Here is an interview done with Caleb Ross (Lex), Meryl Cassi (Ebony), Dwayne Cameron (Bray), and Michelle Ang (Tai-san) when they went to London on a promotional tour in June.
C5: WHY DO YOU THINK THE TRIBE HAS ACHIEVED SUCH A HIGH CULT STATUS?
DWAYNE: Has it in the UK? Because we're not aware of it! In NZ it's been shown for like 6 months, once a week for 1/2 an hour, so we get no recognition. But here in the UK it will be different.
C5: WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU EXPECT TO MEET IN SERIES THREE?
CALEB: I have absolutly no idea - we haven't seen the script! Judging by the challenges we've had in the previous 2 series', hopefully some pretty big ones and lots of action.
C5: THE TRIBES STYLE IS IMPORTANT IN THE SHOW. THERE HAS EVEN BEEN A STYLE VOTE ON YOUR WEBSITE. HOW MUCH DO YOU GET TO DICTATE WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE?
MERYL: The designer Gavin McLean just designs some awesome stuff for us - this is some of them anyway. Whenever we promote the show we promote our characters and what they wear. I don't know if this is my style personally, but it must be good as we get lots of compliments on our clothes which is cool.
Caleb and Meryl
C5: DO YOU THINK THIS WILL TAKE OFF ON THE HIGH STREET?
MICHELLE: Actually, to be honest, as Gavin designs this, I reckon he should put some of this stuff on the catwalks. Some of it is avant guarde. He takes elements of our characters. I think it will be high fashion in the future.
C5: DO YOU THINK YOU ARE GOOD ROLE MODELS FOR KIDS?
CALEB: I'm not! My character isn't anyway. But the show gives across a positive and negative side, so that all teenagers can relate to stuff.
C5: THE TRIBE LIVE A RAW LIFESTYLE WITHOUT ANY OF TODAY'S HOME COMFORTS. COULD YOU DEAL WITH THIS LIFESTYLE?
DWAYNE: Right now, our lives are pretty much delivered to us on a plate. So I'd go with The Tribe lifestyle because you need to find stuff and really think about how you are going to survive. Being on the show, it feels like we're living that lifestyle. It's all too easy to hop in the car and go to the supermarket to buy food. It makes you appriciate our real lives.
Meryl and Dwayne
C5: DID YOU WISH THERE WERE NO ADULTS IN THE WORLD?
MERYL: To be honest, no. Doing the show you realise how hard life is with no rules and nobody to guide us - it is good to give it a shot but I think it would be hard.
C5: HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE TRIBE?
MICHELLE: I didn't have to audition as I had worked for the company before and they said "Hey, would you be willing to be in The Tribe?" and I said "Why not?". So that's what happened to me.
MERYL: They said "You have a part, turn up on the day"! I didn't know I'd be Ebony - who is such a bitch but is cool to play.
C5: ANY ROMANCE ON SET?
DWAYNE: Think we would tell you?
MERYL: Lets just say there are lots of funky guys and lots of funky chicks, and we're not all well behaved 24/7!
Here is a resent interview done with Beth Allen (Amber), Meryl Cassie (Ebony), and Caleb Ross (Lex) that took place on E4.
Cheers and shouts from the crew
JUNE: Hi how are you? would you like to introduce urselves
BETH: I'm Beth and i play Amber in the Tribe
MERYL: Hello there *waves hand* I'm meryl and i play Ebony in the tribe
CALEB: and i'm caleb and i play lex
JUNE: Ooh and bit of a baddy
*cue the clip of tai san's coronation with lex firing the cross bow*
June: Caleb look at you getting up to no good!!, he;s a bit of a baddy utr character. So Meryl, would you like to tell us what the show's all about.
MERYL: Sure, so for those of you that haven't seen it, it's abouta virus that hits the earth and all the adults got wiped out, so there's just teenagers in this world and they need to survive. So theres a lot of drama going on; girls falling pregnant, there's girlfreinds stealing their friends boyfriends, there's us getting up to no good. So it's jst us trying to survive in a world without adults. So whether or not it works --
JUNE: You'll just have to watch and see..indeedy... Now Beth tell us about your character.
