Being a princess isn’t all regal ceremony and ruffled dresses. (Well, sometimes it is, but we’ll get to that later.) Just ask Aussie actress Adelaide Kane, who’s begun filming the second season of her royal role as Mary, Queen of Scots in The CW series Reign. With the promise of plague, famine, a royal coronation, baby mama drama, sex, death, and more sex, it seems like the royally salacious drama is prepared to set hearts racing—and that’s just in the first few episodes. Here, Kane shares details of what’s in store when the second season of the hit drama premieres Oct. 2 at 9 p.m.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When we next see you on the show, you’re the Queen of France.
ADELAIDE KANE: Yes.
What does this mean for you as the character—will we be seeing a new side of Mary? How has your character evolved?
Well she’s been the queen of Scotland for a very long time, but she’s been more of a figurehead. She hasn’t had a particularly active role in ruling her country. So I think Mary will step up to the plate and actually be an active ruler, as opposed to just a figurehead or someone who is purely used as a political tool. So we’ll see her become a little more proactive, a little more politically involved as well as see her struggle to step into her parent’s shoes.
And will you take after Mary de Guise, as played by Amy Brenneman, or will we see you more as a Queen Catherine-type?
Well, I don’t know. They’re both pretty manipulative because their power came from the men they married as opposed to their own blood line. I don’t think Mary needs to manipulate, she’s not that type of person, but certainly with rule and politics does come a certain, I don’t know, you need to have a certain guile about you to rule in that world. And I think she and Francis definitely have a different vision for the monarchy. She wants a more honest, straightforward, decent type of ruler, as opposed to mad King Henry or the forever scheming Catherine. I think there’s want to be more honorable but we’ll see if they can do that. I don’t know if they can. Catholics, and there’s o much ill will floating around, and there were struggles diplomatically, so in trying to be egalitarian rulers they’ve got a lot to come up against with the more traditional values that they have. There’s also a lot of change in this time.
There’s no feast – all famine right, as the season begins?
Well they’re royals, so there’s a couple of feasts.
You seem to be implying that there might not be too much of a ‘happily ever after’ with your marriage to Francis.
What can you tell us about where’s that’s going?
Well I said last year, everyone was so excited because they got married and it was supposed to be a happy marriage. But the story just begins, because from history we know that they never had children. And back then there would have been a lot of tension without babies. And remember, Lola had a child. Which I think they’ve already spoiled ahead for this season, so I think I’m allowed to say that. So having that reminder about, when they themselves are trying to conceive will be a source of tension between the two of them. Heirs are so important, male heirs in particular. And then I think just them trying to handle the nobles like every time the monarchy shifts a generation, everyone tries to see if they can gain control over the new king. There’s a mad scramble and they’ve had whatever it is, 20 years of Henry’s rule and they know how he operates. There’s a security in that. But Francis is a brand-new ruler, and everyone has to figure out whether they can manipulate him or not. But Mary is part of that as well. Can she be manipulated or manipulate Francis? I think its going to be very interesting to see how the power shifts around them.
But before you can really get into the politics, there will be a party. There will be a coronation, right?
Can you tell me about what you’ll wear?
I wear a really big dress. My dress is magnificent. It was custom built by our wizard in the wardrobe department. They made this dress. It’s gorgeous. I have a lot of photos on my phone I’m saving for Instagram. I have a particularly hysterical one of me playing with my dress that was taken when I wasn’t looking. It’s a real big dress [Laughs].
I swear you have the best job on TV just because of the clothes.
Arguably, yes. Being on TV is kind of the best job in the world.
If you were to compare the coronation dress to the wedding dress, how would you describe it or put it forth?
It’s a little sexier, a little more adult. It’s bigger. It’s a bigger dress [laughs]. A lot more hardware. The wedding dress for Mary was very much a princess dress but the coronation dress is more adult, kind of a more powerful statement dress. It really says something. It has a lot of impact. It’s a beautiful dress.
It seems like a statement about how your character has changed from one season to the next.
Exactly. Exactly. There’s definitely more power dressing going on in the second season.
Are you discounting at all the fact that you may or may not have a baby this season? It didn’t happen in history but this isn’t a documentary series so …
This is very true. I don’t know if there will be a literal baby. That would be pushing it too much but you know, pregnancies, I don’t know.
Yeah. Could you have a miscarriage?
Maybe. That would be freakin’ heartbreaking. I would be destroyed by that. It would be so sad. But no, I think that they won’t pull any punches when it comes to that since we have in a lot of other ways. We’ll have to wait to see since we’re only a couple of episodes in. It hasn’t been definitively teased either way. But yeah, I have my own speculation about what they’re going to do about it but [showrunner] Laurie McCarthy is very closed-mouthed about it all.
What do you think they’ll do?
I think there will probably be a pregnancy. I think that the possibility of not having a baby will get very stressful. Maybe she’ll go crazy. Maybe she’ll go a little baby crazy. There could be a hysterical pregnancy. That’d be awesome.
Like a phantom pregnancy.
Right. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if everyone went crazy in the castle—can you imagine? A phantom pregnancy! That would be a pretty interesting avenue to explore. I think that would be terrifying for everyone, especially given how Henry went crazy. Maybe I should start writing new premises for the show.
You totally should.
Here’s your new lines! Laurie would just be like, ‘no, Adelaide, stop.’
You never know. Many successful actress in Hollywood have a side hustle— maybe yours can be screenwriting.
Oh, god. That bar is just too high for me.
Like a lot of fans, I’m really going to miss King Henry. Do you think he might come back? Whether as a ghost or in flashbacks—something?
I don’t know. We’ve touched on supernatural elements in our show but they’ve never, ever come to fruition. Think about it. The only supernatural elements that have been given any credence or plausibility has been supported at all in the show are Nostradamus’ visions. That’s the only thing we’ve supported as maybe being true. But other supernatural incidences have been basically discounted.
So, I don’t know. We might introduce ghosts. We film in a creepy old castle so it seems rather appropriate. We have Catherine de Medici, who is incredibly superstitious. I think it’ll be interesting to see if we do real ghosts or fake hauntings or what. Or do we do both and kind of red herring it, like ‘there’s no such thing as ghosts on our show’ or ‘are there?’ We do that a lot.
If you can’t do ghosts, please convince Laurie to bring Henry back in flashbacks because he was amazing.
Flashbacks? He was rather delicious as a mad, tyrant, charming king.
And I have to add, that we were promised a lot of sex this season. But if Henry is not around, who will be doing it?
Um, about that. I have gotten naked three times already and we’ve barely started. So I would say yes, there will be a lot more sex. Definitely going to be happening.
So is Mary having the most sex?
Mary is shagging everyone in the castle. It seems strange to say but Mary is shagging every kitchen maid in sight. I joke. But there’s definitely lots with Lola, and Grier and I have actually filmed like two sex scenes already. So yeah.
I can’t wait.
More, you know…mushiness.
That’s one way to think about it. Speaking of mush, I loved Amy Brenneman as your mom. Do you think there’s any possibility she’ll come back as your mom at all this season?
I have no idea. There’s always the possibility but she has her own show …but I’d love for her to come back if she’s up for it. It’d be super, super awesome but I doubt it.
Will there be any other guest stars this season?
Oh we have so many guest stars. We have a couple of gentleman who’ve just joined us. Craig Parker and Sean Teale, who are playing an evil villain named Narcisse and Count Condé, respectively. We have some gentleman who are eye candy, which should be lovely. And I just read on Entertainment Weekly that we have another young woman joining us as well.
I wrote that. Way to give me my own spoilers.
Right, giving you your own spoilers [laughs].
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.