Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Untold Truth Of Marie Avgeropoulos

Canadian actress Marie Avgeropoulos is probably best known for playing the badass Octavia Blake on The CW's sci-fi series "The 100." At the start of the series, which follows the citizens of an orbiting space arc 100 years after a nuclear apocalypse, Octavia was a juvenile incarcerated for the sins of her parents. After being imprisoned her entire life, Octavia was the first to step back onto the Earth post-crash, and she became a free, strong, and fierce character for the rest of the series. Octavia Blake goes from being an illegal second child hiding under the floorboards to a powerful warrior, and then on to the Queen of the Grounders and the warrior Blodreina. 

Octavia is quite strong and can even be scary at times. What about the actor who plays her? Is she as tough as her on-screen counterpart? Here's the untold truth of Marie Avgeropoulos.

She's a proud Canadian

Marie Avgeropoulos was born on June 17, 1986, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada in the shadow of the "Sleeping Giant" range of mesas. The gorgeous environment informed her love of nature and all things outdoors. She grew up camping, hunting, fishing, and having family barbecues at a lake house, Civilian Magazine writes. She described herself to the outlet as a free-roaming "wild child" and a tomboy. "It's an incredibly rural outdoorsy place to grow up where the adventures outside are endless. I have lots of memories of fishing, camping and sitting around campfires. Summers were hot with lots of mosquitoes, and winters could drop down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit," Avgeropoulos told Black Rabbit. Ever the Canadian, she eventually moved to Vancouver at the start of her career and played in a charity match with the Vancouver Whitecaps soccer team in 2019

Avgeropoulos returned to Canada at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to ride out her first quarantine. "I'm up in Canada, so when COVID first started, there was still snow on the ground. I'm really thankful that I can go outside without a parka on," she told Collider.

She's also Greek

In case her last name wasn't a dead giveaway, Avgeropoulos is of Greek descent. She's proud of her heritage. She often shares photos on her Instagram of trips to Greece or supporting Greek colors, causes, or sports teams. She also expresses her intense love of Saganaki, a fried Greek cheese. In an interview with Imagista, she said that being Greek has influenced her life. "For starters, when kids were learning how to spell three-letter words in first grade, I had to learn to spell Avgeropoulos. Suddenly I became the smart kid," she said. The culture also ties her back to her family when she has to be away shooting films or television. Staying in touch with her roots keeps her grounded. "Food, loud families, Greek dancing.... lots of positive memories. Greek culture is beautiful and I am proud it's in my blood." she says.

She's a talented drummer

Avgeropoulos started playing the drums when she was 14 years old, which is late when it comes to learning a musical skill. Still, she quickly picked up the instrument and has been playing ever since. In fact, drumming was sort of another route for Avgeropoulos to get into show business. According to Grumpy Magazine, a friend in Vancouver brought her to a casting call for drummers. A casting director there instead "discovered" her and started booking her in local commercials before she finally got her big break in a Chris Columbus film, which we'll get to in just a bit. 

But Avgeropoulos is still a pretty rocking drummer. She formed a band called Praimfaya ("The 100" fans will get the reference) with fellow cast and crew of "The 100" and they play at charity events, wrap parties, and other gigs, with Avgerolpoulos behind the drum kit. Praimfaya played at the 4th Annual Hunkerdown Xmas Showdown in 2017 at the Maritime Labour Centre in Vancouver. Bands from other CW shows like "Arrow," "Supernatural," "The Flash," "Riverdale" also performed at this charity concert.

She had a pretty big health scare

When Avgerolpoulos was 20 years old, doctors found a large tumor in her neck, chest, and throat that had to be removed. The surgeons actually had to take out her vocal cords. "I had my vocal cords ripped out a long time ago and put back in because I had a big tumor removed from my chest," she told Dutch Comic Con Winter 2019 when discussing the deep timbre of her voice. Though very few people notice the big scar on her chest, Marie wears it with honor. "It's my trophy. It reminds me that I'm strong as Marie."

One thing the surgery does affect, however, is Avgerolpoulos' ability to scream. "Screaming doesn't really work for me more than once or twice, or then it goes silent for a couple of days," she told Brief Take. "Which might not be a bad thing for those around me, they may be like: 'Oh good. She shuts up. Yay!'"

She started out in broadcast journalism

Avgerolpoulos didn't always plan on acting in film and television. In fact, she started out wanting to tell people the news. "I didn't exactly always want to be an actress. I went to college for Television Broadcast Journalism," she told In Love Magazine. But two years into the program, she realized that the field wasn't uplifting. "I thought I wanted to tell stories for a living, yes, but I soon realized not those types of stories specifically. The news is important and I respect that, but for me, I found it quite depressing to tell mostly bad news from 9 to 5."

