"Jesus, calm down," Raven says, literally as soon as she sees Clarke.
Being told to calm down has never made Clarke calmer in her entire life, so her glare is warranted. "I'm calm," she lies.
Raven snorts. "Uh huh. Don't forget I know you."
It's true, and usually not unfortunate. Clarke loves Raven, for all she hasn't known her as long as a lot of her former costars, and she was thrilled they were working together again for the first season of Wild Mage.
It's just that it means Raven knows all her stupid shit, and will call her on it, unlike the new cast members. Monty and Anya have no idea she's a bundle of nerves. Luna is still intimidated by her. If Raven wasn't here, she'd be safe from this conversation.
But she's not, so she flops into the seat next to Raven with a huff. "Is he here yet?"
"Nope, not yet. He's not called until later, so--" She gives Clarke a critical look. "You guys still talk, right? It's not like you never see each other. Why is this such a thing for you?"
"We talk, but I haven't seen him since the wrap party."
Still, Clarke knows what Raven means. Seeing Bellamy again feels like a much bigger deal than it should be, and she knows it's irrational. They worked together on Lioness for seven years. They were friends, and good ones. They still are friends. But they're the kind of friends who haven't seen each other in almost three years, because of work and scheduling and all sorts of other things. Clarke had a movie in London, Bellamy had a show that was filming in Vancouver, and their schedules just kept on not lining up. So their communication these days is mostly just occasional texts and Bellamy fulfilling his weekly tweet quota by tagging her in weird memes.
It's nice, but--she misses him so much more than she wants to. So much more than she thinks she should. And she's stupidly excited to see him again.
She was supposed to get over the stupid crush, at some point. He basically told her to.
"Well, he's still hot," says Raven, pragmatic.
"Thanks, I hadn't noticed. He's still not into me."
"At least you get to make out."
Clarke has to smile. "At least there's that, yeah."
Making out with Bellamy has never been as good a consolation prize as Clarke wanted it to be. Clarke was fifteen when she was cast as Alanna, and the whole thing was exciting on a level she could barely believe. She'd fought for the role, knowing how bad a match she was on paper, blonde and fairly feminine, but she loved the books and had always related to Alanna, and she'd managed to win over the producers in no time.
Bellamy took longer, which sucked, because he was her love interest, and really hot, and always seemed cool, with people who weren't her. But after two weeks of awkward off-screen interactions, she finally snapped, "You're not really what I pictured for George Cooper either, and I'm living with it, so any time you want to stop being a dick would be great."
He looked taken aback, which wasn't really surprising. At twenty, Bellamy didn't have any more experience in Hollywood than Clarke did at fifteen, maybe even a little less, but he was older and clearly thought he was wiser and more mature. He probably thought she had no idea he didn't like her.
"Sorry?" he asked.
"I know I'm too blonde and too tall and not muscular enough, but you're too short and your nose is too small and George isn't supposed to be attractive so don't act like your casting is perfect."
She realized as soon as she said it that you're too hot for your role was a weird thing to say, and from Bellamy's expression, he knew it too.
She plowed on before he could respond. "And you like that Wells looks nothing like Jon does in the book, so--seriously, can you let it go? We're going to have to make out if the show keeps going."
There was another pause, and then he laughed, bright and surprised, and said, "So, they cast you because you're really fucking angry, right?"
And just like that, they were friends. And Clarke got a crush on him as naturally as breathing, because he was way too hot to be George Cooper, and he was smart and sarcastic and kind of a giant dork, and he was her favorite person to hang out with, basically all the time.
And he was her love interest, her endgame pairing, once they finished with the stuff with her and Wells, and some part of her couldn't help hoping that would bleed over into real life. Which she knew was stupid and naive and ten kinds of inappropriate, but--well, she'd defy anyone to hang out with Bellamy Blake as much as she did and not develop a thing. It wan't her fault.
The third season ended with Alanna's birthday and a love confession from George, so when they went to Comic-Con, that was one of the big topics of conversation. It was a little weird to Clarke; Lioness wasn't totally faithful to the books, but she couldn't believe anyone actually thought they were going to change Alanna/George as the main pairing. If nothing else, they were hoping to do a whole Tortall franchise, and that would involve a show starring Alanna and George's daughter at some point. It would have been stupid to change it.
