There’s a lot of pressure that comes with being Hope Mikaelson. After all, Klaus chose that name because she’s always been seen, quite literally, as this family’s hope, as Klaus’ one true shot at redemption. And yet, for the past seven years, Hope hasn’t been able to see much of her family because the magic of the Hollow has forced Rebekah, Elijah, Klaus, and Kol to remain apart. But now that she’s been sent home after being suspended from school, it could finally be time for Hope to meet the family she was meant to save.
EW hopped on the phone with The Originals’ latest addition, Danielle Rose Russell, who plays Hope, to talk about what comes next and what a family reunion would mean to the young witch.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was your introduction to this show? Had you watched it before?
DANIELLE ROSE RUSSELL: I watched The Vampire Diaries, and I was a huge fan of that, so when I got an audition for this, I was very familiar with the characters and the concept. But I hadn’t seen anything of The Originals until I was down to the end for the role and I watched the whole fourth season, and then when I got it I did my proper homework.
In playing the oldest Hope we’ve met, you’re really the one who gets to decide what kind of personality she has. What was that process like?
When we first see her, we see her rebellious side, but throughout the season it was a lot of fun working with the writers and defining who Hope is, because it is the first time you’re really seeing her as her own person with her own thoughts and her own decisions. That was a lot of fun.
She is the reason for her family’s separation — they want to protect her — which can’t be easy to deal with. How does that affect her?
Yeah, that definitely affects her, and I think it’s also part of her motivation as to why she’s so desperate to get them back together. Hope not seeing her father and not speaking to her father in such a long time takes a toll on her more than anything, so that’s why she goes to such great lengths, because she really misses her dad.
What is that reunion with Klaus like for her?
You see that in the next episode, which that’s a little emotional. They really begin to navigate their new relationship for the first time in a very long time, and it’s really emotional to do that. If you hadn’t spoken to your father in seven or eight years, or since you were a young child and now you’re a teenager, you’ve changed a lot. I think Hope really has come to terms with who Klaus is, so it’s a really interesting dynamic that this season will begin to explore.
And the fact that her mom is missing probably only heightens those emotions.
For sure. You begin to see what happens with all of that too, and that really takes a toll on Hope because all she’s ever really wanted was to be with her family. Like you saw in the first episode, the consequences of her actions are obviously going to catch up with her. It’s a little hard on her.
Are we going to explore her powers this season and delve into her witch side a bit more?
Yes, we kind of delve a little more into who she is as a whole. I don’t think that she even really knows who she is, and so this season does delve into that a bit. You definitely get to see Hope in some of her glory for the first time.
What’s next for her and Roman?
You certainly will see that friendship blossom, and you do see, especially in this episode coming up, you do see her open up to him. It’s the first time [she’s opened up] to anyone besides her family. Hope is definitely a little more of an outcast, so when Roman comes into her life, it’s kind of like, “Wow, someone’s interested in me.” They definitely begin to explore that dynamic a bit more.
As the season goes on, what are you most excited for fans to see?
I’m genuinely really excited for fans to see the relationship between Klaus and Hope, which is this fresh, new dynamic, and it’s really beautiful and explored throughout the season. But I’m also really excited for the fan to see the relationship Hope has with herself and to see how she’s also a 15-year-old girl who’s going through a lot of the normal 15-year-old-girl things, and on top of that, she has all of this power that she doesn’t even really know she has. So it’s exciting to see Hope’s relationship with herself.
The Originals airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on the CW.