THE ROYALS -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Alexandra Park as Princess Eleanor -- (Photo by: Paul Blundell/E! Entertainment)
If you're like me, Sunday nights are all about a royal family. With Elizabeth Hurley as the fierce matriarch of all matriarchs, 'Queen Helena,' and her children Princess Eleanor (Alexandra Park) and Prince Liam (William Moseley) keeping things interesting with the kind of drama and trouble only a royal family can dream up, E!'s brilliant new scripted series The Royals has everyone hooked (myself included).
I had the chance to ask Alexandra Park who effortlessly portrays the beautifully complicated 'Eleanor' a few questions about what it's like going toe to toe with Elizabeth Hurley, her gorgeous wardrobe, and working with the too hot for words Tom Austen ('Jasper').
The Reel Spin: Elizabeth Hurley is such an incredible force on this show. She is brilliant as 'Queen Helena.' Were you excited when you found out you were going to be playing her daughter? What is it like working with her?
Alexandra Park: A force indeed she is, Elizabeth is definitely driving this ship. We are so damn lucky to have her as our Queen, no one could do a better job or be a more perfect fit. I was over the moon when I heard I would be playing her daughter! But more so than excited, I was incredibly nervous! Working with Elizabeth is just such a treat, she’s wickedly talented and insanely charismatic on and off screen. It’s still quite surreal to stand opposite Elizabeth Hurley and film a scene... (perhaps that will never go away). I love the dynamic between this mother and daughter, their constant head butting, their denial of any kind of similarity or god forbid care for one another. Elizabeth and my relationship on screen is the complete opposite to how it is off screen.
TRS: One of the things I love most about your portrayal of 'Eleanor' is that you bring so many interesting layers to the character. Yes, she can be the party girl and say outrageous things, but there is this really interesting vulnerability that is always present. Do you find it challenging to play a character that is so complex? I would imagine it's equally rewarding...
Park: Thanks so much!! [Smiles] It is hugely rewarding playing the many complexities of 'Eleanor.' One of the main joys of being an actor is to be able to completely immerse yourself in somebody else, someone who is not you. Someone you have never met before. Upon first reading The Royals pilot, I fell in love with 'Eleanor' and the possibility of playing her, of bringing her to life, and shaping a character that young women could relate to. At times, I do feel challenged, but for me that’s the best part, having the opportunity to dissect her many flaws, her attempts to do good, her epic fails, her rebellious behavior, her bouncing back and her ability to kick her shit into gear if someone needs her help. She’s real, she makes mistakes, many, but at the end of the day she wants to be loved, she’s a young woman trying to find her path. I think we call all relate to that.
THE ROYALS – “Pilot” – Pictured: (l-r) Tom Austen as Jasper, Alexandra Park as Princess Eleanor -- (Photo by: Paul Blundell/E! Entertainment)
TRS: We have to talk about the relationship between 'Eleanor' and 'Jasper.' The writers have created such an incredible dynamic between the two characters... each struggling for the upper hand. You and Tom Austen must have so much fun with those scenes...
Park: Mark Schwahn and the writing team are incredibly clever, I couldn’t agree more. It’s the kind of relationship that [audiences] find interesting because of how broken and dysfunctional it is. As again, life, and relationships, can be exactly that. Tom and I have an absolute ball working together, I feel so privileged to have been partnered with Tom as he is such an enormously talented and giving actor. We love 'Jasper' and 'Eleanor,' their power struggle, their sexual tension, their broken mess combined, but most of all their hidden care for one another... (he’s also a huge babe and one of my best friends, we have a LOT of fun) [Smiles].
TRS: You're actually Australian, which may come as a surprise to many fans... anything else fans would be surprised to learn about you?
Park: [Laughs] Yes! Born and bred down under! Proud Aussie indeed [Smiles]. Fans would probably also be surprised to hear that I am incredibly flexible and a very fast runner (not).
TRS: We know what your character likes to do for fun, but what do you like to do on a rare day off from filming?
Park: Exactly what 'Eleanor' does.... (jokes) Day off? What? When?!
TRS: 'Eleanor' definitely has the most exciting wardrobe on the show. Do you share her sense of fashion? And more importantly, have you been able to keep any of her gorgeous clothes or shoes for yourself?
Park: I think she does too [Smiles]. I wish I could say that yes we have the exact same sense of fashion... but then I would be lying. [Laughs] 'Eleanor' is wayyyyyyyyy cooler than me. I keep it a bit more casual than she does, lot of jeans, boots and t's. We do share the love for a few things though, being leather, black and shoes. I tried to keep all of it, but I failed.
THE ROYALS -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: (l-r) Manpreet Bachu as Ashok, Ukweli Roach as Marcus, Merritt Patterson as Ophelia, William Moseley as Prince Liam, Lydia Rose Bewley as Penelope, Jake Maskall as Cyrus, Sophie Colquhoun as Gemma, Hatty Preston as Maribel, Elizabeth Hurley as Queen Helena, Oliver Milburn as Ted, Vincent Regan as King Simon, Alexandra Park as Princess Eleanor, Tom Austen as Jasper -- (Photo by Frank W. Ockenfels 3/E! Entertainment)
Follow Alexandra Park on Twitter: @alexandrapark1
Follow The Royals on Twitter: @TheRoyalsOnE
For more on The Royals, click here.
Watch The Royals on E! Sundays 10/9c.
Interview by Pamela Thomas