Executive producer Jason Rothenberg and the cast of The CW’s The 100 including Eliza Taylor expected much of the conversation about the series during the 2016 WonderCon to be centered around Lexa’s death. Alycia Debnam-Carey had to leave the show because of her commitment to a different series (Fear the Walking Dead), but that didn’t make her character’s death in season three of the sci-fi series any less heart-wrenching. After a panel with fans of the series, The 100 cast and crew took part in interviews where Lexa was also one of the main topics of conversation. Sitting down with Eliza Taylor on Easter Sunday in downtown Los Angeles, we talked about what’s going to be going on in Clarke’s head following the loss of Lexa who, as Taylor says, was “the one” for Clarke.
Eliza Taylor Interview:
Will Clarke have any time to grieve for Lexa?
Eliza Taylor: “Not really, no. She doesn’t. Obviously she’s grieving, there’s no way around that, but in this next episode she’s going to be faced with Ontari coming back and basically saying, ‘I’m going to be the next commander and I’m going to wipe out your people.’ So she’s had to kind of figure out a way to deal with Lexa, to cope, and to move on with this really urgent matter which is obviously what Clarke does every time somehow. I think that the one thing I’m really happy about and something that gives Clarke a reason to carry on is the fact that she has to believe that Lexa is in this A.I. She truly believes it that she’s in there and as long she keeps this safe, she’s got her. So it’s all about making sure it doesn’t go into Ontari’s head, basically.”
It’s going to go into Clarke’s, right?
Eliza Taylor: [Laughing] “Not necessarily.”
How do you think Lexa’s death is going to affect Clarke’s ability to form relationships in the future?
Eliza Taylor: “I just don’t know. I mean, I feel like she was the one for her. I don’t know. I thought about that and I don’t know if she’s going to be able to love anyone the way she loved Lexa. Not in our world – there’s only one Lexa.”
Do you read the scripts and think about how brutal some of these scenes are going to be to play?
Eliza Taylor: “Oh yeah I do. It’s crazy. Every week I’m just like, ‘Wow, okay, I’ll put on my crying boots.’ It’s hard but I’ve just managed a way to find a way of separating me from Clarke otherwise I’d go mad. She’s so tough to play but she’s so tough that it’s great. I’m so not like that. [Laughing] It’s just like, ‘Oh man, this is great. I get to look like a badass and I’m not one.’ I’m just so not that. This season especially has been really tough to prepare for emotionally.”
When you got the script with Lexa’s death, were you worried about what the fan reaction was going to be?
Eliza Taylor: “I mean, of course, yeah. It’s a real f**king sensitive issue. Pardon the French. And of course I was worried but all we could do was make it the best that we could with the script we were given. And of course it has to be said that at some point Alycia [Debnam-Carey] had to go to a different show. I know fans are really upset about her going, […]but the fact that she died in my arms and I feel like we both crossed a threshold acting-wise, that was a hard day and we went for it. Just tears. We went to the scary feely place. I’m really glad. I’m grateful for the experience.”
Is there anything you and Alycia Debnam-Carey did to prepare emotionally for that scene?
Eliza Taylor: “No, not really. I mean, me and Alycia talked about it definitely but I don’t like to mess with scripts too much until I’m on set and then just play around so that none of it feels stale or like I know it really, really well. So we definitely talked about it but we didn’t go through anything. I was just like, ‘All right, here we go,’ you know?”
Watch the full interview with Eliza Taylor on The 100 season 3 from WonderCon: