Once Upon A Time Cast Interviews with a Giveaway (US & Can)
Once Upon A Time The Complete First Season is now in stores! I’m almost done watching it and will be posting a review in the next few days!
Thanks to the PR of Once Upon A Time, I have some cast interviews & photos to share…
Master storytellers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (executive producers of Lost and writers of TRON: Legacy) invite audiences to experience an intriguing twist to the classic fairytales of Snow White, Pinocchio, Red Riding Hood and many more in their thrilling new fantasy series Once Upon A Time. Packed with enchanting icons from the world’s most beloved stories, the show stars a host of talented actors including Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla and Robert Carlyle.
An Interview with Ginnifer Goodwin of Once Upon A Time
Ginnifer Goodwin plays Snow White and Mary Margaret in the show.
What is your earliest memory of Snow White?
When I was growing up, Snow White was my princess. I don’t know if it was because she was the brunette princess or if I just immediately fell in love with her – but my family raised me on the Disney animated features and I have always admired her. Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs was Walt’s first animated feature, so she was the first Disney princess. She’s the original and the best.
Do you think your parents knew you’d immediately identify with Snow White?
I’m not sure if my parents showed her to me first for that reason. Perhaps she was the character to whom they figured I could most easily relate to, purely from an aesthetic standpoint. However, I have always loved the character and I really did take to her right away.
Have you held Snow White close to your heart ever since?
Yes, that’s very true. In fact, I dressed up as Snow White for Halloween a few years ago. I have always responded to the story of Snow White, but I would never have analyzed why until Once Upon A Time came along.
Did you research the origins of the Snow White story after landing the role?
I completely dove into the research after I signed up for the show. I looked into the history of Snow White and all of the different versions of the story. However, I consistently found myself looking at what is inherently flawed in her as a character.
Discovering Snow White’s flaws must have been eye opening…
Yes, it was. To be honest, I started to wonder if she was one of the more flawed princesses and if that’s what attracted me to her even more.
What other research did you undertake for the role?
I watched every Snow White movie ever made! I also found it very helpful to read the history of the English-language version of Snow White – and then I studied what great minds have interpreted from these stories.
How did your research affect your portrayal of Snow White?
All of the research definitely affected how I portrayed her. I like to think that Snow White has perhaps got a little bit of a manipulative streak; she tries to pretend she’s as wholesome as the Disney Snow White character, but she’s not.
What can you tell us about Mary Margaret, the other character you play in Once Upon A Time?
For those who haven’t seen the show, Mary Margaret is the character I play in the modern world. Want to know a crazy coincidence about the name? Historians believe that the original Snow White character was based on a Spanish princess called Maria Sophia Margarita, which is a very similar name to Mary Margaret.
Was your character named Mary Margaret on purpose?
Before we began shooting, I said to the creators, “I love that you named Mary Margaret after the inspiration for Snow White.” They said to me, “What are you talking about?” It was a pure coincidence. They had no idea. I told them to go online and look it up – but they kept saying to me, “No, seriously… What are you talking about?” They didn’t believe me for a while, but they eventually read up on the subject.
How does it feel to play Jennifer Morrison’s mother in the show?
Mary Margaret is unaware that she’s had a child, so her maternal instincts are more subconscious than anything. I think that she is honestly drawn to her daughter as almost a peer. Jennifer’s character, Emma, is our only truly original character in the show. She is the long-lost daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. She is the new fairytale.
What does that mean for the storyline?
Emma lives in this modern time that we call reality. However, it’s not the reality of the fairytale characters. It’s going to be really interesting to see what happens when the two worlds merge.
Why are you such a big fan of princesses?
It was my sister who gave me the idea of wanting to be a princess when I was younger. I remember when The Little Mermaid first came out. I thought I was far too old to watch animated features – but my little sister showed me the movie and I balled my eyes out. I have wanted to be a Disney princess ever since. On a side note, The Little Mermaid made my sister want to be an animator – and that’s exactly what she became.
Does this mean you dreamed about playing Snow White from a young age?
Yes, it was always my dream to play a Disney princess – and now I’m playing Snow White in Once Upon A Time. [Laughing] Dreams really do come true! It’s funny because as an actress in Hollywood, I always thought I’d end up voicing a princess for an animated feature – but I never thought I’d be a live-action princess.
Have you auditioned for many fantasy roles before?
For years and years, I have auditioned for everything under the sun – but I never had any idea that my dream of playing a princess would come to fruition in a live-action television series. Now, I get to play the part all the time, hopefully for years and years. Not only do I get to play such an iconic princess, but she also happens to be my favorite.
What do you like most about your Snow White character in Once Upon A Time?
To be honest, Snow White is an amalgamation of all kinds of qualities I wish I had. That’s why it’s such a joy to play her, especially in this setting.
Do you enjoy the fact that Snow White has the potential to be kick-ass in the show?
Well, she is a little impulsive and impetuous – but that may not always end up being a good thing. It’s fun to play, though.
