It’s no secret that Americans are a little obsessed with the British monarchy. All that wealth and power must be hiding something pretty scandalous, right? Luckily, a new series on E! explores just that concept with “The Royals.” It’s the network’s first scripted drama, but it feels right at home there, since its titular family gets into all kinds of trouble, from drug use to womanizing to about as much conniving for the throne as you find in the average “Game of Thrones” episode. Queen Helena, as played by Elizabeth Hurley, runs the family with an iron fist, doing whatever she can to maintain their grasp on power. Unfortunately, her two children, Liam and Eleanor, are doing everything they can to turn the idea of royal dignity on its head.
Eleanor, in particular, seems to take joy in getting caught in compromising situations. She spends most of her time partying, but Alexandra Park, who plays her, says viewers will see her start to show more inner turmoil about her life. “As the show goes on, different colors of Eleanor are shown. You see the people that she opens up to, and the people that she doesn’t. It definitely changes quite a lot.”
One of the people she opens up to is her father, the king, who Park says she has “little precious moments with,” as she strives to figure out how to live her royal life. “And sometimes even with her mum, there’s little glimpses of her really showing she wants to mean more than just a party princess,” assures Park. That may seem hard to believe, considering the two women are constantly battling with each other. Is there hope for the two of them to repair their relationship, which features one particularly low point when Helena tries to censor Eleanor’s obscene Twitter feed?
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“I think Helena and Eleanor are very similar in many ways,” says Park. “I have many friends growing up who didn’t get along with their mothers, and it was normally, 98 percent of the time, because they were very close and similar, so they butt heads.”
Despite Twitter feuds and maternal disapproval, Park assures us, “They love each other, they do. And they show it in weird, kind of twisted ways.”
One person Eleanor always bonds with is her twin brother Liam, played by William Moseley. “Liam and Eleanor are very close. He’s constantly looking out for her, and she is for him,” says Park. “They don’t have any secrets from each other. And I enjoyed playing that with William, because we get along kind of like brother and sister as well.”
Does that mean she’s seen Moseley in his biggest star role, as Peter Pevensie in the “Narnia” movies? Alas, no, but much like any supportive sibling, Park says, “I will watch them. I’ve told him I’ll watch them shortly.”