‘The 100’ star Ivana Milicevic Discusses Diyoza’s Intentions, and an Upcoming Epic Female Fight (Interview)
It’s hard to recall a time before The 100 took place. We see remnants of a fallen world, breadcrumbs of the past, before the most catastrophic event in history unfolded in 2052. The nuclear apocalypse (the first one, anyways), left the Earth soaked in radiation and less than stellar living conditions. But, aside from what we’ve been told on The CW’s hit series– we don’t know anything about humanity’s demise, especially before meeting Clarke (Eliza Taylor) and the Sky People. So what happens when the past catches up with the future, and collides… violently? Well, Season 5 shakes things up with Charmaine Diyoza, a no holds barred leader of those on board a mining ship named Eligius IV, who have recently landed their big, scary, spacecraft smack dab in the middle of our beloved characters new home. These intruders want to survive in this new world, but first must overcome obstacles such as Clarke and the gang, oh, and a mysterious illness that many of the passengers are dying from.
But the real kicker? Diyoza and the prisoners come from, get this… our time. They’ve been in a deep sleep for over a hundred years, and being jolted awake to discover one patch of viable land and fiesty grounders ready to fight for it, is probably not the most soothing wake-up call for a bunch of criminally insane people.
The badass leader of (extremely dangerous) misfits, played by Ivana Milicevic, is possibly one of the most important names on the prisoner manifest found on the elusive miner ship, and quite frankly, The 100 line-up in Season 5. The ex-armed forces turned terrorist is stirring up drama for the core crew, and even though we don’t know if we can trust her just yet, we sure are hoping she sticks around.
Milicevic, a seasoned actress, and might I add an absolutely delight, was kind enough to lend her time to Fan Fest News, and went into detail about her character’s intentions, Diyoza’s misunderstood personality, and her personal intrigue with Bellamy, the sh*t starter.
MCKENZIE MORRELL: So first off, tell us a little but about The 100’s new character that you play, Charmaine Diyoza.
IVANA MILICEVIC: I love this character so much. First, the thing that speaks to me about all of these prisoners is that they came from Earth as we know it today as opposed to after however many apocalypses we’re up to now on The 100. That’s really interesting because they remember really how it was. They lived the stories. She was a Navy Seal, she really loved her country and her brothers and sisters in arms then started to see that the government was becoming fascist and went against them. I think that she felt that they went against her first and ideals that she thought she was fighting for and then she turned on her country and became a terrorist. But a terrorist because what she wants is freedom and goodness.
MM: I definitely think the word terrorist in terms of how they paint her is kind of the government and other people saying “this is what you are” because you aren’t conforming to what it was at the time.
IM: Exactly. Yes.
MM: I know, that was very interesting being able to get those glimpses of your past. Will we be able to see that unfold as the story goes on?
IM: Yes. To me, she’s not a person who is out for power for power’s sake. She legitimately wants to have a wonderful world, a free world, you know? Back in her day it was a free America still. She’s not somebody who rules by power or wanting it. It’s she wants what’s best. And the ends justify the means for her.
MM: You’ve probably gotten mixed reviews in terms of how the audience sees your character. She’s someone that you either hate to love or love to hate or both. Why do you think people are so torn when it comes to this character?
IM: Well, I think anybody will hate anybody who threatens their beloved characters’ faces. Like Clarke and Bellamy and you know — if I’m going to hurt any of them, I would be hated. Of course. I also don’t think they know her well enough yet. Right now, she just looks like somebody who is going to climb over everyone to get what she wants. Everyone wants to survive and the stakes are really high.
MM: I mean in a perfect world, both groups could live together harmoniously and repopulate that one patch of Earth. But we don’t live in a perfect world and the group you’re with — do you think for Diyoza it’s hard to be grouped with the people on board Eligius? There are serial killers and we don’t know the extent of all the criminals.
IM: Yes, absolutely. This is not her ideal situation. But I think she has a mind to work with what you have and not what you don’t. That sucks but celebrate what you’ve got is part of her motto there. No, that is not ideal. The only one that’s kind of like her is Shaw.
