Has Raven Reyes finally met her match in ALIE? The strong-willed Arker has been beaten down at every turn since her trip to the ground in season 1. But, despite taking some of the worst physical and emotional hits out of any character on The 100, the former Zero-G mechanic always seems to rise to the occasion. From being shot by Murphy, the sociopathic delinquent, to being caught in two– count ‘em two– explosions at Mount Weather, Raven’s journey hasn’t been an easy one. And to be honest, there’s no sign of a clear road ahead for her, or any of our favorites on the show. Lindsey Morgan, who portrays the emotionally guarded Sky girl, has been slowly coming to the forefront and man, are we ready! Any episode that is Raven-centric is one that’s A-OK in my book. Morgan was made for this role and her execution of our beloved Raven in times of crisis is so on point, it hurts.
Morgan and I chatted before her character joined the pod people in ALIE’s loopy dystopian world– so unfortunately we didn’t get to touch upon her exorcist-like performance coming up, but, we were able to discuss Raven’s evolution and importance of portraying such a diverse role on the hit CW series. Not to mention, we spoke about the fan comparison of Raven and Murphy (Richard Harmon), delving into the task of playing a physically disabled female, and slipping into Jaha’s shoes for a day.
It’s a race for survival as Raven submits (for now) to ALIE’s programming, and faces her biggest challenge yet– decimating the bitch in the red dress.
MCKENZIE MORRELL: This interview is a long time in the making since the Chastity Bites days. So this is fun.
LINDSEY MORGAN: I know! How crazy right?
MM: So crazy! I’ve enjoyed watching your journey. So now, let’s talk about Raven, she has faced so many challenges since season one of The 100, now in season three, how have you approached this character differently given everything that she’s gone through?
LM: I think that’s a great question and totally something we strive for and that the actors and writers try to collaborate on is the natural human progression of what this show would take on it and take on an actual human psyche. It’s interesting for me, as an actor because I’m actually playing a different character now, a different Raven because she’s been through so much. You’ll see that a lot with everyone. I was watching an episode of season one and it’s insane seeing things from season three, how different everyone is playing their character because we’re so much more mature now and I think when humans go through difficult situations, it becomes heavier to them and they have a burden to bear now. Season three is really interesting for Raven because you see her at the lowest point, the height of her depression and everything she’s been through, with their journey and also she’s going through chronic pain with her body which results in mental depression which happens very much in real life to people. You see a different Raven from the cocky girl that came out of a space suit in season one. She’s very different now.
MM: And obviously Raven’s got a rough road ahead of her and her body has been failing her. Do you think that’s going to be a theme of the season is just her not wanting to ask for help and where that leads her?
LM: That’s always been a big life lesson for Raven because she is so capable on her own. She has to learn that she needs the help from others and to open herself up to being vulnerable with others. It’s actually how one becomes stronger. Taking everything on their own back to bear. It’s interesting how they’ve create such a strong character from the get go and then threw everything they could to break her down as much as they could and that’s her journey is the only way to rebuild herself and come back stronger is to open herself up and expose her heart in the most vulnerable way to others. She has to literally become what she fears most, her weakest to ever reach her strongest, if that makes sense.
MM: It makes complete sense. And the fans love you and your character and they’re so passionate about Raven. What is it like being that representation for latinas and people with disabilities on the show?
LM: I’m so grateful for it. The thing I love so much about Raven is she’s a woman, for one and as a female it’s already — we’re rudely and mistakenly labeled as weak or never strong enough because we’re girls. She’s a women of color and that’s something that isn’t the majority on television and now she’s disabled which is definitely a minority representation on television which is crazy. I love that she has all these things about her but she’s one of the strongest characters, mentally, physically and emotionally too on television and that’s important. I think people forget how important representation is. I feel like you see one example of representation in a positive light just to open people’s ideas to the fact that there should be more of this and you’ve been forgetting to see this. This is reality. I’ve been grateful to play such a character and I hope that playing her will be inspiration to all walks of life, all people out there and whatever obstacles they’re facing to see that “if this one girl can do this then maybe I can do whatever I’m facing in my life.” To me, that’s the most rewarding thing as an actor and as a person that I could ever work for. Sometimes acting can be a superficial job like “oh you’re pretty” or “what’s your diet like” or “what are you wearing” and that’s my world unfortunately. There’s times where I’m like “man, I didn’t sign up for this. I don’t care about this crap.” But then I have such a strong character who puts such meaning in people’s lives and in my life that it inspires me to be a better person. She’s an inspiration to others to face their fears and overcome their obstacles. That’s the most rewarding fulfillment I could ask for.
MM: I think that’s why the fans are so passionate about her. They don’t want to lose that representation or relatable aspect. In terms of the physicality of having to wear the leg brace or playing that role of somebody whose leg is just not working for her. Do you find that difficult to portray the way you walk or the way you come across on screen?
