REIGN Post-Mortem: Star Adelaide Kane and EP Laurie McCarthy Talk Surviving the Plague and More Season 2 Turmoil (2014)


By now, the REIGN fans must have lots of questions about what happened in the Season 2 premiere episode. Luckily, star Adelaide Kane and executive producer Laurie McCarthy had a lot to share about what is upcoming in Season 2.

Lola & The Baby
ADELAIDE: It will be so awkward.
LAURIE: It’s a mistake that [Mary] understands, but there’s a lot of larger ramifications.
ADELAIDE: The whole issue is so complicated. Mary’s always trying to be the bigger person, trying to push past it and do what is right for everyone and still has a lot of love for Lola, despite what happened. She understands the situation is not ideal and it’s awkward and uncomfortable. It’s going to be weird. But I think as the season progresses that having the child around becomes a more and more unspoken pressure for Mary as she fails to conceive. I think it is a glaring reminder of her failing in what is essentially her only duty as a royal and as a queen, which is to bear sons to continue the succession. The longer she goes without having a child, the more heavily that is going to weigh on her and the more that is going to become a divisive factor in her relationship with Francis.
LAURIE: One of Mary’s “cards” of things that give her more power is the hope that she provides for the future. Because she is a Catholic queen and because she is married and could produce heirs, not just for France but specifically for Scotland, it makes her a more viable candidate for the throne of England — which she was a candidate for and now Elizabeth is on the throne. But it is something that she will struggle with for the rest of her life. . . It is something that is going to pull Mary and Francis apart, among other things, and they will in fact be drawn to others and whether they will given into that temptation or not is anyone’s guess.

Catherine’s Feelings About the Baby
LAURIE: Here’s the weird thing about Catherine: she loves babies. It is her son’s kid.
ADELAIDE: I think she could do without Lola, but she’s like: “Child of my blood.” She’s all about the baby being her son’s baby, not so much about it being Lola’s kid and Lola having any right to the child at all.
LAURIE: I love that about Catherine — she can be a villainess who loves babies.

New Characters
LAURIE: Louis Conde (Sean Teale) and Stefan Narcisse (Craig Parker). Narcisse is introduce, obviously, as a villain. He is a very powerful Catholic noble, and Conde is mentioned as a cousin of the king. What that means is that there were many cousins and he’s a cousin many times removed, but his brother is a Protestant leader in a region called Navarre. So they are really gonna be kind of the face of the conflict that we are going be playing. They are both amazing actors.
ADELAIDE: They are both so great. They are both so funny. Craig is so funny. I know Toby, Torrance and Johnny were so excited to have more dudes on set. . . and Johnny and Sean have this bromance going on where they just love each other so much.
LAURIE: It’s kind of the season of dudes and ghosts.
ADELAIDE: Tagline: “Dudes and ghosts!”
LAURIE: So we introduce them and they are around. Both [Conde and Narcisse] are going to play a major role this season.
ADELAIDE: (Laughs) I personally think they were brought in as gratuitous man-candy.

Mary Poisoning Catherine
ADELAIDE: Yeah, Mary’s got her manipulation cap on. That was fun. I had a good chuckle with that game — poisoning Catherine. It’s nice to see her flip it on Catherine for once. Like that is a very Catherine-thing to do. I like that Mary starts taking on those manipulative, Catherine-esque elements. Almost without realizing it, she is becoming more and more like Catherine.
LAURIE: She’s learned.
ADELAIDE: She’s learned from the master. You can only survive being attempted-assassinated by somebody for so long before you start to pick up some of their habits.
LAURIE: I love Catherine. She’s like, “It won’t even hurt.”
ADELAIDE: “It’s painless. They’ll fall asleep. It will be fine.” But it’s like, “You’re still killing them. You’re not talking about anesthesia and a root canal.”
LAURIE: We really thought it would be a fun shape to the episode that what you are fearing is the plague, but what you really need to control is Catherine.

LAURIE: We are seeing some ghosts this season. It because people were really superstitious. It is a castle full of guilty people. Even people who aren’t villains feel certain guilt for the way they live and what they are given and how they are allowed to survive.
ADELAIDE: Even the most morally upright characters have had to do terrible things.
LAURIE: They are ghosts that one could imagine in their own psyche. It’s your personal demons.

Leith & Greer
LAURIE: She says, “Don’t test me in this way because I will fail.”
ADELAIDE: I don’t think it’s necessarily liken “don’t be around because I will jump your bones,” kind of thing. I think having him around disturbs her greatly. We saw Castleroy concerned and being, “Hold up. Why are you so concerned what Leith is doing?” He’s questioning, “Do you still have feelings for him?” More so than anything, she just knows she would slip up. She would say something that he would take the wrong way and it would all come crumbling down.
LAURIE: I think she is saying, “I am afraid.”
ADELAIDE: It would be painful and it would be hard. It would cause fights and drama.
LAURIE: Fear of being a ruined woman has ramifications.
ADELAIDE: She doesn’t have any other options, other than Castleroy. She has that reputation from Season 1 with Lord Julien catching her kissing Leith when he was just a servant. This is the only marriage she can make. This is the only option she has.
LAURIE: If he had pursued Yvette, they would have been in the most intensely close proximity. As she said, he would have been her son-in-law and that is a dangerous thing for her. So she was urging him to not do that. And it turns out Yvette died. So now Leith is available and Greer is still engaged to Castleroy. The fear of ruin — of being a ruined woman — is going to loom large for her for some time.