MM: Shaw is definitely one of the rare eggs who seems to have different morals than say McCreary does.
MM: Your character seems to be having some issues in terms of keeping the men in line, especially McCreary and our fallen prisoner that McCreary took it out on. What’s her strategy to get them to listen to her and is the end goal the same for everybody
IM: It’s exactly what you said. She’s a strategist. They do recognize that in her. They know that whatever moves they want to make, even to mutiny, they have to pick their time carefully. Even McCreary is aware that Diyoza has something he doesn’t have and that is her mind. So they are biding their time. As we know, everyone isn’t from the crew, it’s a very split group of people that are loyal to her and then loyal to him.
MM: Shaw seems to be on a completely different moral ground in terms of what we think Diyoza wants at the end. He references ‘her people’ do you think he’s somebody who sees himself as an outsider who is just trying to survive with what he wants?
IM: Damn it, McKenzie, I wish I could tell you. You’ll see. Something will be revealed about that soon. So I’ll leave it alone. But they are more kindred because they were both Navy Seals. There is some honor amongst them. He’s not as good as we want him to be and she’s not as bad as you want her to be, or you think she is. Like always on The 100, the characters are gray. They may choose to make this one or that one a bad guy but they’ve all done bad things.
MM: In terms of going off Shaw, when he was given orders for levelling the ground the other crew was on, do you think Diyoza believes Raven was the one that stopped the missiles from launching or that Shaw sneakily went in there and was like “hey I’m gonna block this because I don’t agree with it.”
IM: Right now, I think she is taking it at face value. At this point in this story. She’s like “okay, we can’t” and listen it’s important to be said that Diyoza gets no joy from killing people. This is not something she gets a kick out of. She’d rather not. But don’t mess with her. She’s not weak. You know that thing where Raven wouldn’t kill the prisoners and Diyoza called her weak? Diyoza would have done that. Not because of joy, not because she wants to, where as I think McCreary actually enjoys it.
MM: Right, you have to follow through and Diyoza is someone who would follow through since the terms weren’t met.
IM: She has to.
MM: I totally agree, I can see that.
IM: She see herself as saving the world, not hurting the world.
MM: We all have different perceptions. Obviously Clarke and Bellamy and the rest of the gang think they’re saving humanity. And you guys have been in sleep for a while so you don’t know what’s going on or how everybody has evolved or the changes. But I think it’s interesting to see the different dynamics and perspectives.
IM: Absolutely and they probably could live together if they had more time to get to know each other. But there is no time there’s just “go now.” So everyone is acting out of fear. There’s no time to negotiate. There’s no — it’s always so fast. The stakes are always so high.
MM: It’s The 100. The stakes are never low. Someone is always dying, the world is always ending, there’s blood everywhere. It’s never happy. Do you think if Bellamy didn’t come in and threaten genocide against her people, that peace would be something that was truly on the table or was that just a tactic in terms of Diyoza and her survival skills?
IM: Me, the actress, and I think I’m right here, I want peace. And I’m very clear that this is the last bit of humanity. I’m not trying to kill the last human. I think it was very much on the table. But I’m very aware that Diyoza is spinning lots of plates. She knows she has lots of crazy prisoners on her side and she has no idea what she’s dealing with — the Red Queen? She just met the Red Queen and her crazy people who don’t move until she says move.
MM: From her perspective, going into that battle arena, it looked like WonKru are these savages that are murdering each other for fun. These aren’t people they want to save or work with. So I can definitely see where she’s coming from.
IM: Exactly. Everyone else is crazy. They were murderers, they went to jail, they went to mine, they went against the US government, got caught, okay. No problem. But look what’s going on here on Earth now. It’s insane. I think she means it, she’d love for peace but again, don’t cross her. Don’t cross her on any side, her prisoners too.
MM: Now with the attack on Octavia and WonKru, there’s definitely a war brewing. In terms of conflict, will we see more between her and Octavia? Will we see this unfold, the conflict of the Red Queen versus this Eligius group?
