Adelaide Kane on ‘Reign’ and Strong Female Characters

Adelaide Kane Reign Interview
Adelaide Kane at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con (Photo by Richard Chavez/ShowbizJunkies)

The CW’s Reign might seem like one of the most unlikely TV series to take to the San Diego Comic Con, however the show’s passionate fan base quickly put an end to any question as to whether the series’ Q&A would be popular at the San Diego event. Series stars Adelaide Kane, Toby Regbo, and Megan Follows made the trip to So. California for the sold-out Con, talking up the series which will return this fall for season two.

In addition to the Q&A, Adelaide Kane discussed the series in our roundtable interview. Kane, who was obviously proud to be part of the show, answered questions about the appeal of the series and playing a strong female character.

Adelaide Kane Reign Interview

Is this a fun, meaty character to get into?

Adelaide Kane: “It is. It’s fun and she’s very complex. It’s an unusual character for a woman my age to get to play because I am very young to be one of four amazing leads on a great show. This is quite a coup for me, I would say. I’m quite excited about it and very glad that they hired me.”

She grew so much in the first season.

Adelaide Kane: “Almost like actual people, which I like very much.”

How different is the TV version to the historical information you had?

Adelaide Kane: “The historical Mary was far more, I suppose, impetuous and spirited. I imagine her to be a little bit wilder than the Mary that I have sort of created for the show. I think the Mary for the show needed to be a little bit more contained and regal and steady, just to help support the story. It would be fun to have her be kind of flighty and impetuous and a little bit scattered, but it just doesn’t work for the show and that’s not how she was written. But I’m hoping, she’s starting to make a few more impulsive, rash decisions. She’s starting to discover her anger a little bit more and exactly how far she’s willing to go for the country, and she’s starting to really struggle with her concept of good versus evil, what’s right and what’s wrong. And then what needs to be done for the country and what she can stomach to do.

It’s a very difficult, complex thing she’s getting into now. She’s responsible for two countries. There’s the added pressure of her still not bearing an heir for both France and Scotland. She has to pretty much just have a butt load of kids, so in case some of them die, because infant mortality was so high in those days. She needs to have, realistically, a dozen children, not only for Scotland but for France and so that she’s still a contender for the English.”

Is there a moment in her life that you look forward to playing?

Adelaide Kane: “We’ll see how long the show goes for because I would love to get around to her second marriage and her bearing a child. I’m very excited to have a baby. I think that would be very exciting. I don’t think we’re going to get around to that. I don’t know if we’re going to get around to her being beheaded. We might fudge that if we know that we’re going to wrap up at the end of a season. We might say ‘cut to’ whatever, or we might just leave it. I don’t know if we’re going to get to her death and I’m very young for that. In TV land, we could get to that point over the next three or four seasons, in which case I’ll be 27, 28 and still too young because she died in her 40s. She was beheaded in her 40s. There was a good 20 years where she just sat in houses around France under house arrest doing nothing, which is incredibly boring and not very TV friendly. It is, let’s be real, it isn’t but I don’t know if we’re going to get to that. I would like to but we’ll see.”

Why do you think this has caught on with American teenagers who are probably unaware of the history of the Royal family?

Adelaide Kane: “I think that’s exactly why, because they are unfamiliar with the history and England and Europe have such, rich, remarkable history. I think that that’s appealing to a relatively young country such as the United States and there hasn’t been a historical show, or a fictional historical show, that has been aimed specifically at a younger demographic before. I don’t know if it’s because previously networks haven’t thought that young people would be interested or that history might be a bit dry for them, or because they wanted to put more adult content in it, like The Tudors and therefore it was way more Showtime friendly and therefore naturally catered to an older audience. But nobody’s ever really made something like this for them before and with our modern music and our modern spin on wardrobe and the drama, the romance, the relationships with our very, very, very handsome boys. I think that that all is sort of like catnip for that young adult crowd. I mean, I like the show. I watch it mostly to criticize my performances, but I’ve got a lot of friends who watch it and really enjoy it.”

What do you think about interacting with fans on social media?

Adelaide Kane: “We do have very passionate followers. Someone made a Twitter account for my cat – for my kitten – and I was devastated because I was like, ‘I wanted to make one.’ It was a very sweet thing where I was like, ‘I’m really disappointed.’ And she was like, ‘You can have it.’ She took the name that I wanted and we did a little Twitter tradeoff where she gave me the password for the account and I took over the account for my cat, which was really sweet. She was just really excited enough to talk about it and that she was talking to me on Twitter. We were direct messaging each other through that account, so that was really lovely.

They just get really excited. With my short hair, when I’m not in costume, they don’t recognize me. You just see the moment of realization which is really sweet because I’m like, ‘I’m just a regular person. I just happen to have a really weird job.'”

Do you think there are meatier roles for women on TV now, more opportunities for women to be in charge?

Adelaide Kane: “Yes, very much so.”

Do you have any idea why?

Adelaide Kane: “I think that we’re finally coming into an age where female writers and directors are starting to come more to the fore, where women are producing more. It’s been more of a man’s world for generations and we’re just getting a little bit more of a voice and not in an intense sort of ‘Rah, the patriarch!’ kind of way but it has been a male dominated field for a very long time. I’ve honestly been very sick of women either being plot devices or being used primarily as the mother figure, romantic figure or the other woman, even the sexist badass who just kicks everyone’s butt but isn’t really a woman, who’s considered one of the boys. It’s really nice to play a woman whose power and whose whole life doesn’t revolve around romantic relationships. Yes, her marriage is important. Yes, having a baby is important. Her country and rule and she has whole conversations with other women that aren’t about men, which I find extremely exciting. It’s very rare and very difficult to find but I’m very excited about that.”

Do you think that’s because the show is produced by a woman?

Adelaide Kane: “Yeah. I mean, it’s nice. For all that we’re a show where it’s about living in the 15th century and getting married and having babies and wearing pretty dresses, I think that we’re a very pro-feminist, pro-woman show. We have characters like Kenna who are unabashedly and unashamedly sexual, and don’t apologize for it which I think is awesome. And then we have Catherine who’s just this wonderfully brilliant tactical mind and if she were a man would rule the world. It’s really remarkable and I think that Mary, had she been a man, would have been one of the greatest kings of all time. Because she was a woman, she was not taken particularly seriously. Even though she was incredibly intelligent, incredibly articulate, and knew what she was talking about and was very progressive as a royal and as a ruler as well. She believed in peace between Protestants and Catholics which was such a radical notion at the time. It would’ve been very interesting to see the change that she could have made if she had been a man and not a woman, so it’s really interesting. I love our show. I think it’s great.”

Reign Cast Photos at Comic Con

-By Rebecca Murray

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