• Louis XIV (George Blagden) sans clothing in the premiere of season two. (SBS)
No, it’s not because the French weather was colder during season one.
By
Evan Valletta

10 Aug 2017 - 2:58 PM  UPDATED 11 Aug 2017 - 4:37 PM

Last year, Versailles hit SBS and knocked off our frilled socks with its insistence on pushing the wax-sealed envelope. The sudden, sharp bursts of violence, the shock shifts of loyalty and double-crossings, and the ominous stares all gave Game of Thrones and Vikings a run for their money.

It was Versailles' relentless use of sex and nudity, however, that received the most scrutiny and quickly earned it the label of "filthiest TV ever". The show seemed to take the fleshiest premium cable dramas and doubled, nay, tripled down.

With the frequency of explicit scenes drawing much attention from journalists and critics (including a sneer from conservative MP Andrew Bridgen), nobody was complaining that Versailles left anything to be desired. Nobody except a member of the cast.

Enter Alexander Vlahos, who plays Philippe, the king’s gay brother. Giving fans more reason to admire the man, he couldn’t help but voice discontent with the show’s approach to the onscreen birthday suit. Speaking to RadioTimes.com, Vlahos revealed what was on his mind:

For season one I kind of contested, 'Why were the women always naked and never the men?' On set. I questioned it really, as an actor. I wanted it to be equal, as I think all shows should be.”

If you caught season one, it’s easy to see where Vlahos was coming from, considering the prevalence of full-body, front-and-back nudity among female characters compared to the relatively modest ass-and-chest nudity among the men.

By episode two, you’ll see Vlahos’s gripe was heard... and then some. In fact, it seems the young actor failed to consider how that gripe might impact his own call sheet. 

"I turned up for season two for rehearsals, and the head of Canal+ said to me, 'Well you've got your wish now.' I quickly ran to the gym, obviously, and was utterly terrified."

Oh, Alexander, facing fear and embarrassment head on, all in the name of equality.

 

Watch Versailles season two on Thursdays at 9:30pm on SBS or get an eyeful on demand via SBS On Demand:

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