On The CW series The 100, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) is struggling with how to proceed after learning the fate of the world, and even though she’s trying to find a way to save everyone, that just might not be possible. At the same time, fighting among the clans threatens to tear them all apart first, as they each try to figure out the best political power plays.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actress Marie Avgeropoulos talked about Octavia’s evolution from scared teenager to skilled assassin, how much fun it is to play one of the most bad-ass women on TV, how connected she feels to Octavia, just how dark her journey will get, the Octavia-Indra (Adina Porter) dynamic, what’s to come for Octavia and Bellamy (Bob Morley), the alliance she has with Roan (Zach McGowan), and whether Octavia could ever attain happiness.
Collider: It’s been so fun to watch the evolution of Octavia because she really has become one of the most bad-ass women on TV!
MARIE AVGEROPOULOS: Awesome! Thank you! She’s so much fun to play for that reason, too.
When you think back to the Octavia that you originally signed on to play, and who she was back in the first season of The 100, what has most surprised you about the journey that she’s taken?
AVGEROPOULOS: We’ve really gotten to watch Octavia go from a young teenaged girl to a young woman. We’ve seen that transformation happen over the last couple of seasons, and it’s so much fun to play her because I feel like I’ve had the opportunity to play ten different people in one small body. It’s perfect!
Has it been anything, at all, like you imagined or hoped she would turn out to be?
AVGEROPOULOS: No, absolutely not! But over the years, as the writers and creator of the show got to know me, as Marie, better, they started writing for my skill set and my personality, as well. When you mesh the two together, it just turned out to be such a wonderful character transformation. It’s really been so much fun to play.
Do you, personally, feel more connected to Octavia, as she’s evolved, or do you feel more challenged by her because she’s evolved so much?
AVGEROPOULOS: I feel so connected to Octavia. I love her transformation, and it’s been so much fun for me, as an actress, to learn these skill sets, like sword fighting and horseback riding. Those are useless skill sets in the modern world, but in the post-apocalyptic world, those skill sets are incredibly helpful for survival.
At this point, how does Octavia identify herself? Does she feel like an independent woman, or does she still feel beholden to someone?
AVGEROPOULOS: I think she does feel like an independent woman, finally. I don’t think she has the need to really cling onto anybody for self-discovery or survival. The only person that she did really open up to, emotionally, was Lincoln, but now that that’s gone, she doesn’t want the opportunity to get hurt, ever again, so she constantly pushes everybody away and focuses on her work. This season, that’s really interesting because her work becomes how to unite the clans to stop war and really fight the bigger picture, which is the radiation, and that’s an invisible opponent.
What does it mean to Octavia to be called a Sky Ripper?
AVGEROPOULOS: Well, she’s been called so many things, over the seasons. At one point, they called her Grounder pounder. Now, she’s Sky Ripper, which shows you how far she’s really come. People are taking her more seriously, as well. Her sheer wit and determination is really one of the most dangerous things about her, on top of her skill set. I don’t think she really cares about what people say about her. She’s not that kind of girl.
Do you think she prefers to have people be afraid of her, instead of being the one who’s so afraid of things?
AVGEROPOULOS: Yeah, absolutely! I feel like, through the dangerous path that she has taken and made one of her best and worst qualities, people are finally taking her more seriously. Her political opinions are now considered valid enough to listen. I feel like she’s earned that.
How much further do you think Octavia can be pushed, and how much further do you think she can push herself, as an assassin, before she loses herself in that?
AVGEROPOULOS: The pressure inside her and the consequences are definitely building and getting more and more dangerous. When anybody takes it to the next level, eventually the repercussions become very serious. Octavia does reach a tipping point this season, and she’s going to have to face her inner demons and the things that she keeps burying down. It’s very sad, when you see it happen. Octavia really needs to step inside herself for a minute and deal with her demons.
Does she fully grasp the gravity of each life that she takes, or is she just too blood-thirsty to care right now?
AVGEROPOULOS: Right now, she’s too blood-thirsty to care about the lives that she’s taking. But then, when she does have that realization, she realizes that the lives that she takes are almost chess moves to politically move Skaikru forward.
The relationship between Octavia and Indra has been such a highlight. What have you most enjoyed about exploring that dynamic?
AVGEROPOULOS: I love Adina Porter as a woman and friend, and mentor, as well. She’s such a strong person and so great to be around, and she’s incredibly talented. I think that translates to our relationship on screen, as well. Octavia and Indra have almost become closer than Bellamy and Octavia have because Indra has always supported her and believed in her, during the moments that Bellamy did not. I don’t want to give too much away or give any spoilers, but Octavia finds herself in a very powerful position this season, and Indra really supports her in the moments when she feels really vulnerable and needs to be encouraged.
If she were asked, how do you think Indra feels about who Octavia is now? Do you think she’s proud of her, or is she concerned?
AVGEROPOULOS: I think Indra is incredibly proud of Octavia. She was the woman that took her in when she was a bird with a damaged wing, and she helped mend it. She’s really watched her become a product of her mentorship, and she’s watching her fly.
What can you say about where are things at between Octavia and Bellamy, and what we’ll see from them, going forward?
AVGEROPOULOS: Octavia and Bellamy are always falling apart and coming together, like in any sibling rivalry. This season, towards the middle, Bellamy really steps up for Octavia and they come together almost as an alliance to really conquer a challenging situation when a huge battle ensues. There is an episode that’s very Octavia-driven, and she partakes in an incredible battle. It was my favorite one, this season, to film, and I can’t wait until everybody sees it.
How would you describe the relationship that Octavia has with Roan, this season?
AVGEROPOULOS: I don’t think Octavia would choose to spark up a friendship with this guy, but he’s really important, as king. They build an alliance together because he’s taken notice that she has been making some political chess moves. He realizes that he could use her as a tool, but it’s interesting because they become team players, even though they both don’t trust each other and are watching the other out of the corner of their eye. It’s a really interesting relationship between the two.
Now that she’s lost Lincoln, what do you think Octavia’s version of happiness would look like? Can she even comprehend that for herself?
AVGEROPOULOS: That’s a really good question. I don’t know if Octavia could ever comprehend happiness because she was given such an unpleasant childhood. She’s so resentful of the Sky People for floating her mother and for having to be raised under the floor. I think if it did come down to it and the world was going to explode, she would much rather take a knee and stay on Earth than go back up to space with the people that hardened her in the way that she is.
The 100 airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.