LONG MAY SHE REIGN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALEKSANDAR TOMOVIC
At 23 years old, Adelaide Kane is television royalty, literally. The Australian Native plays 15-year-old Mary, Queen of Scotts. And as I enter the room where her photo shoot is to take place, in the chic Melrose area of Los Angeles, Kane’s queen status has transcended into her real life. She sits in a make-up chair, glam squad tending to her like ladies in waiting, making sure she looks her very best. Make no mistake, though: if her on-screen character’s royal status has transferred over into Kane’s reality, it is with good reason. When she is ready, so is everyone else. Why? Because today, everything revolves around the 23-year-old, much like her on-screen teenage counterpart.
Kane has pulled through five hours full of changing, touching-up, and most importantly, posing, while her team and ours gaze from afar, googly-eyed, nonetheless. It was now time for me to have my own piece of Adelaide’s time, a sit down. And just seconds into it, I saw what producers must’ve seen when making the choice to not audition anyone else for the role of the 15-year-old Scottish queen-to-be. She was soft spoken, witty, and graceful. The way she moved was, for lack of a better word (and at the risk of being repetitive), very queen-like. She also had amazing posture. Perhaps spending 15+ hours in a corset can do such a thing to one’s stance? Much like Mary’s warm demeanor, Kane, too, put me at ease. Yes, there were a dozen more people in the same room, but her attention was undivided. For the moment being, it was just she and I. I liked this girl already. “I’ve got a glass of wine waiting for me at home, but no pressure,” she jokes. I didn’t want to get in the way of this Lady’s winding down, but our time had just begun, and I wasn’t about to let her slip away that easily.
Fans of the show may be surprised to know that even in the 21st century, a time of instant gratification thanks to the likes of smart phones and social media, there are still individuals with ties to the old world. Kane is the perfect example.
“My family does have quite close ties to our Scottish heritage. Some of my cousins are highland dancers, and I think one of my great aunts teaches bagpipes. Our heritage is pretty prevalent in our family, which is nice,” she says. “So, coming into this, I immediately thought, ‘Oh, this sounds awesome.’ It just seemed like a really fun, strong female role. You don’t come across strong young women in television all that often, and I think that we should have more of them. We’re become more enlightened in our character development these days.”
The hit series with only nine episodes under its belt has not only made headlines with its choice of music and extravagant wardrobe choices, but more importantly with the relationships it presents. Mary, after all, is a year shy of 16, and she’s presented as a wise and smart young woman. Mary and her friends empower each other rather than put down. It’s refreshing to see such an idea, when modern day television and film is overflowing with mean girls and ding-dongs, choosing to conceal their intelligence and maturity, or having none at all.
But even though Mary’s lavish dresses are a topic of conversation throughout the streets of the Internet, Kane is a simple girl at heart. Surely it must be fun to dress up, have your hair done up in a Victorian ‘do and pretend that’s who you are for endless hours, but this modern girl isn’t ready to trade up some of the goods from the new age to waltz around in a ball gown all day just yet. “My cell phone…I couldn’t live without it, definitely. And Jeans! All I wear is jeans. Also Mexican food. I know it sounds goofy. And just books. I can’t live without books.”
If you think changing into dresses fit for a homecoming queen everyday is a girl’s dream, think again; Kane’s here to set the record straight. “When you wear a corset and ball gown and heels all day, every day, you get sick of dressing up. I get excited to dress up for modern events, like the People’s Choice Awards, for example. Doing events like that is super fun, because I don’t really dress up to go out anymore. I don’t really even go out anymore because I work so much. And when I do go out, I’m in boots or really comfy platforms and jeans and a t-shirt or a sweater, and that’s it. I do not dress up, because of course I’m in stilettos all week. But it is fun to once in a blue moon dress up for an event. That, to me, is cool.”
What she doesn’t think is cool is the standard way of living she would’ve been subjected to had she lived in the times that her hit-series is set in.
“Between the casual sexism, chauvinism, racism and lack of general personal hygiene, I think I’d kill myself,” she says, speaking like a true queen. “I would not be able to tolerate the kind of social injustice and inequality that was so prevalent in that time, and the class system is just wrong. I’m far more democratic in my thinking. I don’t believe that one person should rule a country and have the fate of millions in their hands simply because they were born to. What you have should be earned, and you should choose the right person for the job, and one who can shoulder the responsibility with grace and tact and care. Sometimes you end up with crap rulers, but at least if you elect them, it’s your own damn fault, but at least you had a say in the matter.” Can someone actually make this girl a royal? An ambassador or any title that bestows a role of authority and leadership?
Lucky for her, such worries are nonexistent, much like the worries of being an actor in Los Angeles, which she too once had. 2013 was a big year for the 23-year-old, but an especially pleasant one, too.
