Exclusive interview with Adina Porter

February 15, 2016 | In the post apocalyptic show "The 100" Adina Porter plays Indra, a strong and loyal grounder warrior. In the soon starting series "Underground" she portrays the character Pearly Mae. And on the HBO series "True Blood" she played Tara's mother Lettie Mae for seven years. In our interview Adina Porter talks about the new project, the casting for Indra, what aspects of the grounder culture she likes and what it felt like to say goodbye to the "True Blood"-cast.

Foto: Adina Porter - Copyright: Diana Ragland
Adina Porter
© Diana Ragland

Note: © myFanbase 2016 - The interview is exclusive to myFanbase and may not be published on other websites or the like. You may share the first two questions (up to 180 words) if you link back to this site. Translations other than English and German may be posted with full credit including the link to this site.

German translation of the interview.

Could you please tell us a little bit about the casting process for your role of Indra on "The 100"?

I had three audition appointments that day. Auditioning for Indra was the first one. Auditioning is always a bit stressful. I mean exciting. I mean stressful... When there are multiple appointments on one day, I have to balance a few things. Can this outfit work for all the roles? Can I just change the shoes for each character? Emotionally, where do I need to be for each audition? I also didn't have a lot of time because I was still working on "The Newsroom". The audition was my day off. That's why there were so many meetings scheduled on the same day.

I auditioned for Indra with the casting director who 'put me on tape', which means recorded me for producers to review later. I did it once. She gave me notes. I did it a second time and got a little emotional speaking of my loyalty to my commander and our people. I remember thinking Ė out of all the auditions that day Ė my audition for "The 100" was the weakest. I'm very glad I was the only person who had that opinion.

The series has a lot of strong female characters in leading positions and Indra is not just one of them, she is also a warrior with battle scenes. How did you prepare physically for the role and how do you work on the fight scenes?

It is important for me to stay limber when we are shooting "The 100". That way I am prepared for anything that they throw at me. Marshall Virtue is a wonderful Stunt Coordinator. He makes sure I have enough rehearsal time. All of our fight scenes are choreographed and recorded, in advance. The video is emailed to me so I can review and get a sense of what I will be learning during a fight rehearsal.

Indra is really badass, but she also has a soft side. For example, when she leaves Lincoln a knife in the finale of the second season, so he can make his own decision. Will the audience see more from the woman behind the loyal warrior?

Yes, in season three you will see more of the Grounder culture and understand why we make certain choices. I also feel some Skaikru beliefs and their value of the individual is beginning to influence Indra's and other Grounders' thinking.

Why did Indra choose Kane as an ally and not Abby for example?

I cannot speak to all of the reasons why the writers make the choices that they do. As an actor, I decided the reason Indra forms an alliance with Kane over Abby is because she sees him as a fellow, seasoned warrior. Indra and Abby had a meeting over Finn's surrender; it didn't go as planned.

Season three explores the grounder culture. Is there an aspect that you like specifically?

I admire traditions. In my opinion, there is comfort in following a path that has been set out before you. A lot of the 'free thinking' Skaikru uses, seems to lead to much chaos.

Has there been a day on the set of "The 100" that you would like to relive because it was so funny or exceptional?

I would like to relive the day the Grounder army first enters the Skaikru compound. It was pouring rain. I didn't have to act -- just -- simply react. I felt so powerful and indestructible strutting through this massive gate, in the pounding rain with an army of huge men behind me, obeying my every word. That was amazing.

Foto: Adina Porter - Copyright: Diana Ragland
Adina Porter
© Diana Ragland

The grounders have their own language, developed by David J. Peterson, what is it like to learn and speak this fictional language?

It is very difficult to learn and perform this language. It is one thing to memorize the words phonetically. It is another challenge to trust yourself that you know those 'words' when itís time to act or fight. It's a mental test that improves with time, I have found.

As one of the Bon Temps citizens, what was your favorite part of working on the "True Blood" set?

I don't have any favorites. It was a blast working on a hit HBO series for seven years. We all looked forward to seeing each other every season. I still keep in touch with many people and there is a reunion party that very few miss unless they are out of the country. Cast and crew all come and catch up.

What was saying goodbye to Bon Temps and everyone on "True Blood" like, what do you miss most?

I cried and I wasn't the only one wiping away tears. I am happy my last scene had a huge amount of the cast in it so I could say goodbye to many. I watched the last episode the first time it aired on that Sunday night. I didn't want to DVR it. I was surprised at how emotional I was. That show, playing Lettie Mae, changed my career forever.

What has been the most challenging and rewarding part of your career so far?

The most challenging and rewarding part of my career is what I think is the most challenging and rewarding part of any career. Itís persisting. Itís staying positive even after a setback. Itís staying focused on long-term goals and taking risks. I am happy to have to go through this 'fire' because I feel like I am teaching my children an important life skill.

You play Pearly Mae in the upcoming "Underground" and her tagline on the promotion picture is "I will do whatever it takes." Please tell us a little bit more about your character. 

You know, when we think about American slavery, we often picture slaves as helpless victims. We assume only educated abolitionists and Northern soldiers gave the slaves their freedom. The reality was that these enslaved people fought for their freedom. They did whatever it took to live, survive and free themselves and their families. I got to tell the story of one individual, a mother, wife -- who does whatever it takes -- to gain independence.

Since myFanbase is an online magazine about U.S. television shows, will you please tell us what your favorite shows are?

I really don't have any favorites. Itís what I am in the mood for at the time. Sometimes I am in the mood for "Downton Abbey". Sometimes I want a medical drama, and then itís "Code Black". Sometimes I'm in the mood for "The Affair". Sometimes itís HGTV all day long. I also miss my soaps "All My Children" and "One Life to Live". Thanks goodness for "Scandal". I'm a political junkie so CNN can be on in the background. I spent a recent weekend binge watching every season of "Luther". I watched the Super Bowl commercials. I don't understand the game.

Thank you so much for making time for us, Adina, we wish you all the best!

Thank you. Or I should sayÖ "Danke."

Charleen Winter - myFanbase