IM: Well there are a few conflicts. We have Octavia who is now pissed off because that dude did whatever he wasn’t supposed to do. And now Octavia is pissed. Then again, I did go back on my word. She did go back on her word in terms of sharing the land. But then — they had my people in their vice because they had the controls to kill the prisoners that were still in space, Bellamy did, with Raven. She doesn’t actually trust that they won’t just kill her prisoners. Which are her people, which are human. They don’t want humans to die. So she needed to — the world needed to turn there. She needed to get the power back and then she said “nevermind, we’re going to keep that to ourselves.” But we got them out of the bunker. No one else has to die. And who knows? Maybe it could have been worked out. But then they tried to kill Octavia and now it’s a big fat mess.
MM: So they did get all of the eight hundred plus people out of the bunker?
IM: They got everyone out of the bunker. And they’re like “we’ll take the doctor. We got you out. Leave us alone.”
MM: Little does Diyoza know, I feel like she got the wrong doctor since Abby is having some problems with addiction. Do you think she knew that there was another doctor in terms of Jackson or is she oblivious to that?
IM: In her mind, the doctor is Abby.
MM: Obviously there are a lot of dynamic characters in the world of The 100, working with them and seeing the stories unfolding, if you could play any of the other characters, who would it be?
IM: I think who I’d get cast as, years ago would be Octavia. Other than that, maybe I’d be Bellamy. I like his journey. I like him being such a little shit starter at the beginning and I like where he’s come, I like his power. I like that he’s softening. They’re great characters. Also maybe Lexa.
MM: That would be amazing. Did you ever watch the show prior to getting the role?
IM: No, I didn’t but you know who did is my brothers and it was one of my brother’s favorite show and he got my other brother into it. And then my brother passed away and when I got The 100, I felt like he was sending it to me from on high. He was obsessed with the show. So it was special and it came full circle.
MM: That has to be something that gives you some solace, the fact that this was meant to be and hopefully you’ll be with us for season six. We’re rooting for you. Even if we hate to love you.
IM: Hey, how do you feel about Diyoza because you’re a huge fan, right? Do you just not trust her? You’d be a good person to ask.
MM: I’m on the fence. I don’t agree with everything that she’s done. But in the same sense, I don’t agree with a lot of the things Clarke or Bellamy have done and they’re the leads of the show. So I think that’s where it’s healthy in terms of being a fan, watching it and holding people accountable for what they’ve done. Right now, I’m cautiously optimistic in terms of Diyoza and the future of her with the group and even maybe she’d come into the fold and live happily ever after and the prisoners are just not in the picture anymore. But obviously this is The 100 so that’s not going to happen but I like her. That’s why I was I hate to love her because I know she’s gonna shake things up and things are gonna happen that are not gonna be good but at the same time, we need some new blood on the show and I think your character is gonna be fun to watch as the season progresses.
IM: I love playing her.
MM: Well we love her. The fans complain on Twitter but they do love her. I see everybody’s comments.
IM: Well you need it. Do you really want to watch a show where we all get along and live in the green valley together? Everybody’s amazing! Great!
MM: As we start to wind down, I like to throw in my signature question. It’s a bit off the cuff but fun, nonetheless. If you had to concoct a donut based off Diyoza’s personality, what kind of donut would it be and what kind of toppings would be on it?
IM: It’d obviously be a very dense, heavy, cake donut as opposed to fluffier donuts and it’d be topped with ball bearings stuck on chocolate. They could be used for some kind of ammunition or something. That’s a really cute question.
MM: I started it a very long time ago and now I put it into everything. That’s how everyone knows me whenever we do comic con and for some reason, you mix food in interviews and everyone has a good time. As we wrap up, why should the audience tune in to The 100? Give us a tease of what’s to come now that Diyoza holds all the cards?
IM: Oh, gosh! I wish I could tell you why they should tune in. Not necessarily the next episode but coming up you’re about to see some awesome, awesome girl power, female empowerment fighting like you’ve never seen. And that’s saying a lot talking about a show like The 100 because there are a lot of awesome fights already. But there’s a really awesome one coming up. You’ll know when it happens.
MM: Oh boy! Well we’re super excited. Thank you again for joining me today.
IM: Thank you so much, McKenzie. It was my pleasure!