In fantasy and fairy-tale TV shows— extremely popular now, with Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, Grimm and others—one thing seems to be particularly in vogue: cross-class bastard offspring. Those born after a forbidden fling between a royal and a commoner are bolstering plotlines and ratings. Eddard Stark’s son Jon Snow, played by Kit Harington, is slowly turning into Prince Charming in Game of Thrones; in the fantasy horror series Grimm, Sean Renard, captain of the Portland Police Department, is himself the bastard son of a royal. We met Renard, played by Israeli-Canadian actor Sasha Roiz, on the job and asked him to address his views on family values—in character.
THE SKIPPER SPEAKS!
Captain Sean Renard, which creature from the Grimm universe are you most afraid of?
“As the offspring of a Hexenbiest [a zombie warlock], the Grimm figure I most need to beware of is the Mellifer bee creature. We’re natural enemies. But honestly, I fear my family more than anything. They are horrible and dangerous, and keep sending problems my way. As Grimm royalty— illegitimate or not—I see myself as above most creatures, and I can handle them. It’s my family that really challenges me. They bring a certain emotional component that affects me.”
WHAT THE BUTLER SEES:
Thomas Barrow, the underbutler in Downton Abbey, is played by Rob James-Collier.
Barrow, if you were suddenly free to do anything, what would you do first?
“I’d open the first Edwardian gay bar and it would be called Barrow’s Law, a place where all men are free to kiss whomever they wanted. Especially the landlord.
I’d hire Molesley [the butler in Downton] as my DJ, to play really melancholy tunes all the time, such as Radiohead, and sit in the corner looking sad. And I’d say to him, ‘Come, Molesley, pick it up a bit, bloody hell. Can we play some ABBA or something?’ And I could literally be the Dancing Queen.”