Percy Jackson Show: Ares & Clarisse's Toxic Relationship Explained by Star (Exclusive)

By Gillian Blum Posted:
Percy Jackson, Clarisse and Ares, Disney plus logo

Percy Jackson and the Olympians actor Dior Goodjohn (Clarisse La Rue) spoke with The Direct about how she interprets her character's relationship with her father, Ares (Adam Copeland).

Goodjohn plays a key role in Percy Jackson and the Olympians on Disney+. Her most prominent appearance is in Episode 2, but the daughter of Ares has either appeared in or been mentioned in other episodes as well.

If the show were to get a second season, Goodjohn's role would be significantly increased, as the daughter of Ares is one of the lead characters in the second Percy Jackson book, The Sea of Monsters.

Dior Goodjohn on Clarisse and Ares' Dynamic

Diorgood John as Clarisse and Adam Copeland as Ares in Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Disney

Speaking with The Direct's Gillian Blum, Dior Goodjohn (Clarisse La Rue in Percy Jackson and the Olympians) shared how she views her character's relationship with her father, Ares (Adam Copeland), and how it shapes Clarisse as a character.

In the Percy Jackson novels, Clarisse's story is often driven by the character's desire for validation from her father. Interestingly, in Episode 6, Luke Castellan (Charlie Bushnell) refers to her as Ares' "favorite daughter," a sentiment Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase seem to agree with.

In playing Clarisse, Goodjohn works the balance between her character's internal and external perceptions. She divulged that this "confusion and complexity is the best part of it all," adding that working this balance effectively "will hit people right where it hurts:"

"I think the complexity and the confusion and complexity is the best part of it all. I think that's the part that, like, if you can portray that the right way will hit people right where it hurts. And it's such an amazing thing, I think, like the fact that it's so confusing."

Goodjohn described Clarisse's dynamic with Ares as being "like a toxic-like relationship." She explained that despite Clarisse being his "favorite daughter," Ares still thinks she is "not good enough:"

"It's kind of like a toxic-like relationship between the two [Clarisse and Ares] where he's like, 'You're my favorite daughter, but you're not good enough. You're not doing what I need you to do.' And I'm like, 'But I'm doing everything you're asking me to ... and I'm giving everything that I have. Like, how can I do more?' And he's like, 'I don't know, figure it out.'"

As an actor, Goodjohn said she enjoys "reveling in the complexity, and ... basking in the confusion" that is Ares and Clarisse's father-daughter relationship, as it is "such a complex situation:"

"So it's definitely ... such a complex situation. But I think just like reveling in the complexity, and like basking in the confusion is the best part of it all, for sure."

The entire interview can be seen below:

Sexism in Clarisse's Percy Jackson Story

Warning: The rest of this article contains spoilers for The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan.

One part of Clarisse's arc in the Percy Jackson books revolves around how Ares will often act in a sexist manner toward his daughter — something that is revealed explicitly in the second book, The Sea of Monsters.

Goodjohn believes that "it would be so cool and so important" to adapt this element of Clarisse's story into Percy Jackson and the Olympians if the show is able to continue past Season 1. She said that "if anybody's going to touch on it and do it in a tasteful way, it would be our writers room and our team:"

"I think it would be so cool and so important [to adapt the sexism element of the story]. And I think if anybody's going to touch on it and do it in a tasteful way, it would be our writers room and our team. Everybody's so, so talented, and such amazing storytellers."

She recognized the importance of telling this story "in just the right way," showing "that it hurts, and it's okay that it hurts." But, Goodjohn would want the show to remind people that "you can't let it get to you," and that "at the end of the day, you know who you are:"

"I think if it is something that we ended up doing, it would be done in just the right way. And I think it would just be important to, like, show that it hurts, and it's okay that it hurts and it's okay that you're aware, but at the end of the day, you got to push through and do what you need to do. Like, you can't ... let it get to you because, at the end of the day, you know who you are."

The Emotional Sea of Monsters Clarisse and Ares Moment

Goodjohn told The Direct that the book moment she most looks forward to adapting (if the show continues past Season 1) is a particularly emotional scene in The Sea of Monsters between Clarisse and Ares.

In the scene, Clarisse recognizes that completing her quest by herself will lead to her death and that she doesn't "know if [she's] okay with that." Despite this, Ares insists that she "will do it by [her]self and that's that."

Goodjohn referred to this moment as "such an explosive ... scene," with "just so much bubbling up inside:"

The Direct: "What is something in a future book that you are most looking forward to adapting, if you can?"

Dior Goodjohn: "The conversation that I have with my dad in 'Sea of Monsters' when I'm being like, 'Look, the prophecy said that if I do this and I do this by myself, I'm gonna die. I don't know if I'm okay with that. I don't know if I'm ready with that.' And he's like 'You will do it, and you will do it by yourself, and that's that. That's the end of the story. I'm done,' Because it is such an explosive scene. ... Like, when reading it, there's just so much bubbling up inside, you're like 'Oh my god' like 'What's gonna happen? What's going on?'"

Goodjohn looks forward to, theoretically, being able to work with Copeland, since "he's the type of person that will give you his entire emotional bank." She explained that she and Copeland are similar, as he "just commits to the scene," and she is "that exact same way:"

"And Adam is such, such a talented actor. He's the type of person that will give you his entire emotional bank because, like, ... there's no other way to do it. He just commits to the scene and I'm that exact same way, and you don't get that a lot of the time"

She is "so excited" about the possibility of performing this scene with Copeland, saying it "would just be an explosion of emotion." She said that this would be "especially" true if they film "a funny run where we just go ham and go off the wires:"

"I'm just so excited, like, to be able to film that possibly potentially, because I feel like ... it would just be an explosion of emotion of us just playing off of each other, especially if we get to do that what I like to call a funny run, where we just go ham and go off the wires and like start improv-ing and everything, and I think it would just be so fun and so insane. So that's my number one."

Could Fans See More Clarisse Soon?

If Percy Jackson and the Olympians does get a Season 2 on Disney+, fans can expect to see much more of Goodjohn, as Clarisse is one of the main characters in the second Percy Jackson novel, The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan.

The book — and, presumably, the hypothetical second season — offers fans a glimpse into Clarisse's softer side. Goodjohn explained that, to her, "she [Clarisse] has ... this wounded little girl, like, inner child in her, that just makes me want to hug her and ... be like, it's okay, you're gonna be fine."

In the books, this softer side to Clarisse is only shown to fans from Percy's point of view. This makes sense, as the Percy Jackson and the Olympians novels are told in first person — readers only see what Percy himself sees.

However, the show is not limited in the same way.

This is most notable with the elements of Grover's story new to the show, like the new scenes with the dryad Helena and the satyr Augustus. Percy is not physically present for either of those scenes, but they can still be included as the story is not just from Percy's perspective.

As such, fans might be able to learn even more about this side of Clarisse's character in the show (if it gets a second season) than they can in the books.


The season finale of Percy Jackson and the Olympians hits Disney+ on Tuesday, January 30.

- In This Article: Percy Jackson and the Olympians
Release Date
December 20, 2023
Platform
Actors
Aryan Simhadri
Leah Jeffries
Walker Scobell
- About The Author: Gillian Blum
Gillian Blum has been a writer at The Direct since 2022, reporting primarily from New York City. Though she covers news from across the entertainment industry, Gillian has a particular focus on Marvel and DC, including comics, movies, and television shows. She also commonly reports on Percy Jackson, Invincible, and other similar franchises.