On the new CW drama series The 100, a nuclear Armageddon decimated planet Earth and destroyed civilization, and the only survivors were the 400 inhabitants of 12 international space stations that were in orbit, at the time. Ninety seven years later, the survivors now number 4,000 and resources are running out on their dying Ark. To protect the survival of the human race, the leaders take ruthless steps to ensure their future, including secretly sending a group of 100 juvenile prisoners to the Earth’s surface to test whether it’s habitable again. The series stars Paige Turco, Isaiah Washington, Henry Ian Cusick, Eliza Taylor, Thomas McDonell, Bob Morley, Eli Goree, Marie Avgeropoulos, Christopher Larkin and Devon Bostick.
During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, Bostick talked about how he came to the show, that his character did actually die in the pilot before they changed their minds because they liked the character so much, checking the fan reaction to the big moments on Twitter, Jasper’s struggle with PTSD, whether he’s rooting for Jasper and Octavia (Avgeropoulos) to get together, the stress of never knowing when you’ll have to say goodbye to another cast member, that he thinks he’d fare on par with Jasper, if he were ever really in a situation like this, and why he enjoys getting to work with so many different directors on the show. He also talked about his experience making the feature film Small Time (due out in theaters on April 18th), with Christopher Meloni and Dean Norris. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
DEVON BOSTICK: It was interesting, I auditioned for Monty, one of the other roles. I went in and thought it was a cool character, but I didn’t hear anything from them, which usually happens during pilot season. And then, they called and were like, “We want you to play Jasper.” I hadn’t gotten the script yet, so I read the script and I loved Jasper and his heart and how he got speared. I just really wanted to play this guy who’s so lovable, and then dies at the end of the episode. I thought that was a cool risk for them to take. I just wanted people to love him so much that, when he died, it sucked so much and was shocking.
Did they tell you not to worry about the whole spear thing, or did you really think he’d be dead, at the end of the first episode?
BOSTICK: No, I was very much dead. They just liked the character so much that they didn’t want to kill him anymore because he’s a lot of fun. So, when they were talking about it, later on near the end of the pilot, I was like, “Yeah, sure, guys.” It’s hard to believe that kind of stuff when there’s a spear through you. But, I was so happy to come back on board. The direction they’re taking it and what they’re doing on the show is really cool. I’m just very happy to be a part of it.
With a show like this, that has big things happening on a regular basis, do you check out the fan reaction on Twitter, especially when it came to what happened to Jasper?
BOSTICK: Oh, yeah. I’m on Twitter and I was live tweeting, at the time. It was so funny to see their reactions. They were very upset. It was cool to see these crazy reactions, and then the hope that maybe he survived. That felt really great. With the last episode, seeing the reaction to the two big deaths that happened on the ground, it’s great to see because it means we’re doing the job right. We want to really shock people, and that’s what this show is going to do, I think.
Once you found out you would be sticking around, how much did they tell you about your character’s journey, or do you have to learn about what’s going on with him, with each script?
BOSTICK: I had a small idea of where Jasper would go. We knew that Jasper would have to go through some recovery process where he’s crying on his back for a couple of episodes. Spearing can take a lot out of you. But I did know that he’d be up on his feet for the next episode, which is cool. I get to stand and say a few things. So, I know a few things. It’s cool, the direction he takes. He’s such a loving, charismatic, adventurous guy, who’s into this girl, Octavia. After getting speared, he has a little bit of post-traumatic stress disorder over what else is out there and the dangers. He doesn’t want to get speared again.
BOSTICK: Yeah. We’re really going to get to know who Jasper is, but Jasper is also going to change. We’re going to see what Earth and this dark place does to him, and how all the turmoil around him and what’s happened to him can really screw you up. But we’re also still going to see his fun, light-hearted side. He just has such a big heart, and this heartbreak for this girl that’s so beautiful. She’s a free soul, and it’s hard to lock one of those down.
Jasper is clearly willing to risk his life for Octavia. How many times will his crush put him in harm’s way before he reconsiders?
BOSTICK: At first, Earth is super scary to him. It’s no longer a safe place. But eventually, he’s going to have to come out of his shell because there’s just too much going on for him to sit by and do nothing.
Are you personally rooting for Jasper and Octavia to get together, or do you think there’s someone more suited for him that’s still out there among this group?
BOSTICK: I’m rooting for Jasper and Octavia. I just want what Jasper wants, and he’s into Octavia. She’s what he wants to be, as this wild, free person who takes chances. But, there are about 95 other people out there still. Love is a tough thing when it’s a bunch of teenagers who have been locked up their whole lives and having to follow so many rules, and now they’re free on Earth to do whatever the hell they want. There’s going to be a lot of that, too.
Characters started getting killed off pretty quickly on this show, and not just side characters, but characters that viewers were led to believe were main characters. Are you constantly in a state of anxiety over who it will be next, and what else could happen to Jasper? Is it stressful to wonder if you’ll be losing fellow cast members, at any moment?
BOSTICK: Yeah, it’s super stressful. For me, I feel like I’m okay for a little bit, just because Jasper has had his chance at death. But, it scares you. It sucks when you read the script and you’re like, “No, I liked that guy!” That happens quite a bit, throughout this season. You’ll also meet a lot of new characters. It’s hard to read through the scripts sometimes, and just hope that people you like aren’t gone.
When you do a show like this, does it make you think about how you would fare, in a situation like this? Do you think you’d handle it better or worse than Jasper, or about the same?
BOSTICK: I think I’m on par with Jasper, with the way that he was, his first time on Earth, and there’s excitement of a new place to explore. But if I were to get speared and survive that, I would be totally hanging out in my tent for awhile. I feel like I’m pretty close to where Jasper is, with that fine line of the danger out there and also trying to live.
BOSTICK: Yeah, and that’s what I love about this show. There’s so much diversity, with the stale old spaceship that people are trying to hang on for their dear life on, and then lush, beautiful Earth that’s also full of radiation and danger.
You also did great work in Small Time, which is coming out on April 18th. What was the experience of making that film like, and how was it to work with those actors?
BOSTICK: Small Time was amazing. That was such a great project. It was a small independent film about the importance of family, and I just loved the journey that the character had in it. At first, he’s this nice kid out of high school who wants to connect with his father, played by Chris Meloni, who’s amazing in it, and then he becomes this asshole. It was great to play that switch. Chris Meloni is amazing, and so is Dean Norris. He’s Hank, from Breaking Bad. There were just so many great people in it. Every day, I was so happy to go to work. And the director, Joel Surnow, co-created 24, which I was a big fan of. It was just such a pleasant experience ‘cause it was like a family. The film was about family, but it was such a small thing that we all got really close. It was a great experience. And it was also just a sweet film. I love it. It doesn’t try to do too much. It’s just this really heartfelt, funny film that’s a coming of age story, but also about a mid-life crisis. It’s a family movie, but it’s got a little edge to it with the salesman lifestyle.
Because TV is told over the long-term, as opposed to film, which has a self-contained time frame, you’re working with a number of directors on more of a communal vision. What do you enjoy about working with the different directors on The 100, and sharing the different visions they on all have?
BOSTICK: It really is so cool. I’ve never done this many episodes on one show. I’ve done recurring stuff, but it was great to work with so many directors on this. With the scripts, the style and the format, the way the directors would come in, it was a new experience, every time. Everyone was taking chances and we were doing really exciting things. It was great to work on different scripts with different directors who have different styles. You get so much experience from that.
The 100 airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.