It’s the end of an era on the CW’s The 100, and from the ashes they will rise, or should I say fall? See what I did there, it’s a sky reference… anywho. Amongst the survivors of Praimfaya is Raven Reyes, a tough as nails mechanic, explosive expert, and all around tech savvy lady. She’s the one you’d want in your corner when the world’s about to end… again. She’s the girl you’d pick first.
Lindsey Morgan, the actress who plays the spacewalking badass, on the hit CW series, is back and better than ever. When we last saw her character, Praimfaya was threatening all of humanity, Raven’s brain was deteriorating from ALIE’s wicked cool, and totally detrimental ‘upgrade.’ Her initial plan to forgo the trip to the bunker and meet her own untimely death on her terms was thwarted and she ended up with some baggage. People baggage. Up to space she went, with Bellamy (Bob Morley), Monty (Christopher Larkin), Harper (Chelsey Reist), Echo (Tasya Teles), Murphy (Richard Harmon), and Emori (Luisa d’Oliveira) in tow, leaving Clarke (Eliza Taylor) behind to suffer the wave of radiation engulfing the Earth in rapid succession.
Six years has passed. Six agonizing years of learning how to survive up in space with the most unlikely of allies. Spending night and day formulating ways to get back to the ground once it’s safe without exploding upon impact. Not to mention coming up with foolproof strategies to not hurl after eating Monty’s algae stew on the regular. It’s been a while since we saw Morgan’s character, and well, let’s just say she’s been up to a lot lately.
Fan Fest News recently caught up with Morgan to dish on the triumphant return of The 100’s fifth season. She hints at space orgies, her budding friendship with Emori, and a shift between Bellamy and Raven’s relationship. She also opened up about her own struggles with depression, anxiety, and the societal pressures that comes with being in the industry. But overall, Morgan expressed nothing but love for her cast members, the show, and her new film ‘Summertime’ being screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.
MCKENZIE MORRELL: Obviously season five of The 100 is just around the corner. Everybody is super hyped up. And the show is returning with many new and exciting elements to it with the space and ground separation, this introduction of prisoners and many things going on. Can you give us a non spoilery tease about where we can hope to see Raven when the show returns?
LINDSEY MORGAN: It’s six years so a lot of time has gone by. Relationships have changed the dynamics have changed on the spaceship. Which is good. The space crew has really bonded together as a family unit, every person, everybody on the crew is vital basically to their survival which Raven is grateful for. She has that family she’s always wanted. But in true Raven fashion she’s still being tortured by her personal frustrations and demons. The fact that they’re still in space weighs heavily on Raven because it’s Raven’s responsibility to get them back to the ground once it’s habitable again.
MM: Definitely. We’re also going into this season anticipating that there’s going to be some guilt on Bellamy’s behalf for leaving Clarke behind but will we see Raven struggle and beat herself up over Clarke’s presumed death and that it has taken longer than anticipating to get her people back to earth?
LM: Of course. And technically, that they even had to go to space is all Raven’s fault. The fact that Clarke got left behind in the first place is Raven’s fault because she was going to go up to space and space walk herself basically and then at the last minute changed her mind and asked them to come get her and they did, the great friends that they are. They wouldn’t be in that situation if it wasn’t for Raven’s indecision, if she’d gone to the bunker like originally planned then Clarke would still be alive today. That is a huge driving force for Raven of having Clarke’s blood on her hands and putting everyone in that position. Bellamy says to her in the finale that her death can’t be in vain and that’s a huge driving force for Raven.
MM: Poor Raven. I just want her to be happy at some point. But I’ve heard season five is not a happy season. It’s a bloody season and a lot is going on.
LM: So bloody.
MM: And a lot of people are excited about the new friendships that are being formed all over the show but especially up in space. Raven takes Emori under herwing. Is that interesting being able to work with new characters and teaching somebody things?
LM: Oh yeah. I think that’s one of the best things about our show is that, because we have so many characters, we’re allowed to have so many new dynamics with each other and it’s always fun to have someone new to play with too. But it’s always fun now that we’re in season five and having this five year history with people and their characters, the trajectory of looking at how far Emori has come from being the outsider, thief, grounder, to now going to space, becoming basically an assistant space engineer, astronaut, pilot is a really cool thing to have happen to a character and to play. I love the new dynamics the show allows us.
MM: I’m really excited to see how that unfolds.
