(The 100’s Tasya Teles Exclusive Interview was co-authored by Fuzzable’s Preston Smith)
The brand new season of The 100, season five, has recently started on our TV screens and we can’t get enough of every single episode. We had the amazing opportunity to interview Tasya Teles who plays Echo in the show; she has become part of the main cast, this season.
Echo first appeared back in season two when she was trapped at Mount Weather, she saves the life of Bellamy Blake, played by Bob Morley, which leads to him helping her escape. We’ve watched her grow as she returned to the Ice Nation grounders and became a royal bodyguard for Roan, played by Zach McGowan. At the end of season four, we watch as she fights off grounders who attempt to kill Clarke, striking a deal that ensures her safety when the death wave hits. This leads to her being in the rocket in the last episode of season four where they all make it up to The Ark in space.
Season five has only just started in the UK, but in the US they’ve watched Echo have a bigger role as part of the main season cast. She’s definitely one of the characters the viewers at home are all keeping an eye on as her personality is developed more on screen.
We are honoured that Tasya Teles managed to find the time to answer our questions. We chatted about season five of The 100, what it’s like to work with Jason Rothenberg and the cast of The 100, and we also chatted about her own organisation, Unslaved.
Hi Tasya, we hope your day is going well today. What have you been up to lately?
I’ve been traveling a lot, meeting a lot of the fans, which has been incredible, but when I’m actually back at home I mostly try to relax. Tomorrow morning, I am going to Disneyland, which is exciting, and tonight we’re having a little get together at my place to watch the newest episode of “The 100”. Oh! I also recently took up boxing, which I’m officially addicted to.
Season five of The 100 premiered on our TV screens on April 24, what can we expect from it?
There is still so much to be seen, but the stakes are higher than ever right now. A lot of the characters have changed a lot and formed new alliances amongst themselves. These relationships are tested in new ways than ever before because they’ve not only matured, but they’re trying to learn from the mistakes of their past. So, there is a lot of history that haunts them, perhaps replacing their former innocence. I think they’re fighting harder than ever now.
What has the fans reactions been to the first episode of season five?
Everyone recognized that Eliza did a phenomenal job carrying the first half of that episode, but there was also a lot of talk about the new relationship between Bellamy and Echo, which is a divisive topic, but there’s still so much to see in the season, I am more interested in how the fans react to the entirety of season five, once everything is said and done!
You’ve been upgraded from regular cast member to full cast member, what’s that like?
I already felt so connected to everyone at work, but this definitely solidified my bond with the group. Going to set, feels home now, and I feel more empowered to ask questions, learn from the other departments, and build the story with them more actively than before. There is also a new sense of responsibility to create a supportive atmosphere for everybody at work. There are so many actors and artists that come to work with us each day to tell this amazing story, and it’s important to participate in making it feel like a place where people are safe to do their work and be creative.
Can you tell us more about your character, Echo? Do you think the audience at home connects with her more during this season?
There’s always so much going on with Echo, but this season, the struggle to survive has been replaced with the struggle to fit in. She doesn’t quite know where she belongs anymore, and she feels lost, which is something I feel is super relatable. Despite her feelings of insecurity within the new family dynamics on earth, she still pushes forward the best way she knows how. So, there’s also a story of redemption for Echo. She doesn’t quite know where she belongs, but she wants to make amends for her past actions. She’s not thrilled by some of the things she’s done, and she’s trying to make it right. I think that’s an important message because we aren’t defined by our mistakes, we are defined by how we overcome them, and Echo faces hers bravely and with resolve. Her determination is amazing.
What similarities and differences do you share with your character Echo?
Echo doesn’t stay marred in indecision for too long, she’s very active and very resolved to fix things and is always thinking of twenty different solutions for every obstacle. I think her and I both share a belief that anything is solvable, you just have to figure out how to do it, and then actually do it. That said, I’m a lot more emotional than she is. Echo is still guarded and doesn’t like to show her fear, or vulnerability, whereas I can find myself crying during Mazda commercials. If we both watched the Titanic together, I would be the one gripping the Kleenex box, and she would be the one yelling at the TV, wondering why Rose and Jack didn’t make some other strategic play so they could both survive together and live happily ever after.
It’s been six years since she left Earth, with Skykru. How have those years changed Echo as a person? How has she grown?
She’s found love and friendship, which have immense meaning for her. Imagine being an adult and never knowing what it’s like to have a true friend. She has learned a lot about science and technology, which are also monumental paradigm shifts for someone who lived in the forest without electricity their entire lives. I think after the six years she has learned that her Azgedan belief system wasn’t the absolute truth she was taught. That there is so much else out there, and that you don’t have to be violent, or brutish to be powerful.
If you could change something about Echo what would it be?
I think there’s an inner comedian inside Echo, just dying to come out. She has a sense of humor that lives in her, that we don’t get to see much.
I would also tell her she’s allowed to cry. Especially during Titanic.
