The highly anticipated return of The CW’s The 100 is now more than halfway through its fourth season, and everyone’s favorite post-apocalyptic TV show is wasting no time with traumatizing its audience, as Clarke and co. are faced with an un-winnable task: saving the world from yet another nuclear war… only problem? Their viable solutions keep going up in flames. Or ya know, are being smashed to smithereens. Nice going, Abby! Now, if finding a way to protect everyone from a radiation storm that will wipe out all of humanity isn’t enough of a catastrophe for you, there’s also clans waging war on each other, acid rain that burns on contact, Jasper’s adoption of the “whatever the hell we want” mentality, an already hefty body count, and a timeline that’s getting uncomfortably close to doomsday.
Tasya Teles, who reprises her role this season as Ice Nation grounder Echo, is yet another character on the series who has found themselves in a sticky predicament. After garnering a lot of attention from fans after betraying Bellamy in Season 3, Echo is back, and has found herself a cozy little spot as King Roan’s ride or die, conveniently opposed to any alliances between Azgeda and the Sky People. Unfortunately for her, they need each other to survive and quickly fell in line (after trying to kill Octavia, of course). But troubled times aren’t behind her quite yet, as her loyalty to the King will soon be tested, along with her connection to Bellamy– someone she shared an unforgettable experience with while being caged like animals back during the Mount Weather days.
Teles spoke about the evolution of her character, and what’s the come for all those involved in this already grim situation. From Echo’s apprehension to trust anyone but her own, to finding common ground with old friends, Teles tells all about the fate of The 100 in the remainder of the season.
Smear on your best panda-esque like make-up and let’s get to it!
MCKENZIE MORRELL: Your character has really been through a lot, from declaring war on Trikru and Skaikru to trying to kill Octavia. Echo is one of those hate to love characters on The 100. How has it been on social media seeing your character’s evolution from where she started in season two?
TASYA TELES: I was really apprehensive and actually really nervous, especially for episode four, the supposed killing of Octavia. I was really scared. And also because my make up and Echo’s whole being is very barbaric and very intense in that episode and I was like the fans are going to already be upset with me from season three. I’m back for a few episode and then I kill Octavia, this isn’t going to be good. I think at first the fans were really — they didn’t warm up to Echo right away but now it seems they have a bit of a sense of humor about Echo and they’re opening up to her a lot more and embracing her bad assery and who she is. It’s been really fun actually. I see funny memes every now and again. Like a panda in the grocery store and the Panda is looking at the general manager and she just knocks over all the groceries on the shelf and it’s like “Echo in the grocery store” and I’m like “yes that would be Echo in the grocery store!” She’s just causing havoc.
MM: You and Marie [Avgeropoulos] had one bad ass fight scene between your characters recently. What was that like? How is the blocking different when you’re doing a fight scene as opposed to when you’re doing an actionless sequence?
TT: It’s intense. There are various players involved in the fight scene choreography. You have the choreographers and then one or two stunt doubles who take the choreography and train us. Then you have other stunt doubles who step in with us when things get really intense. They don’t want us to get hurt or lose an eye or something. We’re constantly standing on stand by near by and we’ll tap in and out of the fight. It’s very complicated to do that. There’s not a lot of time to relax. Marie and I are kind of notorious for goofing around together. A little too much fun on set sometimes. But there was no room for that doing a fight sequence because it was too dangerous to not pay attention.
MM: That’s for sure. Now, I’m a firm believer that people don’t give Echo enough credit. What she went through back at Mount Weather was nothing short of traumatizing. Do you attribute her recent hostility to Clarke and the rest of the Sky People to her being afraid that what happened at Mount Weather could repeat itself now that they’re looking for this new solution to survive?
TT: A hundred thousand percent. I don’t think a lot of people realize that she has — pretty much everybody has PTSD on this show, but she definitely has lingering feelings and she’s greatly impacted by what she experienced in Mount Weather. She’s very distrustful of all of them. Except for one person.
MM: It’s been hard for Echo to get on board with Roan’s “save everyone” mentality. Will her loyalties to the King be tested soon? Anything you can tease?
TT: Their relationship definitely gets bent coming up. I think she remains loyal to King Roan until the end. Her whole life’s purpose is to serve and protect the royal family. She doesn’t question him ever even if she might question him internally, it doesn’t interfere with her sense of duty. But there are troubled times around the bend for sure.
MM: There are a lot of interesting characters on the show, so as yourself, if you could swap places with one of those other characters, who would it be and what would you do in their shoes?
TT: None of them really have it easy right now. I might join Jasper’s team and just have a party and disconnect from reality for a bit and enjoy life while we can. I don’t envy being in anybody’s spot right now. In other seasons there are some that are in better positions than others but right now everybody is suffering and everybody’s faced with a big dilemma so I’m just going to go with the party. So Jasper.
