THE 100: Thomas McDonell Talks Playing A Character Torn Between Two Lovers (2014)

"The 100"
“The 100”

It is a predicament that most men would kill for: two women vying for a young man’s attention. But in the case of Finn Collins (Thomas McDonell), it is his worst nightmare. In the new CW series THE 100, Finn thought he had been condemned to die on a radiation-soaked planet, only to discover that Earth is a virtual paradise after living his entire life on a dying space station. Finn thought he would never see his old love Raven (Lindsey Morgan) ever again — yet in a much shorter time than anyone could have guessed, Raven has retrofitted a space pod so that she may rejoin her love on the planet below.

Unfortunately, Raven could never have guessed that Finn’s fatalistic view would lead him to fall in love again so quickly. From that first day on Earth, Finn was drawn to Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor), the de facto, self-appointed leader/savior of those sent to Earth. So now, in the space of a very short amount of time, Finn is going to be faced with two loves and one hard decision.

In a recent exclusive interview, star Thomas McDonell ruefully talked about his character’s interesting predicament and what he loves about portraying the reckless and romantic hero of THE 100.

Who is Finn at this point and what drew you into the role?
THOMAS: He’s initially presented as a reckless adventuring kind of type, and now that he has become romantically involved with Clarke, things are shifting for him to a place where he is having to take on more responsibility for the well being of the group.

As far as the love-triangle goes, is that going to put Finn in a bad position, or will he be real decisive about which woman he is more interested in?
THOMAS: It’s tricky, ’cause in a way it’s a really great position to be in love with and involved with two beautiful women. But it definitely creates problems.

Will he make a decision or will he try to play both sides?
THOMAS: He’s sort of forced into a position where he has to start making real decisions about that. But he’s conflicted.

What does he see in these two competing women for his attention? What does he see in Raven and what does he see in Clarke?
THOMAS: One cool thing about Finn’s character, that is in a way different from a lot of the other characters, you don’t really get to learn much about his background. He’s kind of mysterious. Unlike Clarke where you understand a lot about her family, and even Bellamy and his sister Octavia and Jasper and Monty — you understand where they came from and what their story is — but with Finn it remains sort of unclear. All we know is he had this long relationship with Raven, with whom he grew up. They were sort of best friends all their lives. So he has a best friend kind of romantic relationship with Raven, but Clarke presents something sort of new and undeniable.

He seems to be drawn to women who are very independent and self-determined. So do you think he is drawn to powerful women or is that just the circumstances?
THOMAS: You hit the nail on the head. What Clarke and Raven sort of share is an independence and strength in a way that you don’t really see. But the truth is the rest of the other female characters are pretty powerful ladies. But he certainly is attracted to that in them.

What do you think is really driving Finn? He is one of the first characters that stepped up to pursue a relationship on the planet, and he had a former relationship as well. Is it loneliness that drives him or is it that he is simply a romantic?
THOMAS: He’s definitely more of a romantic. It’s not that he’s lonely. It’s just that he can’t help himself. He has no choice but to fall in love. Imagine: he’s been in jail for this spacewalk and thereby separated from his girlfriend, and then separated even more by being sent to Earth. So he thinks he is never going to see Raven again. So this is like a whole new life that he’s starting. He’s totally caught up in it, like everyone else. How could you not be? Like just breathing air for the first time.

Is Finn excited to be on Earth?
THOMAS: Yeah, sure. But it cannot be that simple. It’s so exciting. It’s everything. Yet he’s conflicted because he had a life in space that is now literally going to come and confront him. He’s going to be shocked [when Raven arrives]. He’ll be happy to see his girlfriend, but when she arrives in a space pod it’s going to cause a big problem at the same time.

What did you most admire about Finn?
THOMAS: The reason I thought it would be fun to play Finn is because he a guy to whom the most important thing is freedom. He’s a mysterious character, like what he might do or what he might not do. So it’s fun to play a character that is unpredictable. But what happened is the character changed a lot over time, so he is not the reckless guy you meet in the first episode as time goes on. . . So he not only insists that he is free and that he can do as he pleases, but he insists on people’s personal freedom. He believes everyone should be able to go their own way. Unfortunately, he gets sucked into the drama and politics of the group.

How does Finn see Bellamy (Bob Morley)? Does he care about what Bellamy is doing as a quasi-leader of the group?
THOMAS: Yeah, he cares about it. But it is sort of tiresome. Like Bellamy is sort of brutish and politically hungry and dangerous. All of that is amusing I think to Finn.

So what is going on with Finn in the next couple of episodes that fans can look forward to?
THOMAS: On top of what the drama continuing of just being on Earth as far as who is out there and who they may discover and interact with, like the Grounders, the real situation that comes to a head is Raven showing up and navigating the love-triangle.

To see whether Finn is successful in extricating himself from this unintentional love-triangle, be sure to tune in for an all new episode of THE 100 on Wednesday, March 16th at 9:00 p.m. on the CW.

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