It's not every day you start an interview with this very serious question: "Are you glad you finally got to take the bag off your head?"
Then again, not every role on TV is quite like Clarissa (Katie Boland) on Reign. First introduced as a castle ghost, sneaking about in the shadows, at once protecting Mary (Adelaide Kane) and killing her friends. (Rough twist, Aylee!) But the CW hit finally revealed Clarissa's true identity (and face!) in its last episode: She's Queen Catherine's (Megan Follows) illegitimate daughter who was believed to be dead.
"I am definitely glad that I finally got to take the bag off of my head, though it was an interesting challenge acting under a bag," Katie Boland, 26, says with a laugh.
E! News chatted with the girl under the bag about Clarissa's new masked look in tonight's episode, "Royal Blood," her reaction to the big reveal and Shia LaBeouf jumping on the paper-bag trend...
"You do get used to it after a certain point. There are multiple bags that are Clarissa's bags. They're kind of rotated," Boland explains. "It actually is a burlap sack, so it is in keeping with the period. Sometimes it gets a little hot under there, but overall it was fun. It was so different to play a role where you're not concerned about how you look at all." (And for curious minds wondering if it was ever a stand-in under the bag? "You know what? I totally thought they would do that, but no, it's always me," Boland reveals.)
Of course, the bag finally came off in the previous episode and revealed Clarissa's deformed face, thanks to a botched attempt to remove a birth mark that would identify her true father.
"It takes about two and a half hours...there's many layers to it," Boland tells us of the process in becoming Clarissa. "The only part that's sometimes uncomfortable is the teeth when they're kept in for a long time."
And Boland admits she had a strong reaction the first time she looked in the mirror after going through the hair and makeup process, saying, "I think the first reaction was a sad one. I remember I felt sad for Clarissa, and it was also shocking to see it come together, especially with the wig and the bald cap on. I found it very impactful, definitely."
Clarissa's facial unveiling wasn't the only major shocker to go down as it was finally revealed that Catherine is her mother, a twist Boland calls "surprising and really interesting."
"Just on a personal level, I've known Megan Follows for 15 years, so I was like, 'Oh yay, I get to be your daughter! That's awesome,''' Boland says. "She and I have worked together a number of times. I think the show is very surprising...I thought that it was really interesting and added a lot of layers for my character and then, obviously, for Queen Catherine."
In tonight's episode, Clarissa dons a new look: a Phantom of the Opera-esque half-mask, with Boland telling us, "I like the mask! I thought it was interesting and added a very cinematic and tragic layer to the character."
So what is Clarissa, whom Boland calls "a loose cannon," after? Well, she'll throw French Court for a loop when she kidnaps King Henry and Catherine's children. "She just wants to be a normal girl her age," Boland reasons.
Oh, and Boland is totally aware of Shia LaBeouf's recent fondness for wearing a paper bag over his head. "Well, he does love to plagiarize, so..."
Reign airs tonight at 9 p.m. on the CW. And make sure to check out Long Story, Short, Boland's new series which she created and stars in, on Hulu.