‘The 100’ premiere: Isaiah Washington, Paige Turco and the rest of the sci-fi cast discuss the show’s high stakes
“The 100” is the story of the possible end and the possible beginning of humanity’s future. Zap2it visited the set of The CW show, premiering Wednesday (March 19), and spoke with stars Isaiah Washington, Henry Ian Cusick, Paige Turco and several of the teenage delinquents, who shared their insights on the science-fiction show.
At the beginning of “The 100”, that number of juvenile offenders are sent from their space-station home down to the Earth. No one has been there for several generations, thanks to a global nuclear war, but now The Ark space station is failing. If they can’t go back to Earth, humanity is essentially doomed.
Most of the older actors on the show remain at the space station throughout. Washington, for example, plays humanity’s official leader, Chancellor Jaha. “He’s trying to do the best for the people and for the human race. You know, there are no easy decisions and there are no easy outs,” the actor says of his troubled and often endangered character.
The stress of Jaha’s job has even affected the actor: “I have new gray hairs, although The CW doesn’t want them on the show. I look in the mirror, and I feel like Barack Obama!” he says with a laugh.
Two of Jaha’s main deputies in leadership are Council members Kane (Cusick) and Abigail Griffin (Turco). While supposedly equals and co-workers, these two have very different points of view when it comes to their dangerous situation. “Even I’m not really sure of the whole dynamic with Jaha,” Cusick says. “You would think after the first episode that I would perhaps want him out of the way … But I think the relationships are more complex than that between the three of us.”
Turco’s character has even more on the line — her only daughter, Clarke, is one of the kids sent down to Earth. Add to this the fact that she is a pragmatic scientist, and you have Abigail’s central conflict. “Abby is much more proactive in solving problems,” Turco says. “I think she’s very goal-oriented, thanks to the human aspect, wanting to save her daughter because she’s a mom.”
Still, it’s more than mothering instincts that drive Griffin. “It’s not just saving these kids, it’s about finding out if Earth is habitable,” she says. “It’s about saving everybody.”
Leaving behind the Ark station, much of the rest of “The 100” cast gets marooned on a post-apocalyptic Earth. Things rapidly descend into “Lord of the Flies” territory, but some of the main characters work for both order and survival.