'Legacies' Star Danielle Rose Russell on Hope's Personal Relationships and Ties to Her Past (Exclusive)

Danielle Rose Russell Legacies
The CW

The 19-year-old actress dishes to ET about how her character will develop over the first season.

Hope Mikaelson is just trying to forge her own path on Legacies.

The Originals spinoff has introduced many new characters and demons, as well as slowly giving more insight into how Hope is coping since the death of her parents. On Thursday’s episode, titled “We're Being Punked, Pedro,” Hope, along with Lizzie, Josie and MG, are forced to participate in community service as punishment for the football brawl and Hope's use of black magic. They will also be facing a whole new demon that puts many of the students’ lives in danger.

Ahead of the new episode, ET chatted with Danielle Rose Russell about how Hope’s relationships will evolve with the Saltzman twins, as well as how she honors her late parents, Klaus Mikaelson and Hayley Marshall, as the season progresses.

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ET: One thing that fans have noticed in these past two episodes is the jealousy that the Saltzman twins feels towards Hope. How will she handle that moving forward?

Danielle Rose Russell: You will see in this coming episode their relationship really be developed, as far as visually what we’re seeing, the dynamic between these characters because they are all forced to work together, and that definitely does not go super well. But you also see a new relationship with Hope and Josie form. It’s a really interesting episode because it’s a [turning] point where the relationship between the Saltzman twins and Hope Mikaelson really changes throughout the season.

Alaric has also been a sort of father figure for Hope. Does she ever feel like she needs to put distance between them?

I don’t think she ever really tries to distance herself from Alaric. I definitely know that she is just as stubborn as he is, and she does not go to him for permission on a lot of things. She definitely thinks that she can handle more things than he can. She doesn’t distance herself, but she definitely does what she wants.

Her relationship with Josie, however, appears to be growing. Do you think Hope will ever let someone in and be her friend?

I think that Hope eventually will [let people in]. It’s something that she will have to work through and not isolate herself. She definitely will open herself up to people but she knows that that comes with a cost and I think that once she works through her feelings of isolation, and dealing with things with Landon, she might be open to doing that a little bit more.


People are really fascinated with her relationship with Landon. How will that evolve and will she give him a second chance?

I guess you’ll have to find out. One of my favorite moments between them is actually at the end of the third episode. You will see that come to a head very soon.

Does she keep in contact with any of her Mikaelson family members who are still alive? Will fans see any family flashbacks?

It’s more Easter eggs photographs like in episode two. Obviously, she is still very much a Mikaelson with her personality and she speaks about her family a lot and still wears her necklace. So you have those Easter eggs in this universe, but it really is such a new show that I think it’s important to create a new identity outside of Hope and her family. She is creating her own identity for the first time and you see that on Legacies. [Fans will] probably, maybe, maybe not [see her family members in future episodes]. It depends on whoever wants to come back and revisit their character.

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Since her mother died, is Hope next in line to be the alpha of the Crescent wolves? Is any of that addressed in the first season?

We do address that in the first season. I don’t know where it is going to go. It’s something that I’ve asked too, but we definitely do address that.

We have seen her werewolf side and witch side, when will we see her vampire side?

A question that I would like to know the answer to as well [Laughs]. I can’t imagine that it will be too far away, but I’m sure that her triggering her vampire side will be something very epic.

Will Hope ever cross the line between right and wrong like her father?

Yeah, absolutely. One of my favorite parts about playing Hope is that she is so unpredictable, partly because of who she is, but also because she has some of her father in her. She definitely finds herself crossing the line of channeling parts of her that are Klaus when she gets mad, and I think it is something that she has to work through. But every supernatural being seems to have a little flaw and I think that is hers.

Every episode seems to have a new supernatural being -- dragons and a gargoyle so far. How has it been incorporating other demons into the show?

I think that is what makes our show so special, honestly. The fact that we have been able to open our world in the same universe but make it a completely new supernatural world that we have never experienced. Not only is it going to keep our show really interesting and different every single episode, it will really define the odds here on our show and it is something that makes us really proud.

Where do you see Hope going and where would you want her story to go?

I see her going in so many different directions, which is why I rarely get bored playing her because there are so many different ways that this character can develop. But I would really like to play her in every way. I’m enjoying playing a little more mellow Hope, but I want her to unleash her full tribrid-ness and kind of channel more of Klaus eventually.

What can you tease for episode three and four?

In this upcoming episode, you will see one of our most badass monsters of the week make its debut. You will see relationship dynamics really begin to develop, which is really fascinating, especially for Hope. Every episode is very different. We have so many more things in store for this season!

Watch a sneak peek of Thursday's episode in the video below. Legacies airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.