Being the final season of The 100, all you-know-what is breaking loose as the end gets nearer and nearer. Tonight’s new installment “A Little Sacrifice” (August 5 on The CW) sees Sheidheda unleashed… and those who know the series, know what a dangerous individual he can be.
To prepare for tonight’s episode, KSiteTV’s Craig Byrne spoke with actor J.R. Bourne, a genre fan favorite who joined the cast of the series in Season 6 before taking on the role of the Dark Commander Sheidheda in the Season 7 premiere. The interview follows.
KSITETV’s CRAIG BYRNE: How much preparation did you have to do to learn how to speak Trig for the show?
J.R. BOURNE: The first time they gave it to me, and I was so nervous because I’ve seen it in previous seasons, obviously, and I was like ‘oh, dear Lord.’ And the first time they gave it [to me], they sent it out prior to the episode, prior to us going to shoot it… they send it all broken down and translated. We even have a dialect coach that does the speaking of it, so it was all there
Everybody has a bit of a twist with it. Everybody has their own sort of flavor, which I think is such a beautiful thing to do throughout the whole show; that they allow everyone to give it its own flair. So, the first time I did it, it felt good. Everybody was happy. And I think it was Richard [Harmon] who just kind of went “That’s good. You’re f-cked now. They’re just gonna keep giving it to you!” And I was like “OH NO!” [Laughs] And they did.
How much of what would happen to your role on the series was laid out for you when you first signed on to the show?
It was about midway through Season 6 that Jason [Rothenberg] sat me down and said, “here’s what we’re thinking.” I went in thinking that Season 6 was their last; I felt like I was just being brought in for their last season. But then midway through maybe around December or so, he brought me in and sat down and said “here’s what we’re thinking.” And I was like, “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!” And I didn’t get to prep and completely think about Sheidheda until we were completely done Season 6, and a couple of months prior to starting Season 7?
How much of Sheidheda’s history were you aware of when that became your new part?
I knew what Dakota [Daulby] had done with it in Season 6, obviously, and everything that they gave me as backstory, and then, really, I went online. Our fans… the sort of history of of all the Clans and all the Commanders, that was a great source for me throughout to keep sort of referencing, so I didn’t have to bother Jason and our writers, who had enough to do. Throughout Season 7 I was just referencing notes online, which was tremendously helpful.
How are the people in Sanctum reacting to the Dark Commander’s return?
I mean, listen. The Faithful, as we know at the end of 9, they’re gone. They didn’t have a concept or idea of who Sheidheda was or what he was capable of. Wonkru and the rest of the Clans and the Eligius – especially our heroes, and especially Indra – I think it’s a level of fear. It was always interesting to see how they would speak of him. You know, the end of 9, when Indra says “I’m getting rid of a demon.” He was referred to as a demon. That is a very descriptive word of a human, and this demon is in human form now. Here’s a history, especially for Indra from childhood, from what she witnessed and how that affected her entire life. What she saw her parents went through; what Sheidheda did to her clan. I think she carries the biggest weight in her body than everybody else.
Can you preview what happens between Sheidheda and Indra in this episode?
Listen, that relationship is a deep one, and it’s coming to a head. It’s coming to a point of when you see eradicates the last of the Faithful, whem that episode ends with him saying “my fight is just beginning,” there are a few places he has to go first. There are a few moves on the chessboard that have to be dealt with, to make sure that way is clear for him to become Commander. There is a discussion that has to be had. I say discussion, but it’s an Indra and Sheidheda version of a discussion. It’s on a warrior to warrior level, and he welcomes it. He’s excited about it.
Up to this point, these are all the most important moves he’s making to make sure that this comes together, to make sure that this conversation between the two of them is going to be had. And that’s what we’ll see in 10.
Before having that discussion with Indra, is there some business to tend to with Madi?
Most definitely. Because to say that he has no honor, I think, is incorrect. As misaligned and as misinformed and twisted and demented his definition and his moral compass is, in his mind, it is still honorable, and so there is a way things are done. And Madi was Commander. That has to be dealt with. She has a right to the throne. So that move has to be dealt with before the bigger one, which is the discussion with Indra. He needs these key pieces, these key players to kneel. He need to know that, because he also knows that they’re honorable. There is an honor within the way that we survive and move forward. So yes, that conversation with Madi has to take place. But he already knows she’s broken.
If The 100 spin off goes forward, could we possibly see Russell on that show?
I have thought that myself, but I don’t know. I wouldn’t leave that up to them to see how that would work.
Every time I try to sort of play it out for fun, because I do love this group of individuals and artists, and I would love to keep working with them, it would be, I believe, Russell One. I don’t believe that will be Russell Seven, because it’s the actual body. Right. So every time I got to that point, I couldn’t get past that, and be like “ah, I’m not in it.”
You’ve been a part of the final seasons of multiple genre shows now. How has this experience been different from some of the previous times?
I don’t know that it’s been different. Being there for that final closure – I mean, It was slightly different with The 100 because I hadn’t been there for the full ride, but boy, did these guys have embraced me as if I had been, and so in that respect, it was almost more overwhelming to feel the same degree of love that I felt on Teen Wolf after being with them for six years. We had been through so much as a family.
What is it that has always interested you in the sci-fi genre?
When I started my career, it was never “hey, I’m going to get into this world.” I took each job as it came, and am unbelievably grateful. Stargate, I think, was the one that I think firmly launched me in that world, and crazily enough, it was one of the fewest episodes I have been on a show. But that was just an incredible character, and an incredible show, and the fans of Stargate are still to this day loyal as all hell.
That’s the universe, man. It just got there, and I feel grateful.
Can you tease any more further confrontations or “conversations” that we will see as we go into the show’s final episodes?
There is going to be no shortage of “conversations.” I think every sort of wall and obstacle that our heroes are going to put up for him in Sanctum to try to prevent him from becoming the Commander, he is going to just love every single piece of brick and mortar they’re going to use to build that, and knock it down, via “conversations.”
What is something that you would you will take with you from your experience doing The 100?
The friendships. Some of the most beautiful and incredible people — it was a really, really emotional and memorable experience, and creatively speaking, I’ve never had the opportunity or the journey of playing one character with a group of individuals – and this involves our crew as well – and then completely turning it, and playing a completely different individual with that same cast and the same crew – artistically speaking, that was a gift to experience. That’s the big takeaway.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to the fans will be reading this?
“May we meet again.” It’s such a powerful statement and it’s such a powerful connection to The 100 – “may we meet again.” That feels more from me than from Sheidheda.
Our thanks to J.R. Bourne for the interview. You can see a trailer for “A Little Sacrifice” below.