The cast of The Royals – E!’s so-bad-it’s-brilliant scripted drama – are currently filming the show’s second season – and presumably wreaking havoc around the English countryside…
Season one was glossy, absurd and seriously fast moving – “It’s like Christmas Eve every time we get a new script!” And it’s finale, which saw a new monarch crowned King, was something of a game changer for the riotous royals.
When we meet up with Queen Helena and co, things have changed, star Alexandra Park tells RadioTimes.com: “Time has moved on one month. We reflect on what’s happened. Mark [Schwahn, creator]’s written the first episode in a really clever way. We are at a polo match and we see where all the characters are at and what’s been going on with a sequence of flashbacks. It’s a little different, it’s a little eery.”
But the message is that if you thought The Royals’ first season was shocking, scandalous and downright ridiculous, then you’d better brace yourself for the show’s second run.
“The stakes are just higher than they were before,” says Park. “The drama is higher, the tension is higher, relationships are strained. It’s just more, more, more!”
That’ll certainly be the case when it comes to Park’s character: eyeliner-loving, tabloid-courting Princess Eleanor. She dropped a few jaws in season one – from flashing the paps and sleeping with her security detail to eating the Prime Minister’s pie and visiting a retirement home while tripping on hallucinogenic drugs – and we can expect the same from season two: “You’ll have to wait and see but there’s a lot in store.”
She’s certainly one of a kind – “I don’t think there’s anyone quite like her out there. She’s on a different level this one!” – but Park reckons the youngest royal is easy to relate to.
“She’s rebellious and she wears amazing clothes but I think the best part about playing her is her vulnerable side. The best part for me is playing her struggle, the raw qualities, where she hurts. That’s the part of Eleanor that I think many young women can relate to.”
“She doesn’t really know what she’s doing or where she’s going. Everyone has felt like that at some point in their life – for me it was when I was trying to be an actor, getting knocked down and getting back up again,” says Park.
Now, with one royal role under her belt, the 26-year-old is presumably a little clearer about where she’s going. But for the next few months at least she’ll be on set in England’s green and pleasant land.
Park isn’t sure that spending time in the UK has changed her – “People say that my Australian accent is getting more Australian”. She definitely hasn’t developed an obsession for the real royals – “I can’t say that I am constantly reading about them in magazines like I know a lot of people are” – and thinks it’s hilarious that anyone could see parallels between Prince William, Harry and co and the fictional reigning class in her show: “I don’t really see how anyone could [think it was inspired by the royal family] after watching it for five minutes. It’s pretty clear we’re not making any imitation of the actual British monarchy!”
She has, however, got on board with one very British beverage. “I do drink a lot more tea,” she admits.
“William Moseley, who plays Prince Liam, is thrilled because he’s such a tea nerd. He times his cups of tea,” she says, quickly adding: “I probably shouldn’t have told you that! William and his Englishness have rubbed off on me…”
The Royals season one is available on DVD now