Still, there were unspoiled people, non-book readers, whatever, so a lot of Comic-Con questions that year were about the love triangle, the development of George/Alanna, and Alanna's own feelings. She and Bellamy were pretty good at the PR thing by then by then, adept at giving answers that satisfied long-time fans of the books without spoiling things, and Clarke had feeling great about it, up until they went off stage and Bellamy said, "I made it sound like I'm into that, right?"
"George and Alanna."
Clarke frowned. "You're not?"
He shrugged. "I really like the books, don't get me wrong, but--yeah, George and Alanna weirds me out. Not as bad as Daine and Numair do, they're going to have to really work on that one, but--I know we started with Alanna older than she is in the books, but still. Even in the show, she was supposed to be thirteen and he was eighteen or nineteen. That's a big age difference. It would be like me falling for one of my sister's middle-school BFFs."
The statement made Clarke go cold all over, but her voice stayed steady. "Alanna's older by the time he's interested in her."
"Yeah." He shrugs. "Don't get me wrong, it's not the worst thing. I like their dynamic a lot in the later books. And I think we're making it a little less sketchy on the show. Less of Jon and George telling her what she wants when she still says she's not interested. But still. It's hard when you meet someone and you're a lot older than they are to switch to, I don't know. Romance."
Clarke was never sure he was trying to tell her that he knew she had a thing for him and wanted to let her down easy, but that was how she took it. And it was considerate of him, to do it that way. Polite. And now she knew nothing was ever going to happen, so she could move on.
And she has, in all kinds of ways. She's had other relationships, serious ones. She hasn't been pining away with love for Bellamy Blake.
Just, in the background, always, she's been aware that she likes him, and she misses him, and she's going to be really happy to see him again.
In the background, he's her favorite person, and today's the day he's back in her life in person. And getting a screen kiss from him isn't nearly enough.
Anya sits down on her left, looks Clarke up and down, and then turns her attention to Raven. "What's wrong with her?"
"She hasn't seen her husband in three years. Like, in real life. I figure it's a method acting thing."
"I knew that I needed to be convincingly happy to see him," Clarke agrees, leaning back and closing her eyes. At least Raven's taken point on this. "It's for the art."
"Uh huh," says Raven.
"I'm looking forward to meeting him," Anya says. "He was always my favorite. Well, until Maya showed up."
Clarke grins; Maya-as-Buri was everyone's favorite surprise at the end of Lioness, this quiet, shy girl who transformed into a total badass as soon as the cameras started rolling. "Yeah, same, honestly."
Luna shows up, and then Monty, and they do hair and makeup and take off to film Numair's farewell scene, and Clarke tries not to be distracted thinking about how Bellamy is probably in makeup now, how soon she's going to see him. But she's pretty sure it's the kind of thing that works, broadly. Method, like Raven said. Alanna misses George; Clarke misses Bellamy. They're both antsy, waiting for their people.
Which is the other thing she's worrying about. The timing on Wild Mage is a little awkward, in terms of the book canon. The network, understandably, didn't want to wait more than a few years between the end of Lioness and the start of their new show, and Clarke and Raven were playing a little older than they were supposed to be, but having them be ten years older than they were at the end of Lioness, with children of eight or nine, would have been pushing suspension of disbelief a bit. So they're down to only seven years after Lioness, and Alanna's poor oldest child got cut, leaving only the twins who are going to be plot relevant.
It's a good fix, but that's the part she's most anxious about. Being convincingly happy to see Bellamy will be easy, if awkward; being a convincing mother is going to be tougher. She doesn't even like kids much.
Then again, neither does Alanna. Method.
Fuck, she's a mess.
Pirate's Swoop is a new set, one Clarke hasn't been to yet, but it's the setting for the end of the season, so it's pretty elaborate. They head over there to have lunch before the afternoon filming, and of course the first thing she sees when they arrive is Bellamy, mostly in costume, kneeling down to talk to some of the child actors.
Even having expected him, it's a lot to take in.
"Yup, still hot," says Raven, nudging Clarke.
"Shut up," she hisses.
Thayet and George don't interact that much I n the show, but Bellamy and Raven get along well, and definitely fucked at some point during Lioness, even if Clarke never wanted the details. So it's not surprising that Raven's the one who starts the interaction, calling, "Hey, Blake, leave my kids alone!"