BETH: OK! well i play Amber who's sort of the motherly responsible one, who sort of tells everyone one what tp do and sorts out the bad guys and tries to give everyone a bit of hope for the future -
JUNE: as you do
BETH: you know as you do
JUNE: are you like that yourself?
BETH: i dunno (to meryl and caleb) do i give you guys hope?
* laughs and snickering*
MERYL: (smiling and laughinh) sometimes! *pats beth on the shoulder*
JUNE: (Laughing) sometimes , sometimes!!. Now Caleb judguing by that clip your the baddy
CALEB: Yeah erm I basicaly i'm one of the baddys that she (Beth) tries to sort out
CALEB: It's a good trobe that the shows about and i'm the bad guy in that tribe; i bully people about and i want everything my way, i wanna be the leader of it all and i wanna do everything myself
JUNE: Rea-lly (to beth) did you sort 'im out good and proper then?
BETH: yeah we have confrontation
JUNE: Oh yeah we love all of that!, and the make up!" how long does that take?
MERYL: Ohhh myyyy God!! -
BETH: Take about an hour
MERYL: Yeah takes about an hour every morning to kinda take our faces
(at the same time)
BETH: *waves hand as if holding an imagineray paint brush* paint paint paint!!
JUNE: re-ally!!, and what about taking it off? how long does that take?
MERYL: Oh god! just rub it off!!
(At the same time)
BETH: *waves hands*( squeaky voice) get it off get it off!!
CALEB: By the end of the day you just wanna take it off and go home
JUNE: and just relax
JUNE: Well you giys are gonna be sticking about for the rest of the evening
JUNE: thank you very much!
Here is an interview done by Whereits.at in March 2001. They interviewed Meryl Cassie (Ebony) and Caleb Ross (Lex).
How would you describe The Tribe to anyone who's never watched it?
Caleb: It's Mad Max meets Lord Of The Flies. It's a teen drama which takes place after the apocalypse. It's a weird show, but it works.
Meryl: It has the wickedest costumes, the wickedest make-up and the wickedest storylines. It's a really good drama.
The show is made in New Zealand - how are you coping with coming to the UK?
C: I love it here. I know it's really cold but I actually like that. I come from a place in New Zealand called Whangarei which only has 30,000 people so to come to London and see how huge it is, is awesome.
M: I love the shops here. I've gone shopping crazy, especially in places like Top Shop. The architecture here is excellent as well - everything looks so beautiful. I could do without the snow though - it's freezing!
What's been the highlight of your trip so far?
C: I went to my brother's wedding in Ireland. He's married an Irish girl. We had a real family celebration.
M: Getting recognised has been a real thrill for me. I was out shopping in Oxford Street and I got recognised by heaps of people. I didn't expect it, so it was a real treat.
How similar are you both to the characters you play?
C: Not at all. I could never be as bad and evil as Lex. People are actually scared to come up and talk to me because they think I'm going to be a nasty piece of work.
M: Ebony is pure evil and I like to think that I'm not at all like her! She goes ape, she goes nuts, she's a complete loony. I'm much nicer than her - I hope!
What acting roles would you really like to have?
C: I'd love to have had a part in the new Lord Of The Rings films. They were filmed in New Zealand so that would have been ideal. I would have loved to have been Gandalf.
M: I'd like to be in anything with Brad Pitt - he is so hot! I would have liked the female lead in Meet Joe Black, but I'll take any film where I can have a love scene with Brad.
Sell New Zealand to me in 30 seconds
C: It has snow, mountains, beautiful forests and the best sandy beaches in the world. There are so many great places there, and the best thing about it is that there are no really big cities. And it does have lots of sheep, yes, it's true.
M: It's beautiful. My favourite place is called Waiheke Island which is a great place to go and chill out. It's really warm and friendly. It's so green as well. We're three hours from Australia but it might as well be a different world.
You've both been involved in making the The Tribe soundtrack album - is music something you're interested in?
M: I love singing. If I had to give up the acting tomorrow I'd become a singer. I sing with my sisters Megan and Monique. I sing on nearly all the songs on the album, except the ones that are boys-only. It was a great experience.
C: Music is a real passion for me. I've done lots of musical theatre in things like Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita so singing on the album was a real pleasure. I'd like to release my own stuff eventually, but it won't be pop. I write my own tunes and love acoustic guitar.
What kind of fan-mail do you get?
