VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: ‘Spanish Princess’ Creators Emma Frost & Matthew Graham Racially Accurate Historical Drama
The Spanish Princess creators Emma Frost and Matthew Graham discussed the challenges of making Season 2, their favorite upcoming scenes and the significance of creating a racially-accurate historical drama.
“We always conceived this show as two seasons, so what was fantastic was when we had the second season greenlit,” Frost told uInterview’s Erik Meers.
She continued: “Season 1 was about, the center of it was about, this lie that [Catherine] tells, and Season 2 is what happens when you get everything you ever wanted, but then the lie eventually finds its way back.”
Marriage and motherhood were two of the overarching themes of the upcoming season, Frost explained, which created some unique problems.
“That brings one of the actual challenges of the show,” she started, “which was we had babies everywhere, and they cry all the time.”
“And we spent a lot of time getting phone calls from set with the producers saying, ‘Do we really have to have the babies in this scene? Can we write the babies out of this scene cause they won’t stop crying,'” Frost said, laughing.
“We do Erik actually have footage somewhere of about 30 burly Scottish soldiers, warriors, all singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ to one baby to try to get the baby to calm down enough so we could turn over and do the scene,” added Graham.
Graham also mentioned another challenge — a more spread out storyline.
“So we have Catherine in London, we have Meg Tudor in Scotland and then eventually we have Mary marrying down into France,” he explained.
“And so one of the challenges as writers, was to make sure that they just didn’t feel like we were just jumping randomly to different parts of the world, that these stories had a thematic unity to them,” he continued.
An additional challenge was losing “baddie” Margaret Beaufort, who (spoiler) died at the end of Season 1. But Frost explained that this only makes the new problems Catherine faces more exciting in Season 2.
“The threat to Catherine and the danger comes from new places this time,” she said, “which I think feels very fresh and exciting and perhaps more unexpected.”
Fans may be wondering if the creators purposely wrote this story, which features themes of multiculturalism and culture clashes to reflect our society, but Frost and Graham say it was just coincidence.
“I think it started with, Emma and I are partners in real life, and I was watching Emma making The White Princess, and I was getting Tudor envy. I love the Tudors and I wanted to write and be involved in the show.
“He just likes the horses and the armor,” joked Frost.
“And to be honest, you know what Erik, we didn’t really know that the cultural references were going to resonate with the modern day until we started researching and then we realized there were people of color in Tudor England,” said Graham.
“And that was a massive thing for me,” interjected Frost. “I think I might’ve felt I’ve done enough of, you know, this kind of universe at that point, but that for me was something that, you know, having spent two seasons trying to reappropriate history for women and tell these historical stories through a female lens, the opportunity to also do that for black people, when everybody likes to say there were no black people in England in this period, which is patently untrue, that was a whole new fresh excitement for me.”
“And working with him was quite nice too,” she joked, pointing to Graham.
Their favorite scenes in Season 2?
Graham said he’s proud of scenes between Maggie Pole (Laura Carmichael) and a new character, Thomas More (Andrew Buchan).
“These are two wonderful actors who have a real rapport on set, and we have a story for them that has some beautiful scenes that are really heartbreaking, and very gentle and poignant scenes,” he said.
He added that he was also proud of what he wrote for Henry VIII in the later half of the show, calling the scenes “a different dynamic.”
Frost said her favorite upcoming scenes are the two or three between Lina and Catherine, especially towards the end. “Lina is always Catherine’s conscience and she holds up a mirror always,” said Frost, “and she’s not afraid to tell Catherine when she’s behaving badly.”
Season 2 of The Spanish Princess premiered on October 11. Check out the trailer below: