I had the privilege of speaking with two of the stars of Reign, Torrance Coombs and Toby Regbo, at a press roundtable this past weekend during New York Comic Con. Both actors play love interests for Mary Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane). Coombs plays Sebastian aka Bash, and Regbo stars as Prince Francis.
Reign premieres this Thursday (10/17) at 9/8 central on the CW. Be sure to check back in because I’ve still got interviews with Adelaide Kane and Executive Producer Laurie McCarthy to come!
Question: Tell us a little bit about your characters since you are playing historical characters.
Torrance Coombs: Historical in the sense that I did not exist historically, but I suppose we exist in a time of history. We play brothers, half-brothers. I am the oldest son of King Henry, but I am not in line for succession because my mother is his mistress and not the queen.
Toby Regbo: I will be the king, and he will never be the king.
Coombs: Despite being the younger brother, which creates an interesting dynamic.
Can you talk about the dynamic? In the pilot they have moments when they are friendly, and moments when they’re not.
Coombs: That sums it up pretty well.
Regbo: Yeah, sometimes we are friendly, and sometimes we are not friendly. It goes back and forth. We are up to episode eight now. We’ll read episode nine, which seems to be…I don’t know what happens yet, but I imagine what happens in episode eight that episode nine will not be good for us.
Coombs: I don’t think we are going to be too happy with one another.
Regbo: It seems like we are reaching a, what’s the word? Clenching point? Breaking point? Boiling point?
Coombs: Turning point.
Regbo: A point of some sort.
Coombs: A lot of points. It’s coming to a point.
Are you guys having a good time playing rivals?
Coombs: They are really playing up this Team Bash, Team Francis thing, which is eventually going to rip us apart. For now we are getting along pretty well.
Regbo: They have done this thing where they are pitting us against each other from a PR standpoint or perspective. So they put these things online, and underneath my picture there is a thing, and underneath his picture is a thing. It’s like which thing to you want. His things are like, well my thing comes first, and it says, “Be the heir to the throne” And this thing says, “Embrace the unknown,” which is a choice between go on holiday or do your tax returns.
Regbo: Not taking it seriously at all as long as I’m winning!
Coombs: It’s completely meaningless until you are losing.
How would you sum up Francis’ feelings for Mary? In the pilot, he’s very focused on his country, so he kind of has blinders on.
Regbo: My feelings are “I like Mary, but I like France, but I like Mary, but I do like France.” It’s like Bloody Mary/French toast. I like Bloody Mary, but I like French toast, but I can’t have both. Eventually I am going to have to pick.
Are you guys ready for being chased down by teenage girls screaming your names?
Regbo: Bring it on.
Coombs: Learn to run…it’s not until you are on a big American show that you have the word hunky applied to you.
Regbo: Which is ridiculous.
Coombs: No kid grows up being called hunky. It feels so 80s or something. Everyone is hunk, hunk!
Regbo: Hunkier, hunkier, hunkier!
What’s to come for the first eight episodes?
Regbo: Suitors, different suitors for Mary that causes some tension.
Aside from the two of you?
Regbo: Yeah, there are some other guys. They bring in some actors, some really sexy people.
Regbo: Things are heating up. There is one episode that I would describe as Die Hard, but with corsets. It’s pretty dark.
Coombs: It gets a lot darker. It gets surprisingly violent, I’ll say. We start to see what’s going on in the woods and that supernatural-ish element that parts to play a very large part of the story rather than a side thing.
How would you describe the relationships between you and your parents?
Coombs: I get along great with both my parents. My mother has ambitions for me that I maybe don’t share. She would probably love to see me be legitimized and become king, but I don’t want any part of that.
Regbo: My mom hates Bash and wants him gone. My dad, sort of, we get on, but I am jealous of my father’s relationship with Bash because it’s much easier and jovial because he’s treating him like a son where he treats me like the heir to the throne. There are some tensions that are simmering.
Coombs: I would say I’m more like my father. I would say I’m maybe cut from the same cloth as our father.
Regbo: I am my mother’s son.
Are you excited for the premiere of Reign? Team Bash or Team Francis? Leave me your thoughts in a comment below! Be sure to check back tomorrow for another interview, and then for my review/recap of the Reign premiere!
Photo Credit: HerThing