M: We get all sorts. I have one guy who writes to me telling me that he's going to dump his girlfriend so that we can go out together, but thankfully he hasn't done so as yet.
C: There's a girl in Finland who writes to me with her body measurements. She also says that she'd like to eat me for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I've never been to Finland so I can hardly take her up on it, can I?
Here is an interview done with Caleb Ross(Lex), Michelle Ang(Tai-san), Dwayne Cameron(Bray), and Meryl Cassie(Ebony) at The Core Website in July 2000.
How would you describe the show?
Caleb: "A cross between Mad Max and Lord of the Flies. These kids are thrown into a post-apocalyptic world and they have to build up society anew."
How do series 1 and 2 differ?
Michelle: "Series 1 was more to do with survival than who we wanted to end up with. The second series definitely dealt more with relationships, as we were more settled."
Any ideas why the series has been so successful?
Dwayne: "It deals with a lot of isues that other shows would be scared to depict on TV, like bulimia and teen pregnancy. Maybe it will help kids that have these problems themselves. The costumes and make-up might be far out, but the nitt-gritty is real-life things."
Caleb: "No one's a hero, everyone's a real person."
Meryl: "We have to deal with loss. We've been captured so many times. We don't just go in with our swords and bash them over the head."
There have been some amazing looks through the series. Any favourites?
Caleb: "I've had a few changes. My first look was quite nasty: war paint, warrior licks. Another look was done with tissue paper and glue. It took 2 hours every morning to do, and an hour to take off."
Dwayne: "Lex has always had lines on his eyes; everyone's got their own trademark: Ebony's braids, Tai-San's bindis..."
Michelle: "I've always had the oriental look. Also my designer cuts things quite tight, quite revealing."
Michelle, do you share any of Tai-San's beliefs?
Michelle: "I think I'm quite in touch with my spirituality. I'd definitely agree with some of her ideas, but I don't agree with the way she goes about it. I don't go preaching!"
How long can you see your roles in The Tribe continuing?
Caleb: "We're having a lot of fun, and we're ready to see where it goes next. The storylines stretch well into the future, so who knows?"
This interview was done at the Tribal Gathering in April of 2001 with Dwayne Cameron (Bray) and Caleb Ross (Lex).
The Tribe's just too cool for school. In fact we are so hooked on the sassy show that we had to have a chat with its yummiest members Caleb Ross and Dwayne Cameron. Over here to promote The Tribe album, we only had five minutes with 'em but you'd be surprised how much we learnt.
Tell us a bit about yourselves
Caleb: I'm 19 and I'm from a town in the north of New Zealand. I've got six brothers and one sister - it's quite an arty family. My parents helped me get an agent and two of my brothers work in TV.
Dwayne: I'm 19 too. I was born in the southern outskirts of Auckland in New Zealand. I'm the kind of person who'll give anything a shot. And I usually know what I want, although sometimes I'll just roll with things.
How did you get into acting?
Caleb: When I was nine, I saw Les Miserables and I was sold. I started acting and did my first film when I was 11. I also did a McDonald's advert where I had to eat tons of burgers. Then I was on Shortland Street (a NZ soap) for a few years and did a few more films before bagging Lex in The Tribe a couple of years ago.
Dwayne: I was an extra in a TV commercial and things just took off from there. For the last two and a half years I've been acting almost full time and it's given me the bug.
What do you like to do when you're not working?
Caleb: Chill out and play my guitar. I've got my own studio at home, so I like to make my own music too.
Dwayne: I do heaps of stuff with my friends. I also like to write down ideas that pop into my head. Poems, short films and stuff.
Why do you think the show is such a success?
Caleb: It's the first show of its kind - a sci-fi programme that deals with the problems and issues that affect teenagers. There's always a positive outcome but it's not too preachy.
Dwayne: I think the biggest reason is the storyline. A whole bunch of kids living together in a shopping mall with no parents. How could this not appeal to teenagers?
If you were living in post-apocalyptic world, what items could you not live without?
Caleb: If I had a guitar I'd be happy. Although I might have to have a knife to be practical too.
Dwayne: I know for sure that I'd be one of those easygoing, easy living types. As long as I had a roof over my head, food, water and a healthy dose of anti-virus, I'd be happy.
Is it hard for the two of you being mates but having to be enemies on the show?
