Interview: Torrance Coombs

From the interview archive.

Vancouver actor Torrance Coombs is perhaps most well known for his role in The Tudors and more recently Reign. VULKAN caught up with Torrance to talk about his departure from Reign and joining the cast of The Originals for its final season, as well as his upcoming film Drawing Home.  

It was a bummer to hear you were leaving Reign, would you be open to some guest appearances in the future?

Leaving Reign wasn’t an easy thing to do. I made sure the next job I took next would give me the chance to go back and guest star if/when Reign needed me. I always hoped Bash would come back for another appearance, but sadly we ran out of time before the show ended.

You’ve joined the cast of The Originals for its final season. Can you tell us a bit about who Declan is? 

I can’t say too much about this, but Declan is an Irish chef who’s found himself dating Hayley.

What is the biggest challenge about joining a new production that already has an end date set in? Is it bittersweet knowing you both get to dive into a new character but won’t get to see him grow beyond the final season?

One challenge is that I don’t quite know the rules. For example, I don’t yet know what kind of information I can and can’t tell you without getting fired. That’s why my character description is a little bare-bones. It’s definitely a different feeling joining a successful show in progress, rather than trying to start a new show from the ground up. I feel my job is to help tell someone else’s story, not to take center stage, but knowing the end date doesn’t make it bittersweet. I’m happy knowing there is a proper ending for these characters. Much better than being cancelled suddenly and leaving unfinished business.

The season 4 finale was a real tear jerker. Can fans expect a similar emotional wrap up this season?

I honestly couldn’t tell you, as I haven’t seen the scripts, but I suspect people will find lots to cheer and to cry about throughout the season.

How do you personally handle emotional goodbyes?

I have a bad habit of shutting down and deferring my sadness for later. I always talk about “next time.” I refuse to ever believe it’s truly the end. And because in my head there’s always tomorrow, I often leave casually out the back door without a proper goodbye.

What was your favourite part about filming in Spain? 

This was my first time shooting overseas in a country where I didn’t speak the language. I learned to love and appreciate the daily struggle to communicate and be understood. It sounds silly, but it turns mundane tasks into adventures, like when I lost my glasses and had to quickly learn the Spanish alphabet for an eye exam. Also, the country itself is beautiful and has endless places to explore in your time off and the people are warm, generous and patient.

You have another film coming out as well, Drawing Home. Can you tell us a bit about your role?

This was an ambitious period drama which shot across the span of about 3 years in multiple cities. I was lucky enough to come in for a couple stints to play Kit Paley, a renowned British mathematician and skiing enthusiast.

Did you get to revisit your BC home during filming? What do you miss most about BC?

Sadly I didn’t get to do any of my shooting in BC, but I got a chance to see Canmore and Banff for the first time. It’s a stunning part of Canada that I somehow had missed. But I try to get back to BC every year to visit family and friends. They’re definitely what I miss most about it. Them, and the mountains. I always took the mountains for granted when I lived there.

What kind of role or character do you hope to portray next?

Ideally I’d love to play some more Canadian and American characters in the present day. Just to switch it up. And I’d love to do some more comedy.

If you could work with anyone next year, who would you choose?

I’d do terrible things to be in a Wes Anderson or Coen Brothers movie.

I hear in your off-time you’re a big fan of video games. What are you playing these days? 

I’ve been playing a lot of FIFA 18 and Star Wars Battlefront with friends. On the single player side, I recently finished blazing through Horizon Zero Dawn, and now I’m working on Nier Automata.

This is an important debate among Canadians, so I have to ask: Pineapple on pizza, yay or nay?

I’m a big fan. Didn’t Canadians invent Hawaiian pizza? Let’s be proud of our heritage.

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