Bob Morley, Ricky Whittle and Executive Producer Jason Rothenberg Talk THE 100, the Grounders, Whether All the Characters Survive, and More

     April 30, 2014


In Episode 7 of The CW drama series The 100, entitled “Contents Under Pressure,” Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and Raven (Lindsey Morgan) finally make contact with the Ark, and Abby (Paige Turco) guides Clarke through a dangerous procedure in a desperate move to save one of their own.  As things heat up with the Grounders, no one is safe, leaving everyone’s lives in jeopardy.

During this recent interview to discuss where things are headed next with the show, actors Bob Morley (“Bellamy”) and Ricky Whittle (who plays one of the Grounders) were joined by executive producer Jason Rothenberg to talk about torture scenes, where Clarke and Bellamy will go from here, the dynamic of the Grounders, when viewers will learn more about this particular Grounder, that there will be female Grounders, that Jasper’s (Devon Bostick) story really picks up in the back half of the season, that the politics on the Ark are going to be more difficult and less clear than the politics on the ground, and how it’s very much in doubt that all of the series regulars will make it out alive this season.  Check out what they had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.

the-100-image-7Question:  Now that we’ve learned that the Grounders can speak, will we be hearing more from them?

JASON ROTHENBERG:  Obviously, he understands and he speaks.  He’ll never be delivering Shakespearian soliloquies, but he speaks English.  He understands.  He’s been quiet because the less he says, the more they’re telling him what he’s trying to find out, which is all about them. 

How difficult were the torture scenes to shoot?

BOB MORLEY:  It didn’t last that long on screen, but it was three or four days of shooting, and Ricky was chained up.  It was horrible, actually.   

RICKY WHITTLE:  It must have been terrible for you.  

MORLEY:  We tried to have some fun with it.  But, to go into the mind-set of someone who’s torturing another person isn’t the nicest place to be.  So, after those three days, I was pretty wrecked by it.  I think we all were, really.  We were in that tiny little set, and it was a dark mood to be in.  It was definitely the hardest and darkest of all the episodes that I shot. 

WHITTLE:  It was tough.  It’s torture.  It’s brutal.  There are some nasty things going on, and these are essentially just kids, but they’re doing it for a purpose.  They’re trying to save one of their own.  If he had just spoken from the beginning, none of this would have happened.  

ROTHENBERG:  The Grounders are complex.  They’re not all bad guys.  They’ve got their own agenda and their own story.  They’re trying to survive, too. 

the-100-image-4WHITTLE:  I’m just chilling, relaxing and loving a nice summer, and all of a sudden, these aliens come from outer space and start having sex and killing each other and going crazy.  I’m like, “These guys are crazy.  I need to get rid of these boys.  They’re nuts.”  In my eyes, I’m good people.  You thought Bellamy was evil, in the beginning, but there are so many different layers to him.  You see Kane get really emotional.  There’s so much depth in all of these characters. 

MORLEY:  Having power and being in a position of power can really blur your judgement, and it’s not always that clear.  It’s linked in really beautifully, between the Ark and the ground, with the power struggles of being a leader.

Will Clarke still be aligned with Bellamy, after this episode, or will there be more friction?

ROTHENBERG:  There will always be a push-pull with those two, but they’re all in alignment.  They all want to survive.  It’s about how they do that.  In this episode, she’s driven by an obsession to keep Finn alive and she was going to do anything, even if it meant torture.  I think tha’s the decision most of us would make, in that situation.  We all say that we don’t advocate torture, or at least most of us do, but if it’s your own child that’s out there and the kidnapper knows something, you probably would say, “I’m going to beat the shit out of that motherfucker to find where my kid is.”  That’s where Eliza is in that episode, and Bob.  Leadership is hard, depending on where you sit.  It’s easy to judge someone’s choices as bad or good, but I think most of us would make the same choice.  So, we’ll see them in alignment going forward, for sure.  And he’ll do things that piss everybody off, so she’ll have to try to line him up.

Will we learn more about this particular Grounder and his background?

the-100-image-1ROTHENBERG:  This guy, when we first meet him, is wearing armor and he’s clearly a warrior, and it’s not like he became that way two days ago, or two weeks ago when the hundred dropped from the sky.  He was already like that, so there must be something out there that he’s armed up against.  And we will find out what that is, going forward.  There’s no Bigfoot, as far as we know.

What can you say about the dynamics of the Grounders, and why this guy seems to be separate from the others?

