Under normal circumstances, we’d already count ourselves impressed by Tasya Teles’s performance on The 100. On the hit post-apocalyptic CW drama, the actress plays Echo, a lethal spy and badass warrior, trained in all aspects of weaponry. But Teles had to take her training one step further by learning the entirely made-up language of “Trigedasleng,” spoken by a group of people called Grounders.
“It’s basically a mishmash of English, Patois, accents, and slangs that you would find in different communities across North America,” explains Teles. “The creators mashed that all together as the basis for this language. So, I learned the language, which was one part of my vocal training, and was still learning sword fighting and stage fighting. It was tough surprisingly.”
In addition to blowing our minds on The 100, Teles will also play a major role on the upcoming season of Prison Break, as an NSA agent hot on the trail of a certain escaping foe.
“I come from a family of strong, opinionated women, so my career trajectory going from roles as quiet housewives to tough women with an axe to grind has felt kind of natural,” says Teles. “I can bring that ferocity or that powerful stillness that I have in my DNA.”
What is your worst habit?
Cracking my knuckles. It’s awful, everyone hates to hear it!
What has been your biggest accomplishment?
I would say learning how to relax. I’m usually juggling 70 balls in the air and I’ve told myself I really need to learn how to balance. Finally, this year, I’m actually doing it.
Your resume says that you speak a bunch of languages, three of them fictional. What does that even mean?
[Laughs.] One is Trigedasleng from The 100. The other two are languages that we made up in high school and they are really bizarre. My friend Davey made up a language and I don’t even know how it came to be. Every word has an extra few syllables added to it, so to get through a full sentence it was nightmarish. But being a teenager, it was the most hilarious thing.
What is a hidden talent of yours?
Anything I drop I can catch with some part of my body. I have this really weird reflex for things that fall, I always manage to catch it against my hip or it will land on my foot. It might stem from when I played competitive soccer years ago. I drop my phone constantly but it never actually hits the floor. I basically break it on the way down just attempting to keep it from hitting the floor.
What was your favourite show to watch as a child?
I’m thinking of TGIF and Family Matters and Boy Meets World. But oddly, the British show Absolutely Fabulous was a favourite, too. My mom and my sister and I used to all watch that together when I was a kid.
What was the last thing you lied about?
Whether I ate chocolate or not. My boyfriend and I have a yoga/health challenge bet right now, so he’s going vegetarian which is crazy to me, and he’s doing yoga which is also totally crazy to me. I’m supposed to not have sugar. So, we have this rule that at the end of every day if we ask each other if we’ve given in to our vices, we have to be honest, but there’s a big penalty if one of us lies. Oops!
Who in your life would you trust to break you out of prison?
My sister, because she’s super resourceful. She can get us in or out of any situation, and she’s also oddly strong even though she doesn’t work out. I work out all the time and I can’t do what she does. But she’s smart, she’s resourceful, she could totally do it.