She quit the program and went backpacking in Europe for a few months to figure out what she wanted to do next. That's when she eventually moved to Vancouver and went to the aforementioned drummer audition. Her career took off from there. Her time in broadcast journalism wasn't a total waste. In the rough world of the news, Civilian Magazine writes, she "developed a thick skin and [got] used to hearing the word no," which would definitely help her in her acting career.

Her early career

After moving to Vancouver and getting in front of casting directors, Avgeropoulos did bits on the shows "Supernatural," "The Guard," and "Harper's Island." Her big break — or her "first real job," as she old Dutch Comic Con — was on Chris Columbus' "I Love You Beth Cooper," in which she played Valli Wooley. "I was like so scared," she said of being so new to a big movie, "I had the jitterbugs."

Columbus then turned around and cast her in "Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief." From there, Avgeropoulos appeared in "Hunt to Kill" with Steve Austin and got to improv with Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in "50/50." She was then cast in another show on The CW called "Cult,"  which followed mysterious deaths and occurrences on a TV show set (kind of like "The X-Files" if it all took place on a show within a show). Sadly, "Cult" wasn't really a hit with audiences and was canceled after seven episodes, but The CW brought her on to "The 100."

Playing Octavia Blake

Avgerolpoulos' interest in the world of sci-fi is what first attracted her to the role of Octavia Blake on "The 100." "When I first got the script, I was like, 'Wow, what would that be like... to set foot on Earth for the first time.' When I saw that my character, Octavia, got to have her own Neil Armstrong moment, I couldn't refuse," she told The Huffington Post. 

Octavia's power and strength have inspired Avgeropoulos throughout the series. "Octavia has been part of me for a long time. I think that I got this job when I was 23 years old and now I am into my 30s. So we definitely grew together. I grew as an actress since the beginning and as a young woman in my personal life until now, and I really think that seeing that lineage from when I was a younger girl to current really shows in the character as well. I'm so pleased that the writing was always ever-changing and always kept me on my toes and challenged me, too. I never got bored at work playing Octavia," Avgeropoulos told Brief Take.

After the seventh season of playing Octavia Blake, "she's become a part of who I am," Avgeropoulos told Imagista. "We have grown over the years together, shifted together, and she has transformed over and over throughout the seasons. It feels like I've played six different women rolled into one."

She started doing her own stunts

Growing in the wilderness of Canada certainly turned Avgeropoulos into an active person. "I've always felt empowered, playing any sports. I grew up as a tomboy, and it's no coincidence that Octavia became the same thing. I grew up playing basketball and volleyball. I have two Harley Davidson motorcycles. I love to ride horses. I love to snowboard a lot. It's really cool, anytime I can use my athleticism in playing dramatic characters, at the same time. I find it rewarding," she told Collider.

So naturally she started doing some of her own stunts on "The 100." "It's been really a lot of fun to use my athleticism, as well as playing such a dramatic role within Octavia's arc to develop her along the way. This show has given me the experience to learn to horseback ride, sword fight and ... work with wonderful stunt teams to use my body to create Octavia from this young girl that develops into a warrior," she told Brief Take.

In the final season of "The 100," Avgeropoulos got to take even more elaborate risks. "I was lucky enough to do a stunt that I had never done before. Octavia is a warrior and a fighter, physically and emotionally. She doesn't give up. But this season, I got to learn a new skill, on set, that did scare me a little, but it was really fun," she told Collider.

She's now part of the DC universe

Avgeropoulos has also joined the comic book universe, specifically on the DC side, in recent years. She voiced the character of Vanessa Kapatelis, aka Silver Swan, in the animated film "Wonder Woman: Bloodlines." Rosario Dawson voiced Wonder Woman for the project while Avgerolpoulos got to stretch her villain experience. "It's my very first animated feature I've ever done in my life so I'm really honored to tell such a kickass story," Avgeropoulos told The Workprint at 2019's New York Comic Con. "

The film covers much of Silver Swan's adolescence, which helped Avgeropoulos relate to the character due to their shared goth background. "I definitely can relate. I was gothic in high school at one point. I wore a dog collar around my neck, that happened, as if I just said that out loud. Yep, that happened. I can relate to being that rebellious, teenage girl. I was her at one point. I'm like 'did the writers know that? Like how did they, is this a coincidence? Weird.' And I appreciate how she can take bravery, even in the face of fear, and still move forward. I think that's a pretty solid message to send out there to woman, to anyone really."

Her run in with the law

When you're a young star, it can be hard to avoid the paparazzi and the tabloids. Avgeropoulos had one incident that caught the public eye and cast a negative light on her otherwise positive track record, but it's one that turned out to be a complete misunderstanding. In 2018, Avgeropoulos was involved in a late-night "domestic violence incident" with her boyfriend, "The 100" camera operator Quincy Paglaro. The District Attorney's press release read that the two "began arguing in a car on the 134 Freeway. Avgeropoulos is accused of striking the victim multiple times in the head, neck and arm, resulting in minor injuries. The victim called 911 and Avgeropoulos was arrested," E! News wrote.

