REIGN: Torrance Coombs Talks Playing the Dark Prince Who Falls For a Queen (2013)

Torrance Coombs (photo credit: Tiffany Vogt)
Torrance Coombs (photo credit: Tiffany Vogt)

In the lavish CW drama series REIGN, two brothers vie for the heart of a queen: one is the prince destined king of France, the other is the bastard son of a king with no hope of ever winning the heart of the woman he loves.  Raised together and loved by their father the king, both Prince Francis (Toby Regbo) and his illegitimate brother Sebastian aka Bash (Torrance Coombs) are unusually fond of each other as brothers.  But that will soon change with the arrival of Francis’ betrothed, Mary (Adelaide Kane), the Queen of Scots.  Simultaneously catching Bash’s eye and heart, Mary may ultimately be the undoing of the strong bonds of brotherly love. In a recent press interview from the set, star Torrance Coombs talked about the unrequited love of Bash for Mary and whether there will be any hope in the race for her heart.


Bash and Francis have perhaps one of the most complicated relationships on the show.  How do you see it as you are portraying the character?
TORRANCE:  Independent of what is going on between their parents, there is a lot of love between Bash and Francis.  They grew up together, they do things together, they have each other’s back.  Certainly there’s a bit of tension that comes in when they both decide that they like the same girl.

Isn’t Mary kind of fair game because it seems like Francis is stepping away from that relationship?
TORRANCE:  (Laughs)  That’s Bash’s thought and he kind of just wants to bring the system down anyway because it’s so restrictive.  It doesn’t allow people to love who they want to love and be who they are supposed to be.

Does Bash want to bring down the love-system or the whole political system?
TORRANCE:  The whole political system that sets up these arranged marriages ’cause it’s the very same thing that means he is the eldest son and his father’s favorite, but because Bash is the king’s mistress’ son, they can’t be a whole happy family.  Bash is not allowed to go after the girl he wants to go after. There’s all kinds of things and it just seems to create misery.  But it’s interesting because Bash also enjoys the freedom at the same time.  There’s that constant just ever so slight resentment — he just hears the word “bastard” and it never quite sits right.  He doesn’t necessarily want to be king, but he doesn’t like all the rules.

It seems that even his own mother reminds him of his lowered status and place.
TORRANCE: Yeah, and Francis’ mother (Megan Follows) certainly reminds Sebastian all the time.

One would think that Francis’ mother would be Sebastian’s biggest supporter because he


would be taking away the one threat to her actual son.  So she should be on Bash’s side in winning Mary’s heart.
TORRANCE:  Right, I suppose that’s true.  But I don’t know how much she knows about it.  Bash is basically a constant reminder that the king is in love with somebody else.

How much does Sebastian team up with his mom (Anna Walton)?
TORRANCE:  We’re working on that. We are getting to that.  They are certainly a team.  But I think there are things that she knows that she’s not telling him.  He knows a lot, but he doesn’t know everything that she knows.  She’s up to something.

Is Bash the sword-swinger and official hunk of the show because he can fight?  Are we going to see a lot of that from him?
TORRANCE:  There’s an awful lot of that.  I’ve been doing a lot of fights and a lot of horseback riding and training and all that sort of stuff.  It’s a bit of a dream, as far as that goes.  I’m kind of like this lanky dork, and they’re like, “let’s hunk him up a bit!”

So going forward, you’re going to be a bit of an action star on the show?
TORRANCE:  (Laughs) That’s the plan. I have to be bailed out sometimes, but I’m pretty good.

Nostradamus on "Reign"
Nostradamus on “Reign”

What’s in the woods?  ‘Cause Sebastian warned Mary to stay out of the woods.
TORRANCE:  I’m pretty sure I can’t say what’s in the woods. We’ll be getting into that.  There’s still some mystery to it for me though, as well.  There’s still some people that know more about than I do.

What is it about Mary that Bash finds so bewitching?
TORRANCE:  When you just have that connection with somebody — that easy connection that you didn’t really mean to have, then beyond that there’s something very intriguing about her because she is very un-queenly.  She’s a little bit uncouth and unconventional.  She’s also been kind of a victim of the system in many ways as well, and she’s kind of trapped. Like she’s got this sort of alliance with France, but not really, and she loves Francis, but really can’t because of politics and can’t go forward with things.  Then at court, everyone is trying to kill her.  So Bash becomes an ally of hers and they share that understanding.

What’s Bash’s relationship like with Nostradamus (Rossif Sutherland)?  Is he on his radar? Does he notice him at all?
TORRANCE:  Actually, yes.  Interestingly enough, that’s getting developed.  It’s hard to say without spoilers to get too much into it.  But certainly, yes.  He knows what’s going on in woods and so does Bash.  They have that in common.

So that’s part of the bigger mystery there.
TORRANCE:  Yeah.  They’re kind of like the stagehands that know what’s going on behind the scenes a little bit and they’re trying to keep the truth from everybody else.


What’s it like working with Adelaide?
TORRANCE:  She’s lovely.  I’ve got no dirt on Adelaide.  She’s awesome.  We have a good time.  We definitely have a lot of fun and she’s got so much do.  She’s in every scene and she just carries it and doesn’t whine.  It’s awesome.

And Toby? We’ve heard he’s a bit of a prankster.
TORRANCE:  Francis is a bit of a serious dude, but Toby is probably the funniest guy on set for sure.

How does this role differ from your role on THE TUDORS?
TORRANCE:  (Laughs) I actually have a sense of humor in this one and I’m not quite so intense.  I have my moments of intensity.  I’m a bit more of an easy-going guy this time round.

To see if Sebastian has a chance in winning a queen’s heart, be sure to tune in for the premiere of REIGN on Thursday, October 17th at 9:00 p.m. on the CW.  The heart wants what the heart wants, and not even destiny can stand in its way.

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