We've all gotten pretty used to Clarke (Eliza Taylor) being a tough but compassionate leader on The 100, which is why it was a real kick to see her giggling and dancing around -- oh yeah, and then gleefully cutting someone's throat. Obviously, this was all due to the fact that she wasn't Clarke Griffin anymore.
After Russell (J.R. Bourne) implanted his daughter Josephine's mind into Clarke's body, we lost our hero, as Clarke's mind was erased (potentially forever) and replaced with someone entirely new. Now Josephine has the keys to a "Ferrari," as she so hilarious called Clarke. Unfortunately, she couldn't quite maintain the ruse and convince everyone she was still Clarke Griffin, and Bellamy (Bob Morley) caught on pretty quickly to her game.
Josephine left Bellamy paralyzed and helpless but not dead yet, probably because she'd just learned that Abby could actually create Nightbloods, something that would be invaluable to the body-jumping Primes and their mission to stay immortal. With the help of Murphy (Richard Harmon), whose renewed interest in staying alive at all costs made him an easy target for her pitch, she might just be able to pull it off.
TV Guide spoke with Taylor about this hilarious new character she's playing, as well as how worried we should be not just for Bellamy, but all of Spacekru.
What was it like not only taking on this new character but also playing her as playing Clarke?
Eliza Taylor: It was one of the toughest things that I've ever had to do because I had to play Clarke well enough to convince Clarke's friends that it was her, but not quite well enough so that it could arouse a little bit of suspicion. So it was a really fine line to teeter on... I still am wondering if I pulled it off.
How would you describe Josephine? And how different is she from Clarke?
Taylor: Josephine's different from Clarke in almost every way, apart from the part that they're both incredibly smart and studious. Josephine's more sociopathic, I would say. Clarke is incredibly compassionate and caring to others. So for me, personally, getting to play someone who is manipulative and deceitful was actually a delight.
Despite being pretty cutthroat, is there a part of Josephine that is still kind of just a young, fun girl?
Taylor: She's had a pretty cushy life. She's been royalty for 200-and-something years, and [she's] a big daddy's girl. She's always got what she wanted. She kind of breezes through, thinking that she can do no wrong, which, again, was really fun to play. Clarke is just so overly caring and concerned about everything and everyone. It was really nice to play someone who really doesn't give a crap.
Did you and [showrunner] Jason Rothenberg talk about balancing some of her more naive personality traits with the knowledge that she is also an old soul and kind of immortal?
Taylor: There were a lot of different directions we could have gone, and it was really important to us that we got this character down. I also spoke to Sara [Thompson], who played Josephine the First, about how she played her so that I could emulate that. It was really important that there was a consistency between the two of us. Obviously, 200 years is a long time and characters change, but I think there was an innocence to Josephine in Episode 2 that has well and truly disappeared. That's kind of what we decided ... would be the evolution of Josephine over the years. She's kind of turned into a little bit of a baddie.
She definitely has a warped view of human life, but it seems like Russell still tries to toe that moral line. Are we going to see more of that difference of opinion within their dynamic?
Taylor: Yeah, I think there's a lot of Russell that is good and does have a conscience, whereas Josephine seems to have forgotten hers, which is really difficult for Russell. There is definitely going to be a big power struggle between them now that she is back in the game.
Why do you think Bellamy was able to see through her? And how worried should we be for him considering we last saw him sort of paralyzed on the ground at her feet?
Taylor: Clarke, especially being the mother of a Commander and lover of a previous one... speaks fluent Trig, so for her to just look at him blankly and not understand that definitely raised suspicion as to what's going on in her head. But at first I think he could pawn it off as her just letting loose a little bit, and he's happy to see Clarke with this kind of new attitude, even though it's kind of bizarre. ... I think we can be worried about Bellamy, but Josephine's more interested in sort of toying with him as opposed to harming him -- using him to her advantage.
What can you tease about Josephine's dynamic with Murphy, who seems like he might just take her up on her offer even knowing she's body-snatched Clarke?
Taylor: This was one of my favorite dynamics of the season, Josephine and Murphy, because they're both kind of cut from the same cloth. Richard and I have always loved working with each other, so it was just a joy to be able to spend more time on set with him and kind of bounce off each other. There's definitely going to be a strong bond there going forward.
How will Madi (Lola Flanery) struggle with this fake version of Clarke, especially considering she's got that Dark Commander in her head?
Taylor: I think you can tell Josephine doesn't care for children all that much, and now she has to pretend to be this girl's mother. She's not going to do anything to protect her, which does put Madi in a really vulnerable position.
The 100 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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