LM: Yeah it’s really cute. Grounders in space. I love it.
MM: Right? I know and now you guys are grounders when you come back down. It’s fun how everything goes full circle. Playing off the parallels, in other seasons we’ve seen Bellamy and Clarke be the leaders and lean on each other to help their people survive. Since Clarke is not in the picture, I’m assuming Bellamy and Raven’s friendship has changed. They have to rely on each other. Do we get to see flashbacks with that and as we progress in the season?
LM: You know — I mean yes, Raven has definitely become Bellamy’s right hand man and they rely heavily on each other in Clarke’s absence. You definitely see that. I always feel like he’s James Bond and Raven is his Q. He may be the head but Raven’s the brain. You’re always going to see the dynamic play out which I love having with Bellamy and with Bob because he brings so much to it. But as far as flashbacks, I can’t say yes or no to that. You’ll have to see.
MM: Obviously you guys have been up in space for six years now, a smidge longer than you’d hoped. Let’s say you, Lindsey Morgan, blasted up in space to seek refuge from a dying planet, what are three things that you’d take with you?
LM: I’d definitely bring that space ice cream because I love Dippin’ Dots. Big time. I’d bring and iPod because I have to have music. I guess I’d bring maybe, I don’t know — I need to do something fun or I’d lose my mind. Maybe a paint set or something to stay creative and be able to make stuff. Something creative.
MM: You gotta release the creative energy. Being up in space, there’s, I’m assuming limited ways to keep occupied. You’re trying to get down, obviously you’re surviving. Did you guys come up with any time killing activities that your characters have been doing all this time? Is there some sort of space story you’ve created for acting purposes?
LM: We always joke about space orgies. I don’t know if that has any merit. It’s like of course, I think we played hours and hours of charades. You get a little desperate. We also do tactical things like I think a lot of the grounders taught us how to fight, like sparing. Echo taught us a lot about sparring. I taught the grounders a lot about technology and space and how they can be vital. I think everyone can do everyone’s job basically just in case anything happens. So Monty shows us how to cook and farm and everything so we’re just a well oiled machine basically. I think we spend a lot of our time doing that but obviously we had to fill up our time somehow with stuff.
MM: That’s really a departure from the other seasons. Realistically there were people designated for technology, farming all that stuff and just being able to share your knowledge with each other and now you can go back to the ground and give other people that knowledge — hopefully other people that won’t try to kill you. Obviously a lot has happened over the course of four seasons. Your character especially has been through the ringer. If season five Raven could give season one Raven some advice, what would it be?
LM: Don’t go to earth. Break up with FInn.
MM: Aw, Finn RIP.
LM: Kidding, kidding. I don’t know if she’d give her any real advice. I think it’d be to not doubt herself basically. Raven has a lot of challenges and gets frustrated because she has a lot of self doubt about her knowledge and her ability and her strengths, emotionally, physically mentally. But as we’ve seen she’s able to get through it all. But she has to struggle for it. I’d say to doubt herself less and really believe in herself.
MM: She’s one of the most important people on the show.
LM: She’d be like “you’re a genius, babe.”
MM: Just accept it, god. Take a compliment.
LM: You can do it!
MM: At Conageddon, the cast mentioned that the characters we know and love all have their on Kru’s now. You guys up in space, Octavia in the buker, Clarke and Madi. What are you most excited for the fans to see as we head into season five?
LM: My favorite storyline is the bunker stuff. I’m excited to see what everyone thinks of the bunker world.
MM: Just from the clips it looks pretty brutal.
LM: Yeah, it’s gonna be awesome.
MM: Obviously I took some questions from the fans and one that stuck out to me was “using three emojis, describe The 100 season five.”
LM:MM: I recently ventured into the pizza making world thanks to some advice from my pal Aaron Ginsburg. So I finally got to eat Clarke pizza, which was delicious. If you made a pizza based on Raven’s personality, what kind of toppings would be on the pizza and why would you choose that.
LM: It would be marinara red sauce because she has fiery blood, with Jalapenos and pepperoni or like a spicy meat. But also maybe like a gooey burrata because she has a soft inside.
MM: She likes to be hard and tough but she has that gooey center. To swerve a little bit to the left and steer away from The 100 for a second. Your new movie, Summertime is premiering at Tribeca. Can you talk about that and filming in New York and why people should check it out?
