In an interview with TV Insider, Sebastian Roché spoke about how Father Renaud was different from all the other villains he’d played over the years. Roché pointed out that while he’s known for playing characters who weren’t good people at heart, those characters weren’t real people. He specifically pointed out the angel Balthazar from “Supernatural” and the vampire Mikael Mikaelson from “The Vampire Diaries” as belonging to an “imaginary species,” making it easier to distance yourself from their actions.
“1923”, on the other hand, was more of a retelling of the story, albeit from a fictional perspective, meaning Roché couldn’t distance himself from it and had to take the role and the show more seriously as a result. He acknowledged that while Mikael had more bodies than Father Renaud, the latter was someone who could very well have existed at some point in history, making him one of the most odious characters in Roché’s filmography. “I remember reading the script and saying, ‘I understand that the character is a reprehensible character. He’s probably one of the most hateful characters I’ve ever played.’”
This meant ensuring he got the character right to make that story stand out, and Roché explained that it was his responsibility to ensure the character remained honest about the story being portrayed. Roché stressed that the fact that he had this right became all the more important because so little was said about boarding schools and their atrocities.