Sahel, who is one of the most down-to-Earth dudes I’ve ever spoken to, chatted with me about his journey from season one to where we see him now, how important the relationship between Jackson and Abby is and what’s next for the series. We also talked about epic CW crossovers and how it’s best that he stay out of the heated ship wars that seem to flood our social media timelines on a regular basis. I still think he secretly ships Jabby, but don’t quote me on that. No really, don’t get me into hot water here! He was gracious enough to give me a good chunk of his time to talk about The 100, The X-Files and working out with his pal Richard Harmon (who plays Murphy) and the result is insightful, informative and downright humbling.
Let’s get to it.
MCKENZIE MORRELL: Tell us a little bit about Jackson, the character you play on the CW’s The 100?
SACHIN SAHEL: Jackson is from the beginning of the show, he’s been the apprentice of the main doctor, Abby, on the Ark. We don’t have too many doctors so we have to learn hard and fast how to become the best doctor you can be because you’ve got to do everything. Like I said, there’s not too many doctors on the Ark so he has to do everything and learn from Abby, her wealth of knowledge and try to become the best that he can be. She’s got her hands in so many things, whether it being on the council or being Chancellor last season, she’s got to. It’s basically his job to be the doctor.
MM: So true. Looking at what’s to come for the gang in Season 3, did you find it harder to play this character this season opposed to the last two seasons?
SS: Yeah, I think this is the most fun I think I’ve had playing him. I mean, I’ve always had fun playing Jackson because he was always in a state of learning. Because the situations that they were in, were new to anybody so somebody who is already trying to learn as much as he can and be thrust in this new crazy situation. His eyes are always wide and he’s trying to figure out what was going on. Come season 3, now we’ve just dealt with the Reapers and he went in the cave to have to deal with the Reapers himself. He’s seen so much craziness happen already, he’s really had to grow up. I think. So this season it was really fun for Jackson because he is now at a place where I think he is not this bright-eyed bushy tailed doctor anymore. He is a man doing his job. And I think he’s little more comfortable with it, while I don’t think anyone is really fully comfortable on this show, he’s more comfortable in his role. It bleeds into his and Abby’s relationship, I think.
MM: In terms of Jackson and Abby, they’ve obviously worked closely since the beginning, what do you think about all the fans who want to see these two get together romantically?
SS: [Laughs] The shipping wars are insane. And I try to leave those to the fans and to the writers as much as possible because the writers do such a good job at understanding and know that in the world that we live in how much time do people have for these romantic entanglements? I mean the times that they do happen kind of thrust upon them in a moment of passion because that’s what would happen. You finally have a second to breathe and you think oh wait maybe I like this person. And then boom. The thing for Jackson and Abby, all these people have so much work to do, so it’s hard for them to think of themselves in a moment so [laughs] in terms of the fans, I love that the fans love our relationship because we love our relationship and I think that’s been a big saving grace for us on the show that me and her are such great friends that it kind of bleeds onto the camera.
MM: Oh yeah, it definitely does.
SS: And it’s been great. And it’s nice that the fans see that friendship.
MM: Do you pay attention to the other shipping wars that are going on? Or do you stay out of it.
SS: I don’t ship anybody. I don’t try to get in it as much as possible. I might have if it wasn’t such a big deal with who you ship. So now what I do is I avoid it as much as possible and maybe might hold my secret ship flames, but I don’t think I’ll voice them any time soon.
MM: [Laughs] No, you’ll get into some trouble.
SS: You start waving your flag and then all of a sudden arrows start flying.
MM: You’ve already had some notable moments season the season returned– including Jackson telling Abby that patients are waiting to get their contraceptive implants removed. Will we see this unfold more as the season develops? I mean, they have to repopulate at some point.
SS: Yeah, and I mean I think that’s why the writers put that in there. That we are in a new world now, we’re not on the Ark anymore. That’s the definite difference from season 2 to 3, when in season 2 we were dealing with the ramifications on the ground and trying to find a balance between our life on the Ark and now our life on the ground. Where in season 3 we have a time jump where we’re like okay, we are on the ground now these are the things we have to do on the ground, because this is our new home. That’s something that was put in there for purpose. Because on the Ark we had to have population control because of our lack of supplies, now we’re on the Earth, we’ve got more stuff. We’re going to have to repopulate.
MM: I’m just waiting for someone to get knocked up. [Laughs]
SS: [Laughs] I’ve heard that so many times, everyone is just waiting for someone to get pregnant.
MM: It’s bound to happen, but what are you supposed to do in that type of setting. Post apocalypse, everyone is trying to kill each other and you’re pregnant.