Caleb: No. We've never fought off camera, 'cause we release all our anger and frustration in the scenes. We get on really well.
Dwayne: Would you when you're acting you're not really being you, so it's not a hassle.
Ever consider a part in Home and Away or Neighbours?
Caleb: No way. They're not my kind of shows. They're a bit boring.
Dwayne: Um, no. I love originality, that's why I jumped at The Tribe. The soaps are just so clichéd, it's all been seen and done before.
Which actress or actor do you admire the most?
Caleb: Recently I've become a big fan of Ed Norton. He's so versatile. He goes from to playing a real tough nutter in American History X to a mild-mannered priest in Keeping The Faith. Oh, and Natalie Portman too, who I think is absolutely beautiful.
Dwayne: Leonardo Di Caprio, Matt Damon, Judi Dench, and Geoffrey Rush, just to name a few. And of course Marlon Brando, the King!
How do you handle all that screen kissing that comes with the job?
Caleb: Screen kisses suck, but you get on with them. My first screen kiss was on Shortland Street when I was 14. The crew were making jokes and it was pretty embarrassing.
Dwayne: It isn't a real kiss. A kiss is when it means something. But kissing someone on screen that you fancy off screen is a different ballgame all together!
What's the most difficult thing you've had to do in the series?
Caleb: The rape scene I had to do was really hard and harrowing, but we have to show stuff like that because happens in real life.
Dwayne: No single moment stands out. I just always try to give it my best in every situation.
Meryl Cassie (Ebony) and Caleb Ross (Lex) did an interview with Club in March of 2001.
The Channel 5 show looks at a world where kids are left to fend for themselves after adults are wiped out by a mysterious virus. Meryl Cassie (Ebony) and Caleb Ross (Lex) play bad guys, but aren't so bad at singing... as Club found out when we chatted about the new album inspired by the show.
The Tribe releases its Abe Messiah album to go with the funky series from New Zealand on March 19.
Caleb, who is a star singer and macho bad guy, told Club he's never bought a single! But his first album was Puff The Magic Dragon...
"My Dad used to stop the record when it came to the bit when the dragon dies, because I would cry," says Caleb.
It's every teenagers' fantasy to get rid of the adults. Such is the fab success of The Tribe.
Meryl Cassie, who plays evil Ebony, has a few fantasies of her own: "I would love to date Brad Pitt or Beckham, but they're married." Bad girl! "I would say no if they asked, honest, I'm very moral. I'll have to settle for someone else. Maybe just a normal British boy, they've got great style."
The future for Meryl Cassie who plays fiery Ebony in The Tribe looks to be a family affair...
"I sing with my sisters in a band, Nubaan Angels," she enthuses. "I love singing for The Tribe, but eventually I would like to be a star with my family." One sister, Megan, has already had a flirt with fame: "She was in the New Zealand Popstars, True Bliss."
The Tribe star Caleb Ross, alias devious Lex, is hard pushed when he has to decide between acting and music.
"I love doing both. Arrgh, I couldn't decide. I guess I've always acted up around the house," he grins.
"I really enjoy exploring my role as Lex, he's bad but he pretends to be good." Manipulative, eh? "Yeah...and recently he's fallen in love which is very alien to him."
Caleb Ross, who stars in The Tribe, a C5 show from New Zealand, told Club that the Aussies are always claiming Kiwi talent as their own.
"One of my favourite actors is Russell Crowe, who was actually born in New Zealand and moved to Australia in his late teens," Caleb tuts. So does he like the Brits? "I do, yeah. Bizarrely I like the cold weather too! Must be my Scots ancestry!"
16-year-old Meryl Cassie who plays Ebony in The Tribe says she would hate it if there were no adults around.
"I just don't know what I would do without my mum, she's a star. And who would plait my hair?" she jokes.
More seriously, Caleb sees the issues explored as pretty intense: "Like teen pregnancy, drugs...the kids have to imagine what an adult would do in these situations."
The macho, arrogant, street-fighting Lex, played by Caleb Ross, sings lead vocals on much of Abe Messiah. And beautiful leader of the Locusts Ebony, aka Meryl Cassie, belts out some wicked melodies. Check out her haunting voice closing each episode of The Tribe with The Dream Must Stay Alive, or find more dreams of life without adults at Tribeworld.