By Clare Douglas
He’s our favourite Renaissance man! Every week, Torrance Coombs wins over viewers (and Mary, Queen of Scots) playing the role of the King’s illegitimate son Bash on the 16th century drama Reign (Wednesdays, M3).
In celebration of the handsome Vancouver native’s 31st birthday, we caught up with him while he was busy promoting his hit show over in Europe to discover just why he is the king of so many hearts ...
1. Born and raised in Vancouver, Torrance graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in fine arts before venturing to Hollywood. What does he miss most about home? “Friends and family of course. And I always thought as long as I had an ocean I’d be happy, but it turns out it’s the mountains I miss. They’re somehow a part of my identity.”
2. His first big break came playing John Doe in the television series jPod based on Douglas Coupland’s book of the same name. He then became a skilled swordsman in the court of King Henry VIII in The Tudors before spending a few seasons on CBC’s Heartland alongside Amber Marshall.
3. He doesn’t consider them “talents,” but Torrance says he loves to sing and play the guitar.
4. If Torrance could work with any actor in Hollywood he says it would be Bill Murray because “nobody else can be so funny while being so sad. I’d be scared of him though. I feel like he’s much smarter than me.”
5. When he’s not busy on set, Torrance says he loves “playing video games, spending too much time online, travelling and exploring new cities and neighbourhoods.”
6. As a child, Torrance didn’t aspire to star in hit television series like Reign, sharing, “I was much too shy. I did school plays starting when I was about 11 but thought it would always be a hobby. I didn’t dare dream I’d be making a living at it.”
7. He says his favourite episode of Reign’s freshman season was the tenth titled “Sacrifice” because, “We were on the run in the woods, and there were a lot of different kinds of scenes for me to sink my teeth into. Birth, death, politics, blood sacrifice, sword fights, horses. The episode had a bit of everything.”
8. In addition to the second season of Reign premiering this fall, Torrance is set to star in two films out later this year: Untitled Eadweard Muybridge Project with Sara Canning (The Vampire Diaries) and Drawing Home alongside Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black).
9. If Torrance hadn’t become an actor, he says he would have liked to be either a teacher or a video game designer.
10. Mary, Queen of Scots (played by Adelaide Kane) might own his heart on-screen but at home there are two very special friends that rule the roost – his two rescue cats named Renly and Daenerys (yes, named after the popular characters from Game of Thrones).