LAURIE: He’s very closely aligned with his brother and he will eventually become the king’s deputy. He’ll become kind of the strongman for the king, which is a great position if the king is doing really well. But if the King is making mistakes and then you are going out and kind of being the muscle for those mistakes, it can be very dangerous. He and Kenna — I love them together. I think they are a great relationship — they are fun together.
ADELAIDE: That was kind of like OTP, out of the blue — and also really happy he and Francis are like buddies again.
LAURIE: It’s nice. They have a great relationship and I think he’s a key member of Francis’ team. But we will be exploring things as the season goes on, his relationship with his wife, who is his lovely, charming and warm and incredibly ambitious wife. That I think is going to cause some problems.

Bash Seeing the Little Girl’s Ghost
LAURIE: We were playing it as exhaustion and fatigue and weariness. He had seen that girl. He had crossed paths with that girl, so she is kind of on his mind.
ADELAIDE: He’s just sensitive to that kind of thing.
LAURIE: It’s less about being a pagan and more about being open, and I think when you’re more open to suggestion that you might see things.

Little Girl’s Threat of a Day of Reckoning
LAURIE: The land is unstable and people who have gotten away with murder may not get away with it for so long.
ADELAIDE: In the wake of plague comes famine, and with famine comes unrest and robbing and burning and pillaging and stealing. They have just dealt with 30% of the population dying from the plague and in addition to that there is no one to work the fields. Anyone who is recovering is weak from disease or from starvation because the fields are fallow and you are relying on stores that are sometimes rotted or used up. The lords have stolen everything. They have taken all the food, and without food the commoners cannot work the land and there’s no food. Famine doesn’t just last for a year; you get the next crop in and your fine.
LAURIE: On a personal level, we’ve alluded to Francis having killed his father. That is something — forgive the phrase — that will plague him. And Catherine who has committed so many atrocities, and she’s protected others too. Another thing I love about her character is that she’s done horrible things, but she’s really done them to protect her family. She is also a faithful person. She’s a good Catholic. Yet I firmly believe that she believes she is going to go to Hell. She might start to feel the flames of Hell a little bit this season.

Wedding Bells
LAURIE: You will see a wedding this season.

ADELAIDE: I spent a lot of the first 3 episodes naked. I’ve gotten really familiar with nipple petals and awkward underware that you tape to yourself. So, yeah, we’re sexy this season!
LAURIE: Sexuality is a huge part of the show. It’s just a part of life — particularly when you have a lot of people who don’t really have jobs. They are just kind of hanging out. But it’s tied in with power and the dynamics between men and women.
ADELAIDE: Everything in life is about sex, except sex. So there’s sexy business, but not particularly intrusive. I like our depiction of sex. I read an article recently about the obsession with girls, sex and virginity and about making choices about sex beyond that initial whatever. But we depict sex in marriages. Like we touched on last season between King Henry and Queen Catherine, they clearly had not shared a bed in years and that decision to share a bed for that one episode was very sweet. Then there’s sex between older people as opposed to always teenagers or those in their early 20’s. And Francis and Mary having a healthy and respectful sex life in their marriage, and not just being the providence of affairs or just the initial honeymoon period, as it being natural and normal.
LAURIE: We do show it a lot with Mary and Francis because it is a glue that kind of holds relationships together. It’s a way of showing intimacy, when they are really in disparate places.
ADELAIDE: If they ever stop sleeping together and sharing a bed, there is trouble on the horizon.
LAURIE: That is absolutely true. But you will also see sexuality with some of the other characters. There are some surprising pairings this season. Like there are two new guys and they are going to be around, and we have already established that Conde doesn’t really have a problem being with married women. And we’re going to see that Narcisse has a kind of surprising sexuality to him. It’s really good. He’s great. And Catherine is going to have a lover too. Again, in a marriage, sexuality is a way to tie two people together. It usually comes with a story development and I just think you’ll be amused. It’s erotic.

Romance for Nostradamus
LAURIE: I don’t know who he will be with this year — I can’t do it. There’s a spoiler. You’ll see.
ADELAIDE: Nosty, besides the whole Olivia thing, he’s more of a spiritual — almost an asexual character — no, he’s totally sexy, don’t get me wrong. But he’s very aloof.
LAURIE: He’s been under Catherine’s thumb and I think he lives in fear that anyone he brings into his sphere, then they are in Catherine’s sphere as well. What was kind of a light story in this episode — he helped Mary betray the Queen — will perhaps not end up being so light in the future.

Catherine’s Struggle for Power
ADELAIDE: The power dynamics are going to be very interesting this season as not only Mary, but Francis as well, is trying to wrest power away from his mother. She is still one of the most powerful people in France. By what she has done, what everyone knows she is capable of and just money — she funds the realm. The fact that she isn’t necessarily on the throne doesn’t change the fact that she still holds the purse-strings. I’m very interested to see her very begrudgingly give ground, if she does at all, or if she decides, “Okay, you are now going to be my puppet-king and puppet-queen, and I’m going to run the whole realm behind your backs.”
LAURIE: She’s going to have some other stories this season as well. She’s going to have some personal demons that she is going to be wrangling. At little bit later in the season, one of her daughters who has been off-camera is going to return; her daughter Claude. So that is a very frought relationship. But in terms of her handing over the crown, she’s not that comfortable handing it over. But she really wants to support her son and, ultimately, she wants to support anybody that is ruling France, as long as it kind of suits her end. For a little bit she is going to let them take the fall for what a bad state France is in.
ADELAIDE: There’s this great line coming up, where she says, “Don’t give up your crown, to anyone.”

And on that ominous note, I am betting fans are more than excited to see what is coming up next on REIGN. So be sure to tune in on Thursday nights at 9:00 p.m. on the CW.

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