"Some of them are my kids!" he calls back, and the full force of his grin is still enough to bowl Clarke over. It's one of the things she thinks really works for him, as George Cooper. He's always attractive, but it's his smile that really pushes him over the edge, just like it's supposed to. When Bellamy smiles, Clarke can't imagine anyone not falling in love with him. "Hey, your highness. Lioness." His expression softens when it hits Luna. "And you're our new star."
"This is Bellamy," Raven says. "You should be glad you don't have to see him much."
He wraps Raven up in a big hug. "Shut up, you miss me." He offers Luna and Anya handshakes, and then gives Clarke half a smile, wry. "Hey."
"Hey," she says, and when she steps closer, he takes it as a sign he should go for the hug. He smells like she remembers, stage makeup, cologne, and sweat, and she buries her face against his neck for just a second.
He gives her a final tight squeeze before he pulls back. "Good to see you."
"If you ever came to Vancouver, you could see me more."
"Sorry all the people who want to hire me are suddenly in LA," he teases. But his expression softens. "Seriously."
"I missed you too," Clarke says, and it's easy again. Her--well, her best friend, in a lot of ways. Even with all the years and miles between them, he's still Bellamy.
They grab food and eat it with Raven and Anya and Charles, chatting and catching up. Luna's younger than the rest of them and still a little shy, for all she's the star of the actual show, so she sticks with the other teenagers, but Clarke can't say she minds. Bellamy asks all the right questions about how filming is going, how the new cast is, how it's going to be for him settling in. Unless they go off-book, he doesn't have much to do aside from quick cameos until the fourth series, if they make it that far, and it makes Clarke ache, thinking about it. For seven years of her life, he was just around, still around on set and in town when they weren't filming together, and she knew it wouldn't last forever, but she wanted it to last better than this.
But they've got a month of filming together. That's something to look forward to.
He introduces her to the child-actors playing the twins, two fairly somber redheads of about four, and Clarke has to smile at the absurdity of it. In the story, it makes sense, but--
"How does it feel to be a father?" she teases Bellamy.
"It'd be a lot better if you weren't leaving me alone with the kids all the time," he shoots back, easy. "Marriage is a team sport, Clarke."
"Wow. Did you just make that up? If the acting thing doesn't work out, you have a bright future in the greeting card industry."
"Always good to have options." He cocks his head at her. "So, state of the ship?"
Clarke has to smile. The last few seasons of Lioness, Alanna and George were apart as much as they were together, it felt like, and before every reconciliation, she and Bellamy would have a quick check-in about where their characters were with each other. It was one of her favorite traditions.
"We're married," she points out. "With kids. I'm pretty sure the ship's in good shape." She pauses. "I assume the distance is hard, but they're used to that. I figure she misses George more than the kids."
"Yeah, but you probably don't want to show that too much. Save Alanna's parenting issues for the Aly series."
She smiles. "In, what, twenty years?"
"Wild Mage is only supposed to be four seasons, right? One for each book? I'd give Protector of the Small at least as many as Lioness, Kel's got a lot of good stuff and it's easier to make shit up for when she's at school than with Daine's random adventures. So--fifteen to twenty, sure."
"And you'd come back for that?" Clarke asks.
He shrugs. "Unless I've got some contract that won't let me. It's fun, right?"
Clarke figures she should get her smiles out now, before she has to be Alanna. "There are worse ways to make a living."
The scenes today are pretty simple, at least for Clarke. She's greeted by her children first and stays largely out of the action as the rest of the cast fills George in on their travels and the state of the kingdom. Once the exposition is out of the way, Alanna and George have their kiss, and then there's some more exposition in the form of a tour and Onua filling Daine and the rest of the riders in more on Pirate's Swoop over dinner. For a fairly easy day, Clarke's shockingly nervous about it.
Then again, she has scene with kids and a scene with kissing, and both of those are a pain.
The kids go fine. They're excited to see her, and Clarke is excited back without having to be a focus. She's in the background long enough that she blends in for the exposition, and the idea is that by the time she's reuniting with George, most of the audience will have forgotten they were waiting for that.
The first take, Bellamy botches her cue to enter the scene, and he gives everyone a sheepish smile.