How does it feel to walk onto the set dressed as such an iconic character from your childhood?
It feels incredible. We’ve not redefined her, but since we’re telling the parts of her story that could conceivably have existed off-page, there hasn’t been any pressure to live up to that iconography. I’m thankful for that, but I’m having a blast.
Congratulations on a hugely successful first season, Ginnifer. Why do you think Once Upon A Time has had such an impact on audiences around the world?
I’m incredibly proud of this show and I’m ecstatic that it’s done so well. Why is it popular? Well, I think it’s down to the fact that we’ve all grown up loving these fairytales and we can all relate to the characters. Once Upon A Time has taken the fairytale stories from our childhood, filled in the blanks and given the characters some relatable flaws. It’s like a fan-fiction mash-up.
What is the atmosphere like on the set in Vancouver?
The atmosphere on set is wonderful. We’re like a theater company and every week we get to come and play. It’s amazing. I’m having the time of my life on the show and it’s incredibly thrilling to work with such a talented cast in such an amazing city. It’s truly magical.
What are the benefits of working on a television show compared to a movie?
TV lets you dig your elbows into a character and a story, but movies don’t allow that. With a film, you have an hour-and-a-half to tell a story. However, you have many, many hours to tell that story within episodic television. I think there is something really special about growing with a character on a TV show and exploring everything around them. That’s something you don’t have the luxury of being able to do with a film.
How challenging is it to play two characters – Snow White and Mary Margaret – in Once Upon A Time, even though they are essentially the same person?
It’s incredibly challenging and inspiring – and it certainly contributed to my wanting to be a part of the show. However, I don’t think about the fact that they are the same person because that is obvious to the audience. They can tell it’s essentially the same person because I’m playing both parts.
Do you try to act away the similarities between you and the characters you play in the show?
There are certain things about myself that are undeniable. No matter how hard I try, I will never be able to act them away. That’s why I forget about the similarities and focus on where the characters differ.
Is that something you’ve always done, irrespective of the character you’re portraying?
Yes, that’s how I work with all of my characters. I don’t play the qualities that I already have in common with my characters, because those things are inherent. Instead, I focus on the qualities that I need to add on top.
What physical changes do you undergo to contrast Snow White with Mary Margaret?
We do a lot of costume and makeup work to distinguish the two characters. Some of the work is done in subtle ways and some is really obvious – but I feel like we have altered the characters enough to distinguish between them. Snow White is in full bloom and Mary Margaret has a long way to go to become comfortable in her own skin.
What can you tell us about the curse that has put the fairytale characters into a reality setting?
The nature of the curse is that the characters have been robbed of their happy endings. For Snow White and Prince Charming, that means we don’t remember who we are or whom we love. If the curse sustains itself, Snow White will never remember that there was a Prince Charming.
Why is everyone affected?
Everyone was punished in the world, including innocent bystanders, but we learn in the pilot episode that it was all about punishing Snow White. It was all about keeping Snow White from her favorite part of love, which is Prince Charming. It’s woven into the fabric of the show to keep these two characters apart – but they are still drawn together.
How did [executive producers and show creators] Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz describe Snow White when you first signed up for the role?
I was delighted when I went into my first meeting with Edward and Adam because they specifically told me that I was not going to look like Walt Disney’s animated Snow White. They explained that we were going to do our own thing with her, which was incredibly appealing to me.
Why do you think it’s been necessary to update Snow White?
We modernized her in many ways because we wanted to make her relatable. As obsessed as I am with all of Grimm’s tales and the Disney princesses, women have evolved so much socially since these characters were created. Women’s role in society is very different now. And anyway, I think it’s fun to add a new twist to them and to update them.
You have an apple tattoo. Isn’t that a little ironic?
I guess so. It’s funny because Mary Margaret has a distaste for apples, but she doesn’t know why. I wonder if she’ll uncover the truth at some point in the season?
Do you show your tattoo in the show?
No, I wish they’d let me show my tattoo in the show – but they don’t. To me, apples symbolize wisdom and purity, but I love the thought that the apple is something Snow White uses as a symbol of survival. This is the thing she overcame. It’s like a reminder to her.
One final question: What secrets can you share about the first season?
I don’t like to give away spoilers to people who haven’t seen the show, so that’s a tough question for me to answer. Without giving too much away, I will say that you will probably throw things at the screen when you see the season finale because it’s so good. I cannot believe where we took the show; it was terribly brave. Everything goes crazy and it’s very unexpected. It’s shocking, but it’s very exciting. I hope you like what you see!
An Interview with Jared Gilmore for Once Upon A Time
Jared Gilmore plays Henry Mills on on Once Upon A Time.
How would you describe Once Upon A Time?
The story of Once Upon A Time is about fairytales colliding with the real world, so it’s really fun. I read a lot of fairytales when I was younger, so I am familiar with all of the stories. I still read them now because I love tales of evil magic and crazy occurrences.
What can you tell us about your character in the show?