However, sources told TMZ that the boyfriend called the police thinking they'd defuse the situation rather than arrest her, as they're both Canadian and unfamiliar with what'll get a person hauled off to jail in the U.S. He "begged cops not to take her away... and even bailed her out after." Avgeropoulos was charged felony domestic violence, but the boyfriend adamantly didn't want to press charges, as "Marie was on new meds and mixed it with wine during dinner that evening, and she had a bad reaction," and was "flailing" in the car, accidentally striking Paglaro. The charges were dropped. Avgeropoulos and Paglaro eventually parted ways. 

Who else she's dated

Though the boyfriend from the arrest incident was behind the camera rather than in front, Avgeropoulos has been in relationships with some fellow famous people before. Her highest-profile pairing has got to be with her "Tracers" co-star Taylor Lautner. She and the "Twilight" star met in 2013 on the set of the parkour action movie and were seen around New York City and Los Angeles holding hands and being generally cute. But the two split in late 2014. E! broke the news in January 2015 that the duo had broken up a couple of months prior and that "it was completely amicable."

Avgeropoulos was also seeing Canadian actor Shawn Roberts, who has appeared in a number of zombie films such as "Land of the Dead," "Diary of the Dead," and the "Resident Evil" franchise. Most recently, however, Avgeropoulos seems happy with Canadian actor and stuntman Alain Moussi. Glamour Buff writes that the two met on the set of the 2020 action film "Jiu Jitsu," in which they co-starred with Nicolas Cage. She made the relationship Instagram official in June of 2020 and celebrated their two-year anniversary in June 2021 in Greece.

The 100 didn't really get a goodbye party

The final season of "The 100" ran on The CW in 2020 and the cast had to finish the season right at the start of the raging COVID-19 pandemic. They miraculously managed to finish the show, but they didn't really get to have a wrap party or celebrate their seven seasons. "It was difficult for me because we didn't really get to say goodbye to one another, or compartmentalize the fact that we all spent seven years of our lives creating this wonderful story of 'The 100,' and we didn't get to have a wrap party or celebrate or really say goodbye to one another. That was the hardest thing for me. But I'm really thankful that we finished the show," she told Collider.

She went on to say that it was rather odd to finish a show about the end of the world and then walk into a real world that felt apocalyptic. "It felt really ironically serendipitous to be filming a fake apocalypse show for seven years, and then walking into a real life apocalypse. And although I played Octavia Blake for so long, I still didn't quite feel prepared, as I'm sure many don't right now. It's interesting to have to watch a story unfold on screen, and then all of us are experiencing it together."

She's a philanthropist

Avgeropoulos supports a charity group called Food for Life Vrindavan, an organization "working to educate, empower, and serve the Vrindavan area of India." The charity runs a fund to educate girls in the area with a 1,500-girl waiting list. Avgeropoulos says the organization focuses on "empowering them to transform their lives and communities through a service-oriented approach committed to integrity and excellence. On average, for every 100 girls in rural India, only a single one finishes school. Many of the rest, sadly, are lost to child marriage, will never have the independence of choosing their own path, and are often forced into an adult role at a very early age against their will," she told Jejune Magazine. Through the #SheMustCount campaign, Avgeropoulos produced a documentary series about the cause and how people can help. 

"In rural India, like Vrindavin, where boys are considered more of an asset, young girls are considered a liability and aren't given the chance to option to be educated and get their own jobs and often they have to deal with child marriage and hunger and starvation and all of these terrible obstacles that get in the way of them pursuing an education and being self-sufficient," she told Brief Take, calling FLLV "a really wonderful charity of which to be a part and to be surrounded by people who have literally nothing, but [are] some of the happiest people I've also ever met in my life."

What's next for Marie

Now that "The 100" has wrapped up its seven-season run, Avgeropoulos has been relaxing through the pandemic and moving on to other projects. First, she took a much-needed rest in Canada. "I've learned how to cook pretty much everything on the planet six times in a row now. Yeah! And keeping fit on the Peloton bike in the morning," she told Brief Take.

On the working front, Avgeropoulos has a couple of upcoming projects listed on her IMDB page: the indie police comedy "Super Dicks" and the drama "Butterfly in the Typewriter," which follows the story of "troubled author John Kennedy Toole and his struggle to bring his comic masterpiece 'A Confederacy of Dunces' to print." The latter project also stars Cary Elwes, Susan Sarandon, and Diane Kruger

Whatever is up next for Marie Avgeropoulos, we can certainly count on her to be badass.