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Exclusive Interview with Reign’s Rose Williams

Photo credit: Jo McLintock
Photo credit: Jo McLintock

Rose Williams plays Princess Claude, the rebellious daughter of Queen Catherine and deceased King Henry. After being sent away due to her reckless behavior, she returns to the French court leaving nothing but scandals at every turn.

Read our interview with Rose below. We discuss corsets, Leith and Supernatural.

Follow Rose on Twitter.

Claude joined Reign in season two, what was it like coming into a show that had already established relationships and the actors already knew each other? Was it very welcoming or intimidating?

“I was quite nervous, but you know? It was so welcoming. Immediately I realized that everyone had a brilliant sense of humor and everyone was really intelligent and there was no bad vibe at all. Instantly I got to socializing with everyone and I’ve made some really great friends that will probably be my friends for life, so it was great. I was intimidated about coming into a situation where the characters were established and there was obviously a certain way of doing things. I didn’t know the ins and outs of how it all worked but it’s been great and I’m very happy to be here.”

What was your audition process like for Claude?

“I auditioned in London actually. I auditioned a couple months before I came out to do the show and I read the character and I thought, this would be so much fun! I watched the first season and I went in and didn’t hear anything for ages and then I heard when I was on a holiday. I was over the moon and then about a month later I flew out! I went out for a smaller part before and so I’d already kind of done a bit of research. I was so pleased to get it! Yes, it was just one audition in London and that’s how it came about [laughs].”

What kind of research did you do for the role?

“I scoured the net for stuff. It was quite interesting to read about! That time period, especially the house of Valois, had a lot of strong characters. It was really interesting to read about Catherine de’ Medici, I thought she was great. What makes me laugh is that what it says about Claude on the internet is that she was very discreet and shy. The truth about Reign is I do go against what was known about Claude but I had fun doing a bit of research. It’s very fictionalized and re-imagined but it’s nice to know that maybe the real Claude’s upstairs looking down having a giggle [laughs[.”

The majority of your scenes are with Megan and Jonathan, so what’s your off screen chemistry like with them?

“I love them to bits. Megan is hilarious. For one, she’s a wonderful, wonderful actress and you learn so much from being around her, and she has become a really good friend. She got a classic sense of humor and she’s just a really great woman to hang around with. And Johnny’s so sweet and I really like his girlfriend as well, Laysla. It’s like a family. We all get on so well. I’m pleased I have lots of scenes with those two, they’re great.”

Are you Team Claude and Leith personally?

“Yeah, I think it’s sweet because they’re from completely different worlds and you’d never put them together! I don’t think Leith is the kind of guy that Claude would normally be interested in. She’s interested in the idea of someone like him, but I’m not sure. I think as a fan of the show, yeah I like it because you wouldn’t expect it. It’s the last person that you’d expect her to be interested in [laughs].”

During season three, do you want them to explore a friendship more or a romantic relationship?

“I’m not sure myself actually. I’m in the same position as people watching. I’m not sure. I think it would be very sweet if it did go into a romantic relationship but I think at the same time a friendship would work really well too. I think there’s a lot of room for comedy as well because when Claude talks and then Leith starts to roll his eyes, I quite like that dynamic as a friendship. I like the idea of them leaning on each other and giving advice. Claude could talk to him about Greer and he could talk to her about ex-boyfriends. I like the idea of both. I’m interested to see where it goes too because I don’t know yet.”

Since it is a period piece, obviously the wardrobe is very different. What’s the most comfortable piece of clothing you’ve had to wear, and what’s the most horrible piece of clothing you’ve had to wear?

“Good question. You know what? I actually quite like wearing the corset, even though they are painful because I like how they make me feel. I really like the way it sucks everything in. I’m a huge of the corset. They’re all custom made to fit your body, so that makes them a little bit more manageable. I think any corset that I wear is both the most comfortable and uncomfortable because it will make you feel great, but then it can cripple your insides [laughs]. On my first episode I wore this bright, pink Oscar de la Renta gown and I remember trying it on for the first time thinking, wow, this is so much fun.

I just would have never thought that the first thing that I’d be wearing would be a fuchsia, huge ball-gown, that was great. Meredith’s the costume designer! Her and her team all work so hard! They’re a fantastic, fantastic team and there’s always new pieces and I’m like, wow, how did they come up with that? I’m a big fan, I’m a big fan of my wardrobe.”

When we’re young, some girls dream of being princess. What was it like when you found out that you got the part and that you would get to play a princess on TV?

“It was the best. It was my first big TV role! I got to be a petulant princess that gets to wear designer gowns, i’s like a dream come true. As a child I liked dressing up as a princess, but then I also liked dressing up as a fireman and a policeman, I wasn’t particularly girly girly. I did have a pink dress with a tiara crown that I wore religiously when I was about five. When I got the role [of Claude], my Mum found the picture and was like, look, the grown up version. I was thrilled, it’s a lot of fun!”

Do you have a favorite scene of Claude’s?

“You know what? There was a scene that I did with Johnny, it was great. I think it went really well. It was the scene where I came in from being heartbroken by my ex boyfriend and then Leith was willing to marry Greer. I think it felt really nice when we were doing it, like we really bounced off each other. It was nice to show that Claude has got an emotional side, she’s not just a diva [laughs]. But then I like the comedy as well. I remember there was a scene with Bash where I marched down the hallway and knocked over every goblet because I was in a strope, I love all that. I like the extremes.”

Is there another character on Reign that you would like to play?

“Do you know what? I’m very happy with who I am to be honest. I think everyone has different tasks with the different characters because they all are very different personalities. I’m quite happy as the princess to be quite honest. It would be really interesting to play Mary, Queen of Scotland but Adelaide does it so well. I think she really has it down. Oh, I know. I think Queen Elizabeth! Queen Elizabeth would have been really, really fun but Rachel’s absolutely fantastic and perfect for the role. But, I do think it would be a lot of fun playing Queen Elizabeth.”

Have you had  any scenes with Elizabeth/Rachel?

“No … I mean, we’re only on episode two and nothing like that has come about thus far but I doubt it. I think Claude will stay in French court but maybe she’ll go on holiday to England, you never know with Claude, she might demand it [laughs].”

The time schedule for Reign is really constrictive, but did you work on anything else during the break?

“I was lucky enough too actually. I had two weeks in Belgium on a British art house film about Emily Dickinson. I had a small part playing her younger sister and it was loads of fun. It was a complete different change of pace to Reign so that was great. I really, really enjoyed it, it was really nice.”

What is your favorite TV show?

“Very good question. Talking the CW, I’m a huge fan of Supernatural, always have been, always will be. What’s my favorite TV show? I just watched Sense8, I thought that was fantastic and I’m starting the new season of Orange is the New Black, I think that’s really good too.”

If Claude could cross over to any other CW show, what show would you want to see her on?

“That is a really good one. I think Supernatural. I think if Sam and Dean could time travel and Claude got possessed by a demon, I think that would be the making of a really great episode.”

We’re going to pitch it right now!

“Yeah, please do, that would be great.”

Can you describe the season three premiere of Reign in three words?”

“I’d say fresh, intriguing and dot dot dot. I’d say dot dot dot! I’d take back everything and I’d say dot dot dot [laughs].”

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