'The 100': Isaiah Washington on Jaha's One-Man Journey to Salvation

The 100 Still - H 2014
Katie Yu/The CW

The 100 Still - H 2014

Will Jaha reunite with his people on The 100?

At the end of the rookie season, the former chancellor of the Ark had sacrificed himself for the betterment of his people, allowing them to safely reach the ground and start anew while he remained in the deteriorating ship. But priorities shifted when Jaha began hallucinating another person on the ship (a baby first, his late son second), bringing him to a desolate desert — unsure of his next move.

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Isaiah Washington talks to The Hollywood Reporter about Jaha's lonely journey, where he goes from here and the chances of a reunion with his people.

The 100 has always been about survival and Jaha is living that to the fullest. What has your experience been like this season to be on your own? 

It was pretty easy for me. For any actor worth his salt, your obligation is to convey the idea of the writer and, even more importantly, the vision of [executive producer] Jason Rothenberg and his vision for the show. So my job was made easier because we have some pretty good scripts and some good characterizations that I can sink my teeth into, and what you see is pretty much what you get.  

What was it like reuniting with Eli Goree? 

It was good to work with Eli Goree again, but as you know, that storytelling comes from Jaha's imagination. Maybe he has some oxygen deprivation or maybe his mind is prepared to give up, but his actual soul and spiritual world is not going to align with that fact. That's pretty much the metaphor of what that scene is about. He still has to know what to do to keep things together, and he does everything he can do to survive — to get to Earth to be with his people. 

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Were you surprised that Jaha ended up in the desert at the end of the last episode? Might he encounter other people?  

I don't need to know every nook and cranny [of] everything that happens. Jason invited me to play in this sandbox, it's really that simple. At this point, I just follow the lead and right now I'm getting a lot of good things [to play] as an actor and as a human being to be challenged by and to learn from and grow from. 

How do you think this experience will shape or change Jaha's perspective on life and morality? 

We'll have to all find out. I can't answer that question. I'll get a script and find out in that moment where the character is going, and so far, I'm in alignment with everything that's happened in Jaha's journey. It keeps me on top of my game, it keeps me fresh, it gives me a lot of wonderful notes to play. He's in love with his people. And at this point, that's all he has. That's one of his driving forces. He needs to be connected to something. He wants to live — human nature dictates that he wants to live. He has an extraordinary circumstance that requires extraordinary measures to get out of. 

There was a moment that seemed straight out of Gravity, where Jaha was floating in space. Were there any particular challenges filming that?

All I had to do was sit in a dark room with a space suit on and pretend that I was in space and hopefully it doesn't come off in a way where I'm inauthentic. That's pretty much what we were going for, and that's a pretty cool comparison [to Gravity]. I'll take that.

With Jaha's people safely on Earth, how do you think he would be reacting if he was privy to all of the hierarchical changes?

That's the beauty of watching an episodic: You actually have to wait and see for yourself. I'm not a guy who's going to tell you everything that's going to happen or that I think is going to happen. If that's the case then there's no need for you to watch it.

But hypothetically, if he were there to experience the chasm growing between Abby and Cain, especially...

This is only hypothetical, but in his mind, he's the chancellor. As long as he's alive, he's the chancellor of his people. I'm quite sure that when we connect with him, that's what he has in his mind.

So there will come a time when he does eventually reunite with his people?

I hope so. I don't know how fast or how quickly it's going to happen. If anybody is going to do a spacewalk and survives that, puts himself in a missile and launches himself out of it and survives that, finds out that the baby is not real and that he actually got to Earth… Whether he lands in the area or not, he has to go find his people, that's his job. The whole season is [Jaha trying] to reunite with his people, no matter what, as long as he's alive.

How do you think that reunion would play out?

You'll have to wait and see!

When I spoke to Eliza Taylor a few weeks ago, she said that you guys hadn't worked together yet.

Yeah I'm very curious [to see where it's headed]. I'm looking forward to getting on Twitter and live-tweeting. I'm very excited to get the feedback.

The 100 airs 9 p.m. Wednesdays on The CW.

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