The CW drama series The Tomorrow People follows a generation of humans born with paranormal abilities, who are the next evolutionary leap of mankind. Up until a year ago, Stephen Jameson (Robbie Amell) was a “normal” teenager, but then he learned that he is part of a genetically advanced race that is being hunted down by a paramilitary group of scientists known as Ultra. In Episode 19, “Modus Vivendi,” a potential truce between the Tomorrow People and Ultra allows them to relax a little and let loose, even though Cara (Peyton List) doesn’t trust it to last.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Peyton List talked about how much she’s enjoyed learning about the characters backstories through flashbacks, how exhausted she was after reading the season finale because so much happens to all of the characters, how nice it was to let loose for a little bit in this next episode, getting to explore the relationship between Cara and her sister, where Cara’s head is at with both John (Luke Mitchell) and Stephen, and how Hillary (Alexa Vega) fits into that, and whether the Tomorrow People will get tighter over the coming events or whether those events might rip them apart. Check out our Peyton List Tomorrow People interview after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
Collider: With things ramping up more and more with each episode, what can you say about what’s still to come for your character and how the events in the next episode will affect things, going forward?
PEYTON LIST: I think what’s wonderful about having this much time, in having 22 episodes for the first season of a show, is that you’ve gotten to know these people, and you’ve gotten to know how they make choices and decisions, and why they make those decisions. When you have all of this action in the last few episodes, you understand why each character is taking each path that they are. It’s not predictable, why they do it, but it’s been fun to read where the characters go and to shoot it because you feel like you can understand them. It’s good to have that because we don’t have much time to explain with so much happening.
From the beginning of this series, we didn’t know that this would be a show that did these flashbacks and backstories. It’s such a cool way of having the audience understand who these people are, and how they came to be where they are and pick the sides that they do. It’s been a really big treat, and it’s really wonderful for especially the storyline we have going on at the end. You have all of these mysterious, manipulative, incredibly powerful men who are saying, “It’s this way,” and you don’t even know where to begin to decide who to believe. We have more backstory and flashbacks coming up for them, which will shed so much light on why they are in these positions of power. I think it’s really a cool way of telling that story.
Without giving anything away, what was your reaction when you read the finale script and found out how the season would end?
LIST: I was exhausted. I put the script down and I was tired, just thinking about it. So much happens, and not just to one character or a couple of characters. It affects everybody, across the board. How the storylines play out affects them all, in different ways. Because it’s so fast-paced, especially at the end, a lot of the things that happen, that force somebody to make a decision, they’re split-second decisions that can lead to chaos and mayhem. In the finale, the fights are bigger and the powers are bigger. It’s the final showdown. I’m very, very, very excited for the finale. What’s great is that the finale doesn’t come out of nowhere. We are prepping for the finale, starting with Episode 17. We planted the seeds for what the story was going to be, and from 17 on, the train has started and it gets faster and faster and faster. By the time we get to Episode 21, you’re just hurdling forward with the story. I hope everybody enjoys it. It’s a lot.
Was it nice to get to let loose a little bit, with this next episode, and get to have a party and not have to worry about the fighting, at least for one scene?
LIST: It’s so strange because when I look and see that I’m wearing four-inch heels, I don’t even know what show I’m on. These characters never have a moment to just be, and let loose and be happy. The idea of letting the guard down just brings up, especially for Cara, all these bad memories of the last time she thought it was safe to just be like, “Oh, they won’t find us. Everything is fine. We can just be normal people,” there was mayhem and Tomorrow People died. Cara felt that was partially her fault. She had really pushed for throwing caution to the wind. John didn’t want Tomorrow People to let their guard down, and she wanted them to just have a good time and be people, and she took away from that, that she should listen to him. So, the idea that everything is okay is not always going to sit well with Cara because the last time she did that, she shouldn’t have. It’s definitely a different thing, on this show, when we’re actually dressed up and going for a night out on the town. It’s bizarre. But, who knows? It might not pan out as badly as before.
What was it like to get to explore the relationship between Cara and her sister?
LIST: Cara has said, over and over again, that the Tomorrow People are her family, but I think that’s because her actual family was ripped away from her so quickly and abruptly. She was still a teenager. She still wanted and needed that family, in some way. So, she found it in the Tomorrow People. Having her actual sister break out was mind-blowing. I think it was probably something that she always had in the back of her mind, as a possibility, but when it actually happened, there was this incredible revelation. You got to see the softer and more maternal side of Cara, which has always been there, but has been pushed aside because she’s had to take on this role of leader, where sometimes there’s not always room for that. For the most part, she’s got her armor on. Getting to actually spend time and reconnect with her sister was such a cool thing to play. I enjoyed it because I have a sister. It was a great thing to get to explore.
At this point, where would you say Cara’s head is at, with both John and Stephen, especially now that we’ve seen a little bit of jealousy there with Stephen and Hillary?
LIST: Well, it’s never been simple, has it? It’s one of those things where Cara took a step back from what was happening with getting to close in her relationship with Stephen because not only was it causing problems with John, but it causes turmoil, in general. When Cara came clean to John about what happened with Stephen, she basically said, “I don’t want to lose you.” And also, on the other side, she doesn’t want to do something that’s going to make her happy, but cause everybody else to fall apart. She really needs to keep peace. That’s the most important thing. That’s what keeps them sane and alive and able to have clear heads.
So, she really did take a step back from being too close with Stephen. And then, slowly but surely, her relationship with John started to mend, but then things fell apart again. Stephen looks at Cara as the girl he put on a pedestal. He was doing all of this spying for the Tomorrow People, but for Cara. He just always turned to her. All of a sudden now, Hillary is in the mix and his focus is somewhere else. That was a hard pill for Cara to swallow. And also, not having Stephen’s 100% loyalty and focus on the Tomorrow People is dangerous for the Tomorrow People, Cara and John. So, it’s complicated.
As the season gets closer to the end, will these group of Tomorrow People get tighter over what they’ll have to deal with, or will the events that happen divide them?
LIST: It’s a bit of both. You find characters coming together because, if it’s possible, the stakes get higher, which is just insane. You see characters get closer, but then you see other characters that you never thought would ever turn on each other, strained to the breaking point. It’s really a product of the circumstance, and I think it’s what would happen. It’s not everybody coming together and fighting against one enemy. When there’s enemies on all sides, you choose your battle lines. So, it’s a bit of both, really.
The Tomorrow People airs on Monday nights on The CW.