Versailles star Alexander Vlahos has admitted that the BBC show will “push the boundaries” of male nudity when the second series returns next week.
Versailles star Alexander Vlahos has admitted that the BBC show will “push the boundaries” of male nudity when the second series returns.
The period drama caused a storm of controversy when it began last year with a series of unexpected sexual scenes, featuring mostly women.
But cast members said that the tables will turn in more ways than one when the 17th-century drama returns next week.
Alexander, who plays French king Louis XIV’s scheming brother Monsieur Philippe d’Orleans, said: “There is going to be a lot of naked men this time round which we didn’t have in season one – season two pushes the boundaries of that.
“We see a lot of the characters not doing what you would expect, all the stuff you have seen, we have inverted it.”
The last season saw Philippe discover his military side, causing more trouble for his relationship with Chevalier, played by Evan Williams, and his wife.
“Perhaps in season two we will see Louis trying out being the warrior,” Alexander continued.
“Philippe becomes incredibly domesticated and there is the opportunity of a new wife.”
Viewers will also see a darker shadow hang over the royal household, previously an impressive palace of colour and riches.
Louis actor George Blagden said: “We ended season one with Louis left isolated – his nearest had enough of him and leave him on his own.
“We see this man at the centre of it all start to loose his way as he tries to keep the power he obtained.
“He has lost the people he can trust and he starts listening to the wrong ones… a lot of characters in the building go through the slide into darkness.”
But one character reaping the benefits of his turmoil is Francoise de Montespan, played by Anna Brewster.
Montespan is often described as one of the most influential characters in the French royal family at the time, even though she was the king’s mistress.
“She is in the height of her reign as a mistress and we join her as she is exploring that power,” said Anna.
“It is so nice to tell these stories of strong female characters that have actually existed – to get that chance that we didn’t have in season one is great.”
But Anna faced an extra challenge when portraying the woman who reportedly bore the king seven children.
Commenting on portraying a heavily pregnant noblewoman, she said: “At some points there were about three different departments working on me at once – some on my belly and others just on my head.”
An impressed and sympathetic George added: “For the first two months of filming, Anna’s work day was from about 3am until 9pm.
“It would take her about four hours to get ready with the prosthetic – plus make-up and hair.
Versailles 2 returns to BBC Two at 9.30pm on April 21.