WHITTLE:  I don’t want to spoil too much about it.  Obviously, there’s more than one type of Grounder.  There are a lot more out there that are aggressive.  In Episode 1, Jasper was hit with a spear, but to this day, we still don’t know why.  You’re going to find out that there are different types.  As a human race, we have good people and bad people, and everyone has agendas.  The Grounders are going to be no different.  Some will be a little more aggressive than others.  Some will have roles among their people. 

ROTHENBERG:  There are a lot of ways you can interpret the fact that there are four Grounders that are killing people in Episode 6, and then there’s one Grounder who’s seemingly working against them.  Are they from different tribes?  Do they have different agendas?  I don’t want to give too much away.  It’s complicated.  Anytime you get a group of people, they’re going to have different ideas and they’re going to want to approach situations in different ways.  His character makes one choice, and those characters make another choice.  That may be problematic for him, back at the tribe.  

WHITTLE:  I think it mirrors the hundred and it mirrors the people on the Ark.  You have good and you have bad.  You have light and shade.  We’re just trying to establish that that’s the same in every group of people.  

the-100-image-8ROTHENBERG:  We will get to know his character much better and understand where he’s coming from.

Does this particular Grounder get a name?

ROTHENBERG:  He does get a name, in Episode 8.

Will we meet any female Grounders?

ROTHENBERG:  We do meet female Grounders, and they’re in leadership positions.  Episode 9 is when we meet a very cool female warrior who’s his boss. 

WHITTLE:  She’s tough.

What can you say about Bellamy’s fear of the Grounders attacking their camp?

MORLEY:  After encountering them in Episode 6 and running around in the forest with them, he’s realized there is definitely something to fear.  They are no match for these people.  The best way for him to hopefully have a chance is to find out what they’re doing, which is why they’ve captured the Grounder, along with to save Finn.  Their best form of attack is defense, and that’s where Bellamy’s mind is going.  It is all about survival.  So, after seeing what he saw, out there in the wilderness, he knows they need to stay there to be safe.  If they can protect this one area that they’re in, then hopefully they won’t come in.  He’s seen them in action, and the hundred are no match for the Grounders.  

ROTHENBERG:  The arc of Bellamy, for the season, is that you’re going to love him, by the end of the season.  We started in a position where he was the bad guy, but the finale is Braveheart.  The finale is a movie.  It’s epic. 

When will we see Jasper and Murphy again?

the-100-image-5ROTHENBERG:  It’s frustrating for us that we have such a big cast with so many characters to keep track of.  Part of it is a financial thing.  They’re not in all of the episodes.  That’s what their deals are.  Going forward, Jasper is in every episode.  Jasper’s story is about to really pick up, for the back half of the season.  He’s dealing with his post-traumatic stress, and he becomes kind of a bad-ass.  And it’s believable.  He becomes Bellamy’s go-to, right-hand man. 

What will we see between the Grounder and Octavia?

WHITTLE:  He has taken a shine to her and protected her.  If he is a part of this faction of Grounders, then he’s going against them.  He’s going against his own people, or whoever is out there, and he’s put his own life at risk to look after this person that he doesn’t know.  He’s just observed her since she landed. 

ROTHENBERG:  He’s not motivated to help her, just because she’s a cute girl.  He understands that it’s about survival for him, too.  “We need to understand what this new thing is that came from the sky, that has technology that we don’t understand, and maybe that’s going to be helpful for my people,” and that’s what he’s thinking.  Through Octavia, he’s able to understand that more.  And of course, that relationship develops.  To me, that’s an interesting relationship, right there.  It’s totally forbidden.  

MORLEY:  Bellamy is a massive cock-block.  I wonder if the Grounders saw Bellamy string up Adam for going near his sister. 

ROTHENBERG:  I don’t think the Grounder sweats Bellamy, at all.

Are the politics on the Ark going to be just as difficult as the politics on the ground, going forward?

ROTHENBERG:  Yeah, for sure.  Harder, probably.  It’s much less clear.  On the ground, it’s fairly clear.  They will either live or die.  On the Ark, the numbers are that only 700 out of 2,000 and some people are going to live.  Who makes those decisions and who gets to go will be a story that we’ll start to tell, and it won’t be pretty, at all.

Will all of the series regulars make it out of the season alive?

ROTHENBERG:  I would say that’s very much in doubt, but I can’t answer the question, one way or another.

The 100 airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.

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