'Reign's' Craig Parker: Narcisse Is 'A Great Thorn In The Side Of The King & Queen'

"Reign" got a lot more complicated with the introduction of "Spartacus" alum Craig Parker as the powerful Lord Narcisse.

In The CW show's Season 2 premiere, Mary [Adelaide Kane] refused the murder request of Eduard Narcisse, a powerful noble. After he took matters into his own hands, she sent him to a painful death, locking him in a cell with plague victims. When his dad, played by the commanding Craig, comes to court in tonight's all new episode, the senior Narcisse will not be pleased.

Further complicating things is Narcisse's previous role in keeping King Francis [Toby Regbo] safe during the plague outbreak.

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The wealthy and powerful noble will be pulling strings and making power plays and Craig told Access Hollywood all about it, and what it has been like to become a part of "Reign."

AccessHollywood.com: Tell me how much fun it is to join this show, because you get to wear a bit more clothing [than in 'Spartacus'].
Craig Parker:
Yes, fantastic clothing! It's wonderful. It is so different. I ended up doing a number of sort of [historical] things in recent times, but each one is so very, very different, and to join this show, the great thing is we stay clean. We're scrubbed and tidy. And I had one costume for the entirety of 'Spartacus' pretty much. This one, every week there's three or four amazing brocade coats and beautiful things that wardrobe whip up, so it's full dress up fun for me, I must say.

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Access: It helps inform your character too, I imagine, as you sir, are a noble on this.
Craig:
As I keep reminding everyone. I'm a noble. It should be shinier, brighter, prettier.

Access: Yeah, more ornate! What did they tell you about the character when you were circling the 'Reign' station so to speak?
Craig:
I had a fantastic conversation with Laurie [McCarthy, 'Reign's' executive producer] before even properly having the job and her direction was great. He is a villain at times, definitely a great thorn in the side of the King and Queen, but the show is wonderful in that it's not pantomime. Narcisse does terrible things for 'noble reasons.' He believes in France and he believes the correct way of keeping France a great nation is by doing things his way. ... So a big thing is to avoid playing the pantomime villain and also, he has -- which is revealed more and more as the show goes on -- different sides, many, many layers that you don't expect of a character like him, so it is a joy each week. A new episode comes out and it's, 'Oh, that's another area of this guy that I didn't know about.' So there's fun times to come definitely.

Access: One of the things I like about your character is he goes in there with a lot of power because his son tragically was stuffed into--
Craig
: Murdered! By the Queen of France!

Access: Before we get into that, the interesting thing is you wield a hell of a lot of power over the royals because of how much money you have and the grain you have access to. What are we going to get to see with that because it must be fun to just be able to wield that power on the show and I'm going to assume you're going to be able to manipulate Francis and Mary a bit.
Craig:
I definitely hope so. It's slightly intimidating when you join a new show too because there' s a whole load of people who've been doing it for a year, and know their world and you come [in] and suddenly you're playing higher stakes [with] the King and Queen. Thankfully, this is a delightful cast and all of the princesses and diva behavior happens on screen, not off. They were amazing. My first scenes were with Adelaide and Toby who totally got it and allowed me to step into – I step into the throne room basically and claim ownership (laughs). … There is still, for all the kind of earnest, grown up aspect of being an actor, there is still a wonderful sense of being a child and playing make believe and dress up. And [in] this show, particularly, there's a lot of that for me.

Access: Speaking of the murdered son, in the preview of this episode, you are not pleased.
Craig:
I am not pleased. Not pleased at all. I loved that boy.

Access: How is that going to affect Lord Narcisse? He is not happy.
Craig:
I think it's fair to say that on discovering it was Mary who killed his only son, he's not going to be particularly happy with her and one of the lovely aspects of Episode 2 is here is a man where we see genuine grief. As much as he and his son plot and scheme, this is still his baby boy that he loves and he's been taken away by this woman, so there is definitely a huge fury and a [desire] to destroy Mary, but he is also an incredibly savvy political beast, so he has to temper his own personal fury and rage with what's necessary politically, so there's a wonderful dynamic there. But there's also some lovely moments, working with Adelaide, where you see them off duty, you see them not in the throne room or in public areas where they reveal themselves to each other and it's [a] great, fun scene to shoot with Adelaide. It's one of my favorite we shot so far.

"Reign" continues Thursday at 9/8c after "The Vampire Diaries" on The CW.

-- Jolie Lash

 

 

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