Exclusive ‘The Tomorrow People’ Interview: Madeleine Mantock Talks Astrid and John’s Connection, Becoming an Ultra Agent and More

The Tomorrow People Sitting Ducks

Astrid has taken the front seat on The CW’s The Tomorrow People, when her attempted murder by Ultra left her stuck underground with the rest of the Tomorrow People. But the question on a lot of people’s minds is whether her time with John could lead to something more between the two.

TV Equals got a chance to speak to Madeleine Mantock, who portrays Astrid on the show, and ask her about Astrid’s time with the Tomorrow People, the possibility of John and her becoming more than acquaintances, the possibility of her becoming an Ultra agent and more.

This last episode [“Sitting Ducks”] was a big, big episode for Astrid

Madeleine Mantock: Yes, a really big episode. I think in maybe more than any episode before, and so when I went back to work everybody was going, ‘Oh, have you read it? Have you read it yet?’ I was going, ‘No, no. I don’t have the script yet,’ and I remember even the catering ladies were running up and telling me, ‘Oh, and this happens,’ and giving me spoilers. I was like, ‘What?!’ I had no idea. I was very excited. I was a bit daunted, because you suddenly get given a big responsibility with an episode and you don’t want to let the show down. It was great fun, though, and lovely to work with Luke [Mitchell] because normally I work with Robbie Amell. You’re excited to see how you can work and play off of him, but at the same time, you think, ‘Oh, I hope they’re able to sort of support me as well if I’m having a hard day on set,’ which he did. He was lovely.

Speaking of John and Stephen, we know that Astrid loves Stephen, but he doesn’t return that affection. And it seems some fans are hoping that her and John will get romantically involved. Is that explored in upcoming episodes?

Madeleine Mantock: It actually is explored, sort of. I love how into it the fans have got. In episode nine when we shared a look over pizza, that was added in as I got there, and I didn’t know what it meant. They said, ‘Oh, no, no. In the next episode, you’re going to have all these things to do with John, and so then you just set up a connection between you two.’ The response from it was just insane. It’s like the internet went mad over this one look. I just found it so surprising and brilliant because it makes you excited to go to work, and you want to make it a bit more nuanced and interesting so that the fans can pick up on little things. It’s really interesting. It will definitely be explored, but it’s important to remember, I think, that they don’t know each other. They’ve only just met, and so they have to sort of get to know each other a bit first, develop a sort of relationship, and obviously, the things that went on in episode twelve, they’ve now got something to sort of bond over. So that’ll be explored, but in terms of romance, I actually don’t know. I have no idea where it goes. It’s funny, really, because when you look at the show as a whole pictures, it’s, like, quite serious [and you are] in fear of being shot at any moment. So it’s funny that this romance element is really sort of catching everybody’s interest and imagination, which is great.

Are you team John or team Stephen?

Madeleine Mantock: I have no idea. I’m team Astrid.

That’s the best answer.

Madeleine Mantock: Yeah. I’m looking out for myself. No. I mean, in the beginning I would say that I very much leaned on team Stephen primarily because you’re looking at your character and you’re thinking, ‘Who do I know? Who do I understand,’ and most of my scenes were about supporting him and dealing with his problems. So I was very much on his side. The difference between who’s team I should say Astrid is on and me, just as Madeleine reading the script, and now I don’t know anymore how Astrid feels about Stephen. I think how much pushing out and blocking away can one person take, especially when he’s gallivanting with other girls. So I don’t know. I think she’s intrigued by John. He’s something new. He’s very dashing and attractive and he saves her life. So there’s that, but I don’t know how that will develop or how much she actually wants to be a part of that world because it’s so dangerous for her. She can’t get out of it like they can. She can’t just disappear from situations. So I think that’s something that scares her about it.

But she’s kind of living with them now, at least for a little bit. How does that evolve in upcoming episodes? Does she stay there for a long time?

Madeleine Mantock: She’s been held hostage, which she’s not very happy about. She wants to go home. She wants to see her parents, and I think she feels that the more time that she spends around those people, the more danger she’s in, ultimately. Her family as well because she doesn’t know if they’ve already been taken or killed or attacked in the real world or above ground. So, yeah, she’s down there for a while. She’s not very happy about it, but Stephen comes up with a plan to try and get her out because you meet the founder’s daughter in episode thirteen, Kathy, and for reasons which will become apparent in the episode, they strike a deal where Stephen tries to trade them. He’s like, ‘Look, I’ll give you your daughter if you clear Astrid’s name and just let her be.’ So you’ll have to watch and see how that transpires. It’s quite interesting. This is the episode where at the ending of it, I had absolute shivers reading it, and I remember having to go for my costume fitting and our designer was acting out what happens because she thought it was so bad ass and amazing. It’s very unexpected and I think that people are going to freak out when they see the end of this episode. I can’t wait.

The Tomorrow People Sitting Ducks 02

It sounds good, but can you ever really be safe from Ultra if you know about the Tomorrow People?

Madeleine Mantock: Yes, they can say one thing and do another, which we’ve seen numerous times. I don’t know if she will ever be safe, but also I feel like one of the great things about the show is this ambiguity, especially with Jedikiah, you don’t really know exactly where or why his loyalties lie and where they do. So there’s always that thing where you go, ‘Does he actually care about Stephen, and will he actually be bothered that it’s his best friend and it means a lot to him and will he stand by his word and not go after Astrid? Or is just another human to gun down because she knows too much and she’s just got to go?’ That is something that we go back and forth during this episode, thirteen, on that subject. I think it’s something to be aware of because I know we have a new episode every week and we meet new people, but there is still this ongoing threat that nobody is safe. I think we’re getting to the point where we’re honing in on who exactly is at Ultra, that is sort of the instigator and the real bad apple that’s putting the threat out to her people.

Do you think they might teach you how to fight at all, during the time you’re with the Tomorrow People?

Madeleine Mantock: I would love to do that. I actually did some stunt training for episode twelve because we had to do…well, I didn’t. Well, no. I sort of had to roll downstairs, not as much as my stunt double, but we did have to do that and he taught me. Jeff [Ong] I’m saying, our stunt guy. He taught me some punches and that was really fun, but I don’t know what the value of Astrid actually being able to fight would be, because if she’s fighting against Tomorrow People they can just [shove] her up against a wall, run away. They can dance around her in a way that she’s not really able to defend herself in the same way. She doesn’t have the same bag of tricks. I mean, maybe, if she can get suppression cuffs on them, that would be different, but in terms of someone who actually has powers, I think it would kind of be redundant. She can kill [though].

Or she could become an Ultra agent and learn all their tricks.

Madeleine Mantock: Absolutely. Very early on I saw people saying that they thought they didn’t trust Astrid and they thought she was a double agent and she’d been assigned to work for Jedikiah since birth and that’s why her and Stephen were best friends, which I thought was hilarious. I thought, ‘How [do you make] a three year old, or a whatever old child to spy on a classmate?’ Anyway, that was an interesting theory.

The Tomorrow People airs on Wednesdays at 9pm on The CW.

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