Exclusive Interview with Reign’s Torrance Coombs

Photo Credit: Hudson Taylor

We chatted with the charming Canadian actor Torrance Coombs about his role on CW’s Reign. Read our interview below, and be sure to follow Torrance on Twitter and Instagram.

Reign is based on history, obviously, but what’s it like being one of the few original characters, and not having to actually play a historical figure?

“Well I mean it’s interesting. I guess I can’t speak to everybody else’s experience but I think the characters on the show are mostly fictionalized, even if they are historical characters. I don’t know that Adelaide or Toby for example feel like they really have to portray these people as they were so much as our responsibility is more to the script and just telling a fun story. I mean it’s interesting in a sense that I guess the writers have historical points that they have to get to at some point. Me, I have no idea, they’re just making it up as they go along. I just have to wait and see every week what the next script will say.”

You’ve been on two historical shows, Reign and the Tudors, but what’s your favorite time in history?

“I don’t know, I don’t have a favorite time. There’s so many. It might be now, I think I’m really happy to live now. As far as like studying things goes, I guess, no I can’t even pick a favorite. Every new show I work on deals in my favorite period in history, when I end up doing these period shows.”

You tweeted today about your horse Sid, so what’s it like working so closely with an animal and had you been horseback riding before Reign?

“Yeah, I’ll tell you what. I first learned on Tudor, I rode a horse there, and then I did a show called Heartland for a little while, I did about ten episodes of it where I played actually, hilariously enough, a world famous horse trainer. I learned a lot about horses in a very short period of time. I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly good, but I definitely had the chance to work with them before. On Reign they’ll send us out riding, we get an opportunity to go out riding pretty much every week if we want to just to work on skills and get better. I like to think I’m the best I’ve been.”

Speaking of skills, you do a lot of fight scenes. What was your training like for that? 

“I did stage combat back in theater school, but for these fights they basically get choreographed, we have about two hours to do a fight. Essentially how they work is as the actor, I’m positioned to look like a hero. There’s this one thing that happens where they give me a bamboo sword and I just have these massive stunt guys in armor charge me and I just cut them down one by one, and usually the choreography has a lovely flow to it. It’s quite simple to learn, and these guys can take a hit. If you hit them a little bit two hard they just kind of roll a bit, if you forget the choreography you just kind of smack the guy that’s closest to you and he goes with it. When you’re fighting with another actor that’s not a stunt guy, you have to be more careful. There’s not particular training other than just like swing your sword this way, swing it that way. Knock that guy down, knock that guy down, and stop that sword from taking your head off [laughs]. It’s fun.”

You also just tweeted that you got new boots, and since Reign is a period piece, what’s the most uncomfortable piece of clothing that Bash has to wear?

“Ironically, the most uncomfortable piece of clothing in my wardrobe is a pair of completely modern pants. I have a pair of black leather pants that I wear sometimes and they’re Diesel. The problem is not that Diesel is inherently uncomfortable, it’s just that these ones are a couple sizes too small for me. I really have to squeeze my thighs into them and I always seem to have to wear them when I have to get on a horse, so I need about three people to help me up on the horse because I can’t bend my knees past you know, about, 179 degrees. The infuriating thing about them is I’ve gained a reputation for splitting my pants because I just burst out of them, and especially getting on and off horses a lot of people may split their pants. These pants somehow are just, they’re way too small for me but they’re indestructible. Literally, they do not split. I just end up instead of splitting the pants I end up falling over. [Laughs].  I think, knock on wood, we might have retired them this season, I haven’t seen them yet.”

You and Alan Van Sprang are obviously still really close and last season we saw Henry’s ghost, so is there any chance we’re going to see Henry this season?

“I don’t know, I think that we’ve probably seen the last of Henry’s ghost, but I’m not privy to any information about that. I think he’s off busy on another show these days.”

Do you think that Bash still has feelings for Mary?

“Yeah, I mean he’s put it so far on the back burner, so much has happened to them both at this point otherwise like, so it’s not something that’s actively on the surface at any point, but they don’t spend a whole lot of time together anymore, and maybe that’s a reason why.”

At the end of last season, Elizabeth’s showed up. Do you think Bash will be going to England at all?

“That’s a very good question. Anything I say about that would be completely speculative because it hasn’t happened yet, and I don’t get to see scripts more than about a day before we shoot them. Yeah, I have no idea. It would be fun, I’d love a chance to do that.”

Where in Toronto is England?

 “It is in our studio. As far as the English countryside goes, I actually don’t know where they’re going to shoot that. Probably some of the more rural locations in small town Ontario.”

Season two was a bad year for Bash and his romantic love interests. Is he going to get a new one in season three?

“I guess we’ll have to find out, again he’s still kind of dealing with the fallout from the old one. We begin with him and Delphine’s sort of escaped off into the woods somewhere and is now being blamed for a murder. We have to figure that out, and you know Delphine still has that interesting sort of blood bond with Bash that he can’t really get away from. We’ll see, he has to kind of get out from under that before he can start making it about romance again.”

Do you have a favorite or least favorite storyline that Bash has gone through?

“It’s hard to say least favorite, but favorite would be when Francis was banished and Bash got a chance to see what his brother had been up to. You know how difficult it was to try and lead people when you’re not really built for that, because you know up until that point he had his own responsibilities. It had really all been on his brother, and so it was really fun for me to play not only the peril of that but also just the finality of that and the boredom of that. I really enjoyed that story a lot.”

What other projects besides Reign are you working on?

“I just did a movie, I mean we only get two months off a year, but I did a movie called the The Last Heist with Henry Rollins and some other fun folks, so it’s a complete change of pace. It’s just pure testosterone and guns, you know it’s bank robbers meets serial killer, it’s just a really fun switch up. I said if I’m going to take my vacation to do something else it’s got to be different, you know? I want to change-up the energy, I want to change-up the character and change-up the pace a bit.”


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