SS: Well if it ever does happen, Jackson will be doing the deliveries so I’ll be the first one to tell you [laughs].
MM: Do you ever get nervous they’re going to kill your character off? I mean, it is a post-apocalyptic show where no one is safe.
SS: I think everybody is nervous most of the time for their character because we all love their character so much and in this world you could be walking in the forest to go pick some berries and get an arrow in the head at any moment. I think I’m always worried for him, but I think that adds to the height of the show because you’re worried about him you always want him to get every moment that he deserves and have it be the realest moment for him. Who knows how long he’s going to be around for. And that goes for anybody.
MM: There’s definitely emphasis that no one is safe, that makes everyone a little bit nervous that maybe you know, they wouldn’t be afraid to kill somebody off that we wouldn’t expect.
SS: I think that with the season so far from the last two seasons that is very true and I think it’s going to hold true for every season because it’s just the world that we live in and they’re trying to build it in the realist light possible. Including that no one is safe.
MM: That’s what’s the best about the show, there’s no favorites, everybody has equal opportunity to be killed off [laughs]. That’s kind of alarming, but refreshing at the same time.
SS: Exactly. It’s whatever is best for the show and to move it forward in its reality. It’s the best, weirdest way to put it.
MM: If The 100 could have a crossover episode with any other CW show, which one would you want to guest star on?
SS: Oh man, that’s hilarious. I’m a true hard Supernatural fan. I still watch it, I still look at it on my DVR. I’ll still jump in when I have time to watch TV, man Sam and Dean, is something I watched fairly religiously. Those guys are so cool.
MM: That’s so awesome. That would be really cool, I think that could work.
SS: If randomly they have some sort of supernatural being send them to the post-apocalyptic future and now there’s some crazy zombie gorilla jumping around that they have to fight. A demon gorilla. Sam, Dean and Jackson.
MM: That’s awesome I chatted with some of the other cast members and they have great things to say about the cast, and the writers– have you been able to learn anything from your castmates?
SS: I will say this, I am the luckiest person on the show and I mean that with no hyperbole because I was cast on the pilot on the Ark working alongside of Paige Turco, who is a veteran who I can learn so much from and I’m with her all the time and I get to do almost all of my scenes with her and learn so much from her. As well as Henry Ian Cusick and Isaiah Washington, I got to watch them so much that how can you not learn from watching these guys? These people are just masters at what they do. I watched Lost religiously every day so I got to see this completely different character and watch him do it so well. Isaiah Washington is– I can’t even explain the amount of ability of how amazing this man is. There is one downside, I remember this season during rehearsal, where we were all rehearsing a scene and I was just standing alone on the side and he had this moment which you’ll soon see and you’ll have the same reaction that I did, that I can’t talk about. But he did this thing and I literally made a noise during rehearsal. I was just watching him in rehearsal and it was just something that he did that it shook the room. It was crazy. It wasn’t even a big moment, it was just a couple lines and he said it and I felt everything.
MM: Do you ever have those moments where you get the script and you go holy crap what is going on right now?
SS: Every script [laughs]. Every single script. I don’t think there’s a script that I’ve read that I haven’t been like that, once you read it some sort of shit will hit the fan. Pardon my french.
MM: [Laughs] They’ve really upped their game and I think the fans are in for a real rude awakening, in a good way.
SS: Yeah, absolutely. It’s just not a show that sits on it’s laurels and I think every episode, I know the writers have told me when they’re writing it, they’ve written the whole episode and then they’ve scrapped it because it wasn’t enough. And they’ve rewritten a whole episode and you can just tell when you get it and you’re like yes this is something crazy. You’re going to see some stuff on this show that not only have you never seen on this show, but you’ve never seen on any show.
MM: Well, we’re looking forward to it, obviously I’ve only seen the first 4 episodes, which were mind-blowing as it is so I don’t even know how you guys are going to top that but I’m told that you will.
SS: They will.
MM: Alright, so, I received a question NOT from Shawna Benson, asking who your favorite writers are on the show…
SS: [Laughs] I love Shawna, I love you!
MM: Shawna [Benson] is great, her and Julie and everybody are just so–
SS: Yeah, Julie, Kim [Shumway], Aaron [Ginsburg], Shawna, everybody– that whole crew is not only are they great writers but they’re just great, hilarious, fun-loving human beings with minds like you’ve never seen. I mean, Jason [Rothenberg] picked these people, you can tell why specifically, they are perfect for the job. You can just tell that the way they work in the room and the way that they talk about it that it’s just the most exciting, joyous, frightening, nerve racking, challenging, great, exciting, beautiful job. You can just tell every morning they wake up and just are ready.
