“Reign” may be centered on a teenage Mary Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane), but as the young royal navigates her way through a maze of assassination plots and politics at French court, she’s surrounded by four men who play big roles in her life.
It’s time to meet the men who rule on “Reign.”
King Henry II (Alan Van Sprang)
Who is he? King Henry II rules France. His heir is Francis (Toby Regbo), his son by the wealthy Catherine de’ Medici (Megan Follows). He is also father to Sebastian (Torrance Coombs), his bastard child by mistress, Diane de Poitiers (Anna Walton). And there are other women in his life too, including one of Mary’s ladies in waiting.
“I just thought that I’d sort of be in the background and play king and, you know, make some financial and political decisions and that’s it and then this sort of thing happened with one of Mary’s ladies in waiting — Kenna (Caitlin Stasey). … I do, in the show, tend to fornicate quite a bit,” Alan said when The CW flew AccessHollywood.com up to the show’s Toronto set, where they made us their guest, as the actors chatted with reporters.
And Alan, an alumnus of “The Tudors,” said his character has some similarities with a recent modern ruler.
“He’s a light, light guy. He really is,” Alan said. “He’s light. He’s like Bill Clinton. He’s powerful… he loves to screw around and he’s got Hilary Clinton at his side.”
Prince Francis (Toby Regbo)
Who is he? The son of the King, Prince Francis will one day inherit his father’s throne. But, “Reign’s” version of the historical figure of Prince Francis is different from the young man who died as a teenager in 1560, according to Toby.
“They’ve really aged him up, sexed him up, beefed him up a little bit,” Toby, who is known for his humor on set, told reporters. “He’s got balls ‘cause the real Francis didn’t have testicles. Well, he did, but they were undescended, so that’s not the way I’m playing it. … So, I go by what they write in the script rather than the period.”
“To call ourselves a period drama in the same vein as ‘The Borgias’ or ‘The Tudors’ or something like that is slightly misleading because I think this is more… it’s inspired by the period, but it seems like it’s sort of fan fiction of the time… it’s historical fiction,” he said.
Francis is betrothed to Mary, but they aren’t head over heels right away.
“It’s complicated,” Toby said of how Francis feels about his character’s fiancee. “I’ve got a sense of duty towards my country because I know that I’m gonna one day rule the kingdom and I’ve known that my whole life, so that’s at the forefront of my thinking and then this girl comes along who’s very powerful herself and strong willed and there’s a natural attraction to her and I know that maybe one day that we will be married, but I’m trying to keep my head clear, because love complicates everything.”
Sebastian (Torrance Coombs)
Who is he? Historically, Sebastian didn’t exist. In the show, he’s the handsome, strong and athletic half-brother of Prince Francis, the bastard son of King Henry II. He may not have a title, but that won’t stop Sebastian from falling for Mary when she comes to court in the show’s season premiere.
“There’s something very intriguing about her because she’s very un-queenly,” Torrance explained when Access asked about Sebastian’s attraction to Mary. “She’s a little bit uncouth and unconventional and she’s also been kind of — she’s a victim of the system in many ways as well, and she’s kind of trapped between — like she’s got this sort of alliance with France, but not really, and she loves Francis, but kind of can’t because of politics, go forward with things, and then at court, everyone is trying to kill her, so I become an ally of hers and we share that understanding.”
Nostradamus (Rossif Sutherland)
Who is he? Not the white-haired seer remembered by history, this Nostradamus got the nickname “hunky Nostradamus” by critics over the summer when the show was first screened by TV writers. He is Catherine de’ Medici’s expert on the future, sharing with her prophecies and conjuring up wicked potions. He has very little interaction (at least initially) with Mary directly, but plays a heavy role in things the young Queen encounters.
“Reign” premieres Thursday night at 9/8c on The CW.
-- Jolie Lash