"Guess I'm out of practice."
"You were never that great in the first place," Raven shoots back, and Clarke can tell he's thinking about flipping her off, but he remembers the kids are around and settles for a roll of his eyes.
"I missed you too."
The second take, Clarke doesn't figure out how to drop the kids in a fluid way when Bellamy wraps his arm around her, so everyone is a weird tangle of limbs. The director reblocks it so the kids let go of her as soon as Bellamy starts walking toward them for the third take, and that one doesn't even make it to Clarke's expected entrance because one of the cameras has an issue.
Clarke's starting to think she's cursed.
Bellamy comes over while they're working to resolve the camera thing, gives her a shy smile.
"Want to try a dry run?" he offers. "I'm obviously rusty."
She feels stupid for being nervous. "You're just afraid you're going to drop me when you dip me."
"That's exactly it."
"Well, that would be embarrassing." She lets out a breath. "Yeah, let's try it."
"Seriously, the dip is weird," he says, and slides one arm around her waist, the other into her hair, and it is a little awkward, figuring out how he wants her to move, but once she does, it's fluid and natural, like it always has been with Bellamy.
The kiss itself is like it always is with Bellamy, too--professional, thorough, and completely lacking in genuine intimacy.
It's still nice, and she's still pathetic.
Raven wolf-whistles, and Bellamy grins at Clarke before he rights them and waves to the rest of the cast and crew. His arm is still around her.
"Convincing, right?" he asks, and Clarke leans against his side and doesn't say anything.
They nail the fourth take.
The weird thing about Bellamy being on set is that it means Bellamy is also around, in Vancouver, a possibility in Clarke's life in a way he hasn't been since Lioness wrapped. When he comes out for drinks with the crew on Friday, it's bad enough--in the best way, because he hangs out with her--but it's actually worse the first Saturday. Clarke was planning to hit up the farmer's market near her apartment, which has this one stall that sells amazing homemade doughnuts, and she finds herself paralyzed, lying in bed, looking at her phone and wondering if she should text Bellamy to see if he wants to come along.
Which would be normal, right? It's so normal. They're friends.
She groans and rolls over, burying her face in her pillow.
It would honestly be fine, if she'd just gotten over him. Which she was definitely supposed to. She honestly assumed seeing him again would fix it, because he's kind of a default crush for her, someone safe to think about, idly, when she doesn't have anyone else. He hasn't ever been a real option, and she hoped that when they were together again, his lack of interest would remind her he's safe, not a viable dating option.
But he's still her favorite person to act with, and to hang out with, and just--god, she likes Bellamy Blake a truly stupid amount.
Me: I assume you have no life
Bellamy: Safe assumption
But you don't either so I don't know why you're making fun of me
Me: There's a farmer's market near my place
I'm going if you want to come
I cannot imagine you at a farmer's market
You don't cook and you're afraid of your own kitchen
I have to see this
Clarke: The farmer's market sells prepared food too
Bellamy: That explains it
Where and when?
She takes longer than usual getting ready, fretting over her makeup, trying to figure out how to wear her hair. She's been Alanna for long enough that seeing the bright orange in the mirror isn't a surprise, but she still doesn't feel like she's as good at dressing herself as a redhead.
Which doesn't matter, because he's not interested. He's not.
She'll just keep reminding herself. It can't hurt.
He's already waiting for her when she gets to the market, dressed in his own standard spring day off clothes: jeans, white t-shirt, flannel, and glasses. His hair is a tangle of curls in the wind, and he's shifting on his feet, clearly looking for her, clearly excited.
It's so fucking inconsiderate.
Plus, when he sees her, he grins. The dick. "You know, this is my favorite farmer's market too."
"I lived in this neighborhood when I was on Real McCoy. Which you would have known, if you ever visited."
She knocks her shoulder against his. "It's cold in Canada."
"But I was in Canada."
"I was kind of bummed that your Vancouver show got canceled just as mine started up. We could have hung out." She pauses. "But then I guess maybe you couldn't have been in this show."
"Nah, we talked about it," he says, easy. "If I had to be a major player like you it would have been an issue, but I'm just doing a guest-star thing. We figured I could spare the time if you guys were filming up here anyway. Everyone gets that it's cool, I guess. Bringing people back across series."