“Last year was very much a year of new beginnings – of beginnings and endings for me, I guess – all of which have ultimately turned out to be quite positive. I didn’t expect to be one of the leads on a show for another four or five years; I expected to continue to pay my dues, because you do. You work and struggle for it, and then when it comes you appreciate it, so it was kind of a bit abrupt. They were like, ‘And, you’re going be one of the leads on this new show with Megan Follows and Toby Regbo and Torrance Coombs,’ and I was like, ‘Woah, you sure you want to do that? I don’t know if I’m up for that.’ It was really fantastic. This last year is the first year I’ve been able to live off of acting, and acting alone – the first year I haven’t had a part-time job – and that’s just been incredible.” One can’t help but wonder what would be of The CW’s take on the adolescent antics of Mary while at the French court, had it not been Kane cast as the kind and understanding queen.
Reign films in Toronto, Canada, and with the help of 21st century green screen techniques and advances in technology, it gives us the perfect foundation and platform through which to create the enormous and towering French Court that Mary, her friends, and the royals call home. It may not be France, but it is certainly not “home” to Adelaide either…at least not yet. Having lived in L.A. for most of her adult life, she reveals to us what the meaning of home is to her, and what she considers a home to be, when your day and night job require so much traveling, and not so much staying still.
“’Home’ is where my friends are. I’ll always call Australia home, because that’s where my family is. My mother and my brother are there, and all my cousins. They’ve all gotten married and they’re all settling down and having families. That’s really my family home. I go there to reset every year, when I go for Christmas. I’d say L.A. has really become my home, but I feel really driftless at the moment. I feel like a real gypsy. I’m hoping in the next couple years I’ll find a home base and really settle in. I’ve moved nine or ten times in the last four years, and I want a place that’s mine. But all my friends are here in L.A., and I guess I feel most at home here. I have my places and my restaurants, and things I like to do, my hikes and my yoga, and all of that.” She pauses for a second, and looks out into the distance. Pensively, she continues. “I don’t know. ‘Home’ is a very abstract concept for me because I haven’t been still for the last six or seven years. I wouldn’t say I have a proper home yet.”
As intelligent and polite as Kane seems, she admires a few qualities that her royal alter ego possesses. Upon asking what aspects of Mary’s life she’d like to call her own if given the chance, her answers both surprised me and made me laugh.
“There’s a serious one and there’s a frivolous one, she said.” The fact that she even said “frivolous” only filled me up even more with curiosity as to what she would say next.
“I would love her education, because she was really quite educated, and spoke many languages, and played a couple instruments, and rode, and was politically savvy. She was a very intelligent woman; she was very well read, especially for a woman. I didn’t study hard enough in school – I wish I had – so I would love to have had her education.” The frivolous one gives support to the claim that diamonds really are a girl’s best friend…or “friends.” if you’re talking multiple, as in the case with Kane.
“I love her jewelry, man. Royal crown jewels…are you kidding? I mean, apparently that stuff was so heavy, and monarchs used to get migraines and get pinched, and whatever. But I like to just look at it. Put it in cabinets and look at it. Have it up on the walls in frames as art pieces…of course I’d always be afraid of getting robbed, though. But yeah, I definitely like the bling, because I don’t wear much myself. “
It really is refreshing to see a soul like Adelaide’s garnering success at such a young age, paving the way for other formidable women in the industry and taking matters into her own hands at ensuring that young girls have other role models to look to aside from the fashionable material girl one can find on any given channel on any given day. Kane herself doesn’t watch much television; so asking her if she watched herself on-screen was out of the question. But when she does tune in to the tube, it’s almost a nod to her fellow natives down under.
“I started watching The Originals, because I know a lot of the kids in The Originals, and there are a lot of Australians, like Phoebe Tonkin, and Claire Holt. And Luke Mitchell’s in The Tomorrow People, and I’m just really excited about young Australians doing well this season in television, which is awesome. When we’re successful enough, we can take the work back to Australia.”
And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen: Adelaide Kane, looking out for her country, even when she doesn’t have to. It’s safe to say, Mary’s rubbing off on her more than she thinks.
PHOTOGRAPHY ALEKSANDAR TOMOVIC / WWW.ALEKANDSTEPH.COM
STYLING JORDAN GROSSMAN AND WILFORD LENOV WWW.JORDANSTYLING.COM / WWW.WILFORDLENOV.COM
MAKEUP DESIRAE CHERMAN USING HOURGLASS COSMETICS
HAIR RYAN RICHMAN USING VoCe’ HAIRCARE / WWW.RYANRICHMANHAIR.COM
PHOTO ASSISTAINT MATTHEW BLAYLOCK
LOCATION MELROSE LIGHTSPACE STUDIO
Production Bello Media Group | WORDS BY DIO ANTHONY