'The 100' Star Lindsey Morgan on Raven's Season 6 Mantra & Why Shaw Is Raven's 'Silver Lining'
For several seasons of The 100, it seemed like Raven Reyes (Lindsey Morgan) getting tortured was as much of a constant as Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor) pulling levers. Raven suffered through losing the use of her leg, then she was possessed by ALIE, then she was subjected to her brain deteriorating, then she struggled with her semi-adoptive mother causing her injury to obtain painkillers (tearfully and apologetically, but nonetheless).
Though The 100 is always coming up with new ways to cause its characters pain, Raven — despite her brilliance and razor-sharp wit — seemed to traditionally get the worst of it, no matter what "it" was. Season 5 at least gave her a brief flicker of happiness, but could Season 6 allow Raven a little less suffering and a little more joy?
After a sparse hiatus, starving fans have finally been fed... and what a banquet they've been served!
We chatted with Lindsey Morgan about Raven's relationship with Miles Shaw (Jordan Bolger), what Raven thinks of Abby Griffin (Paige Turco) in the aftermath of that heartbreaking addiction storyline, and Raven's mindset as she heads to a new planet for the second time.
I know you had been saying you hoped Raven would be happy. Was it nice to see that and be playing that, for parts of Season 5?
Lindsey Morgan: Yeah! Unfortunately we didn’t get to see too much of Spacekru, but the idea of it was nice. I think she found some happiness with Shaw. I think Shaw became a silver lining in the dark, dark gloomy world of The 100. So that was an unexpected joy, for her.
As for Raven and Shaw — how did you feel about Raven’s new romance?
It was an unexpected delight, essentially. Shaw’s very special to her because I don’t think Raven ever feels that understood, because she is so technically smart and so interested in science and mechanics. To find a kindred spirit who is involved the way she is, that’s special, to her. They can go toe-to-toe and connect through that.
But also, Shaw is a very good, moral person. He has a very good heart, and that’s very important to Raven. She respects him for that. And he happened to be there during one of her most difficult times, with her loss of Abby as a surrogate mother. He was there, and he saw her and knew her pain. Some people might say it happened fast, but I think when you find a twin flame in that sense, you’re bonded. You’re deeply connected without needing that much time.
You mentioned Abby — does Raven forgive her for what she did? How is Raven feeling about Abby going forward?
That was a hard one. That was a hard one because Abby conflicts Raven so deeply, with her values. Raven’s always going to protect the ones she loves, and Abby is dear to her. But Raven will not stand for poor behavior, and Abby broke her heart when she became addicted. Raven had lived through that with her mother. When Abby started acting like that, Raven had two choices: to either revert back to childhood, or to stand her ground and be the adult that she has built for herself — the strength and heart she has built for herself. She chose that.
She chose to not enable her, and essentially refused to participate in the behavior. In doing so, it pushed her away, and they were done. But it still weighs [on her], and that’s the problem when you love someone with that disease. She wrestles a lot with how she approaches her, what she’s going to do and you’re really going to see that happen in Season 6, the ramifications of that.
Sounds like there’s more Abby and Raven to look forward to?
Yes! Yes, I think I can say that.
As many have said, Raven is representation on multiple levels — women of color, women in STEM, people with disabilities. How does it feel to play a character that represents and resonates on all of those levels?
It’s amazing. I constantly say this, because I do wholeheartedly believe it, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity for this role because Raven Reyes defies all stereotypes. She stands for something that media, I feel, has not been brave enough to portray. But it also makes me proud that there are so many people now who gravitate toward her and see what a gem of a character she is. Because the thing is, if the audience isn’t demanding it, Hollywood will not produce it.
It's a whole new world on set.
So the fact that the audience is now demanding that there are women in stronger leadership roles and demanding that there is diversity on their screens, and demanding that minorities are seen and intelligent and in positions of high power — then you’re going to see it. I’m just grateful that there is a call to it, that there are like-minded people like myself, like Jason Rothenberg, our writers and The CW who also created this character. She’s part of a revolution, I feel, in what we see in media. I’m grateful that I get to portray it, and that I get to play a character at the highest of my intelligence who is way smarter than me, who’s strong, who’s resilient, who has such an amazing moral compass and core and heart. I aspire to be like her. I’m very lucky.
What, if anything, can you tease about what’s to come for Raven in Season 6?
Season 6 is, in a sense, reminiscent of Season 1 but also has such a cool sci-fi twist to it. Raven was really reactive in Season 5. Things kept happening around her. She was imprisoned by the camp, imprisoned in a sense by Abby, imprisoned a little on the spaceship for six years because she couldn’t figure out what to do. So I feel like in Season 6, she’s really made the decision of “no more,” and really hears Monty when he says for us to be better, do better. And that’s her mantra, and that’s what she’s demanding of herself and the people around her. It becomes her battle cry, in a sense. Even when decisions get harder, situations get murkier, and your heart’s pulling you in every other direction. She’s using her moral compass to lead her on her way.
Taylor did tease her 'greatest acting challenge' yet, though...
Describe Season 6 in three emojis and three words.
Emojis: 🔥 🙏 🌼
Words: Toxin, redemption, morality.
The 100, Season 6 Premiere, Tuesday, April 30, The CW