WARNING: Spoilers for Ovation’s Versailles
The second season of the international series Versailles hits America this Saturday on Ovation.
Louis XIV’s journey to turn the gorgeous palace into a powerful center for wealth, culture, the arts, and the French government continues. Look for things to get darker and more toxic when new episodes return. When we say toxic, we mean downright poisonous.
Season 2 Synopsis
In season two, we witness the dark underbelly of power as Louis (George Blagden) sees the dream of his grand Versailles palace crumbling before his eyes. Most of Franceâ€™s eminent lords and ladies now live under the Sun Kingâ€™s roof. Drugs, gambling, and alcohol are rampant, as nobles begin to poison each other in order to get closer to the King and climb up the social ladder.
For this season two preview, we talked to Versailles producer Aude Albano along with four of the female cast members. We caught up with them at the Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour earlier this year.
The second season of Versailles has already aired in France and the U.K. where fans positively responded to the action and the drama.
Aude Albano: People love season two. I’m really happy with season two myself. I think we got upgraded in every field. As far as the writing’s concerned, the drama, the production value has reached another level. The French audience were really happy. In the UK it worked really well as well. I think the BBC is very happy with the show. We’re blessed.
The new material will feature Louis’ next phase of his plan. But there will be trouble. Lots and lots of trouble within the confines of Versailles.
Albano: He’s got it all. He’s powerful. He’s got his palace. He’s got his nobles under control. So he’s blind to it all. And when he realizes that his dream is about to collapse that it’s been rotting from inside, it’s really devastating for him. And he finds himself going like, what, what, what should I do? What kind of king do I want to be? Because really the journey of season one was from child to man and, in season two, it’ll be from man to king. It’s to decide what kind of king do I want to be? And so that’s very strong for him. So really everything is connected and he’s the protagonist and so everything that he’s going through emotionally speaking has an impact on all of Versailles.
Possibly the core relationship of the series is the troubled one that exists between brothers Louis and Philippe. When the show returns, conflict rules.
Albano: They’re clashing more than anything. Philippe is really looking for a way to live a life that is comforting for him. He’s not the type of guy who is happy just being idol, home, drinking, gambling, he needs action. That’s what’s great about Philippe, right? But it’s hard, obviously, because Louis is always conflicted between giving his brother what he needs because he loves him, and knowing that if he gives him what he needs perhaps he’s going to lose something as a king. So that’s very conflicting for him and so, obviously, this is going to get bigger and bigger as the season goes and hopefully they will find a way to like each other again.
Spoiler Alert: Philippe is getting a new wife (Princess Palatine) and this fact will mean turbulence for his relationship with Chevalier. Look for this union to trigger Chevalier’s insecurities.
Albano: He’s feeling insecure and it’s because of her presence, it’s also because of himself. He’s not dating anyone â€” he’s dating the king’s brother. Of course he’s afraid. He’s looking for scapegoats to blame. I think, in my opinion, it has to do with self insecurities and lack of confidence.
What’s really exciting about season two is how much deeper you get to know the female characters. Albano says this enriching and building up of the female contingent happened organically. Ultimately, it lead to a more balanced season.
Albano: [Historically] women were so important to the story. it was really important for us to give each and every character â€” whether male or female â€” a real journey, a solid journey. It’s not like when we started to develop season two we said, okay, we have to make women more powerful. Because it was obvious that they were powerful in their own way. We had to tell the story that way to be truthful to history, to be truthful to the story we wanted to tell.
The Female Players
QUEEN MARIE-THÃ‰RÃˆSE (Elisa Lasowski)
Louis’ Wife, The Humiliated Queen
On how her research exposed a different side to her character Â
Elisa Lasowski: I saw different types of descriptions of [Marie-ThÃ©rÃ¨se] historically. I guess what you could consider more of a feminist historian was defending her and saying that, actually, she was probably less of a dupe that people made her out to be. That there was power in her silence.
I wanted to show that whatever [Louis] was doing, and it’s definitely something we’ll see in season two, she was trying to create a balance, so she was complementary. She was as pious as he was debauched. She was trying to somehow, in the eyes of France, bring some kind of equilibrium so that’s kind of how I wanted to play her.
MADAME DE MONTESPAN (Anna Brewster)
Louis’ Pregnant Mistress, the New Queen of Versailles
On Montespan’s relationship with the villainous Madame Agathe
Anna Brewster: I wanted to create a mother figure with Agathe. It was a different side to Montespan that you didn’t see. And it was a vulnerability that she had with her. And we kind of found that with like little hugs and there was a certain intimacy and you don’t really see her doing that with anyone else except for the King. We tried to have this mother/daughter, she’s, obviously, a big influence on Montespan.
PRINCESS PALATINE (Jessica Clark)
The Foreigner, Philippe’s New Wife
On Princess Palatine’s fun, honest, quirky personality
Jessica Clark: I think that partly had to do with that kind of German-like honesty and openness about her but, also, there’s that sense that she doesn’t know Versailles, she had never seen the palace before and there’s a whole world and a whole culture that she’s never experienced before. So she’s only gonna come in with who she is and what she does and she’s only going to be able to be honest and truthful to herself.
MADAME AGATHE (Suzanne ClÃ©ment)
Mysterious Sorcerer, One of the big villains of Season 2
On Agathe Not Being Afraid of Louis
Suzanne ClÃ©ment: She defies him. She comes from the people. We don’t know actually where she comes from. She’s probably trying to forget it so we invented her past a little bit. She’s not afraid of him. She would have liked to probably be close to him and this didn’t happen. And she sees what he does to the people, the worse and worse conditions of living. I have this thing in me where I think she’s very opportunist so she could have gone in any direction but since it didn’t happen with [Louis], maybe he’s going to pay. She’d love for him to be destroyed. And she has this thing with men in power. For the women who come to see her and have troubles with their husbands, she can help.
