The CW’s historical drama, Reign, hit the stage at Comic-Con Thursday to discuss the show’s new season, set to premiere this fall. After the panel, Megan Follows, who plays the conniving and power-driven Queen Catherine, and executive producer, Laurie McCarthy, sat down for a round table interview to talk more about the series.
During the discussion, Follows offered her opinion about Catherine and Mary’s uneasy relationship as well as why she was interested in playing such a manipulative character. And while fans of the show are divided when it comes to Mary’s relationship with Francis and Bash, McCarthy revealed that the love triangle might be a thing of the past. Hit the jump for the full interview.
Question: How do you decide how close to stick to historical facts and what to change?
Do you guys ever argue about what you can alter?
MCCARTHY: We haven’t altered that much, to be honest. We’ll argue over what we want to play, what we think is relevant to a story and we’ll get into healthy debates over what each character’s perspective might be on that event. But we’re a happy writing staff so we don’t argue that much.
The relationship between Kenna and Bash has really blossomed, does that mean you’re putting the triangle to rest?
MCCARTHY: Yeah. I think we put it to rest last year. I think that Mary and Bash will always have a bond. It’s always gonna be a struggle for Bash to find his place in that world—this place at court. This season, he’s married to a wife who surprisingly loves him but is ambitious as hell. She’s going to put pressure on him that’s going to cause conflict with not just the king but with other power players in court.
There’s a rise of these Lords, there’s this Lord Narcisse, who’s coming and then there’s a character named Conde who’ll be at court. They will be kind of representing the face of the power players beyond the walls of the castle as well as the Catholic and Protestant tensions of the time. Bash is going to be trying to do the best for his brother and Mary and Francis will be navigating their relationship. I think they’ve moved past the triangle and so have we. That’s not to say that Mary and Francis’ relationship won’t be tested by other people in other ways.
Will Henry dying and Francis becoming king have an impact on Francis and Mary’s relationship?
MCCARTHY: Yeah, I think it will, mostly because he killed his father and he can’t tell anyone that. It’s the kind of thing that could get him beheaded but can also get Mary beheaded as well. He’s protecting her by not telling her. I think they have brutal jobs and his job is to solely rule France. She still has kind of two jobs, she needs to rule France well and to build a base that can support her, but Elizabeth kind of lurks in the wings. She’s also a woman and she has to protect herself. Not only does she have to protect her marriage and protect Francis, she also has to protect herself.
Will Francis leaving to check on Lola and the baby have an impact on the relationship as well?
MCCARTHY: Oh yeah. I think that Mary and Lola are going to do their best to remain friends. I think they’re very concerned, rightly so, that they’re going to fall into the footsteps of Catherine and Diane, where there’s a natural rivalry there for the king’s attention, affections, and loyalty.
Megan, what attracted you to your character in the first place?
MEGAN FOLLOWS: I found her funny and I found he kind of delicious. I think she’s kind of coy, she’s very playful, she’s very dangerous, she’s very powerful. She can’t go through the front door with her power, so she has to go around and that makes her even more dangerous because it’s not straightforward. Her sense of right and wrong, and loyalty is very straightforward but she’s also a negotiator. I think on a different world and a different time, she would’ve been an incredible diplomat—when she wasn’t poisoning people, or an assassin. An assassin diplomat.
Where does the relationship between Catherine and Mary stand now?
FOLLOWS: Well, she needs Mary to do well and she needs Mary to do her job well because Mary is also a support to Francis. I’m sure I’m also trying to find a way that I’m going to be able to manipulate her because I feel I know best. That will be an interesting budding of heads, who actually knows best, who’s right, and the best way to do that and achieve it. We don’t always agree, most definitely on those areas.
Do you think Catherine’s desire for Francis to be king is more motivated by true love for him or a way for her to have power?
FOLLOWS: I think it’s the only way for her to have power, first of all. Because she had so many sons, so many children, she guaranteed that power for herself. Against a lot of odds, against a husband who was deeply in love with another woman, who had children who loved him. She did certainly and historically true, got herself a contractual clean consort of the region so that no matter she had power. Her children were young too when he took power and she knew that. In truth, they were all very close to their mother, she had a lot of power over the children.
Will we see the character of Clarissa again?
MCCARTHY: You might. I’m not promising but you might. There will be other haunting figures at court and they will all be rooted in guilt and shame, so it’s very much a haunting season. It’s a season of haunted characters, of people who have committed a lot of sins in the past but they’ve also survived the plague. There’s a lot of death around and there’s kind of a mass hysteria. There’s a belief among the survivors that the spirits who were not treated well in life and were treated even less well in death, where do they go?
Any other hints you can give us about Season 2?
MCCARTHY: There are new players at court but they’re going to step into stories that have political intrigue but also sexual intrigue, romantic intrigue. There’s a new bad guy in town who’s very complicated, very complex. He’ll keep you guessing about how bad he is and he’s going to start a very cagey dance with Catherine and also maybe one of Mary’s ladies. And Mary and Francis’ marriage will be tested over the course of the season. There are different versions of marriage and we might see other versions of their marriage as well.