Daytime Emmy Award nominee Lindsey Morgan is heading to primetime in The CW’s latest hit series The 100. We caught up with the seasoned star to talk sci-fi, nude scenes and the jump from soaps to space.
Playboy.com: Congratulations on your new role on The CW’s The 100! Can you tell me a bit about the show?
Lindsey Morgan: The show takes place on a postapocalyptic Earth. A nuclear war has occurred on Earth and wiped out the human race. The only people that are left alive are the people who were in space during the nuclear war. You know how it is, one day you’re in space minding your own business and the next day you’re one of the only people left alive. [laughs] So this story starts off a hundred years after the war. The people in space have survived but their space station is falling apart, they’re in dire need of resources, there’s population control issues… There are so many strict rules to try and keep this small population alive. So the government on the ship only has two choices at this point, since they don’t have enough fuel to make it to Mars. They could just wait it out and slowly die or go back to Earth. But as far as they know, Earth is a death planet. It’s full of radiation and toxicity. So they get the bright idea to send one hundred juvenile delinquents to test the waters for them. [laughs]
Playboy.com: Oh, of course! That is naturally the first thing that would come to my mind.
Morgan: Naturally! It’s a brilliant idea. Send down the bad kids! So the powers that be do this without the people they govern knowing about it because they didn’t want to create riots or incite a revolution. So, The 100 is all about the kids that are sent down to Earth and the society they create there and how they try to survive the reality of these new elements and each other. Their rules are very questionable since they are delinquents starting over.
Playboy.com: Your character, Raven, she’s still on the ship and not a delinquent, but has a bit of a sassy side to her, too.
Morgan: As far as I know, Raven is not a juvenile delinquent. She was not part of the original 100 so I like to call her 101. There’s a class system on the space station and she definitely grew up the lower class. If the space station had a hood, she grew up in the hood. [laughs] So she isn’t the biggest fan of the government because they didn’t take care of her or her family. She’s really smart so she’s the first one who starts putting the pieces together about the 100. She essentially starts saying, “Hey, uh…There are 100 kids missing, anyone else notice this?” or “They just launched a ship? Anyone else felt that?” So she starts putting together these pieces and asking around about these things and eventually getting herself in trouble because no one is supposed to know. But her boyfriend is missing, so she doesn’t care who knows, and she is ready to fight for her love and what’s hers.
Playboy.com: Do you share any similar qualities to your character?
Morgan: I always like to compare myself to Raven when I work out and I’m in the gym zone. You know that feeling when you’re feeling good on the treadmill and you look over and someone is going a little faster than you and you’re suddenly racing them without them knowing? That is when I feel like Raven the most. I like fitness and I like being active, so I think we both share that quality. She’s also super smart—she’s way smarter than me and way more technically savvy! But we do share the same sense of adventure! She likes to go balls-to-the-wall like me.
Playboy.com: How did you get into acting?
Morgan: I’ve always loved acting, ever since I was a kid. I remember seeing Big, the play, not the Tom Hanks movie—but it’s also good!—and I was just mesmerized. I was so stunned and kind of confused with the idea of acting. I’m very shy at times; I’m about an even 50/50 extrovert and introvert, so I was always a little afraid of it. I loved it so much that the possibility of trying and failing broke my heart. I wasn’t a theater kid; I was the girl singing off by herself. I know, kind of creepy! But I did do stage stuff like painting sets, costumes and makeup. I would always wistfully look up to the actors. It took up until I was about 18 years old to work up the nerve to audition. My parents said, “Look, you’re 18, you’re going to college and you have to pay for it.” Not absolutely all on my own, but I respected that. Since I was the one who was paying for it, I chose to pursue a theater degree. Everybody was astounded by my decision, but at the end of the day it was my money and my time. It is truly what was and is in my heart to this day. I started pursuing my degree in Texas where they were shooting Friday Night Lights and I almost ended up getting the role of a recurring character. I was so green! But it gave me the blind confidence to be like, “Hey, I almost got this part! I should move to L.A.!” So yeah, I think that blind confidence and trust mixed with necessity. I said to myself that if I was willing to make that sacrifice, it had better happen! When I talk about it now, I think it was pretty dumb of me! But sometimes the right mixture of ignorance, hope and stubbornness helps.
Playboy.com: You’ve obviously gotten a rather big fan base from your work on General Hospital. Was the switch from daytime television to a sci-fi show a little strange for you?
Morgan: It wasn’t that strange, it’s just like being in two different worlds…. Wait, okay, maybe that is strange. Even though we are a sci-fi show we never really use much green screen, so there aren’t parts of the show that are overly crazy. We don’t have big scary monsters or anything too insane. It’s almost as if I’m on the daytime show but I’m shipwrecked in space and now I’m living on this weird island! [laughs] But yes, [the two models] do work differently. The sets are different, the hours are different and the way they’re run is different. With soap operas, you’re lucky if you get two takes. Those sets move so quickly. It was sometimes even difficult to remember my lines for that day after wrap because all I had to do was memorize for 15 minutes before the scene and then I’d be memorizing new ones. But on this show we’re doing multiple takes and different setups. There are times where I say lines so many times they doesn’t even sound like English anymore! [laughs] The biggest thing I notice is that with a soap opera you’re never outside! Even when we’d shoot a car crash scene, they’d create the side of the road, the trees and the cliff in the studio. But in this one we can go outside with the shots! It’s serene and perfect, just the way nature has made it.
Playboy.com: What else are you working on? It seems as if you’ve got a lot of stuff in postproduction!
Morgan: I worked on a Netflix film but I was cut out of 90 percent of the film. It’s about a DJ with aliens… I’ll just let that one sink in! I played the DJ’s girlfriend’s best friend—but we made out, so I was that kind of best friend. Anyway, the role was super racy and there was a threesome scene in it. I remember not wanting to do it at all. I didn’t even want to audition for the part, but at the same time the idea of it scared me. And when something scares me I think maybe it’s something that I should push myself to try and to grow into. So I auditioned and got the role and had to do it. It was very frightening, but in doing it, I knew I could at least knock it off my list. But then I found out that after we shot everything, they changed the script and cut out a lot of my stuff, which I’m pretty grateful for because now I can tell my parents that they can watch it! [laughs] I’m glad for the experience, but I’m not going to run and take off my clothes again anytime soon.
Playboy.com: What’s your…
Favorite food: Ice cream.
Favorite drink: Mojitos.
*Most embarrassing moment: *I work out at this boot camp and I do these very intense sprints on the treadmill. One day I was really getting into it; I had ripped my shirt off and was killing it. By the way, my instructor is ridiculously attractive—I’m sure it’s a job requirement since all of them are. I had to go to the bathroom so I jumped off and the instructor called me out, “Oh, leaving for the bathroom just when the sprint is coming, I see what you’re doing!” So I stopped and turned around and screamed “No!” ran back to my treadmill to jump back on it and I didn’t realize it was still on so I rolled down and just ate it. Then I thought to myself, “Well, hope no one saw that!” jumped on it for the second time and it happened again. It was one of those moments where it happens so fast it just doesn’t register. So I was bleeding all over and the instructor was on the microphone going, “OHHH!” almost narrating what was happening, so yes, everyone in the class was aware of it. That was three days ago so it’s pretty fresh in my mind.
Worst pickup line: Some guy asked for my number and I told him I had a boyfriend but he assured me he wouldn’t ever call me… What? That doesn’t even make sense.
*First memory of Playboy: *I think I found one under my brother’s bed. I didn’t open it, I just saw the cover. It was around Halloween and I told my mom that I wanted to be a bunny. She was a little confused so she asked why I wanted to be a bunny and I responded something like, “George’s bed has a picture!” and I got him in trouble. But I did not get to be a Bunny that Halloween.