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Interview With Actress Tasya Teles

Toronto-born actress Tasya Teles talks to Arabian Moda about the concluding season of The CW’s The 100, humanitarian work for Unslaved, an initiative to battle slavery, and who she hopes to share the screen with!

by Haider Rifaat

Tell our readers about yourself
I am Ukrainian-Brazilian, who loves to dance and travel! I love a good adventure as much as I love staying home, cooking for my friends and just hanging out. My curiosity pulls me out of the house in search of new experiences even if that means sampling the latest Nutella inspired cronut down the street!

The 100 is in its final season. How do you feel?
It’s a similar feeling when you graduate from high school. I’m going to miss seeing all my friends, the characters and the familiarity of our studio. But I am also excited to explore the world and test myself differently with new stories and challenges. 

What can fans expect from the current season and how will your character affect the story arc?
Echo’s journey is a long one.  She’s evolved from a captured prisoner in a cage to an assassin in Azgeda and after being welcomed into the Skaikru family, she finally became their valuable member.

This season, we see her fight to protect the people she has opened her heart to. The struggles Echo goes through in the final season are extreme and she will begin to unravel. Fans can expect her to be active in her pursuits while unhinged by the obstacles that challenge her.

Which on-set souvenir did you take home after wrapping up The 100?
I took home a couple things actually (laughs). The day after we wrapped, I realized I forgot something in my trailer so despite my exhaustion I had to wake up and drive back there the next day. I grabbed my belongings and as I walked back to my car, I ran into one of our costume designers. I know they make multiple copies of certain wardrobe pieces so I asked if I could take Echo’s iconic fur coat she wore in season four.

I also snagged a hand painted portrait of John Murphy because it made me laugh! The image captures him as a god and I thought that was really funny! It’s sitting on my wall above my TV. Richard wants it but I’m not going to give it up (laughs).

A few words you would like to relay to the fans of The 100?
It’s been a wild ride and I love you guys so much! Thank you for all your support over the years. Working on the show and connecting with you all has been so rewarding and in many ways, you have become like my extended family. I hope you enjoy this final season!

What are you geared to do next?
Hmm, that’s tough! I love what I do as an actress but right now, I hope to spend more time connecting with my community and doing humanitarian work through Unslaved – a fundraising platform to help fight the cause of slavery. This venture is special to me and I want to use it effectively to instill positive change in the world.  That’s something I have been feeling very strongly about as of late.

Who do you wish to share the screen with in the future?
Oh my God! There are so many people to list! I love surrounding myself with powerful women whom I would love to learn and take notes from. A few of them are Natalie Portman, Frances McDormand, Viola Davis, Yara Shahidi, Hillary Swank, Cate Blanchett, Amy Adams, Julianne Moore and Octavia Spencer.

Do you feel that the Canadian entertainment industry is in hot waters given that many Canadian artists are working in Hollywood?
Not really. Many shows are filmed in Canada and I feel very fortunate to live here and work regularly. Canada has a very active film industry for both local and international productions. Yes, it would be nice to travel somewhere exotic for work and get to discover new places in the world.

Has anything rubbed you the wrong way about Hollywood?
Of course – a lot that has rubbed me the wrong way. The lack of minority representation in Hollywood is hugely upsetting. Sloppy storytelling, repressive and repetitive themes, precarious working environment for women in films and sexual harassment are a couple other problems that need more attention not only in this industry but around the world.

There is so much room for improvement! Storytelling is a powerful tool and unless Hollywood accurately mirrors what society truly looks like and everybody feels safe at work, we must do better. What gives me hope for a brighter future is witnessing a shift in the right direction, thanks to courageous people who speak up but we still have a long road ahead of us.

Photographer: Brandon Hart - Stylist: Jason Pillay - Hair & Makeup Artist: Faye Smith

About Haider Rifaat: a writer for Arabian Moda, South China Morning Post, OK! Pakistan and Good Times magazine. He is an actor and also the creator and host of Pakistan's first web talk show - The Haider Rifaat Show. He can be reached via instagram and twitter.