Interview: Isaiah Washington Returns To Series TV With The 100 Interview: Isaiah Washington Returns To Series TV With The 100
Interview with Isaiah Washington, who plays Chancellor Jaha on The CW's upcoming midseason series The 100 Interview: Isaiah Washington Returns To Series TV With The 100

Isaiah Washington will soon be coming back to series television with a role on a new show called The 100 that will be airing at midseason on The CW. On the show, the Grey’s Anatomy veteran plays Chancellor Jaha, the leader of the last surviving members of the human race, nearly 100 years after a nuclear holocaust. Jaha makes many hard decisions on a dying Ark of the Earth’s survivors. With The 100′s pilot, things are starting to change.

Pilot“Before the nuclear holocaust happened to destroy the world, it takes 100 years for the world to heal itself,” Washington tells us, describing the series’ backstory. “But in that time, there are about 400 individuals in space, in satellites, astronauts from around the world. When you see the Ark, it is a compilation of various satellites — from Belgium, from Russia, from all over the world — these people realized they had to get over their insecurities, their xenophobias; whatever it is, they had to work together to survive, and they brought all these different satellites together to survive. Cut to 97 years [later]. My generation has never set foot on Earth. I have a grandfather that was born on this Ark. That is our way of life. We’re coming to a problem where we need more resources. We’re about to exhaust all of the resources on the ship. My character comes up with an idea that as opposed to executing those [criminals] that turned 18, let’s send those criminals who used too much oxygen, too much food, whatever it is we need — we decide to send them down to Earth, to see if it is inhabitable,” he explains.

img_4682_rtThe very busy Mr. Washington — who has a new film coming out later this year — kept insisting he was not interested in doing this series, but read the script at the urging of his wife. “After coming off of Grey’s, I’m like ‘you can’t get any better than that!’ That was some of the best writing in the country, and I participated in that experience. So I just was biased about good writing, and then I read Jason Rothenberg’s script, and I read the speech of Chancellor Jaha, and I was like ‘we can get away with this? We can actually tell these kinds of stories? We can actually address humanity as it is, but be in the future, so we can probably have some influence on how to make better human beings as they’re watching the show? What? Oh, wow. And The CW Network is going to let this happen? And they’re gonna pay me to do this — to do what I want to do in the world, [trying] to make everything better through storytelling? Jason Rothenberg and Matt Miller, they have a very clear vision on how to tell these stories, and they just have a very strong sense of humanity, what’s right with it, what’s wrong with it, and the possibilities thereof; how they can be better?” he explains.

“And whatever that means in terms of diversifying the imagery, because obviously, you’re going to have all walks of life. It’s going to be very diversified show, I’m very into that. We have strong women. Paige Turco, Eliza Taylor, Marie Avgeropoulos… so, you have something for everyone,” he continues. “We have a demographic from 13 to 85. It’s going to be dark. It’s going to be heavy. I like being a part of things that are controversial, and shake up the fabric of systems, and the network is very, very keen and excited that this particular show, with the success of Vampire Diaries of course, is going to be pushing… they want to go for the Emmys. They want to go for the Emmys, the Golden Globes; they want to be taken seriously, like the Breaking Bads out there, the Mad Men out there… Mark Pedowitz is at the head of this, who I’ve worked with before, when he was over at ABC Touchstone. He knows how to win. I think he knows I know how to win, what it takes, and what level of commitment… and I couldn’t be more excited. It’s not because it’s on TV. I just love great storytelling. I just love good work, and great actors, and we have probably, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful casts on television, and more importantly, they’re beautiful human beings,” he enthuses.

The premiere date for The 100 has not yet been announced, but you can find more content related to the show, including the series trailer, here at KSiteTV!

Craig Byrne, Editor-In-Chief

KSiteTV Editor-In-Chief Craig Byrne has been writing about TV on the internet since 1995. He is also the author of several published books, including Smallville: The Visual Guide and the show's Official Companions for Seasons 4-7.