Exclusive interview with Torrance Coombs

December 3, 2013 | Most people might have seen Canadian actor Torrance Coombs for the first time 2010 as Thomas Culpepper on "The Tudors", while "Heartland" fans of course know him as Chase Powers. This season Torrance Coombs finally landed a well deserved lead role on the new The CW period teen drama "Reign". In our interview Torrance talks about working on this feel good show, what sets it apart from other period dramas and he talks about working with horses in front of a camera.

Foto: Torrance Coombs, Reign - Copyright: The CW
Torrance Coombs, Reign
© The CW

Note: © myFanbase 2013 - The interview is exclusive to myFanbase and may not be published on other websites or the like. You may share the first two questions if you link back to this site. Translations other than English and German may be posted with full credit including the writer's name and link to this site.

1. Congrats on "Reign" being picked up for the full season! What is it like for you to be on a new set in a lead role with a new character to flesh out and new people to work with?

Thank you! Itís a wonderful feeling. Iíve been a part of a couple of shows now that were canceled after the initial episode order. It feels like unfinished business. To get to delve deeper into something Iíve started has been on my wish list for a long time. And Iíve been gifted a really interesting character.

2. Although your character Bash is raised at court and well accepted by everyone, he is still not a legitimate prince but the king's bastard. How does that affect him? And how would you describe Bash's relationship with Francis?

Theyíre brothers. Theyíve grown up together always having each otherís backs, but thereís also a lot of underlying tension between them. Bash never wanted to be king, but it gets awkward when Francis decides to pull rank. And when Mary shows up, it really complicates things.

3. The show has some pretty creepy, mysterious elements like Clarissa, the visions of Nostradamus and the pagans in the forest, with whom Bash is now getting involved. Is it this mysterious atmosphere which sets "Reign" apart from other period dramas, which makes it unique?

History is our guideline, but weíre not completely beholden to it. Even if you know everything about Mary Queen of Scots, the success of our show is that you still donít really know whatís going to happen next. The creepy, mysterious elements are a huge part of that.

4. The love triangle between Mary, Francis and Bash has been set up in the very first episode and seemed to be quite predictable. But since then Bash has been flirting with Kenna and Lola and Olivia's arrival spiced everything up as well. A royal court full of young adults - what else can we expect in the romance department?

I canít divulge much in that regard. Letís just say monogamy isnít anybodyís strong suit.

5. You've quite a bit experience in playing the third in a love triangle: Ty, Amy & Chase ("Heartland"), Henry, Katherine & Culpepper ("The Tudors") and now Francis, Mary & Bash. And while your characters have usually been the ones foredoomed to fail with their romantic ambitions they all have that certain something. What do you enjoy most about playing these kind of untamable characters?

Itís amazing the lengths people will go to when theyíre in love. Culpepper is an interesting one because he actually existed, and actually fooled around with the queen behind the kingís back. Given Henryís penchant for beheading people, nobody should ever have been that bold. Except Culpepper was. What love or lust is so powerful that itís worth that kind of risk? Thatís the juicy stuff.

6. Working with horses in front of the camera probably isn't easy. Did you know your way around horses before "Heartland" or did you learn for the show?

I learned on Tudors, but had to re-learn for Heartland. Turns out there are some tricky differences in style between western and English saddles, at least for a novice like me. Switching back to English for Reign messed me up all over again. But Iíve been getting a lot of riding in on weekends to make sure itís effortless on set. Bash really needs to be completely in sync with his horses.

7. Chase Powers is a horse trainer and a showman who does exciting stunts with the horses. Did you do all or some of the stunts yourself and what was the most exciting part for you?

I have an amazing stunt double who does everything perfectly, and then heíll show me how to do it. Iíll do my best to imitate him, and a lot of what makes it into the show is actually me. The more advanced stuff is often him in wider shots and me in closeups. Itís all pretty thrilling when I manage to properly execute a stunt.

8. On "The Tudors" you had an incredibly compelling character arc as Thomas Culpepper. While playing him what did you think was his motivation for pursuing the new queen Katherine Howard that aggressively when he was such a favorite and trusted attendant of the king?

First, he was completely obsessed with her, and in my interpretation, in love with her. Second, the king wasnít in the best of health. Being the queenís lover if the king passed away put him in a potentially powerful position. Culpepper was a very ambitious young man.

9. What was it like working with Jonathan Rhys Meyers? He is a very intense actor and portrays Henry VIII with a stunning impact. What was the atmosphere like in between the scenes?

He was very kind to me and really helped me through some of my early jitters walking onto that set. But heís actually terrifying when the cameras roll. He commands a lot of authority with his presence.

10. If you could travel back in time, would you go to the days of the Tudors and Stuarts or where would you rather go?

Other than some of the clothing I canít think of much to recommend it. It all seems pretty ruthless and unforgiving. Iím happy in the present.

11. Can you talk a little bit about your new projects like the movies you have coming out?

I did a small part in a movie recently about the life and work of Eadweard Muybridge. He was a bookseller who decided to become a photographer after sustaining severe head injuries in a stage coach accident. He inadvertently laid the foundation for motion pictures while trying to settle a bet. He became famous for his nude motion studies. He also murdered his wifeís lover. This movieís going to have some magic. It should be done next year some time I think.

12. Would you tell us three things that are currently on your bucket list?

I only really have one. Travel the world.

13. Since myFanbase is an online magazine about U.S. television shows, what are your favorite shows?

Current? Game of Thrones, House of Cards. All time? Six Feet Under, Breaking Bad, Seinfeld, Simpsons.

Thank you, Torrance, we wish you all the best for your future!

Nicole Oebel & Lena Stadelmann - myFanbase