INTERVIEW: Lola Flanery Talks Shadowhunters and The 100

Lola Flanery
Credit: Erwin Loewen

Whether it’s fighting to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, becoming a queen, or working with an Angel of Death, 12-year-old actress Lola Flanery throws everything she has into it, transitioning from one project to another, finding new experiences with every role she takes on.

Known for her depiction of Madi on The 100, Flanery says that her character is the “most badass 12-year-old you have ever met.” She loves playing her and thinks that it’s has changed her. Still, she claims that she couldn’t survive an actual apocalypse unless she had the option of taking refuge in the crafts trailer.

“Playing Madi on The 100 definitely challenged me as an actress. Most of the roles for my age are for the popular or unpopular girl at school or the sassy daughter. None of which are bad, but I feel like I can understand those in some way, especially the sassy daughter (just ask my mom!), but Madi lives this life I could never imagine, and I had to find ways to access that,” Flanery said. “[One thing] I noticed about The 100 is what a family they are, and not just the cast but the crew and the cast combined. Pretty awesome environment to get to work in.” The show returns this April.

Flanery said that both Shadowhunters and The 100 are similar in that they are fantasy, but there is something, even more “make-believe” about the Shadow World to her, especially the realm in which her character the Seelie Queen lives.

“Playing the Seelie Queen in Shadowhunters was interesting for me because it was the first time I really had to think about how I held my posture,” Flanery recalled. “I was 11 when I started playing her and had to imagine how I would walk and stand as an ancient Queen! It was also the first time I’ve ever done a role in a different accent.”

Flanery doesn’t shy away from unnerving, dark themes. Mary Kills People, another TV show she stars in, is definitely one that pushes the envelope. The plot of the show itself is enough to raise eyebrows, as the protagonist, Mary, assists in the deaths of those who are terminally ill.

Flanery plays Mary’s daughter Cambie, and said that she even though her part is “small,” what she loves most about it is that she feels like Mary and Cambie’s relationship shows how big Mary’s heart is. People may be torn about what she’s doing, but there’s no denying that Mary loves Cambie and wants to protect her.

“I was so thrilled that there was a Season 2 of Mary Kills People,” Flanery said, “I hope there is a Season 3! It was the first TV show I ever did and it set a pretty awesome example by having all women in charge. The show was written by Tara Armstrong, all of Season 1 was directed by Holly Dale, and the producers are Tassie and Amy Cameron. Pretty inspiring for a young girl starting in the business.”

Flanery expressed that she “honestly loves all three shows that I am on,” and in a perfect world, “would keep doing all of them!” All she does know is that she feels so lucky to have found what she wants to do at such a young age, and looks forward to acting on all of these shows and more.