Unapologetic and proud to be the warrior that THE 100 needs her to be is Echo — one of the few survivors who fled into space to escape a fiery apocalypse —is mesmerizing. Everything about her invokes feelings of awe. Mirroring the better qualities of her character Echo, Tasya commands attention and earns our admiration. In THE 100, Tasya has been given a unique role that could have easily been brushed aside, but because Tasya was so fearless in her portrayal, she carved out a role worthy of a longer story arc, which the show rewarded her with. Thus, it is a pleasure to see where her character’s journey goes. In an exclusive interview, Tasya provides a candid and lively glimpse into Echo’s soul and her own as she embraces her own unique and powerful path as a working actor.
What continues to be the appeal of portraying Echo and working on THE 100?
TASYA: I see Echo as one big archeological site with a ton of treasure to uncover. We know so little about her, but we can assume that as a spy she has traveled more than other Grounders, and has a ton of history, knowledge and experience behind those eyes. I constantly wonder about what she’s seen, and how that has affected the person she’s become. But there’s still so much to uncover with Echo, she’s like a gift that keeps on giving.
How would you describe who Echo is in Season 5? What do you most admire about her and what Echo has achieved to date in the series?
TASYA: Echo isn’t someone who gives up easily, she just goes after what she wants and does so without remorse, which is awesome, but also problematic. Sometimes the fastest solution isn’t the best. Regardless, I wish I could access that determination — her capacity to seize an opportunity without wasting time. She’s very intuitive, and doesn’t get lost in convoluted politics and arguments, she just does her job. I think if she reformatted her belief system, she would actually make a fantastic leader. She’d be effective because she’s so intuitive and impartial, and moves forward quickly based on gut instincts. Maybe we Azgedan instincts need some reprogramming, which is what she struggles with in season 5. The big question is whether she will revert back to her Azgedan instincts in times of stress.
With Echo and Emori (Luisa D’Oliveira) being Grounders in space together for 6 years with Spacekru, do they have a chance to bond and learn from each other?
TASYA: Absolutely. They were both outsiders on earth, and they’re both Grounders in space. I think they definitely share laughs and moments together that no one else on the spaceship can relate to.
What is it like working with Luisa D’Oliveira on the show?
TASYA: I’m slightly obsessed with Luisa. She’s a woman of a few words, but when she does speak, it’s always poignant and awesome. She’s super talented and I hope one day she’ll realize that we’re destined to be best friends, much like Emori and Echo.
How would you describe the Echo and Bellamy dynamic through the series? How does Echo view Bellamy?
TASYA: Turbulent, but connected. Despite themselves, they definitely are affected by one another. I think that they understand each other in a way that belongs only to them. It is special. How that came to be is maybe one of those universal mysteries to do with auras, and energies, and serendipity. But they do recognize something in the other that feels safe, and familiar, and for that reason they allow each other in.
What has it been like working with Bob Morley on the show?
TASYA: Such. A. Drag. Someone get that guy a martini so he loosens up. Just kidding! If you spent five minutes on set with him you’d see how much fun we have. He always makes me laugh at inopportune times, which is dangerous because I’m always the person in life that gets in trouble first. But he’s full of smiles and jokes, and somehow he can make rainy days feel less miserable. When we all need some giggles after a long day — call Bob.
With Echo and Murphy (Richard Harmon) having such a strong drive to survive, does that provide a point of commonality between them?
TASYA: Absolutely. They definitely share some similar life philosophies that separate them from the rest of the gang. Also, I think Echo is tickled by Murphy’s sardonic sense of humor, and his predictability. Murphy is 110% himself without reservation. She digs that, because she’s the same. They’re kind of like the siblings they never had; the younger brother and an older sister duo. Murphy might try to get the best of Echo, and she’ll play along for a bit, but she’ll ultimately win most battles. (Sorry Murf.)
Would you say that Echo and Murphy are friends at this point?
TASYA: Not only are they friends, they are best friends. Richard and I decided that Echo is Murphy’s therapist and sounding board. Echo passively offers Murphy counseling while she goes about her day on the ship. She doesn’t even respond to him. Murphy just follows Echo around, nagging incessantly about Emori and recent relationship problems until he eventually reaches his own conclusions, and without any input from Echo, thanks her endlessly for her great advice and is on his merry way. We’ve had a lot of fun improving that on set.
What is it like working with Richard Harmon on the show?
TASYA: Richard is a person of immeasurable talent, someone who is so generous with his work, and super professional on set. It’s a joy to be around him. There’s lots of impersonations, storytelling and anecdotes, random improvisations as different characters, and even some singing and dancing. Having Richard in your life is kind of like realizing that your life is a zany musical, and it’s fucking awesome.
How does Echo get along with Monty (Christopher Larkin), Harper (Chelsey Reist) and Raven (Lindsey Morgan)? Has she struck up friendships with any of them as well?
TASYA: Echo probably gravitated towards Raven early on, since Raven is pragmatic, task-oriented, and more concerned with getting shit done than relationship drama. Sticking close to Raven kept Echo busy and useful until friendships formed and they all bonded. Six years and seventh months later, they’re all homies. They even have a secret handshake to prove it.
What is it like working with Christopher Larkin, Chelsey Reist and Lindsey Morgan on the show?
TASYA: A terrible, terrible time. The worst — if you’re allergic to fun times and amazing humans!
Who would you say that you have learned the most from among all the actors on the show?
