10:00 am EST, May 8, 2018

Interview: ‘The 100’s’ Madi actress introduces her ‘badass’ character

The 100 newcomer Lola Flanery talks to Hypable about ‘badass’ Madi, her relationship with Clarke, and her hero worship of Octavia.

You would think the revelation that The 100 was jumping six years into the future would be a big enough cliffhanger to leave us hanging at the end of season 4… but obviously the writers weren’t gonna let us go that easy.

Because before the credits rolled on “Praimfaya” and the long wait for season 5 began, we were also told that Clarke now has a daughter! What?!

Related: Previewing The 100 5×03 “Sleeping Giants”: Let the games begin

In the premiere of season 5, we discover that the young Nightblood named Madi, played by Shadowhunters actress Lola Flanery, was a Grounder child orphaned by Praimfaya, left to survive in Eden on her own before Clarke ran across her.

In flashbacks, with a younger Madi played by Lina Renna, we discover that Madi was a feral child, taught to kill Flamekeeper Scouts on sight and not at all interested in becoming Clarke’s friend — until Clarke lures her in with a drawing. And the rest is history.

In present-day, Lola Flanery’s Madi is capable, compassionate and full of love for Clarke and the stories of Clarke’s old friends. When the Eligius prison ship descends, Madi springs into action, and even shoots one of the prisoners to save Clarke.

We’ve only seen her in one episode so far, but Madi is already proving to be a fantastic addition to the series, and we can’t wait to see where her story goes from here.

Hypable spoke to Lola Flanery about her character’s auspicious beginnings, working with Eliza Taylor, hero-worshiping Octavia and Murphy (!) and much more. Enjoy!

Clarke Madi The 100

Hypable: First of all, I just have to say that you are so good at Twitter. I’m so amazed by how you manage to get people so excited, and you never give too much away! How do you do it?

Well, I really love Twitter! I’ve been to a lot of different sessions about what I can and can’t say, so I think I’m pretty down with not giving away things on Twitter, so it’s just fun. A lot of puns!

The season has only just started, and I know you’re holding onto so many secrets right now! Was there a particular moment from the first episode where you were just like, ‘oh my god, I can’t wait for everyone to see this?’

It was probably the scene where Madi jumps out of the rover and goes to talk to Clarke, because that was when the fans saw Madi for the first time, not being this little demon child! It was the first time they actually met Madi now. And she was driving, which is also really cool.

I saw that picture you posted of yourself and young Madi, Lina Renna. Were you on set together a lot?

Oh yeah, we did have a couple of days together where we were working. And it was so fun, because Lina had this wild hair for Madi, and this wild outfit, it was crazy! So we did a lot of little photos of us standing together, ’cause it was like, ‘two Madis?! What!’

Did you get to see each other film any scenes?

No, I didn’t get to see any of Lina’s scenes, which was a bummer, cause it was so cool! And she didn’t get to see any of mine either, so we didn’t really get to see each other in action.

Were you surprised when you saw the episode, how both your own and Lina’s scenes turned out? ‘Cause Madi is very different now!

Yeah I was surprised! There was a huge difference from when I first read the script to when I first saw the episode. Because the little feral Madi was crazy, and just intense and insane, she was trying to kill everyone and it was wild! So I was just blown away. She did a really good job, my mind couldn’t take all of it in!

You and Eliza [Taylor] just work so well together, right from the get-go, your chemistry is amazing. Did you work to develop that relationship off-screen or did it just come naturally?

I mean, we didn’t have a table read or anything like that, so I feel like it was just the first day on set, the first scenes… She’s so sweet, and that makes such a difference. She’s just such a little sweetheart, and I really enjoyed working with her. It was just amazing.

And Madi’s character definitely trusts Clarke and loves her like a mother — and so do I! — because she’s pretty much all Madi has. So I feel like there’s definitely a bond there.

What is your favorite thing about who Madi is as a person?

There are a few! One of them would obviously just be that Madi is a badass! And also, Eliza once referred to Madi as ‘cheeky.’ But yeah, there are a bunch of different sides of Madi that you get to see.

How much do you think Madi remembers her family and her clan?

Well, there is a big history to Madi, about how her parents always told her to hide from the Flamekeeper Scouts because she’s a Nightblood, and her parents didn’t want to send her off to fight in the Conclave with the other kids. So her parents taught her to hide.

And Madi kind of takes what her parents taught her into who she is now. Like, she knows how to hide and how to defend herself and how to keep herself alive alone. So I feel like that really helped her.

One thing I love about Madi is how different she is from Clarke. She’s a lot more merciful, based on what we’ve seen so far. How do you think Madi feels about Clarke being so ruthless when the Eligius ship comes down?

Yeah. They have been together for six years alone, and Clarke is like a mother to Madi. And for those six years, nothing has broken that bond, they’re still peaceful and nothing has been going wrong.

But when the prisoners come down, Clarke instantly goes into overprotective Mama Bear mode, and Madi gets a bit worried about the shift, because she senses that something is wrong. And then Clarke tells her to go hide in the hole!

And Madi does kind of have her own idea of what she wants to do. She doesn’t agree with having to go hide in the hole. I feel like Madi thinks she can take care of herself and deal with that herself. But Clarke has her own ideas about that too!

Speaking about hiding in holes! I know Octavia has been described to you as Madi’s ‘One Direction,’ which is hilarious. What is it about the Octavia from Clarke’s stories that has made Madi such a fan?

Well like I said before, Madi is a badass, and frankly, so is Octavia. And Octavia also just has this strength. So that’s mostly why Madi looks up to her.

Obviously we don’t really know yet how Madi feels about anyone besides Octavia. Can you say if she has a sense of hero worship about the SpaceKru people as well?

Hmmmm, well, she did hear stories about Clarke’s friends, about their bravery, and how all of them are heroes. So yes, she does know they’re heroes.

If you were a character on The 100, which character do you think you would idolize or look up to – who would be your Octavia?

For me, it would probably be Murphy, because he is hilarious!

A big thank you to Lola Flanery for the great interview! We look forward to seeing more of Madi in future episodes of The 100.

‘The 100’ season 5, episode 3 ‘Sleeping Giants’ airs tonight at 9/8c on The CW

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