What’s it like working with the executive producer, Jason Rothenberg?
I love working with Jason. I find him hilarious, and just fun to be around. He has this nerdy sense of humor that reminds me of my dad. He’s just this awesome, sweet nerdy guy that loves his family, and loves storytelling. He’s incredibly detail-oriented and he’s always pushing the limits of what we can accomplish. I remember one day we had to shoot a seventeen-hour day in, oh… eight hours. It was insane. But we did it! He’s fearless in challenging the team and expanding the boundaries of the show, and we all feed off it.
One thing I really applaud him for, is being so supportive of women in the business and on the show. He ran up to me on set when I was having a hard time with a war scene, and whispered, “Why do all the men always get to play the heroes? Be that badass the younger girls can cheer for.” I thought that was so cool because I certainly didn’t feel there were a lot of female heroes to choose from when I was a kid. He writes for ideas and issues that are bigger than the show. He’s awesome.
Busy w a fight scene on set all day, but MAN I am feeling the love!! You GUYYYS! U r are all so amazing! I’m so fortunate to have so many shiny stars in my life! Look at the power of turning negativity into positivity..It’s a superhero move, and i am so touched????#PowerMoves
— Tasya Teles ? (@tasyateles) May 10, 2018
Also, what’s it like working with the other cast members, specifically Eliza Taylor (Clarke), Bob Morley (Bellamy Blake), Marie Avgeropoulos (Octavia Blake), Paige Turco (Abby Griffin), Lindsey Morgan (Raven Reyes), and Christopher Larkin (Monty Green)?
Eliza and Chris have a quiet stillness they harbor, and then they unleash their power through their work, which I love to watch. The rest of us can be a little more… curious and talkative – exploring ideas together and occasionally goofing around. Bob is really engaging with everyone on the team. He’s always lifting spirits and keeping everyone smiling between takes. Lindsay and Paige are very much the same. Marie and I are just in the corner filming Dubsmashes and playing with Chewie. When everybody is filming and working together, it’s pretty incredible. Everyone has their own process by which they work and get into their character. It’s great to watch and learn from my peers; everybody is so talented and so different.
How does working on The 100 differ from working on the other TV shows you have been a part of?
Working on The 100 feels like you’re in the Olympics of Showbusiness. You have to not only perform, but do it at twice the intensity, and twice the speed, all the while battling insane weather conditions, and a variety of curveballs on set. The 100 can be wild, scary, and totally insane, but that’s what makes work exciting. If The 100 was a person who invited me to dinner, and I had to decide between them or going to dinner with another show… I know my evening with the 100 would take me on the wildest adventure of my life, but I’d be slightly worried I wouldn’t make it back alive. Whereas the other shows would still be super fun, but a lot safer and more predictable. They may still be eating at great restaurants with superb food, but it’s always a little more exciting rolling with The 100. They do things no one else does. There’s a bit more danger in the air.
As well as films and TV Series, you also voiced Mary May Fairgrave on the game Far Cry 5, what was that like to work on?
Amazing, I love the storyline in Far Cry 5, and I love working with Ubisoft. Their games are so much fun to be a part of, and I love playing badass characters who get to stand in their strength. Mary May is just one of those tough, no bullshit type of gals, who can shoot guns, and drive trucks, milk cows, and doesn’t beat around the bush. She’s straight up, stands for what she believes in, and she’s freakin’ awesome.
We can’t wait to see you in more films and TV shows, what do you hope to achieve in the future?
I’m hoping to try my hand at directing down the road. There’s still so much to learn, even in the field of acting, but I plan to live until I’m 150, so there’s tons of time.
You also have your own organization called Unslaved. Please, can you tell us more about it and what it does? We also like the fact that you donate the money from your autographs, on your website, to human trafficking organizations.
Unslaved is a passion project of mine that started when I first fell into some stories about human trafficking. After learning that human trafficking is gaining momentum, and how deeply present it is around us in the western world, I felt compelled to do something. Slavery is alive, and it is thriving. Despite how vocal we are about human rights right now, for some reason, this is an issue that most of us don’t want to confront because it’s so ugly. It’s a difficult topic to face because it’s a terrible reflection of what we allow as a society, but turning a blind eye isn’t going to make it go away. I think we have to be strong for the young girls and boys entrapped in this back-alley world, and I encourage everyone to watch what’s going on. Little things can lead to big changes, and together we can put a stop to this. We need to create tougher legislation at home, and really come together and show that as a society, we don’t accept this. It’s the human rights issue of our time, and the more awareness we can create, the sooner slavery can finally be put to bed.
Finally, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Thank you for all the love and support, know that for every one hug and kiss sent my way, I’m sending 10,000 back! Connect with me online, or even better, at TheUnslaved.com
To connect with Tasya Teles on social media, follow her on Twitter, and Instagram. Thank you so much, Tasya Teles, for this amazing interview. We loved your answers and cannot wait to see how Echo grows in season five of The 100.