The 100 Interview: Eliza Taylor Talks Clarke, Mastering the American Accent, and More

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In The CW’s new series, The 100, we find ourselves on an Ark with the 4,000 humans left ninety-seven years after a nuclear Armageddon decimated planet Earth. With resources running out, a group of 100 juvenile prisoners are sent back to Earth to find out whether it is habitable for the rest of them. And that’s where we meet Clarke, one of the 100 who will have to survive on this new and wild Earth.

Clarke is portrayed by Australian actress, Eliza Taylor, who recently took some time to attend the Warner Bros Mondo press tour to talk about the series, her character, some of the things that surprised her about being on the show, and more.

On Clarke’s journey in Season 1

Taylor shared, “I think it’s a total roller coaster for her. I mean, she’s still a teenager at the end of the day. And even though she’s taken on such a heavy role, I think there are certainly times where the normal teenage stuff kind of gets in the way. I find that really interesting because it’s not very often that you see that kind of childlike side of her because she’s so strong and brave and such a good leader. I think one of the nice things is when you do see that side of her and you do see a smile or something, it’s really cool. So, hopefully, there will be a little bit more of that.”

On Clarke’s relationship with the Ark and how it affects her while being on Earth.

Taylor explained, “Clarke was brought up in, I suppose, one of the more well‑to‑do sectors of the Ark because her mom is the chief of medicine. Her dad was the head of mechanics. So I think she was raised in a really safe and happy environment. And then when her father discovered that there was a flaw in the system and, you know, things were about to get crazy, her whole world was turned upside down. And her father was executed, and she was thrown into prison. And I think there’s a lot of tension between her and her mother because she kind of took the side of the Ark, in her eyes anyway. So I think when she gets to Earth, there’s that tension with her mother, but there’s also that responsibility to do the right thing and make sure that we tell the Ark that the ground is inhabitable and that they’re not all going to die.”

On Clarke’s relationship with the 100 on Earth

Taylor explained, “I think throughout the series, she relates to a number of different kids on the ground. I think she’s an extremely compassionate person and very empathic. And she really just wants to take care of everyone. So I think her connection is to everyone because she feels responsible for them and she wants to keep them safe.”

On mastering the American accent

When asked about how easy it was to master the American accent, Taylor revealed that she had been a dialect coach in Australia, in between acting jobs. She shared, “I was bartending, waiting on tables, and teaching the American accent before I came to L.A. So that part wasn’t too hard. I did find it interesting, though, when I did get here. I mean, teaching the accent itself is quite easy because it’s isolated and it’s slow and you can sound things out. But then being on set and doing a heated scene where you’re yelling and screaming, it’s amazing how quickly your own accent slips out. And you’re like, “Oh, my students would be so disappointed in me.”

Clarke, Wells, Bellamy, Octavia - The 100

On stunts and physical demands of the role

When asked about the physicality of the role and stunts, Taylor shared that the scariest for them was “running through the forest in winter because it gets icy and slippery.” She added, “we have all fallen spectacularly and come very close to seriously hurting ourselves. So there’s a lot of running, a lot of just going for it in the forest. Apart from that, I mean, there are a lot of stunts, but we generally have stunt doubles helping us out with that.”

On the most exciting part of being on the show

Taylor explained, “It’s been such a long time since I was a part of a show from its birth, if that makes sense. In the last few years, I’ve just kind of come into a series and done a few episodes here or there. This feels like ours, like we’ve kind of created it from the beginning. And it’s really set a tone with each other. And I just spring out of bed in the morning and love it. And I’m proud of it, you know.

On what surprised her about the show

There were a couple of things that surprised Taylor, the first one was her issues mastering the accent (which she mentioned above) and the second thing was how different sets were in the US from Australia.

She shared, “I’ve been acting since I was 11, I got my first role. And so I’ve grown up on sets, and I felt like I knew how they worked. But on this side of the world, it’s actually a completely different thing. So, I stepped on set for the first time and was like, “Yeah, I know what I’m doing. It’s going to be fine,” and then was just like, “Oh, my God. There’s so many people. It’s so big.” It’s like all their terminology is completely different to what it is on Australian sets. And I was really surprised by that. I was like, “Oh, shit. I feel really green” [Laughter] “like I don’t know what I’m doing. Great.” But I think we’re about to start shooting episode 11 now, so I’ve found my stride, I think.””

The 100 premieres on Wednesday, March 19th, at 9pm on The CW.

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