The CW’s Legacies star Danielle Rose Russell describes the series as one that pays homage to both The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. However, Russell believes Legacies is its own entity. During roundtable interviews at the 2018 San Diego Comic Con, Russell said fans of the new series can expect to see a more mature Hope who takes on new challenges and a new role while attending The Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted.
Legacies is set to premiere on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 9pm ET/PT.
Danielle Rose Russell Legacies Interview:
You said she’s taking on a new role. Is the new role that she’s really coming into her powers?
Danielle Rose Russell: “Yeah, I think that’s part of it. I don’t know if Hope will ever feel fully comfortable in who she is because there’s so much going on. Her nature is always telling her to do evil and to do wrong, so she’s constantly fighting those inner demons that are telling her to be evil and to succumb. The show is really all about choosing to be good in the face of evil and how these young beings are kind of born to be monsters. It explores how they can do good in the world.”
Who is helping her most on this journey?
Danielle Rose Russell: “I don’t think Hope has a whole lot of people who understand her. Even in her family I think she has always kind of felt like a little bit of an outcast because no one understands what it feels like to be this tribrid. So, I think she deals with a lot on her own and tries to take responsibility and deal with everything on her own. And since certain things have happened on this season of The Originals and since then, I think she kind of pushes people away due to traumas and things that have happened. So, I think she handles a lot on her own.”
She not only has these supernatural powers, she’s also growing into a woman so she’s dealing with that as well. How are you portraying that?
Danielle Rose Russell: “I mean, I think season five kind of shocked some of the fans of Hope because she was always this sweet girl who would draw in her bedroom. That’s who she was. But, when season five came and she was a 15-year-old girl not only battling being hormonal and becoming a young woman for the first time but she’s also battling this immense power that’s inside of her. I did really enjoy playing kind of the messier side of her because teenagers are not perfect at all. They are messy and there’s a lot of self-discovery and you make a lot of mistakes. I really enjoyed playing that part of her and I think that does continue into Legacies, too. But, the show does have a younger vibe and a high school tone to it.”
Who are some of the students that she’s going to meet there?
Danielle Rose Russell: “You have Lizzie and Josie Saltzman, Alaric’s kids. We have a character named Landon Kirby who she will be meeting. A character named Rafael; a character named M.G. who’s a vampire. And, of course, just people along the way. I think that’s all I can say about it.”
Is there anything about her at this point in her life that you really enjoy delving into?
Danielle Rose Russell: “Yes. I really love the fact that Legacies does have a very strong female lead. For me, playing Hope I don’t really relate to her in a lot of ways because I’m not supernatural, but I am a girl who was much more mature for her age and has a strong will and is a little sassier. I really kind of fell into her shoes in that sense and I really love to play it. We’re definitely going to explore some more of that in Legacies.”
Will Hope have a new best friend?
Danielle Rose Russell: “I don’t know. I think that because there are a lot of people who have died and who have really left an impact on her with their deaths, I think that she wants to push people away because she’s afraid of love and afraid of getting close to anyone. She thinks that anytime she does, it will blow up in her face. I think she blames herself a lot for certain things that have happened.
I don’t know. I don’t know if anytime soon she’ll have a friend. I really want her to have a friend. I really do!”
With the fact that she’s a tribrid, are you going to be doing much in the way of action scenes in Legacies?
Danielle Rose Russell: “Matt (Davis) and I did a fight sequence the other day which was a lot of fun. It’s not just Hope casting spells and blowing things up – which is kind of action-y – but you definitely see a little more of her werewolf nature begin to come out because she turns in episode 12. You definitely see some of that in Legacies which has been so much fun.”
Does she hope for a normal life?
Danielle Rose Russell: “I, of course, think so. I think that that’s where she gets a lot of her Aunt Rebekah in that sense. In The Originals for sure I think she really battled with who she was and not being able to have her family around. She blames herself for a lot of it. I’m sure there were many times when she wished she was a normal 15-year-old girl. But, in Legacies you start to see her take her own power back and explore all of who she is which I think is going to be really good especially playing her.”
Will she be interacting with any of the Mikaelsons?
Danielle Rose Russell: “I hope so. That’s up to Julie (Plec) – and anyone who wants to come back! But, I really hope so. I don’t want her Mikaelson roots to ever be lost. I don’t think they will. I think that who Hope is is very Mikaelson and also Marshall from her mother, so that will never be lost no matter if there are characters who come back or don’t.”
What will her support system look like in the school?
Danielle Rose Russell: “In The Originals, Hope was always known as being the baby and being protected by her family. But when she got old enough to where they can’t protect her anymore, I think she said, ‘I have to protect myself.’
So, when we pick up in Legacies, she does push people away and she does have a tendency to not get close to people because she’s afraid. I think she is kind of her own support system which can be really sad and really heartbreaking for her. You see a little bit of that and you definitely empathize with her when we pick up in Legacies. But hopefully she’ll make that transition where she can have a couple of friends. I’m really rooting for Hope to have friends!”
Is most of the action taking place in the school or is there an expanded universe that we’ll see her going out into?
Danielle Rose Russell: “I think that Legacies in the beginning at least will focus on the school. But there is definitely things that are out of the school that we’ll be in touch with, for sure, like supernatural things we’ve never even seen before which is why I say it’s a show of its own kind because we’ve never explored what’s outside of The Vampire Diaries world, basically. It definitely explores that a lot.”
How much do you know at this point about what she’s going to develop into, which powers will emerge and be the most prominent?
Danielle Rose Russell: “I know about three episodes in. (Laughing). I know that she will definitely be fighting some of her own demons and outer demons and trying to connect with people and also coming into her own. I hope to see her at her full tribrid power.”
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