"Which is why you're planning to be free in fifteen years."
"If I can, yeah. Aren't you?"
"Yeah. But they're gonna hire me way more." She lets herself sway close to him as they walk, and if he notices he doesn't mind. "Okay, so if you like this farmer's market, what are your favorite stalls?"
"There's a doughnut place--" he starts, and she laughs.
They take their time wandering around, once they've gotten the doughnuts. Clarke asks after Bellamy's sister, and to her surprise he asks after Lexa.
"Did I tell you about her?"
"Wells mentioned her. He was in town last year." He rubs the back of his neck. "Sorry, I didn't think it was a secret."
"A pretty open one," says Clarke. "And not, like--I'm out, she's out. I just never talk about relationships much."
"We broke up," she adds, when she realizes she hasn't said it yet. "Last year. Distance, priorities, you know how it is."
"Yeah, your really vague explanation cleared everything up," he teases.
"Don't tell me you're in a successful relationship."
"No, not for a while." He seems to be thinking it over. "Two years?"
"Aren't you supposed to be a heartthrob or something?"
"Must have missed that." He gives her a crooked smile. "Sorry, am I letting you down?"
"Obviously, yeah. I expect you to bring someone different home every night."
He's about to reply when a couple girls come up to them, instantly recognizable as nervous fans who are hoping for photographs, and Bellamy's attention shifts to them, his smile warm but a little hollow, to Clarke's eye.
"Sorry, we don't want to interrupt, but--" starts one of the girls, only for her friend to cut her off.
"You're Alanna and George, right?"
"Clarke and Bellamy," says the first girl.
"That's us, yeah," says Bellamy. "Either's fine."
"Are you filming for the new show?" the second girl asks. "You're doing the finale soon, right?"
"Yeah, finale in a few weeks," says Clarke.
"It's so cool you could both come back! I was worried they'd have to recast."
"Yeah, everyone sort of agreed that if the first one did well, we'd try to make it back for the second," Bellamy says. "It is pretty awesome, though. Great to be working with everyone again."
"Yeah, a weird family reunion," Clarke says.
"We are kind of family," he teases.
"No spoilers. Maybe we got divorced."
"Is divorced even a thing in Tortall?"
"We should ask." She smiles at the girls, who are looking charmed and starstruck, which is what they go for. "Did you guys want a picture or something?"
"That would be great!" says the first girl, and they get a stranger to take a picture of all four of them, the two girls positioned between Clarke and Bellamy, beaming.
They photo is posted and tagged on Twitter within five minutes, and Clarke has to admit it's pretty cute. Bellamy just laughs when he shows her, shakes his head.
"I was sort of low profile before the new series started, you know. I almost never got asked for photos in public."
"Maybe you're just cooler when you're hanging out with me," Clarke says, and he grins.
"Yeah, that must be it."
Apparently Bellamy takes her statement seriously, or maybe he was just waiting for her to reach out first, because after that, he starts initiating contact, texting her when he's bored, asking if she wants to hang out after they're done filming or on days off. Clarke would say it feels like it was before, but they didn't actually spend this much time together on Lioness. Clarke lived at home until the last couple of seasons, and then they were both dating other people, and they just didn't have as much time for each other, for all they were close friends.
And it's not like they don't hang out with the rest of the cast. Obviously they do. But they hang out with each other more.
Clarke doesn't want to read into it, but it's hard not to. Especially when, two weeks after Bellamy shows up, Raven sits down next to her at the bar and says, "So, walk me through something."
"You said Bellamy wasn't into you. How'd you come up with that one?"
Clarke wets her lips, glances around to make sure no one is listening. But Bellamy is playing pool with Anya and Monty, and he's the only one she's actually cares about. Everyone else probably knows.
"He told me," she says.
"Right after the third season of Lioness."
"So, you asked a guy if he was into you, shit, six years ago? Seven?"
"Something like that."
"And he said he wasn't, so you decided he's never going to be interested?"
"He said that he didn't like George and Alanna because he thought it was weird that George was into someone he met when she was so young. Like--he said it would be like him being into his sister's friend. Unrealistic."
There's a long pause, and then Raven drains her drink and flags the hot bartender down fro another one. Which she half-chugs before she finally says, "Did he ever say anything about you?"
