Did you worry originally that because you were in a sci-fi show that you would be type cast and not get other roles such as Elizabeth?
I think there used to be a bit of a stigma around sci-fi, people who did sci-fi were put into some sort of category, just do sci-fi. I don’t think that exists anymore. First of all in conventions you have these huge mainstream movie stars coming to conventions now. People like Benedict Cumberbatch doing conventions now. I think there’s actually a lot of really great television and original programmes being produced by networks like Sci-fi. So I’m not so concerned about that, just really wanting to do a completely different character, and could I do that on a sci-fi show? That opportunity didn’t present itself on a sci-fi show, but it did right away with ‘Reign’.
Do you think studying English Literature and Classical History at University helped with your role on Reign?
I think studying English Literature helped me with life in general (laughs) I feel that it taught me how to think in a different way. It introduced me to so many authors and characters, plays and stories. I don’t know how much it specifically helped me for ‘Reign’ although I read so much that was written during that time period. So I had a greater knowledge because of that.
It’s a very specific type of language
Absolutely. It was exiting for me because it opened this opportunity for me to be able to buy 10 books about Elizabeth and read them for work and get very nerdy about it! (laughs) So I loved that.
I would just say, traditional eduction, going to university it isn’t for everyone but I think if it is for you I encourage everyone to get an education and it is such an invaluable tool.
I learnt more about life than studying when I went to university.
Oh! I’d say 75% of what I learnt in university was out of the classroom. How lucky I was to have that opportunity.
Do you think women’s roles in society have improved for the better or worse since the times of Elizabeth 1st?
I think that it’s hard to be a woman. Women still face challenges. I think they face the same amount of challenges as they did then, it’s just in a different capacity. Back then it was extremely hard to be a woman because you weren’t allowed the freedom to have the opinions that we have today. You couldn’t have a career. Part of the problem for Elizabeth was that no one thought she was legitimate, not only because of her parentage but because she was a woman. She couldn’t take the throne because how could a woman possibly be in that position of power? That must have been incredibly frustrating. They were so limited even by their clothing, that now women have the opportunity to have that power. We still have to battle, especially in film against getting paid less then men, but I do believe that it’s changing. Even ageism. Women face other challenges such as what if I want to be a mother and have a balance between being a mother and having a career and doing all of those things that I want to do in my life and how do I do all of that and do it successfully?
I think women are so extraordinary. They’re such extraordinary creatures. Even just getting the chance to talk to my grandparents generation and see what was easier for them or more difficult and then talking to my girlfriends now I feel like we’re quite resilient beasts.
Do you know if your film The Red Dress will be released in the UK?
No I do not know the answer. (laughs) It’s being released all over the place. I’ve seen it, but I just saw it at the directors house, we just watched it. I know that it aired in Malta. I think it aired in the United States. It should eventually find it’s way to the UK, but I’m not sure.
Finally do you have a message for you fans?
Yes! Honestly I am continually humbled by, and grateful for all the support. I feel entirely undeserving of it. It’s so overwhelming. Most of it truly is from ‘Lost Girl’ and that was one of the great gifts and legacies that ‘Lost Girl’ gave me, that I had never ever anticipated when I signed onto that job. Even you doing the site. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that you would do that for me. I’m so appreciative.
That’s it folks!
Finally a big thank you on behalf of all the fans to Rachel and her team for letting me do this interview !