The second season of Versailles premieres Saturday, Sept. 30 at 10/9c on Ovation.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
John Griffin and Harold Perrineau Talk From on EPIX Season 1 Finale
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] How are we doing, #FROMily? In case you missed it this morning, the very good news is that that cliffhanger will be followed by a second season, which was gifted this morning ahead of the linear broadcast of the finale. I always legitimately appreciate when we…
Elizabeth Saunders Talks EPIX’s From
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] One of the things that makes EPIX’s From such a fun ride is the abundance of Canadian cast members. Elizabeth Saunders, who plays Donna, is a favorite from her turn on the third season of Mary Kills People, which US audiences still have not been able…
Corteon Moore Talks From “Broken Windows, Open Doors”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight’s episode of From had us all in our feels as we learned through flashbacks about the Sophie’s Choice Boyd had to make to save his son, and back in the present as Boyd said his piece with Ellis before heading into the woods with…
Pegah Ghafoori Talks From “All Good Things…”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode] Tonight on From, Fatima’s anniversary celebration turned into a Colony House of horrors when a misguided Kevin let his monster bae in and she promptly killed him and left the window open for her crew. While the party devolved into terror and sent everyone running,…
Shaun Majumder Talks From “Book 74”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight on EPIX’s From, Father Khatri made a bold move, kidnapping Sara instead of turning her in, and then recognizing her as a vessel for some big messages. That startling realization speaks to him on multiple levels–as a man of faith, a man trapped in…
Avery Konrad Talks About Sara’s Struggle in From “Silhouettes”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Over the course of the season so far on From, we’ve witnessed Sara’s battle against the voices telling her to to do terrible things, and tonight we saw her unravel further, threatening the Matthews and lashing out in a moment of terror with horrifying results….
Hannah Cheramy Talks From “Choosing Day”
[Warning: Spoilers for tonight’s episode.] Tonight, on EPIX’s From, the Matthews participate in the show’s version of the sorting hat, choosing where to call home–the town or Colony House. At the end of the episode, Julie makes the decision to split from her family and instead settle in with Fatima…
Ricky He Talks From “The Way Things Are Now”
[Warning: Spoilers for episode 102 of EPIX’s From.] Epix’s new series From is two episodes in and it’s already laying the groundwork for a seriously spooky season. Tonight’s episode demonstrated the careful balance of relief and horror that the show hits, with our characters’ worst fears realized, just not when…
Catching Up with Ted Lasso and Previewing Season 2
[Warning: General spoilers ahead.] The not so dirty little secret about how I approach a new series is that I sometimes make a call based on the headspace I’m in at the time. It’s been a minute since I’ve picked up a show after the first season and then binge…
What They Said: Three Revealing Conversations from Survivor’s Remorse “Closure”
WARNING: Spoilers for Survivor’s Remorse “Closure” The latest episode of Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse featured conversations that showed characters really digging deep into their thoughts, emotions and motivations.
Two Takes: The Catch “The Knock-Off”
Who can you trust? If this episode of The Catch was any indication, the answer is just about nobody. Betrayal was running rampant as Felicity (Shivani Ghai) arose from the dead to seduce-con Margot, Gretchen (Maria Thayer, Gotham, The Mindy Project) played gold-hearted Alice 2.0 before swindling Ethan, Tessa jumped…
What They Said: Top 3 Quotable Moments from Preacher “El Valero”
Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Supergirl “Worlds Finest”
Oh, Supergirl. That ending was cold. But I can’t hate on you because the latest episode has quickly become one of my favorites.
What They Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Black Sails “XXIII”
The dialogue in “XXIII” is phenomenal. It’s always a fun ride when Black Sails carries its viewers along without giving them the chance to catch their breath. When an episode moves at this unforgiving pace, there is no chance for a breather nor is there a respite from the information…
What Lucifer Said: Favorite quotes from Supernatural “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
Supernatural episodes are almost always funny but thanks to the dialogue and a certain man speaking said dialogue, I laughed a lot during “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” You know, when I wasn’t busy fearing for Sam’s life or wondering what in the world was going on with Dean and…
What They Said: The Flash, “Legends Of Today” and Arrow, “Legends Of Yesterday”
Two nights of Arrow +Â The Flash = what more could we ask for?! I don’t know what it is about blending these shows, but I canâ€™t help but feel that every time they come together, they somehow become greater than the sum of their parts. And thatâ€™s saying a lot…
What they Said: Top 4 Quotable Moments from Graceland “Little Bo Bleep”
Shoot outs. Fake outs. And long-awaited revelations. “Little Bo Bleep” was a jam-packed episode that wrapped up some loose ends and totally frayed others. Â It finally gave us one Sarkissian in jail and pulled back the curtain on Briggs’ master plan, but it also set up Jakes for a world…
What They Said: Favorite Quotes from Poldark “Part 4”
â€œWhat have I told you, I don’t require my wife to crochet and sip tea, but I do require her to remember she’s not a beast of burden.â€ No, Iâ€™m not talking about The Rolling Stones! I have to admit though, just for a second, the lyrics popped into my…
3 Moments of Goodness from Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Johnny and Dora”
The most satisfying part of this season’s finale has to the Jake and Amy kiss. Well, they kiss three times but the last one is the best one — and it means something. The Charles and Rosa dynamic was also great. I love how she’s convinced he doesn’t know anything…