The CW drama series The 100 proved, in its first season, that it’s dark, unpredictable and not afraid to go there. Now in Season 2, Clarke (Eliza Taylor) is frantically trying to make sense of her bizarre new home at Mount Weather, while the fate of many of The 100 who came to earth from the Ark is still unknown to her. Meanwhile, the survivors of the Ark must face physical and moral dilemmas in this dangerous new world.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, which recently took place at The CW offices, actress Eliza Taylor talked about how different Season 2 is from the first season, how exciting she found the new direction of the show, finding her footing again, getting to work more with characters she only spoke to in passing before, the dynamic between Clarke and the president of Mount Weather (Raymond J. Barry), how things are going to play out with Clarke and Anya (Dichen Lachman), what a reunion between Clarke and her mother (Paige Turco) might look like, and what fans can expect from the journey this season. Check out what she said about The 100 season 2 after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
ELIZA TAYLOR: It did. It started off incredibly different. It was really interesting to film the first couple of episodes because I was clean, my hair was brushed out, I had a nice tan going on, and I was wearing new clothes. I found it almost difficult to reconnect with Clarke. You don’t realize how much all of that stuff helps you get into character. So, I was very aware of staying in Clarke-land and keeping that whole personality alive, through this new world.
What was it like to get the first script back and see where things were headed?
TAYLOR: It was so exciting. During the break, I was just raring to get back to work. I’m not very good at not working, especially on this show because it is so surprising and fun to read. Just when I think that I’ve got it figured out, they take another turn. It’s great.
Coming back to the show, having a season under your belt, was it any easier, or was it a whole new set of challenges because it was so different?
TAYLOR: It definitely feels like it’s a whole new set of challenges. Obviously, the main aim of the game is survival, but these characters are going through a whole lot more, this season.
Clarke really became the heart and moral center of the show. Personally, did you feel more secure in your footing, returning for this second season?
TAYLOR: No, I didn’t, actually. I felt kind of the opposite because of these new surroundings. Also, Clarke isn’t the boss anymore. She has to answer to other people now, as do the rest of The 100 that are left. I think that’s really difficult for her, and that was really interesting for me to have to take a back seat, in that way, to what’s going on around her.
TAYLOR: Yeah, I do. That’s really exciting for me. There were so many actors that I really hadn’t worked with much, if at all. There are so many new pairings this season, and different reunions that you probably wouldn’t expect.
What can you say about the relationship between Clarke and the president of Mount Weather?
TAYLOR: Their relationship is very interesting, with the fact that they are seemingly very similar, in a lot of ways. They’re both artists. They’ve both been trapped, one way or another, their whole lives – Clarke on the Ark, and Dante in Mount Weather. I think she sees a lot of herself in him, and vice versa. But at the same time, she thinks there’s something more to this guy. He’s a bit too good to be true.
How was it to work with Raymond J. Barry?
TAYLOR: So amazing! He’s so fun to work with. He’s such a chilled out, cool dude, and he’s so experienced. We were shooting an episode not that long ago, and we finished the scene and he came up to me and said, “You’re gonna be a star, kid.” I was like, “Ray Barry just said that!” That was a big deal, coming from him. I was thrilled. We’ve developed a really nice friendship. He does creepy well. It’s fantastic. You just don’t really know with him.
There’s also a very interesting dynamic developing between Clarke and Anya. What can you say about how that’s going to play out?
TAYLOR: Well, Clarke and Anya definitely butted heads, in a lot of ways, last season. This season, when they come back together, Clarke is essentially saving Anya’s life. You think Anya would be thankful for that, but she is the opposite. She’s not happy about it, at all. So, that is going to be really fun to play out, whether or not they come together as allies, or they become even bigger enemies.
TAYLOR: It’s interesting, but it’s great. Me and Dichen [Lachman] worked together, years ago, on Neighbours, back in Australia. I think I was 15 when we met. We’ve had a very long friendship, so it was really lovely to work with her again.
Clarke was a young girl, the last time she saw her mother, and now she’s a lot stronger and more hardened. How do you think that will change the dynamic, if and when their paths cross again?
TAYLOR: I love that the last time Abby saw her daughter, she was a little girl, crying into her arms. Now, she is this crazy warrior woman. She’s almost unrecognizable from the pilot episode. For Abby, that’s going to be really confronting, and for Clarke, as well. Ultimately, Abby is responsible for her father’s death and for her being locked up on the Ark. There’s a lot to talk about when they catch up. Fans have got a lot to look forward to, this season.
Without revealing anything, what can you say about the story you’re telling this season, and what Clarke’s journey will be?
TAYLOR: This season, I like how much it delves into the worlds that we only just lightly touched on, in the first season. The Ark is building a new society. You’ll see the Grounders and their history, their rituals, and how they came to be the Grounders. You’re gonna see the kids in Mount Weather. You’re gonna learn a whole lot more about Dante and his people. For me, Clarke is gonna be all over all of those things ‘cause she just can’t help but stick her nose in everyone’s business, in the best possible way. I’m excited for everyone to see the overall coming together of these very different worlds.
When you think back to who Clarke was when you started on this show, and with how this character was original pitched to you, how different is she now from what you thought she would be?
TAYLOR: After we shot the pilot, I didn’t expect the show to be so gritty and dark. That was a pleasant surprise. I really felt like we got a lot more raw and real with it. With Clarke, I’ve had to go to some emotional places that I didn’t think I would have to go to, especially in Season 2. It just gets more and more intense. That’s exciting for me. I love it. It’s a lot more physical. The same can be said for a lot of the characters on the show. They’ve all taken a nice, big turn. It’s definitely been a lot more physical for me this year. I’ve had to learn new fighting skills, and all sorts of things. It’s really been fun. I’ve never played such an active role.
The 100 airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.