Hype Podcast

Hype Special #11 – Diving into ‘Versailles’ with Alexander Vlahos

Hosted by Selina Wilken, Alexander Vlahos

June 4, 2016

On this Hype Special, Selina is joined by Alexander Vlahos to talk about his new show Versailles, as well as the Merlin fandom and — at a certain superfan’s own prompting — Doctor Who.

Alexander Vlahos had no idea what he was getting into when he landed the role of Mordred on Merlin five years ago, yet here we are: The Merlin fandom is still going strong, and Alex is back on TV, starring in the brilliant British-Franco-Canadian production Versailles, and fans already rallying around this intense, thought-provoking series.

Versailles just started airing on BBC Two in the U.K., and will premiere in the U.S. on Ovation on October 1.

Alex was kind enough to join Selina for a very special Hype Podcast episode, where we chat about Versailles‘ critical reception, his brilliant character Philippe, and what makes the show such a satisfying, slow-burn experience.

In How We Hype, Alex talks about his own favorite fandom, Doctor Who, and even shares some thoughts on the new companion.

There is also an abbreviated, written version of this interview coming tomorrow, but we recommend you listen to the full 45-minute discussion which dives a lot deeper!

Beware of mild spoilers for season 1 of Versailles. No specifics, but we do talk about the overall tone and themes.

– Now that Versailles has premiered in the U.K., Alex has been navigating the mixed reviews
– But there’s a strong fandom for the show already, and Alex wonders why he always finds himself in shows with strong fandoms…
– Selina is pretty sure it’s because fans can feel the love the goes into creating it
– “Merlin fans are the best fans,” it’s canon now ;)
– Alex isn’t over the Merlin finale either
– On Versailles, Alex plays Philippe, an intense and demanding role. But it’s a challenge he enjoys
Versailles‘ ‘nakedness’ extends a lot further than the nude scenes
– As we discuss, the show isn’t really about the sex — sex is a currency in this world, and it would be disingenuous for the show to censor that
Versailles is very much a slow burn, that pays off the further you get into it
– Playing a multi-faceted, LGBT character like Philippe, and bringing Philippe and the Chevalier’s romance to the screen, is one of the things Alex is most proud of
– Philippe/Chevalier is arguably the best relationship on the show
– The elaborate costumes make it easier to get into character than, say, riding around on horseback in Wales (hey, now)
– We talk about the gorgeous cinematography, and the contrast between the stark nature and the beautiful interiors
– Previewing Versailles season 2: What part of Louis XIV’s life will be explored?
– Alex is optimistic that the show will be renewed for season 3
– Throwing a question back at Selina, he asks what drew her to the show. We discuss the compelling characters (there’s a female doctor named Claudine and she’s awesome), and its House of Cards-like political intrigues
– Although Versailles is pretty much Alex’s entire life right now, he is also planning an exciting audio project with Big Finish
– In How We Hype, Alex hypes about Doctor Who, and we discuss the new companion Pearl Mackie.

And that’s it! Thanks for listening, and do check out the abbreviated write-up of the interview as well when it goes live.

Make sure you tune in to Versailles Wednesdays at 9 PM on BBC Two. Follow Alex @Vlavla if you aren’t yet, and like Versailles on Facebook. Find out more about the show on its official BBC Two website.

Did you like this interview? Check our Hype Podcast’s exclusive sit-down with Bradley James!

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