MM: He just doesn’t care. He’s just going to sing in the shower and stand in the rain. No worries. There are moments when I feel like Echo is truly torn between her actions we’ve seen on the show and other times she doesn’t seem to care. What is your stance on her intentions and do you think she cares about anyone other than Ice Nation?
TT: That’s her learning curve, we’re starting to see her unravel a bit. She doesn’t trust Clarke and the night blood idea but she kind of is forced to. She’s definitely more involved in dealing with all of these issues, first hand than before. She just has a really good poker face because of all the pressure she’s under. She doesn’t like people knowing how she’s feeling. She likes to be more mysterious, just stay in the shadows, and be a good spy. But we’re seeing her crack because she does care. Of course she cares.
MM: Is that why she has all that paint on her face? So no one can see that she has any emotion?
TT: [Laughs] Yes, exactly.
MM: A lot of the fans are drawn to Echo and Bellamy. What are your thoughts on people who ship Becho?
TT: Well, to me, even between Bob [Morley] and I, we thought in season two that they were setting us up to be an item so there’s definitely that chemistry between the two of them and that shared moment, which is a pretty big moment when you break out of a concentration camp style prison where there’s torture and all that going on, that’s not something that is lost between two people, I think. I think it’s really sweet the fans are doing that. Echo has many similar ideas to Bellamy in the way she is and her servitude to her clan and trying to figure out what to do that is best and not really knowing how to do that. But they’re definitely connected.
MM: You definitely see that on screen. She really kind of trusts him. There have been times when you’re like “what are you doing? You’re going against this unspoken alliance that you guys have?” But I think out of everybody she has that connection with him and perhaps trusts him a little bit more than other people because of what they’ve been through.
TT: That’s why I think she’s starting to crack. Will she finally be able to shed her previous skin of solely Ice Nation and have a new understanding of humanity as a clan and negotiation — will she fully form or move into a different version of herself or will she stay the same? What’s going to happen with that. Bellamy could be the crack in her armor that causes that.
MM: He could make her or break her. I guess we’ll have to wait to see. If Echo makes it until the end, at least for this season, in your own opinion why do you think she deserves to survive?
TT: She deserves to survive because she, unlike some of the people that have to be forced into leadership roles, she truly understands loyalty. She’s fully loyal once she commits. So I think she’s a good ally to have because you know that she’s going to stick with you. Also because — well just to be a fighter. She should live just so she can protect everybody because she’s one of the best out there. And I think she’s also interesting because she has things to learn and ways to go. To be able to see that other side of her would be cool. But I guess that’s more from a storytelling point of view as opposed to meriting your life in The 100 world. She’s a spy. She’s a good fighter. She’s loyal. She might be a little stubborn.
MM: I’m definitely looking forward to hopefully seeing a little more backstory on her. I know we don’t know too much but hopefully you survive and we get some of that in season five.
MM: I like to throw in my signature question which is both weird and fun. If you had to pick a donut based off your character’s personality on The 100, what kind of donut would it be and what kind of toppings would you put on it?
TT: Cookies and Cream with a Jelly center, strawberry Jelly. Because she might be rocky on the outside by she’s mushy on the inside. [Laughs]
MM: That is perfect. I never would have thought of that combination. I’m going to have to try that one day.
TT: Neither would I.
MM: Last year when I talked to Jessica Harmon, I told her about a hot cheetos donut, and how interesting it was to taste. Maybe I’ll make an oreo topped and strawberry filled donut next.
TT: Please hold. You make Donuts?
MM: Yeah, I love donuts. I’m obsessed and I love to make them.
TT: Oh my god, where do you live?
MM: Connecticut, not too far from New York City. I’m going to have to sneak in a donut somehow the next time I send Jessica a care package [laughs]. If that’s possible.
TT: Chris Larkin is from Connecticut.
MM: Yes, he’s awesome! Now, you’ll be appearing in the Prison Break sequel. Is there anything you can tell us about working on the show or your character?
TT: Yeah, well she’s a high up NSA Executive. She gets the high clearance pass and gets to go into the room where all the drones are and spy on people around the world. Somebody comes to her, one of her ex lovers and actually plays her, pulling the old romantic card in order to get access to certain information because my character is spying on things happening in the Middle East where they’re trying to locate the main character of the show and she gets played. That’s all I can say about that.
MM: Well, we can’t wait for that! If you could say anything to the fans about the rest of the season of The 100, what would you say to them to get them to keep watching?
TT: First of all, thank you to all the fans because everyone is so great and I love them. I think we have the best, most passionate, and interesting fans ever. About this season specifically, there is an episode coming up that I remember hearing about since maybe late season two or season three because they were talking about wanting to do this idea and they finally did it in season four. There’s something that was brewing for a long time that everyone wanted to do and it’s happening this season… finally. Everyone did a great job, it’s pretty remarkable what they accomplished.
The 100 returns April 26 at 9/8c on The CW