MM: If you could be best friends with any of the characters on The 100 in real life, who would it be and why?
SS: That’s a good question, friends, anybody… I would probably– well, Murphy gets out of situations like I’ve never seen, so he probably would be a good guy to keep around. Bellamy, he’s just this commanding dude, I’ve said this since season one. Raven, is a powerhouse, we would probably work out a lot, she’d get me in shape because she’s so fit. And then also she’d fix my walkie talkies if I need to talk to somebody. And obviously Clarke.
MM: Great choices. Just kind of take the whole gang and they’d all seem to be awesome to have around.
SS: That whole wonder group. I like Monty, I like Jasper, the whole group is just like, I love when people call it the Adventure Squad, that’s the group– take me on an Adventure Squad.
MM: [Laughs] How long do you think you’d survive during an apocalypse?
SS: Oh, Sachin– how long would Sachin survive an apocalypse… probably as long as Wells. [Laughs]
MM: [Laughs] Oh man.
SS: I’d be just like Wells, always trying to do the right thing and then try to be so nice but that just doesn’t work in this world.
MM: That would be sad.
SS: It would be so sad. But hopefully I align myself with the Adventure Squad and they’d keep me strong.
MM: What’s something random fans might not know about you?
SS: Back in the day I used to do a lot of comedy, actually my bread and butter is comedy.
MM: Oh wow!
SS: Yeah, Jackson is a very stoic non-comedic guy, which is funny because all of my friends, they say they have a hard time watching me on there because it’s so opposite of who I am. I’m actually this very loud, comedic individual. Whatever that means, I’m just loud and make a lot of stupid puns.
MM: [Laughs] Those are the best kind of people though, come on.
SS: [Laughs] I appreciate you, thank you.
MM: Anytime. And now you got to shoot an episode of The X-Files, that had to have been rad… was that like a dream come true for you?
SS: It was actually everything you could have possibly wanted out of an episode of The X-Files, because I just sat there with David Duchovny and we did Jeff Goldblum impressions and sang Hakuna Matata all day while we did our scenes. And then Gillian Anderson walks in and is like ‘do you guys know each other?’ Nope, we just met but we were having a blast! They actually had a great day because that day was a lot of me, my character had to do a lot of stuff and they kind of didn’t have to do as much so I think they got to be a lot more relaxed than they might have been. To the point of where I was leaving and David was like “Gillian, we’ve got to get a picture with this guy!” So that was totally a dream come true. And they are so good at what they do and I’ve been blessed to work with people that I love and I’ve learned so much.
MM: That’s awesome!
SS: It’s been great.
MM: When you’re not acting, what can we find you doing? Any hobbies or other activities you partake in?
SS: Me and Richard Harmon, we work out a lot. We like to work out as much as possible. For this season, Richard has, you’ve seen the first couple episodes–
MM: Yes, holy crap.
SS: Holy crap is right. I’m going to tell him you said that. [Laughs]
MM: Do it! I’m blown away by everything this season.
SS: Blown away at how jacked his is. Bob [Morley] too, we play a lot of board games, a lot of bananagrams, we play a lot of video games with the Vancouver fam. I’m trying to live as much of a low key lifestyle as much as possible. Just read, work out and just hang out with as many friends and family as I can because I think that when you first are acting you start and you don’t have much time. When you’re so focused on what you’re trying to do it’s harder, but now it’s time to rekindle all of my relationships and see some family.
MM: That’s what life’s about. Living and being connected to friends and family! And to conclude, are you working on any other projects that you can tell us about?
SS: This year I’ve got a couple things coming out, like I said The X-Files, and Electra Woman and Dyna Girl rebooted, it’s a comedy so I really had fun doing a comedy. Also a show called You Me Her, Jarod Joseph who plays Miller is also in, he has a pretty prominent role in that.
MM: That’ll be great!
SS: Yeah, and I do always want to thank the fans, they’re beautiful in what they do and they always keep it exciting for all of us and just to love each other. No shipping wars!
MM: I know, right? No shipping wars!
SS: People are allowed to ship whomever they want without ramifications.
MM: I wish everyone could respect each other, and let’s see the story unfold. I just want everyone to love each other [laughs] why can’t that be a thing?
SS: Exactly, I love how passionate they are, and that’s a beautiful thing to be passionate but not passionate to the detriment of somebody else’s life.
MM: Yeah, no. The writers have an idea of where they want the show to go, and as fans we need to let them do their job and let’s see what happens.
SS: And they’ve done such a good job so far we should just trust them now. We are in season 3 and the show, I think has been done in such a beautiful way. Let’s just trust them and go along with the ride.
The 100 airs Thursdays at 9|8c on The CW