Werewolves and vampires and witches, oh my! These are just some of the creatures found in the supernatural world of Legacies, a new CW spinoff of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. In both The Originals and now Legacies, actress Danielle Rose Russell stars as Hope Mikaelson, a werewolf-vampire-witch tribrid finding her way as a teen in the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted of Mystic Falls, a school for the supernatural. Russell discusses playing Hope Mikaelson and the new world of Legacies in our Winter 2019 issue. Read an excerpt of our conversation below and order a copy of the Winter 2019 issue here.
Can you start off by giving a little background on how you got into acting and growing up in front of the camera?
I started acting when I was about nine years old. I began because a family friend had recommended me and said that it was something that I should do. I kind of brushed it off at first. It was not something I wanted to do at the time, but I ended up really loving going out for commercials and eventually just fell in love with acting as a whole. Once I got my first film at 13, I knew that it was something I wanted to do forever. The rest is history.
You star as Hope Mikaelson in The Originals as well as in the new The Originals spin-off Legacies. For those who haven’t seen the shows, what should viewers expect?
From Legacies, you can expect not having to have watched The Vampire Diaries or The Originals to understand it. You can expect a whole new world in this universe that has been created for ten years now. We really opened up doors to a completely new supernatural world, which keeps the show super fun, exciting, and fresh, and fans are going to fall in love with it. In Legacies, Hope is two years older, so she’s kind of gone through the grieving process of losing her parents, but she definitely is a result of those traumas that have happened to her. You will see her navigate her own self-identity in the series.
So playing Hope, how did you channel your inner werewolf-vampire-witch tribrid?
I like to look at Hope as just a super strong, bad-ass, Wonder Woman character. It’s a character that I’ve always wanted to play, and I kind of have a little fire in me as well. It’s never too difficult to tap into those parts of her.
What is your personal favorite part about playing Hope?
My favorite part about playing Hope is how unpredictable she is. I’m always doing something new with her. I’m always able to go on either spectrum of the deep end with her, and I know that there are so many ways that we can create her and develop her. So I’m never going to get bored playing this character. I really love the fact that she is so unpredictable and yet so strong.
So without giving any spoilers, what is your favorite scene that you’ve filmed so far?
Oh, gosh. There are so many things that I would love to tell you guys about. I think one of my favorites is in episode three. It’s a moment between Hope and Landon at the very end of the episode. There are no words in it, but I’m not going to spoil it, but there are no words in it. It’s just a super powerful and charged moment between them that really kind of defines the relationship. Some of my favorite scenes have been between Hope and Landon, and that’s all I’ll give you.
In episode two, we saw a fighting scene between Alaric and Hope. How has that been, training for fight scenes?
That was actually super exciting. It was something that I had never done in front of the camera before. Hope has a history with fighting, and it’s something that she does on the side a little bit, so it came supernaturally to me. Some of my favorite stuff has been being able to train for the fight scenes.
What advice would you give to newcomers and young actors acting world?
Don’t give up if it’s something that you think is worth fighting for. Then fight for it with everything you’ve got. Understand that hearing “no” is a part of the process and be perseverant. Being really focused on your goals is so important, but enjoy the journey and love your art for what it is as opposed to things that come along with it, like money or fame or popularity, which should not matter. Just staying focused on the art.
STORY JANICE KIM
PHOTOS ANNA ZHANG
HAIR MATTHEW MONZON
MAKEUP MEGAN LANOUX for EXCLUSIVE ARTISTS using KEVYN AUCOIN
STYLIST KRISANA SOTELO
Order a print copy and read more in Volume IV, Issue No. 001 – Winter 2019.