'Reign': Anna Popplewell on Lola's betrayal, pregnancy and future husband

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reign-lola-pregnant-husband-darkness.jpg Lola's on the hunt for a husband on The CW's "Reign." Her one-time dalliance with Prince Francis -- her BFF Mary's now-husband -- led to an unplanned pregnancy, and now the lady in waiting needs to find a suitor so the future king of France doesn't realize the consequences of their night together.

Zap2it spoke with Anna Popplewell about her character's next moves, which involve trying to get the heck out of French court.

Zap2it: Poor Lola. Of course this happens to her.
Anna Popplewell: When I read it I was like, "She's definitely going to get pregnant." That would just be typical. Think of all the unions that happen on this show, how many people have had sex with other people -- of course Lola was going to get pregnant when she slept with Francis.

How did you feel when you realized what was going to happen?
I think we were all surprised that Lola and Francis were going to get together, but in thinking about it, what motivated it for me was the fact that they were both in really difficult situations. They'd both been having a rough time and they had this moment of connection where they both acknowledged how lucky they were to be living their lives in terms of their wealth and their connections and their material comforts, but they were both sad and had gone through the wringer a bit and I think it was just that moment of connection that lead to that mistake.

It was sudden but when you think about it, their connection makes sense.
It was very quick, but everything on the show is very quick. I think it was edited out in the end, but originally there was a speech in there that Lola had about losing Colin and about losing Aylee. Francis had just rescued her from near financial ruin. Things had not been easy for Lola at French court.

To be fair, nothing's been easy for anyone at French court.
That's true, and they all make poor decisions as a result of that.

Do you ever scream at the screen when you're watching people make said poor decisions?
Of course! But I think that's always the way it's going to be on shows like this, because there's kind of no such thing as a happy couple on "Reign." Sometimes I think that maybe Henry and Catherine are the closest thing we have to a happy couple, and they are extremely dysfunctional. But it wouldn't be "Reign" if we didn't have drama.

There are also the OMG moments, like the whole Henry/girl/window situation.
I kind of couldn't believe that the writers went there, but I just thought that Alan [Van Sprang] played it to perfection. I loved the plot with him and Catherine, I thought it was a brilliant one.

Let's talk about Mary and Lola's relationship. It was a betrayal but maybe not a direct one?
I think it's a pretty big betrayal. Mary was engaged to Bash at the time, but if one of my close friends hooked up with my ex-fiance I think I would be pretty annoyed about it. I think Mary is incredibly magnanimous about it, and I think that one of the reasons she's so magnanimous about it is that in the episode that we'd just seen, Lola almost kills herself over trying to keep this secret. She's really aware that she's made a mistake and there's a very concrete consequence to this mistake, and she needs to do something about it.

The abortion that she tries to go and get is very likely to kill her, so I think that she certainly appears to be very sorry and I think Mary's aware of that. It's very hard to be very angry with someone who's just nearly killed themselves trying to keep your secret. So that's part of it.

How is their relationship going to fare going forward?
Well, I think that this will always exist in their relationship. I think it's going to be impossible for Mary to forget. I think the pressing thing at the moment is to try and find Lola a husband. because if they can find her a husband they can try and pretend the child is that husband's child and that will make it OK; that will make it easier to smooth things over.

In the next episode there's a festival called First Light where suitors give ladies candles and ask them to light them in their windows if they accept their courtship. Mary perceives this as an excellent opportunity for Lola to find a suitor, so that's what they'll be working on.

It sounds like a singles mixer.
It's a very old-fashioned, one-sided singles mixer.

What if Lola gets stuck with a guy she doesn't care for at all?
That's the thing. I think that Lola's now very worried that that's the sacrifice she's going to have to make, and as far as I see it, really all she wants at this point is to get away from French court, to be happy with someone she loves and to start a family of her own somewhere far away from all of the terrible things that have happened to her in the last year. But that's not easy when time is of the essence, and obviously she may have to sacrifice that happiness for the sake of hiding her pregnancy. I can tell you that Lola is going to get married by the end of Season 1. I can't tell you to whom, but she will get married.

How long can she keep the pregnancy secret from Francis?
That's kind of why time is of the essence -- because if she can find a husband before she starts to show, then there's no reason as to why the child shouldn't be the suitor's as opposed to Francis'. I think he would suspect it if she got too far into her pregnancy without finding a suitor, but that's not ideal. That's what they're trying to avoid.

What did you think of Kenna's advice to Lola?
I think Lola has a different view on the pregnancy from Kenna. Kenna has enjoyed her position as a mistress and the status it confers on her, but I think Lola and Kenna have quite different attitudes on French court, apart from anything else. Kenna seems fairly content to be in French court. While she faces challenges, that's the world she's existing in for now. Whereas I think ever since Colin's death, Lola's been looking for ways out of French court and a position as a mistress or being pregnant with a royal's child would mean she's always tied to French court.

If Lola gets her way, then she'd leave!
I think Lola would love to be far away from French court but this is a show where characters rarely get what they want.

"Reign" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
Photo/Video credit: The CW