LM: Filming in New York was a personal dream of mine. I’ve always wanted to live there some way, somehow so honestly doing the film was a literal dream come true for me. I loved every second of it. I think people should check it out because it’s a beautiful film. It’s very slice of life. It’s based on the Actor and Director and the writer in it, Ed Burns’s life about his summer graduating from high school going to college and it’s a story I feel like everyone can relate to when they were coming of age. You just get nostalgic for that Summer time feeling and the summer time vibes of falling in love or falling out of love and a new year starting and a new chapter starting for you. I also, firstly, want people to check it out because it’s so different from Raven. It’s probably the most different character I’ve ever played. So I’m very excited to see it too to see how it came across. If you want to see me in a completely different role from Raven, come check it out.
MM: And now as we start to wind down, as a vessel of creativity you must get blocked here and there. What do you do to combat when you’re in a rut or you might not feel like acting that day?
LM: I think it’s all about finding things that make you feel good. But it changes. Working out is a big thing for me. Being active was always a way for me to feel better if I wasn’t feeling myself or if I was feeling weak or depressed or something. But as I got older, working out starting to feel like a chore. Now, I’m very conscious of if I’m feeling that I’m not going to force myself. I’m going to call a friend or talk to someone who makes me laugh and get out of my head and get out of my little dark cloud and realize there’s so much more in the world. Not to invalidate what you’re going through or what you’re feeling but to realize it’s not the end of the world. There’s so much life happening if you step outside. I try to be active, go outside, and stay connected to people that make me feel good about myself and good about life.
MM: Can’t go wrong there. Gotta surround yourself with people supporting you and get out of your head space. I just want to to briefly touch on this topic because I think it’s really important that we start a dialogue as a community. You’ve been pretty vocal about mental health awareness as of late. There’s such a stigma surrounding people, especially those in the limelight talking about mental health issues in general. You recently were very brave to open up about your own struggles on social media. Can you tell us what facilitated that decision to open up to your fans and the world and shed light on what you’re going through and this issue?
LM: It’s funny, it’s something I alway felt really strongly about. And people ask you “what charities do you support” or “what are you passionate about?” And I was always very passionate about mental health but because of the stigma around it I had so many people advise me not to attach myself to it and that made me sad because it made me realize it was like you’re alienating people that go through that. Because of my own personal experience and my family’s experience with it and meeting more and more fans who share with me their stories and how they struggle with mental illness and how they look up to me or Raven, it made me realize that I’m not perfect but these people think so highly of you. I almost felt like a fraud. I’m not this amazing being who wakes up every morning full of sunshine and goes very day. I do struggle, all the time.
What I’ve learned in my journey through it and up to now is that struggling doesn’t make you weak. It makes you stronger and your scars give you character and life, not the opposite. They don’t make you dirty or bad. I grew so much strength from what I’ve been through that I wanted to share it with others and if I could help someone else out there knowing that it can get better, I’m an example of it and if we talk about it and we work on ourselves and work with how we feel and what we think of ourselves and the stories we tell ourselves, and our mentality, daily — it’s a daily practice, it can get better. I just wanted to tell everyone “if I can do it you can do it.” I’m no better or no worse. It’s all about opening yourself up and being really honest. That’s what helped me with my depression and my anxiety is being honest and talking about it. I was like “I’ve been a fraud up until this point because I’m not really talking about it.” That was my statement to myself and my truth and my being in my soul. It was like “this is my true self.” Once I shared that, I never felt more confident in myself and my ability, as a person, to give. That’s more important than a career or fame or money. It’s your ability to give to this world. What are you giving to this world? I felt like if I could give back and give myself truly, then I’m doing something right.
MM: And I know so many people when I was reaching out for questions for you, a lot of people didn’t even have questions they just wanted to share that you touched them and that they appreciate someone who is on TV or in that type of career coming out and saying “Hey, I do struggle, you can get through this.” You are a regular person. You’re on TV and people think you’re not a normal person but in reality you are. That was touching for even me to see because I do have anxiety and struggle with stuff like that but I was just like “oh my goodness, I hope she really knows that in addition to shedding light for herself, that other people are looking up to her and it does help a lot of people.” I just wanted to touch on it and let you know that you are changing people. You’re doing something right.
LM: That’s my hope.
MM: You definitely have. So many fans look up to you and especially your character. As we wrap up do you have anything else you want to plug or a message for the fans to wrap up before we head into the new season?
LM: Just make sure they tune in, April 24th!