TASYA: I learned some cool drinking games from Chelsey, and Chris was supposed to teach me how to play the guitar, but failed miserably. In terms of acting, I would say that watching Adina Porter act feels like a life changing experience. She’s so powerful, and so present, it’s incredible.
Which character death prior to Season 5 hit you the hardest? Then which do you think hit Echo the hardest and why?
TASYA: I think Lincoln’s death was painful, and beautifully edited and constructed by the whole cast and crew. As a viewer, it really gutted me. Followed closely by Roan (Zach McGowan) and Luna (Nadia Hilker), because I loved their characters so much, but also because I miss seeing them at work. From Echo’s perspective, while this won’t be a popular answer, I think she was gutted when Queen Nia (Brenda Strong) died. Nia raised Echo, trained her, made sure that Echo was the fierce competitor she became (even if it was for selfish reasons), and gave Echo’s life purpose. So I think that was akin to losing the only mother Echo may have ever known.
What is Echo’s mindset about returning back to Earth in Season 5?
TASYA: Apprehension and unease. Probably an upset tummy, a migraine, and cold sweats. She might confuse it with menopause, but in truth she’s extremely worried about what will happen when she sees Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) for the first time, and also how her former clan will treat her. Echo has finally found a family, and now she risks losing them because of the actions of her former self.
Have you done any cool stunts in the series? If so, what has that been like for you?
TASYA: Plenty! I’m a stunt machine! Not actually… but I am getting better! Some stunts scare the sass right out of me. Anything to do with heights can be problematic, but I’ll always get through it. The scene in Season 4 where I had to look over the cliff at Octavia floating down the river, I was actually standing at the top of scaffolding harnessed to a ladder. No acting necessary. But I love fighting! I love it! I was terrible in the beginning, but I think I’m getting better. Except that one time I almost hit Richard in the face with a rubber knife…
Any favorite scenes that you can share from working on the series, prior to Season 5?
TASYA: There was one scene towards the end of the season that really affected the entire team. Of the 200+ cast and crew at work that day, there wasn’t one dry face. Snotty noses everywhere.
As an actor, what has been the one thing you have taken away from the experience of working on THE 100?
TASYA: THE 100 has always championed strong female heroes that aren’t dolled up, or glamorized, but recently I’ve seen this movement affect change behind the camera as well. Many of my colleagues are now looking to direct, which I think is so great. I have always wanted to direct, but it wasn’t even a possibility in my mind until a couple years ago, when I stumbled across a Robin Wright interview where she spoke about her transition from actor to director. It suddenly occurred to me that I too could direct! How exciting! Sometimes we don’t realize the limitations we impose on ourselves until someone else goes and does it, showing us the way. A few of the female cast have expressed interest in directing, and in season five they shadowed some of the directors to learn more about the field. Yes!! Let’s break down those barriers, baby!
What is your proudest achievement working on THE 100 so far?
TASYA: Becoming a series regular. Hands down.
What do you feel that you have learned at this point in your acting career that has given you an edge and better perspective as a working actor?
TASYA: One thing I’ve learned over the years is that there is nothing more valuable than treating yourself well, and being true to yourself. We can spend a lot of wasted time trying to conform to an idea, or a false expectation of what we should be, when in reality the one thing that will set you apart is your individuality. Nobody can be you. It’s the only super power we are born with. Taking care of yourself and championing who are you is the greatest advantage you can have over others in your acting, and in life. We each bring a special gift to the world, and I think we need to be nicer to our imperfect selves.
At a time when women’s voices are rising to be heard and respected around the country and world, what do you recommend your fans do to lend support in that endeavor?
TASYA: Connect with each other outside digital-land and give back in your community. That’s how we build important relationships and life experience. I believe that women are extraordinary healers, and have magical powers that can change the world. In these times it’s important to not allow the anger in the world infiltrate your internal monologue. Be a positive force. You are alive in this special time to live up to all the revolutionaries who have given us the freedom we enjoy now. We owe it to them, and we owe it to ourselves to life up to our potential. I’m in the middle of creating a community online called Unslaved, which serves to affect change in the world with little community projects that anybody can do. We’ll share ideas and stories, such as ‘Birthdays for Change’, and ‘Feed The People’, to inspire people to become leaders in their community. They are one-off projects that can work in any town or city, and don’t require a lot of organization. It’s so empowering and fun to get friends together and do some good. Check us out at theUnslaved.com
Do you have any other upcoming projects that you can share that fans should keep an eye out for?
TASYA: I am currently filming two projects, but as usual, have to stay tight lipped about them until the release. Outside acting, however, I am super pumped to be launching The Unslaved, Stay tuned!
Trust me when I say that you are going to want to keep a close eye on Tasya’s character Echo this season, so definitely tune in for the Season 5 premiere of THE 100 on Tuesday, April 24th at 9:00 p.m. on the CW and every Tuesday night thereafter. To get early peeks at what is upcoming this season on THE 100, you can follow the show on Twitter @CWthe100 and @The100writers. Then to follow what is going on with Tasya, you can follow her on Twitter @TasyaTeles to hear more about her upcoming projects.
Finally, to learn a bit more about Tasya, you can also read our previous interview with Tasya from Season 4 of THE 100 at:
THE 100 “Eden” Sneak Peek:
THE 100 Season 5 Trailer:
THE 100 Season 4 “Praimfaya” Bellamy and Echo scene:
THE 100 “Killing Me To Love You” video: