with what’s at hand like the Grounders and radiation. There’s a lot more of that.
Her best friend Wells [Eli Goree] just was killed, but before he died, he revealed to her that it was her mother, not he, who turned in her father to Jaha (Isaiah Washington). Can you talk about her relationship with her mother as a result?
Eliza: It’s a complicated relationship with her mother. I think the writers have found a very clever way of establishing some sort of communication and seeing how both are feeling about the whole situation. I think it would be silly to see them make up so soon. It’s such a heavy situation; her dad’s dead because of her mom. Ouch! You’re definitely going to see a struggle between the two and, hopefully, some good communication as well.
And, yet, her father might have been one of the volunteers in the 320 people who chose death so their families could live.
Eliza: Yeah. Absolutely. I just watched Episode 5 — that whole volunteering situation — and cried. I was, « I was there. I saw this being filmed. » But, I was bawling my eyes out.
How much does the show keep up with the shocking twists the rest of the season?
Eliza: I don’t know how they do it, but they definitely keep it up. Every episode is a roller coaster ride. There are so many twists and turns. I am so excited for everyone else to put the pieces together and see where it goes… I love getting the scripts every week. It is so cool to work on a show where I care about the character and want to know what happens next.
You mentioned she is able to compartmentalize. Might things get so intense that she will not be able to continue to compartmentalize things as the show goes on?
Eliza: Yeah, I think it gets messy, definitely, which is great. It was so much fun to play. They were very clever in the way they did this because we started the series all clean and pretty and pale, and then we got dirty, sweaty and bloody. The whole thing, you see the characters sort of emotionally breakdown, but it’s linked with this whole look being broken down throughout the episodes. I think they were very clever in doing that and it definitely helped me as an actor.
In the first episode, they were trying to get to the cache of food stored on the mountain, but were prevented from getting there. What can you say about how they are doing survival-wise between now and the finale?
Eliza: There’s a very cool episode coming up — I want to say Episode 8 — where something happens with the whole food situation and they come across something that could be fatal. There’s a lot of hunting and berry picking. I would die. I would be starving.
What can you tease about the finale?
Eliza: The finale is epic. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m really excited to see it. What I like about it is it’s two parts. The two episodes together are like a feature film of their own, which is so cool. I don’t even know what to say. The biggest twist yet is coming for sure, so stay tuned.
Is there a big cliffhanger?
Eliza: Yeah. There is. It’s crazy. I want to tell you, but I can’t. It’s insane. I’m really excited to see how it turned out.
« The 100 » airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
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