Having abilities truly runs in the family on The CW’s “The Tomorrow People.”
Robbie Amell’s Stephen arrived just in time to see his mom, Marla Jameson, played by “24” alum Sarah Clarke, stop time and bullets, to save Astrid from Ultra’s latest hit squad.
But while the mom-has-Tomorrow-People-abilities reveal came as a surprise to Stephen and the show’s fans, Sarah has actually known about the twist for some time. And, in a new interview with AccessHollywood.com, she explained how it will change things for the family, and effect the mysteries surrounding family patriarch Roger, whose exit maybe didn’t happen the way it was explained to his sons.
AccessHollywood.com: You have powers! How exciting!
Sarah Clarke: So exciting, right? I was really sort of getting tired of just making dinner and clearing the dishes (laughs).
Access: Well, you got to date as well…
Sarah: I did. Actually, I have to give it up to Phil [Klemmer, the show’s executive producer] for giving me so much fun stuff to do because once we started going camping and all those things, it was really fun.
Access: When did they actually tell you that you are a Tomorrow Person?
Sarah: It was sort of a slow build. There [were] always big talks about what I knew my husband was up to, what I knew about him, how I could live in a relationship with somebody and just not understand this about him. … Phil asked me, he’s like, ‘We think we want you to have powers, but I don’t know how it’s going to come about and how we’re going to reconcile it. We’re still figuring it out, but I think that’s the only way to really make sense of what you and Roger understood about each other.’ And I agreed. It was very interesting to see how it all unfolded.
Access: So you knew last year?
Sarah: Yes. I did (laughs).
Access: I guess it would make sense that to produce one of the most powerful young Tomorrow People, you’d have to have two Tomorrow People [in the parenting mix].
Sarah: There you go. Exactly. What I love about that idea though is that [there] is someone who could sit on such untapped potential. I mean, it is a pretty great metaphor for like, not really embracing what you can be and I think for Marla, it was about protecting her children because she only saw the negative aspects of what the powers could do based on what Roger was exploring with his brother. She didn’t even know the full extent of that, but I think she just decided [she] didn’t want any part of that. What Phil also told me is that my breakout was a very painful process because it was during a time when no one understood anything about it, so I think to spare her son, she decided to try it in a way that came with love and understanding.
Access: Going forward, how much are we going to learn about who you are and who you were?
Sarah: Well, that’s a really good question. I think there’s a lot of really great material there, so I don’t know. I do know that we talk about certain aspects from the past and we do show some flashbacks, but in terms of just how in depth they go, I don’t know when that’ s really gonna come out.
Access: In this week’s episode, will we pick up where we left off? Stephen has just seen his mother stop bullets.
Sarah: Oh yeah! We pick right [back up]… Literally, the moment after.
Access: Is this going to create conflict between the two of them?
Sarah: That was one of my favorite scenes to shoot was the scene where he’s confronting the whole thing. But I do think, going forward, it will help [offer a] deeper understanding of these people and their relationship can only get closer because of their shared experiences.
Access: Will we learn about your relationship with Roger as Tomorrow People?
Sarah: I think we will for sure because I know that it’s a big – there’s just so many questions for Stephen, in terms of where he came from and what he’s becoming, so I think they have to address it and finally, Marla can’t use the [line], ‘I don’t want to talk about it anymore because he left me.’
Access: Now that her secret is out to at least one son, [Stephen], will that change how she treats the other one, [Luca]?
Sarah: I think it’s an inevitability that he is going to break out and so now… she’s ready for when that happens. It’ll be interesting to see if she decides to reveal that to him before he does, or during or, after.
Access: Can we just talk about Astrid for a second. Her mind must be super blown!
Sarah: Super blown!
Access: Not only does she know about Stephen, not only has her life been in danger multiple times, but now she’s seen Stephen’s mom with powers. What are we going to see happen with Astrid?
Sarah: I mean, that’s a really good question because so far – well, I don’t want to give anything away, but I do think Astrid’s character has been put through sort of the hardest thing to sort of grapple with. She’s definitely gonna have to have some important scenes to understand everything that’s happening.
Access: What’s one thing you’ve learned about Robbie Amell, that’s fun, from playing his mom on the show and spending all that time around him?
Sarah: That he is actually just the sweetest kid. He has a lot of confidence. I certainly didn’t have that kind of confidence when I was [younger]. … And I had two brothers growing up… [Having] my two sons on the show — that three dynamic is very familiar to me, especially given that they’re so much taller than me and I’m their mother. But I would say what I learned about Robbie is that he’s just a really sweet, sweet guy and that’s really nice to see and [he’s] always a pleasure to work with.
“The Tomorrow People” returns Wednesday night at 9/8c on The CW.
-- Jolie Lash