If you thought the sex, drugs, murder and scandalous secrets featured throughout the first season of The Royals were insane, then prepare for a rollercoaster of a ride in the show’s second season. “We’ve gone even further in terms of stakes and relationships,” says Alexandra Park, who plays troubled Princess Eleanor on the hit E! series. “It doesn’t slow down at all — it’s insane.” Here, Park talks to EW about plot twists, high fashion, returning guest star Joan Collins and whether Jasper still has Eleanor’s heart.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What’s been the biggest difference between your experience filming season 1 versus season 2?
ALEXANDRA PARK: I think in terms of differences from season 1 to 2 is that we’re more comfortable in the show. As actors, we really know our characters. But our wardrobe is bigger and better. We have big designers involved and a lot of amazing custom pieces, since the wardrobe and fashion was so well received in season 1. You’ll see some risky, super high fashion choices!
Last season Queen Helena made her mark with the catchphrase ‘FML.’ Does she have a new slogan going into season 2? Can I suggest, ‘Bitch better have my money’?
I love that! It’s definitely still FML, though. And we have Joan Collins’ character saying FML a few times this season, which is fantastic. And there’s the “Off you go,” and dismissive little things. [Creator] Mark Schwahn is really smart in that he creates all these little nuances for his characters. It really speaks to their personalities.
We saw quite a bit of tension between Princess Eleanor and her mother, Queen Helena in season 1. Will there be more headaches ahead, or will they finally experience some healing?
Eleanor and the queen’s relationship is up and down. It’s like a roller coaster. But a lot of secrets are revealed. You’ll learn about a lot of family history, which will explain a lot of people’s choices and behaviors in season 1. There’s a lot that will be uncovered!
Will there be flashback sequences?
Yup, possibly some flashbacks and dream sequences. The stories are even bigger. The stakes are higher, and it’s twisted. And then we always come back to the core of our story, which is about a family. I think is what keeps our audience coming back. It’s relatable. Our show is about a family, and even though it’s a screwed-up family, whose family isn’t screwed up?
In the trailer for the upcoming season, we see you hooking up with an unidentified stranger. Does that mean you and Jasper are really over?
Well, if I sat here and told you what’s going on for Jasper and Eleanor in season 2, my throat would be slit for sure. I will say that it’s not what you’re expecting, that’s for damn sure. About halfway through the season there’s a huge “What the hell” moment. There’s a huge, huge story development.
Let me guess: Jasper is Eleanor’s half brother?
I wouldn’t put it past the writers. No, he’s her dad! Just kidding.
Will we see Eleanor and Prince Liam come up with some sort of plan to avenge your father’s death and take down Cyrus?
That’s how the season starts. Eleanor and Liam have always been close, when s— went down, they were always there for each other. They counterbalanced each other. But after everything that’s happened, we see a different side to each of them. They’re not as connected as they were. Liam is on this quest of vengeance, and Eleanor is trying to block everything out, just as she always does. You’ll see where that takes them, but I will say that we have a pretty strong opening episode where we have a flashback to see what’s happened since season 1 ended. It tells the story of what’s happened since Cyrus took over as king.
Joan Collins will return to the show as Duchess Alexandra for a guest arc. What is the atmosphere like on set when the Dame is around?
She has to come in and will shoot all her scenes in two days or something since she’s so busy. She’s like a machine. She powers through scene after scene on the hot stages and everyone wants to work really hard when she’s around. She keeps everyone on their toes — there’s no room for error. She doesn’t make any errors, so no one else can. I get a little intimidated when she’s around.
The Royals returns to E! on Nov. 15 at 10 p.m. ET.