Jessica Clark interview on season 2 of Versailles

Jessica Clark on joining the Versailles cast in season 2, portraying La Palatine, Princess Elisabeth Charlotte, and the one-of-a-kind introduction of a straightforward and playful character

Foto: Jessica Clark, Versailles - Copyright: Tibo & Anouchka / Capa Drama / Canal+
Jessica Clark, Versailles
© Tibo & Anouchka / Capa Drama / Canal+

April 10, 2017 by Nicole Oebel @philomina_
Here's a German translation of the interview.

Welcome to the Versailles Family, Jessica! Rarely have I ever seen a whole fandom embracing a new addition to a show with open arms like that!

Thank you so much Nicole - so lovely to be so consistently welcomed by so many people! The Versailles fandom is clearly the top!

Both Liselotte and you are "a breath of fresh air to Versailles", Alexander Vlahos said when I recently spoke to him. An interesting choice of words since Liselotte was known to love fresh air both literally and figuratively. How did you experience not only joining the cast in season 2 but also playing a character that brings something new, a lighter note, to the show?

I had so much fun working on season 2 - both because the cast and crew are such a joy to work with and welcomed me (like the fans) with such wide open arms. I felt part of the family from very early on and that is down to the brilliant team of people I had the pleasure of working with. As well as the fact I got to hang out with some brilliant people - I also get to portray one on screen. It was (and still is) such a treat to be able to take the role of such a fun, straightforward and playful person.

Funnily enough you played Henriette in a movie called "Broadside" but from what I gather "Versailles" is your biggest TV project to date, isn't it? How did "Versailles" come to your attention and what was the greatest suprise and / or challenge for you in the process of filming?

Yes, I realised that whilst filming season 2, that I have now portrayed both wives! Shame there weren't any more... But yes, Versailles is definitely my largest TV project and whilst it has been daunting at times, entering so fully into something relatively new to me, it has also been brilliant fun as well as challenging. And I feel like I have begun to learn so much throughout this process and hope to only learn more with season 3. One of the big surprises about filming is that, whilst you always know there are many people involved in order to run the show, it is always incredible to see such a huge amount of talented people working to make the machine work.

Welcoming you to the Versailles Family is backwards really, since you were part of it before most of us even saw season 1. What was it like for you when season 1 aired in the UK, with all the reviews, the growing fandom, while you had already been filming most of season 2?

It was strange to be part of something that didnít exist yet, filming a second season and therefore assuming it was a success but not having any ideas of the responses or feelings of the viewers.. So whilst there was a sense for me that the airing of season 1 was to be celebrated for the other actors involved, I was also proud to be part of something and the future of something, with such support. Although, in Britain, what people seemed to talk about most was how raunchy and how much sex was involved which I thought was peculiar as there is so much sexual content in TV shows today.

Foto: Versailles - Copyright: Tibo & Anouchka / Sky
© Tibo & Anouchka / Sky

In your very first scene we see you play Liselotte with heaps of spark and heart. In preparing for the role did you read some of the historic princess's letters to take her into your heart or focus mostly on Philippe as portrayed in season 1 to open your heart to him like Liselotte would maybe have done meeting her husband for the first time?

I remember that day vividly, it was freezing and we arrived around 5am to the icy morning mist on the bridge - and I was excited. This scene was one of my audition scenes so it was funny to be on set, with the job, filming it. Thomas Vincent, the director, and I were very keen to keep her upbeat, funny and different to the other characters in Versailles - and any scene where the introduction of a character is them having a wee in a huge dress by the side of the road is a winner in my eyes! I did also read her letters before I started filming, just to get a sense of who she was - as she really existed I think itís important to honour that but also bring your own take and personality to the role.

Henriette steered the troubled waters between the royal brothers and the Chevalier's scheming with soft strength. Liselotte may not be a as much of a thorn in the brothers' relationship but she was introduced to the Chevalier's sharp tongue in her first episode already. What will be her approach and her strength?

Her strength is always her honesty and her truth of character. She doesnít judge Philippe and Chevalier for their relationship but she understands about duty and her role at Versailles. And so her rivalry with Chevalier is combined with a sense of equality and a desire to get along.

You work both in theatre and on camera, different approaches within the same craft. How did you get into acting and what was your biggest challenge so far?

Yes, I am predominately a theatre actor but have loved this chance to delve more into the world of filming. I started acting at a very young age with youth groups and establishments like the National Youth Theatre - and I have always been surrounded by the theatre from a very young age, going to shows and rehearsals with my Dad (who is a theatre photographer) so it was always in my blood and I always admired actors and creators for their sense of play and imagination. My biggest challenge so far.. I think it is always finding the strength to keep going and to trust and believe in your skill and talent and not let the constant rejection and knock-backs get you down too much.

Like some of us you got to see your castmates George Blagden and Alex Vlahos in their recent stage plays, The Pitchfork Disney and La Ronde. Being an actress yourself, what was it like watching these plays?

It is always such a joy for me to go and see friends and colleagues on stage, partly because thatís where I do most of my work, but also because there is such wonder in seeing people you know or have worked with transform and play on a stage. George was electric in 'Pitchfork Disney' and I would love the chance to work with him onstage as he is such a hard worker and would be lots of fun - especially as we donít get the chance to work together as much on screen. And 'La Ronde' was such an exciting and challenging project for an actor - to be able to get the chance to play many different people in one show and not know beforehand! So it was lots of fun watching Alex switching roles and wondering what was going to come next..

Thank you so much, Jessica, looking forward to seeing Liselotte's journey in Versailles!

Thanks so much Nicole, lovely talking to you, via the computer..

"Versailles" season 2 starts in the USA on Ovation on September 30th.

Note: © myFanbase 2017 - The interview is exclusive to myFanbase and may not be published on other websites or the like. You may share the first two questions (up to 180 words) if you link back to this site. Translations other than English and German may be posted with full credit including the link to this site.