"No, but--I had such a huge crush on him. It was really obvious. I think everyone must have known. It was a really nice way to let me down."
"Yeah, okay, sure. He was doing that. I don't care." She taps the rim of her glass for emphasis. "But I guarantee you, that guy would absolutely go for it if you so much as hinted you wanted to. Actually," she corrects. "I slept with him, hinting doesn't really work. Just tell him you're into him and he's going to be fucking stoked. I figured you knew what you were talking about, but--no way. He probably has Mr. Bellamy Griffin written on all his notebooks."
Clarke glances over her shoulder, and there's Bellamy, leaning over the pool table, all concentration until he catches her gaze, and then he flashes her a smile, refocuses, and sinks the ball.
"You think he wants to take my last name?" she asks, because she has no idea what else to say.
"I think you've been into him for like a billion years, and it's a waste if you never even ask if he feels the same." She smirks. "Besides. Think about the twins."
It's good advice, and appreciated advice, because--Raven probably is right. It's been seven years since that conversation. Even if Bellamy wasn't interested back then, he could be now. He's known her for ten years in a professional capacity. She's been over eighteen for most of that time. And they were apart for three years, so--maybe his memories of her have reset themselves or something. Maybe she feels like an adult to him now.
Still, it feels stupid to bring it up while they're still filming. After all, she's got another couple weeks of hanging out with Bellamy regardless, and there's no reason to make that awkward.
But they're both going to be back in LA for the summer, and it would be nice to see a lot more of him. To say nothing of getting laid.
Plus, she's got a perfect opening. She sidles up to him at the wrap party and says, "So, are we not gonna see each other for another three years?"
"Depends," he says, handing her the cup of punch he was pouring and getting another for himself. "Do you have a movie filming in London?"
"No plans at the moment. Waiting for pilot season. I like TV more than movies."
"So you might be in Vancouver again next year?"
"Maybe. You're just in a couple episodes next season, right? Not until the end?"
"Yeah. I haven't figured out what else I'm doing yet." She nudges him. "Other than hanging out with you."
"Well, if we're both going to be in LA anyway."
She knows she should say it then, but she hasn't had enough to drink yet. Not that she needs to be drunk to ask Bellamy if he wants to make out, but--well, it wasn't the right time.
But he sticks with her throughout the night, and Raven keeps giving her significant looks, so when she finds herself curled up next to him at the end of the night, she lets herself say, "Am I like your little sister's middle-school BFF?"
He blinks a few times, looks down at her in confusion. "What?"
"That's what you said it'd be like. With George and Alanna."
"Seriously, Clarke, I have no idea what you're talking about. You really need to tell me what's happening."
"Comic-Con, after the third season. You said you didn't buy George and Alanna because she was too young when they met and it was creepy. Was that about me?"
"Am I drunk or does this conversation make no sense?"
"Probably both." She bumps his shoulder. "I'm trying to hit on you. If you don't think I'm a little kid who's not a viable romantic option. In which case, yeah, you're drunk."
"I can't believe you just said viable romantic option, how are you this coherent?" he grumbles. Then his brain seems to catch up. "Wait, you thought that was about you?"
"I had a crush on you! I was so obvious! Everyone had a crush on you!"
He laughs. "Fuck. No, that wasn't--I never even thought about that."
"Great," she says, and his arm slides around her shoulder, tugging her against his side.
"Yeah, I didn't notice I was into you until like the second to last season. And by the time I did, you were dating that asshole ex of Raven's." Her voice dies, and he strokes her shoulder, a soft, gentle touch. "I was going to say something once we wrapped, but--you went to London, and then I went to Vancouver, and then--it's been three years, I figured you wouldn't be interested anymore, if you ever were." His laugh is bright and sudden. "Jesus, I didn't have a fucking clue, Clarke."
She turns her head to bury her face against his shoulder. "So, do you want to get dinner with me? When we're back in LA."
He slides his hand under her chin, tilts her face up so he can kiss her. She's kissed him what feels like a thousand times on camera, and she always knew it was, well, on camera, but the real thing is still just--so much better than she ever imagined. His thumb rubbing her chin, the slight rasp of stubble, and then one quick swipe of tongue before he pulls back.
Raven, of course, wolf whistles.
