Happy Royal Wedding Day! Tonight’s Reign (9/8c, The CW) features the moment we’ve all been waiting for, as Mary is forced to finally choose between Francis and Bash — and yes, one of them does put a ring on it.
And while Mary’s choice is sure to upset approximately half of the fandom, there is one thing we can all get excited about: the arrival of Mary’s mother Marie de Guise, played by Private Practice‘s Amy Brenneman. The first thing you’ll notice, Brenneman tells TVLine, is that it’s almost as if Marie — being of the Enlightenment mentality, versus that of Medieval tradition — comes from an entirely different world.
“I give Catherine endless guff because she listens to fortune tellers,” Brenneman says with a laugh. “I just can’t believe that a woman in her position is so gullible. … It’s like, you’ve gotta be kidding me!”
That said, it’s not fair to call Marie and Catherine enemies, either. It’s far more complicated than that.
“They [clash], but they really like each other, too,” Brenneman insists. “That was something I was so happy to see, because there are so few women in their positions. They’re old friends; they’re almost sisterly in terms of how they grate on each other. So I think we clash, but we also really are more on the same side than not.”
In fact, Marie often seems more comfortable with Catherine than she does with Mary, having not seen her daughter for many years, and barely knowing her in the first place. Brenneman says executive producer Laurie McCarthy captured the mother-daughter duo’s “formality” and “awkwardness” in her script.
“It was a different parenting moment when parents were less openly affectionate, and also, we haven’t been in the same place,” she says of their behavior. “There’s a real longing. You get a real [sense of that] on Mary’s side, like, ‘I wish we had more time together.’ You feel that on Marie’s side, too, but because she’s regent to her country, she has to slam that piece shut a little bit. But they’ve missed each other.”
Brenneman also says Marie understands her daughter’s desire to marry a man she loves, rather than merely someone she’s ‘supposed’ to, as Marie married James V for similar reasons. (FYI, Brenneman really did her homework for this role!)
And what would the mother of a royal bride be without a knock-out dress for the ceremony?
“It was all awesome,” Brenneman says of Marie’s ensemble for the big day. “I’m in this strapless, blue ball gown that’s a modern — I think Oscar de la Renta — ball gown, but then [the designer] put in this really funky — almost like a motorcycle — Alexander McQueen belt. So it’s period, but it’s really funky and great. … You know, I had a love-hate thing with the corset. It was mostly hate.”
As for what she did in her downtime?
“You can’t really lay down because of all of the pins and ornaments in your hair,” Brenneman lamented. “So you’re just kind of sitting, doing Candy Crush.”
(Ah, just like the royals of yore.)
Reign fans, vote for your brother of choice below, then drop a comment with your hopes for the big wedding episode.
Additional reporting by Kimberly Roots.