The CW series, The 100, has quickly become an addiction for many sci fi fans. From the stories to the characters to the actors, itÂ works on all levels…in spaceÂ and on the ground. TV Goodness recently chatted with actor Sachin Sahel, who plays Jackson on the drama.Â You’ll be able to tell how passionate he is about his show. He talks about getting to act alongsideÂ vets from Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Battlestar Galactica and Person of Interest. He geeks out over William Shatner live tweeting The 100. HeÂ reveals what it’s like to work on the ship side of things. And heads up, Supernatural fans. SahelÂ reflects on getting to work with a “terrifying”Â Misha Collins in the season seven premiere, “Meet the New Boss.”
TV GOODNESS: First of all, I am totally hooked on The 100.
Sachin Sahel: Yes, that is amazing. I love when people say that. Itâ€™s so good. You know what? Iâ€™m on it. But I love this show.Â
TVÂ GOODNESS: What do you love about it?
Sachin: The main thing is that it doesnâ€™t pull its punches. I love that it just goes. It doesnâ€™t spend ten years on one storyline or one idea. Where a lot of shows would draw out certain storylines, we just keep going and moving and on to the next thing. Every episode is a new thing. I keep telling everybodyâ€¦in seven episodes weâ€™ve done more than most people do in two seasons.Â
TVÂ GOODNESS: I already feel more emotionally invested in the characters of this show than I do for shows that have been on for two or three seasons. Do you agree?
Sachin: Watching that flashback episode with Bellamy;Â Kane just in episode seven, the emotional runs he went through in that episode; as well as Isaiah Washington. That moment where Isaiah Washington yells about his son…these actors, I think they do such a good job of creating such a whole life. You fully believe them, you know? Theyâ€™ve all lived a full life andâ€¦I donâ€™t know what it is but I tell everybody if I wasnâ€™t on the show I would probably have a 100 t-shirt right now.Â
TVÂ GOODNESS: The first time I saw that “JahaÂ anguish over his son” scene, I swear I teared up.
Sachin: Yup, it was just so real. His [Isaiah’s] ability to make something so real and you believe everything that he says. I think all of them do such a great job. We all filmed on the Ark. So we got to see nothing of what the kids were doing on the ground. But to see what theyâ€™re doing now is â€” oh man â€” Iâ€™m good friends with Richard Harmon [John] and watching him in â€œMurphyâ€™s Lawâ€ in episode four I was just like that is justâ€¦that is something special. â€˜Cause he did all that. The hanging and when he got chucked down the mountain, he did all that stuff. He did not use a stunt guy so thatâ€™s just all him. Getting to see that stuff is great.
TVÂ GOODNESS: What is it like to have your scenes on the Ark with actors from Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Greyâ€™s Anatomy and Person of Interest?
Sachin: My first day on set on the pilot was the day that we had to walk Abby to the airlock. So my first day on set Iâ€™m walking next to Paige Turco, who plays Abby, who I get to work with every time Iâ€™m on set. She is a dream to work with. And then we walk in and thereâ€™s Henry Ian Cusick about to airlock her. And then all of a sudden Isaiah Washington walks in from the back. So most of the time that you see Jackson with this dumbfounded look on his face because something crazy is happening, itâ€™s just literally me looking at these people saying this is where I am right now in my life. Itâ€™s great.
TVÂ GOODNESS: When are we going to learn more about Jackson?
Sachin: Abbyâ€™s taking care of everybody on the ark. Sheâ€™s trying to take care of the 100. Trying to make sure everybody on the ark is taken care of. Trying to find out whatâ€™s happening with her daughter. I think Jacksonâ€™s main role right now is to make sure that Abbyâ€™s okay. Heâ€™s there to make sure that she is functional for everybody else as well as doing his regular doctor duties. She needs somebody to take care of her, I guess. To make sure that when she needs something or if she needs help doing a surgery, that he will be there for her.
TVÂ GOODNESS: What have you learned from working with Paige Turco?
Sachin: Everything. She has done so much. And she is such a breadth of knowledge that watching her work, her process, her ability to work through a scene and make sure itâ€™s the best scene it can be…she finds the complete truth in whatâ€™s actually happening. Sometimes she finds things that the writers meant to be there that nobody else would even think of. Like little tidbits that bring our relationship together or just make a scene more true to whatâ€™s actually happening. If you think about all the circumstances that are going on in the Ark. The fact that weâ€™ve been doing this for hours and sheâ€™d be a lot more tired. She wants to make sure itâ€™s as real and as true as possible. And she does it. She doesnâ€™t hold back when she does her stuff. Itâ€™s great.
TVÂ GOODNESS: What is it like to be on the ship? Does it help you get into character?
Sachin: We are in this giant warehouse in Vancouver. And they have built each section of the Ark very close together. So when youâ€™re walking through it youâ€™re literally like…youâ€™re walking through the Ark. So you canâ€™t help but get completely immersed in that world. And when they have everybody set they have it all prepared, itâ€™s even a little hot in there so youâ€™reâ€¦youâ€™re just warm. So when youâ€™re trying to do surgery in thereâ€¦thatâ€™s actually sweat. They did a great job of making sure the Ark was a real living, breathing entity. Because itâ€™s a part of the show. Itâ€™s not just us up in the Ark. The Ark itself is this entity thatâ€¦now weâ€™re on a clock. Weâ€™re trying to figure out what to do.Â
TVÂ GOODNESS: Did you do any research for the more medical aspects that you have to do?