"Get a room, Lioness!" Anya adds, and Clarke ducks her head, laughing, as Bellamy tugs her in again.
"You know, a room doesn't sound half bad," she murmurs.
He nuzzles her hair, and it feels like she might explode from happiness. "And dinner in LA?"
"Yeah. It's a date."
Entertainment Weekly: So the premiere of Wild Mage was exactly ten years after the premiere of Lioness, and now the premiere of Lioness's Daughter is set for exactly twenty-five years after that original premiere date. How does it feel to have been working on this project for most of yours lives?
Bellamy Blake: Honestly, I don't have to do it very often.
Clarke Griffin: Yeah, they never want him back.
BB: So it's really great for me, I just show up, steal some food from craft services, wink at the current protagonist, and I'm done.
CG: And then I clean up his mess.
BB: But I still get credit for being a part of the project.
CG: Well, you were there at the beginning. I think that's what's still kind of amazing to me. I remember when I heard what Becca wanted to do, this whole Tortall universe, and it wasn't anything that had really been done before. You have shows that, you know--backdoor pilots, spinoffs, whatever, but we had a whole universe with a pretty concrete plan. And when they offered me the part, they said, we'd want you to come back in future shows, if we do well enough.
BB: And I don't think any of us thought we would, honestly.
CG: [laughs] Yeah, it was very--we hadn't even filmed the pilot yet, I was fifteen, so of course I said I'd do it, but--it didn't feel real.
BB: It still doesn't feel real sometimes. And, again, she goes back a lot more than I do.
CG: Stop complaining. I was barely in Protector of the Small.
BB: Wells wouldn't let you.
CG: Wells wouldn't let me.
BB: But I do think that's a cool thing that happens, especially in Protector of the Small, when you start seeing how much of a recurring cast we've built up. You bring back Lincoln and Maya as major players in the seasons when Kel is a squire, and Luna and Monty are around too, so--it feels like a very familiar world.
EW: The new season focuses on your daughter, so I think fans are hoping to see both of you. What can you tell us?
CG: It's about our daughter, yeah. Aly. She and I don't get along.
BB: Alanna isn't what you'd call a natural mother.
CG: Which I really love. I think something you see a lot in fiction is, you know--women who say they don't want kids, and then suddenly whatever episode rolls along and they're having kids. And Alanna is someone who likes kids, she's a good teacher and mentor, but she's not very comfortable as a mother. Which isn't very common, and I like getting to explore something like that. Whereas George is a very comfortable father.
BB: I don't know. I think I let Aly be raised by a book about how to be a spy.
CG: You probably fed her.
BB: We had cooks, Clarke. And I bet the book taught her how to trap and kill her own food.
CG: Why aren't we letting the book raise our kids?
BB: Who says we're not?
EW: Speaking of your kids, the two of you have been married for thirteen years. What's it like stepping back into an on-screen marriage that's actually older than yours?
CG: It's actually not hard to relate. One of the things you see the family dealing with is Alanna's job. She's a knight, she's the king's champion, and there's still a war going on. Alanna's in the front lines, and she's not home very often. And that's something we deal with too, as a family. Obviously we're not actually off fighting a war--
BB: Speak for yourself.
CG: --but Bellamy and I both have jobs that take us away from home for weeks or months at a time, and that can be really hard. So it's easy to get into that mindset of, you know--this is the time I have with you, this is what I want to do. Even if it sucks when we're not together.
BB: I'm glad you made that answer about how you missed me when I was filming in Italy last month.
CG: I did miss you. And you took the kids.
BB: I was teaching them about culture, Clarke.
CG: They sent me about five hundred pictures of the three of them pretending to look scandalized at naked statues.
BB: It's not my fault you had another job.
CG: So, yeah, as you can see, this is a pretty easy dynamic for us to get into.
EW: The next Tortall series takes a step back in time, so if the producers do it, I know we won't expect to be seeing you. Are you hoping to reprise your roles again, after Lioness's Daughter, or do you feel like this is it for your characters? Twenty-five years is long enough to play the same role?
CG: I think we'll be happy to come back any time they want us. If there's another series, we're in.
BB: Yeah, I'll never say no to playing George Cooper. Best job of my life. Besides, it's always nice to work together, right?