Based on Kass Morgan’s novel and developed by Jason Rothenberg, The 100 chronicles survivors of a devastating nuclear war who have taken refuge aboard the “Ark,” a space station orbiting the Earth. Forced to reduce their population due to ever dwindling resources, Ark leaders eventually resort to “floating” (killing) anyone committing a crime. Juvenile offenders (those under 18) are imprisoned, even for minor infractions. The series begins when 100 juveniles deemed “expendable” are sent to Earth to test its habitability. The first half of the series is essentially Lord of the Flies meets Lost. The second half will unify the 100s as they confront the Grounders (survivors of the initial nuclear holocaust).
The 100 stars Eliza Taylor (Clarke) and Bob Morley (Bellamy) as the series’ earthbound de facto leaders; Thomas McDonell (Finn) as Clarke’s initial crush; Devon Bostick (Jasper) as the hapless tech nerd who bravely rescues the reckless Marie Avgeropoulos (Octavia); the tough, tech savvy Lindsey Morgan (Raven); Paige Turco (Abby), the Ark’s chief scientist; and Isaiah Washington (Jaha) the Ark’s chancellor. In this roundtable interview, stars Bob Morley and Devon Bostick reveal the challenges and rewards that come with bringing The 100 to eager fans.
So, Bellamy is a bad ass and gets into a lot of trouble.
Bob Morely: He’s a great character to play and to play around with.
Is that what drew you to the script?
BM: When I read the pilot, which I thought was great, I really wanted to play Bellamy. He was cool and I like playing the bad guy. Bellamy has an edge and that’s what drew me to the script. As the series progressed, they’ve allowed me to explore his psyche. I can get really involved in the character, which is exactly what you want in a job, a character that’s stimulating, and Bellamy definitely does that for me.
Bellamy is also defined by three primary female relationships—Clark, Octavia and now Raven. He’s being pulled in all different directions.
BM: True. In episode 6, we were introduced to another strong female character that defined who he is as a person. Having to look after his sister for his entire life is a responsibility no other kid on the Ark had to deal with. It’s the only way he’s learned to look after and protect someone. So that relationship is very different from the one he has with Clarke. And Raven is just so sassy. He can’t really do anything with her. She does whatever she wants. I think she’s a really cool character and Bellamy thinks so too. Let’s not forget that Bellamy is maybe six years older than the other kids. So his perception may be a bit different when it comes to romance. He’s a bit older, but it doesn’t mean he’s above it.
They all challenge you, yet they follow you because you’re the tough guy.
BM: I found it so funny when I read the scripts, that all these minions can’t have an opinion that this guy’s an idiot. Can’t anyone see that? I always feel bad about that, and about Bellamy’s little henchmen, because it never ends well for them. He really doesn’t have many guy friends.
Where do you see your character going? How will he change?
BM: The show just becomes so expansive. The world really opens up. There’s the external battle with the elements and his internal battles. But I think Bellamy really matures internally. He has to look within himself because he’s always seen himself as a monster. Those kind of demons come back to haunt him, and he has to face them at some point. Once that comes out, he’ll have a different perspective of the world, and his role as one of the leaders in the group. The world gets bigger in every episode and sometimes I wonder, how the hell are they going to do this?
(Devon Bostick joins us)
We hated to see you being dragged through that jungle.
Devon Bostick: Yeah, it was a lot of head bumping, rocks and mud. But it was fun. You gotta get down and dirty on this show.
Have you and Richard been comparing notes on who suffers the most?
DB: I saw Richard go through some serious stuff—like when he was being hung, the mud was actually manure. So he was literally being dragged through shit. It was disgusting. I had to go home, take a shower and watch a light-hearted comedy. You see stuff on the show that’s just ridiculous. I got speared in the chest, punched in the face, big bruise on my eye. I’m just trying to stay alive. But I’m happy to have a bruise. As long as it’s not another spear, I’m good.
So what’s happing next with Jasper?
DB: Jasper’s going on another wild excursion with Bellamy—to find Octavia. He overcomes his fear, because he has to, since he loves her so much. He doesn’t really care about death anymore, because she’s out there and she means so much to him. He’s got to have her back. For him, there’s no point in living if she’s gone. So we see him face the fear he’s been bottling up since he got speared and releasing it into the forest. He has this sort of mental breakdown due to post-traumatic stress and a lot of anger in being stressed. He’s tired of being afraid and living in fear. He lets that out, saying, if you’re going to spear me, do it—I’m tired of being terrified. So he goes through that. And later, he’ll have to step up and fight the good fight to protect what’s his, and to defend the base from dangers both inside and out.
How do you get into the emotional aspects of the role?
DB: It’s interesting. I love where we work in the rainforest of Vancouver. It’s so beautiful but you’re really in it—the environment you’d be in as a survivor. And that really helps you kind of ease into that world. I like to do things on the fly. I’m like Jasper. I like to try something different.
Is Jasper “team Bellamy” now that he’s hooking up with Octavia?
DB: We’ll see a bond between Bellamy and Jasper. They both have this drive to protect Octavia and that will bring them together a little bit. And since Bellamy is such a commanding guy, Jasper and the others will realize they need him when times get really dark. But Japer’s definitely “team Clarke” for moral reasons. She obviously has the human race’s best interest at heart.
Jasper’s a likeable guy. We’re always rooting for him.
DB: He likes everyone. Just don’t spear him again.
Do you think you’d take the risks your character takes in the same situation?
DB: I think so. I love Jasper because he uses logic. He’s afraid, as he should be. But when he does take action, it’s for the right reason, and I think that’s something I’d do too. He’s always got someone’s interest at heart, which makes him kind of stupidly courageous, in that he goes into a Grounder-filled jungle. I think I’d follow his footsteps. They‘re logical and based on emotion and caring for people.
Will we get a backstory that reveals why Jasper is the way he is?
DB: I don’t think we’ll see his full backstory yet. His drive is for Octavia and she represents kind of what he wants to be. She’s wild and does whatever she wants, and that impresses and excites Jasper. He wants to be part of her world. Most motivations are for the girl and that’s all he really has. He grew up in a prison cell, and we’ll see their first interaction on the Ark later on in the show.
What do you think about Raven? She’s not part of the original group sent down for “criminal reasons.”
DB: I don’t know if Jasper has anything against Raven or feelings about her. The fact that Raven’s down now turns Jasper’s attention to how Finn is doing, more so that Raven’s presence. Jasper’s thinking, so, dude, you got two girls now—what do you do? Jasper regards Finn as this sort of rock star, since Finn was a space walker and you use a lot of oxygen to do that. Anytime Finn’s around, he’s kind of star struck but keeping it cool.
Do you see the scripts ahead of time? Are you allowed some leeway?
DB: It depends. Sometimes we get them a week before, other times, two days before. If the scripts don’t feel comfortable, the writers are accommodating. If it just sounds stupid, we’ll say, Jason, can we cut this line?