Sachin: Thank goodness on set we do have a doctor come in and inform us as to the real things that would happen. Now it is 97 years later so some things are going to be different. Where weâ€™re not going to have as many supplies or maybe the procedures are going to be a little different. So we had to take that into account. We did have a doctor on set and we do have Isaiah Washington so if we need help from him, he was on a doctor show for a couple years. So we just ask the man himself.
TVÂ GOODNESS: Can you talk about the success of the show? Right out of the gate it connectedÂ with viewers.
Sachin: Thatâ€™s just a testament to [creator] Jason Rothenberg and the writers that are on the show because when we read the pilot we knew the potential for the show. We also talked about how this show could be something else. And because he himself is such a fan of such great shows. He loves Lost, he loves Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Star Trek, he himself is such a fan. So what weâ€™re getting is somebody who is a fan of all those things, wanted to make a show. And he finally gets to make his baby into this show. So we read the pilot. We knew what it could be. And we got surprised every week when we got a new script. Youâ€™d just be sitting and waiting at your computer for the next script to see what else they could possibly do. After episode six, like, what else are they going to possibly do? And then they did this. And we just lost our minds. So when we saw that, we knew it was going to be something…but, granted, if youâ€™re on it itâ€™s hard to objective. So youâ€™re hoping that the reviews come out and itâ€™s as good as you hoped it was. The fact that people love it is just something special.
TVÂ GOODNESS: Can you talk about the fact that William Shatner is live tweeting the show?
Sachin: It is just insane! William Shatner â€” Captain Kirk â€” is sitting in his chair and heâ€™s tweeting. Heâ€™s watching us act and tweeting about it. Randomly, I was on Twitter that night that it happened and Jason Rothenberg just randomly had an idea and said, â€˜I wonder what itâ€™ll take for William Shatner to live tweet the episodes?’ And William Shatner read it. Replied. And then it just started rolling from there. And then he started tweeting. The whole cast was just losing their minds. Everybody was just geeking out. I mean heâ€™s just such a good supporter of sci fi and the fact that heâ€™s supporting this show which is hard sci fi â€” weâ€™re trying to bring it back to the world â€” itâ€™s a pleasure. Itâ€™s a blessing.
TVÂ GOODNESS: How did the role of Jackson happen for you?
Sachin: I was in Vancouver and they came up here and Iâ€™m pretty sure they already had most of it cast. I went in with the casting director. I did my read. And then about a week later I got a callback. I walk in the room and everybody was there. I wasnâ€™t sure what it was going to be. But Jason Rothenberg was there, the director, all the executive producers were in there. I was like, okay. I read my audition. I leave. IÂ wait two days and then all of a sudden Iâ€™m a doctor in space. It was funny how it went about. It just came out of nowhere and then a week later, there it is.
TVÂ GOODNESS: What does your family think about this?
Sachin: They are so happy. My mom actually always wanted me to be a doctor. When I went into acting she was like, â€˜Are you sure you donâ€™t want to be a doctor? I think youâ€™d be a good doctor.â€™ Iâ€™m like, â€˜No mom, I think I really want to be an actor.â€™ Mom somehow always finds a way to be right so sheâ€™s like, â€˜I told you youâ€™d be a good doctor.â€™ And I said, â€˜Yeah mom, youâ€™re right.â€™ Iâ€™m just a doctor in space, thatâ€™s fine.
TVÂ GOODNESS: You have a psychology degree, right?
Sachin: My parents really wanted me to go to school first before I wanted to be an actor. And I was kind of a brat, so I took psychology because I could take as many drama courses on the side as I could with a psychology degree. That would be the one that would allow you to take the most acting classes. But it was a blessing in disguise. Actually, psychology really helps you with acting and as well just going to a school for four years kind of just gives you some sort of knowledge base and I think I treat the career a little differently than I would have if I was an 18 year old that just kind of ran to Vancouver and tried to be an actor. It definitely helps. So good on you, parents.Â
TVÂ GOODNESS: You were in the season seven premiere of Supernatural â€œMeet the New Bossâ€ and shared a scene with Misha Collins. How was that experience?
Sachin: Misha Collins is one of the nicest men Iâ€™ve ever met. When he turns on Castiel, he is terrifying. Itâ€™s funny how he makes that switch. Off camera heâ€™d be talking to me. We were talking about acting and he was giving me advice about LA / Vancouver. And he was talking, he was a human being and being a great guy. And then all of a sudden he turns on Castiel. And that was the moment thatÂ Casâ€¦when the LeviathansÂ were in him. Also, he was going through a big change. So the moment he turns on Castiel it was likeÂ this isâ€¦this is very frightening. He has the ability to turn it on and off. Heâ€™s so good.Â
TVÂ GOODNESS: What are some of your favorite TV shows and why?
Sachin: I love Friday Night Lights. Itâ€™s just everything to me. Breaking Bad was amazing. Iâ€™m actually a big fan of House of Cards now too. Game of Thrones. Every week.Â Back in the dayâ€¦I really miss â€˜90s TV. I miss sitcoms like Fresh Prince, Seinfeld and Friends. I own every season of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Iâ€™m a huge Superman fan. That show was just likeâ€¦I mean, Iâ€™m going to find Teri Hatcher and just marry her one day.
TVÂ GOODNESS: Sounds like you need to go to Comic-Con.
Sachin: One day in my life I will be at Comic-Con. Iâ€™m gonna be on that panel. Itâ€™s a foregone conclusion. Itâ€™ll happen one of these days. Whenever it may be. For whatever it may be. This is a dream.Â
The 100 airs Wednesdays on the CW at 9/8c.
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