The CW's new show, Reign, tells the story of Mary, Queen of Scot (Adelaide Kane). She's been engaged to marry Prince Francis (Toby Regbo) since they were both children. When she arrives at French Court it doesn't begin as an epic love affair, though one can't fight love, right?
This summer, I caught up with Toby Regbo to talk about Reign. We discussed whether or not Francis is a likable character and his relationships with Mary, Bash, and his mother. Check out excerpts from that interview below.
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In the premiere, Francis is presented as not a very likable person....
Toby Regbo: He's got political motives set above anything else. He thinks it's his duty above anything else, above any other relationship or love. The most important thing for him is to love his country. He's right. At some point, he's going to have to run a whole country and leaders often do a sh*t job at running countries as we know from right now what's going on.
He knows that Mary's going to arrive and that she's his bride-to-be. They're engaged but they haven't set a date yet. When she turns up, he wants to make sure that he doesn't let feelings or emotions get in the way of him doing the best political job that he can do.
He doesn't even know if he's going to marry her and if he falls in love with her then he's going to want to marry her and it might not be what's best for his country. He's trying to keep a level head and that sometimes means coming off like a bit of an idiot. Well, a bit of a knob.
You said that Francis is motivated by his political aspiration, though during several scenes, he gives Mary a look. Does he have feelings for her?
He's got these memories of Mary has a young girl and when she turns up a woman, he's a bit thrown my it. I don't think he was expecting that much oomph. He wasn't expecting such a woman. He does [have feelings for Mary]. He's trying to squish them. You can't shut love up.
What's the relationship between Francis and Bash?
It's jovial. They play along with the fact that -- Bash is never going to be in line for the throne since he's the bastard son of the King -- he's not titled like Francis. They're brothers at heart. They play around with the fact that he's never going to be King.
I think deep down it does bother him. And, I think that's why in the pilot he's edging towards Mary in the hopes that something could happen. Sparks will fly tensions will run high.
Going forward, will there be a love triangle?
It's going to be more of both of us going for Mary. Francis is trying to keep Mary at a distance and bide his time, but time isn't on his side. Not only Bash, there are going to be many suitors that are going to want Mary's hand. So, Francis is going to have to make up his mind quick.
Does that mean it's not set in stone that they are engaged?
They are engaged, but the King is willing to hold that engagement until he's ready to make a decision of when it's right for France. Francis believes they will find better support elsewhere better than Scotland. Francis thinks that Scotland is a bit of a dead weight politically. That's why he's trying to keep Mary at arm's length.
There will be suitors for both Francis and Mary. There are going to be more than just one love interest.
What is the relationship between Francis and his mother?
A weird one because his mom will kill people for him.
Does he find that out?
He will eventually. I don't think he knows at the minute what's going on exactly. But he definitely knows his mother is a powerful woman despite her sorta being overruled by King Henry.
She has her assistant in a dark artist, Nostradamus, who's a magician and a sorcerer and a sort of oracle that she goes to and he tells her prophecies and he basically foretells Francis' demise at the hands of Mary in some sharp or form. That Mary's going to lead to Francis' death. And, so she's got her ways of getting what she wants. And, what she wants is for Francis to stay alive at any cost.
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(Image courtesy of the CW.)