Leading the audience into the final story as a newcomer yourself is no easy challenge.
In different but equally valuable ways, Shelby Flannery and Hope Diyoze rose to the occasion throughout The 100 Season 7, taking the story places that no one really expected.
Hope was a stranger, but her connection to Diyoza and Octavia made her feel so familiar to the show's fans.
We saw Hope grow as someone who now had more than just her family of three on Skyring into someone with a potential future with some of our favorite characters.
Shelby Flannery managed to make Hope a mysterious and fascinating aspect of The 100. She allowed Hope to be someone we wanted to learn about and yet still created this energy that made us wonder what other layers there were to the character.
All of this came together in the end, with Hope finding her version of a happy ending with her newfound family one last time on Earth.
TV Fanatic got to preview The 100 Season 7 with Shelby, so it only felt fitting to come full circle once Hope's time on the show came to an end.
Taking some time out to answer our questions, Shelby Flannery shares her thoughts on Hope's chaotic journey during the show's last season. She also elaborated on Hope's relationships and the ending that she hopefully found for herself.
Shelby also shared her thoughts on the more challenging and valuable parts of her time on The 100.
What was it like being on a show like The 100?
It was a whirlwind. It made me a better person because first off, I was doing what I loved, and it was with good people, and I'm not sure what more you can ask for in life, right?
I just had space to really challenge myself and be challenged by those around me. And I'm super, super thankful for that.
What was the most challenging part of playing Hope Diyoza?
The most challenging part was probably putting myself in her shoes in the most difficult aspects of her life. And that's usually always a difficult thing for an actor.
But Hope definitely went through a lot, and absorbing all of that and then having to walk away from it after I got home from shooting, allowing myself just to be Shelby, that's always a challenge. Sometimes those emotions kind of bleed into your life as an actor. It certainly happens to me.
That's what I would say was my biggest challenge and will continue to be my biggest challenge as an actor, but it's a good one.
When we met Hope, she didn't really have the ability to interact with many people before getting to Sanctum and going on all of these adventures. How did you approach playing Hope with this history of her being more reclusive and sort of unable to form real connections with people outside of Octavia and Diyoza?
That's a really good question.
I think I just pulled instances from my own life where I felt alone and secluded from people, which I think we all have experienced. Especially in school, when we're younger, we often feel left out or not liked. There was a time in our lives where being liked is so important, and you often feel like an outsider, right?
I think we all naturally know what that feels like. So without thinking about it too much, I just allowed myself to trust that that was in me and that being alone is just a feeling that we as humans can avoid.
Hope was thrown right into the action with Gabriel and Echo as they appeared on Skyring. That was the first introduction we got to Hope and her dynamic with others. What was it like to start your time on the show with this group dynamic with Chuku and Tasya?
Well, as Shelby, it was awesome. They're probably two of the most easy-going people to be around.
I was in stitches, just laughing around them. We just had a blast together. We became really close, is what I'll say. And so it was easy, I suppose, but no, I am super lucky because they're just great people.
But you're right. Hope isn't introduced to people from a very early age. And so it was, I would say, a challenge for her to all of a sudden be around people that she was super unfamiliar with.
From there, Hope was driven by the search for her mom. Even though they didn't get to spend too much time together, unfortunately, they did find some scenes together. What was it like to film those kinds of emotionally heavy scenes with Ivana Miličević?
Ivana is the best person ever. She sort of became my mentor right away, took me under her wing, and just embraced me with her whole heart.
And that's just the kind of person she is. She's nonjudgmental, she's accepting, she's kind. And so, in a way, she was a mother figure to me off-screen. From there, it made it seamless doing it on camera.
Jumping to Hope's other significant relationships, Hope did get to keep Octavia, the other half of her family, alive. And the two really had this close connection when they had to lean on each other, especially after Diyoza sacrificed herself.
What was it like approaching those scenes with Marie Avgeropoulos?
Marie is hilarious; she is just an absolute riot. She made me feel totally relaxed working, which is super important, an actor or anyone in a high-pressure situation when they can relax.
It's a lot easier to do your job. And so her just being her was so easy to be around. She's so funny.
Something that I found fascinating was this relationship that deserved to be explored more between Hope and Bellamy.
When we met Hope, she right away had this idea of Bellamy through the note telling her to trust him. But then later, she was also questioning the level of devotion that others had for him. Interestingly, she had this idea of him, and he was like an extended family member to her through Octavia, but they never did end up meeting.
What would you have maybe liked to see explored with them, or perhaps how do you think Hope remembers Bellamy?
I like this question!
In the beginning, Bellamy served as a North Star for her, especially when she didn't have her memory. The only thing she had to hold onto was the name Bellamy and that she needed to trust him.
And at that point, she had nothing; she had no floating devices in this ocean of confusion. And so his name became something that certainly reverberated through her mind. That means something. She didn't know he was actually Octavia's brother, but finding out, I'm sure she understood where that trust came from and where that comfort was.
I think his name gave her that comfort, and knowing that there was someone out there gave her the comfort she needed to continue.
