For Lindsey Morgan, the role of Rose Corley spoke to her in so many ways. Both, as the actress described, were a product of two different worlds struggling to find acceptance, learning to conquer fear within their unfamiliar surroundings. I spoke to the Skylines star about carrying the mantle of the franchise, how her time as Raven on The 100 helped mold Rose, and her upcoming television series Walker on The CW. Skylines from director Liam O'Donnell is the third film of the Skyline trilogy as the second film picks up from 2017's Beyond Skyline.
"I feel like you miss this significant gap in the development of Rose between Beyond Skylines and Skylines," Morgan said. "If you watch Skylines 3, she gets a bit of a backstory going into the film, and you see Rose go through a traumatic event where she essentially runs away from home from the military compound where she grew up. She leaves her family with her father Mark, played by Frank Grillo, and Trent (Jonny Weston), her brother, and is on her own. There's about a five-year time gap when she runs away and is found again. A lot has happened in those years, and we meet Rose in a very dark place and vulnerable place. She's kind of being dragged back to reconcile with her past."
Rose has unique powers and is called upon to save humanity from a deadly virus despite her reluctance as a child of two worlds. "Rose never asked to be who she is," Morgan said. "She never asked to be this superweapon for the earth government. She was born into it and thrust into this place, growing up always having this responsibility. As she's getting older, she begins to question what she's doing and for what reason. Is it right? She never got a choice in it. So now what she's being told is that she's earth's last chance. People forget she's also had rapid aging syndrome, so really she's 17 having the weight of the world on her shoulders again after being traumatized by something that happened by her hand."
The actress explained the kind of pressure Rose has to face as an adult woman with still a developing mind. "She's very reluctant of going back," Morgan continued. "She's between a rock and a hard place. If she doesn't, she's been told there's this impending doom of humanity and the harvesters, her brother, and the alien species. She's really scared because she knows deep down if she does this, it will kill her. She doesn't let anyone else know that. She's scared and, in the end, very brave and decides to make that sacrifice and go on this journey. She's in it to die." Morgan described how she and Rose are children of two worlds living within a social construct that barely accepts either. "We're both aliens [laugh]," she joked. "[I mean] we're both hybrids. My mother's of Hispanic descent, and my dad's Caucasian, so I'm mixed race. I jokingly call myself a hybrid, and with that, I never felt fully accepted in either community. I didn't feel Mexican enough to be accepted in the Latino community or White enough to be accepted in the Caucasian community, especially when I first started out acting. A lot of agents and casting didn't know what to do with me because they're like, 'Well, you don't really quite fit either,' so they put me as 'ethnically ambiguous' [laughs]. I'm like, 'Gee, thanks, guys.' That being said, Rose feels like that."
The actress compared her character's upbringing to her own. "Rose is a little bit like an X-Man," she explains. "She exists in the human world, but she can do superhuman things, so she's different, and everybody knows it. There's a part of her that's like, 'Well, I'm awesome, but then I'm different. Sometimes, I feel shame or people ostracize me.' I felt like that a few times growing up. I think many feel that way as outsiders in their world and resonated with that. I also resonated a lot with the core of the story is kind of a 'scared girl who learns to stand on her own two feet. I feel like it's my journey through acting and through my life." Morgan reflected on how she had to survive independently to make it to where she is today. "I dropped out of college, and I just went for it," she said. "I didn't really have a plan B or a support system. I just made it happen. There were times when it was very lonely or scary. I didn't know what I was doing. I just had to rely on myself and recover when I fell." When it comes to how her career up to the point of casting for the Skyline franchise, the actress credits her time on The CW's long-running sci-fi series The 100 as Raven Reyes to prepare as Rose.
"I feel there's a little helping of Raven in Rose, but I also wanted them very much to be different," Morgan said. "I didn't want Rose to just be Raven. It could just be another reincarnation, but I wanted her to be different and show it on screen. Being on the show for so long, you learn various things. If it wasn't for [The 100], I don't think I would have pulled [Rose] off as well as I could. I just wouldn't know of the complexities of how you want your character to grow and change. Sometimes with movies, you go so fast in such a short amount of time, you don't always get the time to get these nuances, but that was something I learned from Raven I really wanted Rose to have."
Not that Morgan had to move far from a network standpoint, but she landed back on a new series co-starring fellow CW-er in Supernatural's Jared Padalecki in the upcoming Walker, where she plays Micki Ramirez. One thing she learned prior to shooting is to not see the Chuck Norris original Walker, Texas Ranger. "It's a completely new re-imaging of Walker," she said. "The showrunner Anna Fricke told me to not watch [the original]. They didn't want to give me any preconceived notions of what it was like or what I should try to do because it's so completely different. All I know about Chuck Norris and the original Walker, Texas Ranger is all the cool memes, the jokes, and he's one hell of a martial artist. I'm not bringing from the prior show to the new series. It's a whole new ballgame."
Vertical Entertainment's Skylines is available in select theaters, on-demand and digital. Walker premieres on January 21 on the CW.