LM: I will say and I hate to complain or anything but actually playing the disability has affected my own body and my own personal body as an actor. Even though you’re acting, during the scenes I do walk with a limp and put my weight on one side. I try to bring as much realism to that disability as I could as a real person who would be facing it. I’m exhausted after a day on set just because what I have to manipulate my body to do and I’ve also faced my own personal injuries as a result of it, in my real life. So it’s crazy and there’s talk of “do we fix Raven’s leg?’ Because I don’t want to hurt my body too, Lindsey’s body but I’ve been talking to a physical therapist to work my way around it because I find it very important that I could have this character who is so strong but be facing such a difficult injury. And I don’t want to lose the leg brace. It’s bad ass. It’s Raven. It’s her now. We’re working around it. We’re figuring out ways.
MM: That’s kind of the thing, especially with the explosion in the beginning of the season at Mount Weather. She kind of lost her chance to physically fix the leg, because the resources were there. Down the road there’s potential for her to healed or whatever but do you think they were going for that that they didn’t want to lose that special aspect of Raven?
LM: Yeah. I think that’s a better question for the writers but I know that Raven’s injury is a very big, complexity to the character of Raven and I know it’s very important for everybody that she has that and that she works for it. There’s a very big metaphor for her and the character to have something that’s so debilitating but it makes her stronger.
MM: Abby (Paige Turco) tried to do right by Raven and get her to get some help and medical attention. Those two have been close since their time on the Ark. Do you see that bond with Abby as more of a friendship or a mother/daughter relationship?
LM: I think they fell into a mother daughter relationship, just because Raven never really had a real mother role in her life and I think Clarke and Abby have a strained relationship and Clarke is always gone and Abby looks to Raven, automatically as a surrogate daughter. And I know me and Paige [Turco] talk about it that way. They fell into that relationship very naturally but it’s also a very difficult place too because you love your mom but there’s times when you hate your mom. They have that, which is tough but they also have the respect of friendship for each other. It’s one of my favorite dynamics on the show, for Raven.
MM: Talking about the evolution of characters, what character has shocked you the most or put you in awe?
LM: The characters are always changing so much. It’s crazy what the writers come up with because it’s awesome. I always say Jaha (Isaiah Washington) because his character is so underrated. He’s a person in power and you don’t know if he’s insane or not but you respect him and people listen to him which is a dangerous position in any community. He’s always been my favorite but even as of lately, I love Bellamy’s character and where they take him in season three. It’s a very interesting turn. I love how much he has evolved from a two dimensional “villain, bully” type to an unsung hero. Those are my two favorite evolutions I guess.
MM: That’s awesome. People often compare Raven’s personality with Murphy’s. Clearly he’s the reason why she doesn’t have full use of her leg. If these two were to cross paths this season, do you think they’d be able to get along?
LM: I think it’s funny that people compare us. I mean, I don’t think Raven’s a sociopath but I get it. I see the comparison and their dry humor and no bullshit attitude. But I think the biggest difference is Murphy will always — he’s a self serving character and he’s pretty selfish. He’s always acting out of his own survival. Raven is the opposite of that. As much as she pushes people away. She acts from a righteous place in her heart to take care of others and fight for others and save them before herself. I think they’d get along but they have a few key differences.
MM: Totally. Even what Richard [Harmon] is doing this season, there’s still major differences with those characters so it’s interesting to see that people compare you two.
LM: They think it would be fun to see us having a Snark fest which would be great.
MM: Oh yes! To break the interview up with a fun game, let’s play Marry, Sleep With and Kill and keep it PG. Here are your choices. Wick, Clarke, Bellamy? Who would you Marry, who would you sleep with and who would you kill?
LM: Oh my god that’s so tough! Oh man! I’d probably marry Clarke. I already slept with both Wick and Bellamy. [Laughs] Let’s see… well you know what the season took a turn with Wick so I guess I’d sleep with Bellamy and kill Wick.
MM: Now if you weren’t playing Raven, which character would you want to step into their shoes for a day?
LM: I always say Jaha for this too because he’s one of my favorites. I’d want to be Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) for a day with the war paint and fighting. Or Indra (Adina Porter).
MM: Those are all good choices. Would you want to be the leader of the Sky People or the Grounders if you had a choice?
LM: Grounders. Sky people are too complicated.
MM: I heard it through the grapevine that you got everyone hooked on your trainer. Do you have a favorite work out or one that you just dread when you’re trying to get in shape?
LM: I don’t know. I like mixing it up a lot. I’ve been recently getting back into boxing and that’s great. That’s a fun workout and makes the time go by fast.
MM: Now if you and Ricky Whittle had a push up competition, who do you think would win?
LM: Oh my god, me. Ricky’s muscles are all aesthetic. He’s not really strong. [Laughs] No, Ricky would definitely win. He’s freakishly strong.
MM: Now to conclude, what can the fans look forward to most this season? Why should they tune in?
LM: They should tune in because they get everything they want. Everything they’re asking for, they’re going to get it.
The 100 airs Thursdays at 9|8c on The CW