Hope found a very surprising romance at the end of the season with Jordan after connecting about their parents. Did you expect that for Hope, and what was it like to film those scenes with Shannon Kook?
I didn't necessarily expect it. I try not to expect anything on the show because there are always twists along the way. I don't even know that I would survive to the end.
Shannon, though, would always make these little speculations like, "Wouldn't it be cute because we're both the children of X, Y, Z?" And so there was talk, but I tried not to assume anything.
But I was certainly pleasantly surprised, only because I love Shannon. I say this about everyone, but it really is true for each person on the show; they all have these unique ways of being a wonderful person to work with.
But Shannon, in particular, it is just like he has this wide-open energy, and he's very supportive. So working with him, I felt lifted up. He was complimentary, and he looked me in the eye. It was like a hug working with him. It was like a big hug. That's how I'm going to put it.
Was there anyone maybe you wish you shared more scenes with, either for yourself or in terms of Hope's storyline?
Yeah, I would. I think the one answer that hits on both of those questions is Richard Harmon.
I personally love him as a human. And then as for Hope, like that one little snippet of a scene that we had together, there was only one moment, and it was short, but there was something there. I would have liked it to be explored more as a friendship, but hey, who said that that didn't happen off-screen?
Hope's life was very unconventional, and you could never tell where she was heading next. What were your thoughts on Hope's journey this season? The way that it ended with her transcending, but then choosing to come back?
I hope that girl finds happiness. She deserves it, doesn't she?
She definitely does.
She has been through a lot, so happiness and peace.
Of course, life is never only those two things; you can't have joy without sorrow. I don't think we can ever fully escape that. Hope is not exempted from that. But the contrast to the rest of her life, I hope it's a lot smoother. Let's say that.
What do you think Hope learned from her journey, or what do you hope fans take away from Hope?
I would never want to put ideas into a fan's mind. I hope that they have their own perceptions, but what I took away watching it and something that I think The 100 has done well since the beginning was not making a clear definition of good and bad.
They don't clearly compartmentalize the two, and they don't make you assume that someone is only good or only bad. It isn't clear cut. And that I hope because I do, when I watched the show, I put those definitions on myself, and I think that's closer to the truth.
We are not good, and we are not bad. We are so many things, and that's actually what makes us beautiful and human. Sorry to sound all mushy-gushy, but I really believe that.
Hope got to explore probably the most amount of planets. She was on Sanctum, Skyring, Bardo, and Earth 2.0. What planet or set was your favorite to film on?
Okay. This one is good. Actually, it doesn't take much time. It was Skyring.
Because we got to shoot a lot outside and inside, so I got the full range of experience. And we also had this cabin built outside with a garden, and it was such a beautiful area of Vancouver. I just got to really experience nature, and for a long period of time, we shot a lot on that planet. So I felt familiarized with the area, and that's a nice feeling.
What is your favorite memory of being on the 100?
That's always a hard question to answer. It's hard for a good reason because there is just so much goodness.
The people. It's really hard to look past how great they made my experience. Because honestly, no matter how cool the sets are and how cool the show is, if you're working with assholes, it doesn't matter. The people on that show made me feel really good about myself and good about my work, and we just had a good laugh.
What more can you ask for?
What did you learn from your time on the show?
I learned many technical things as an actor, and that's always useful, but more importantly, I learned how to work as a team more than I had before.
When times are hard, when the weather is bad when you have long hours of overtime, I saw how to come together and work as a machine that operates well. And to do that, you need to be kind, and you need to think about others.
So learning how to work as a team in that way is incredibly valuable for me and will hopefully bleed into the rest of my life.
For any The 100 fans looking for some nostalgia as the series concludes, TV Fanatic has a surprise interview series for you! "Looking Back On The 100" centers on monumental cast members and characters from the show that left their mark.
We spoke with Eli Goree about his time on the show, as well as Michael Beach about the journey he had, and we even took a walk down memory lane with Christopher Larkin and Aaron Ginsburg. We even checked in with Zach McGowan about that surprise return to the show.
We also spoke with Leah Gibson about #GinaWasReal and Nadia Hilker about creating the character of Luna.
Chai Hansen also looked back at the show with us when it came to his time on it as Ilian. And Charmaine DeGraté expanded on her writing journey with the show, as well as what it was like to write for Bellamy and Octavia Blake.
Lee Majdoub also shared about Nelson's connections and his final moments on the show. Jason Diaz shared the lessons that his Levitt learned and the happy ever after that he found with Octavia. John Pyper-Ferguson spoke with us as well about bringing Cadogan to life and the work behind such a surprising character.
Luisa D'Oliveira, who played Emori on The 100, looked back at her time with the show, the purpose that her character found, and the ending that Emori chose for herself.
Keep checking TV Fanatic for more upcoming interviews with surprise cast members from seasons past.
Share all your thoughts with us in the comments section! Stick around TV Fanatic for more final features, slideshows, and interviews of the last season, and watch The 100 online if you need to catch up on the adventure.
Yana Grebenyuk is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.