'The Tomorrow People': Alexa Vega talks Stephen's new 'ruthless' enemy, and how long she'll stick around

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Image Credit: Katie Yu/The CW

As if Stephen didn’t have enough people to worry about between his mother’s new boyfriend, his uncle, and his not-really-dead father, it sounds like there’s a new recruit at Ultra, and she doesn’t play nice.

Alexa Vega is set to guest star on The Tomorrow People as Hillary Cole, an Ultra agent who’s pinned against Stephen when Jedekiah puts on a competition within the company. We caught up with Vega to talk about Hillary’s motives, how long she’ll be around, and whether she thinks Hillary could take Cara in a fight:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So what is Hillary’s story? She’s a new recruit at Ultra?
ALEXA VEGA: What’s happening at Ultra is Jedekiah’s shaking it up a bit and he really wants Stephen to get his head in the game, so he has these new Ultra agents that are recruited, but they’re not sure if they’re going to stay or not. Basically, he turns it into a competition, and he’s like, “Whoever isn’t worthy of being here will be stripped of their powers, so you guys better fight to see who’s going to be the best one here, and we’re going to weed out anyone else who’s too weak.” So we’re all fighting to be that top Ultra agent, because none of us want to lose our powers. With Hillary, she’s just such a brutally competitive character. She really just stops at nothing to become that top Ultra agent, and she doesn’t play nice. She’s very cutthroat. She definitely strives to be the best at everything, no matter the cost. If someone gets in her way, she’s going to remove that obstacle whatever it is or whoever it is. That’s what makes her scary is she’s a little bit unpredictable in that way. You’re not sure if she has heart or not. The second you think she’ll be nice, she does whatever it takes to be that top Ultra agent, and she gets kind of nasty.

Within the world of the show, we have Ultra and we have the Cara-lead Tomorrow People. Where do Hillary’s motivations lie? Is she fighting out of fear of Ultra, or is she one of these good-Ultra-soldier types?
It’s hard because with Hillary, we don’t know too much about her yet. We know that she’s this tough girl who will stop at nothing to get to the top. She wants to be the best at her job, and I think she’s a little bit like Tracy Flick in Election. I would say [she's] a combination between Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy. She’s super smart, super intelligent, but she also has this wickedness about her, and when you combine those two things, it can be really lethal. She just goes for it.  Right now, her ultimate goal is to just be at the top and not lose her powers. After that, maybe she asks questions, but right now, her goal is to survive, keep her powers, and be the top Ultra agent.

Will we get any background on her, or are we sort of thrown into the fight of it all?
For this one, this is throwing us into the fight of it all. It throws Stephen for a loop because he’s not expecting this, let alone a girl to come in and kick his butt, and Hillary really gives it to him. And she does it to a few other Ultra agents, which you end up seeing and it’s so sad, but right now, we leave off with Hillary witnessing Stephen and Astrid doing something at the end of this episode, and it’s something that Stephen shouldn’t be doing, and it’s interesting to see how she’s going to end up using this possibly against him in episodes to come. She’s smart, ambitious, and again, will stop at nothing. We know that you don’t want to cross her.

Will Hillary meet other Tomorrow People outside of Ultra’s walls?
Right now, no, because her main thing is figuring out how to be the top at Ultra and then looking for Stephen’s weaknesses. You can tell that she’s digging and she wants to sort out everybody’s weaknesses so she knows how to get to the top but as of now, no. She doesn’t really know anything yet, and her goal is to find out everything.

Does she have a run-in with The Founder?
As of right now, no. She doesn’t really know anything about that. She just knows what Ultra has given her and put in front of her. No run-ins with The Founder yet. We’ll see where this road takes her.

With Cara in a leadership role, everything seems to be coming to a head in this war with Ultra. So if Hillary and Cara got in a fight, who would win?
This would be so tough, because Peyton just nails that roll. She’s very heroic, the way that she stand her ground. Cara’s the every girl’s woman. She’s the girl you look up to and want to be. She’s kind of like her own little superhero. You definitely want to say that good always wins, it triumphs evil, but there are times when we maybe don’t know that we’re doing’s wrong. And with Hillary, she’s ruthless and she’ll go down fighting. With those two, I don’t know, Hillary doesn’t play nice, and I think Cara plays fair, and sometimes when you don’t play fair you can trip up. That’s a tough one because I like Cara so much. So personally, I would be rooting for Cara, but playing Hillary, I just have to believe that she can kick anyone’s butt.

How long is your episode arc?
I don’t really know what I’m allowed to say. I will say this: I’m still in Vancouver shooting. The good news is I’m still kicking butt.

That’s exciting! So, looking ahead a few episodes, are we going to get to know Hillary on a more personal level?
This is why I love this show so much – with each episode, they reveal new little things about every character. With each episode, it becomes either Stephen’s episode, or Cara’s episode, or John’s episode, where you really start to get to know each character. So Hillary does start unfolding a little bit more. I’m eager to see what else they do with her, just because she’s such an interesting girl. You want to know why she’s so cutthroat and how can she be so brutal about everything and why is she such a stickler the way she is? I’m really eager to hear about her background and hopefully see how she came up. It keeps it interesting. You don’t really know about all the characters yet. There’s still so much about Aaron’s [Yoo] character that we need to learn, so much about Stephen’s mom and dad that’s all still being revealed, so it keeps every episode really fresh. It’s still all unraveling.

If she sticks around for a few episodes, does she remains Stephen’s enemy, or might she give into his charms?
Hillary could kind of care less about charm. She doesn’t even look at that, and that’s where the Hermione Granger in her kind of comes in. Hermione was so focused on studying, being smart, being the best, that she kind of missed any normal human interaction. That’s kind of Hillary. She misses that emotional connection with people. I hope that she can come around and that somebody can change her, but she’s pretty awful right now.

Well, I love Cara, so I’m excited for another badass female.
Badass females are totally needed all the time. You can’t have enough of them. Now I feel like we’re due for more. I’m excited for people to see the new stuff that Hillary’s doing. She kind of out there, this one. [Laughs]

The Tomorrow People airs tonight at 9 p.m. on The CW.

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