My character, Henry, is a strong-willed 10-year-old with a vivid imagination. He’s convinced that the town in which he lives, Storybrooke, has fallen under the curse of the Evil Queen. It’s a really exciting tale with lots of twists and turns.
Sounds interesting! Tell us more…
Well, Henry believes the Evil Queen is actually his adoptive mother, Regina. He tracks down his birth mother – a woman called Emma Swan – and he manages to convince her to return to Storybrooke, where he thinks she can break the curse.
What do you like about your character in the show?
Henry is the only person in Storybrooke who knows that everyone in town is basically a fairytale character. That’s a lot of fun for me because it’s so different to anything I’ve played before. As the story moves on, he tries to get the other people to believe him – but it’s very difficult.
How does he do that?
He helps them remember who they are in the fairytale world. And then, when it gets to a certain point, he talks to them and helps them with suggestions.
How would you describe Henry’s relationships with his adoptive mother, Regina?
Regina is very strict. Before he found out about the curse, I think he actually liked Regina – but in some way he always knew that she wasn’t his real mother.
Is it different to his relationship with his birth mother, Emma Swan?
His relationship with Regina is very different to his relationship with Emma. Finally, he has found someone that he can trust to tell all of these secrets – and she won’t throw them away.
You’re 12 years old, but you already have a long string of acting credits. Was acting something you wanted to do from a very young age?
Not really. I have a twin sister and she was the one who got me into acting. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her.
How did she get you into acting?
Well, we were always putting on little shows for people. For example, we’d put on shows for the people around us while we were waiting for the parades at Disneyland. My mom and dad encouraged us to get an agent and to get into the industry – but when we finally did, it ended up that I liked it more than my sister. She quit. I kept going forward.
How different is Once Upon A Time compared to other TV shows you’ve worked on before?
Before Once Upon A Time, I worked on Mad Men. They are completely different shows! Not only does Once Upon A Time have a completely different storyline and plot, but there’s also a lot more mystery involved in the show. In Mad Men, there wasn’t much mystery at all.
Are you Mad Men and Once Upon A Time characters similar in any way?
It’s hard to compare the two characters because I played a regular kid in a regular world on Mad Men. In Once Upon A Time, I’m a kid who knows that everyone in this one town is a fairytale character from a whole different world. It’s very hard to connect them!
What’s life like on the set of Once Upon A Time?
I get along with everyone in the cast and it’s a lot of fun. I like to play around, but it’s all business as soon as the director says, “Action.”
Is it tough to juggle your schoolwork with your work on the show?
No, it’s fine. When I am not at the studio, I go to school – and school is very, very important to me. I also have schooling at the studio, so when I am not in a scene, you will usually find me studying. There’s a lot of work involved in being a young actor, but it’s all worth it. I’m having the time of my life.
An Interview with Jennifer Morrison for Once Upon A Time
Jennifer Morrison plays Emma Swan in the show.
How would you describe Emma Swan, your character in Once Upon A Time?
Emma Swan is an incredible damaged, lonely person. She has had a hard life. Emma was in and out of juvenile detention as a kid. She grew up in the foster system and she probably experienced abuse on some levels.
What is her role in society?
She’s not the most stand-up citizen in the country, but she’s a survivor. She’s someone who adapts to whatever she needs to survive. She will do whatever it takes to get through.
How trusting is Emma of others?
When we first meet Emma, she’s doesn’t trust anyone. In her experience, people are only nice to her when they want something from her. When she meets the people of Storybooke [the fictional town where the show is set], she can’t understand why they are being kind to her. She questions them, “What do you want from me? What are you going to do to me?” Clearly she hasn’t experienced anything like that in her life before.
What first drew you to this new fantasy project?
The writing was so phenomenal that I immediately knew I wanted to be involved with Once Upon A Time. I’ve read a lot of pilot scripts, but I don’t know if I’ve ever read a pilot script like this. It was so beautifully written and so complicated – yet it was complicated and simple at the same time.
Were you gripped from the very first page of the script?
I was hooked as soon as I started to read it. It’s a very character-driven story, but I don’t feel like we have any character-driven dramas on television right now, which is why it stood out from everything else I read. At the moment, every over script is a procedural. Everything is about cops or doctors. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s fun to be part of something different.
Why do you enjoy working on character-driven shows?
As an actor, it’s incredibly exciting to get a new script every week because we’re doing things that challenge us and ask us to step outside our comfort zones. The shows ask us to step up and do things that are unique and interesting and different.
Is it scary to step out of your comfort zone?
Yes, but it’s exciting to be scared of what you’re doing. You’ve no idea what’s going to happen to your character every week, but that’s exhilarating. Instead of getting a script and thinking, ‘I know I can do this. It’s easy, I’ve done it a million times before.’ You open the script and you think, ‘Oh, wow… Here I go!’ Every script on this show terrifies me, but in a really great way. It’s great, great fun.
Why do you enjoy being terrified?
Because I enjoy pushing myself. No previous script has terrified me as an actor, but it happens all the time on this show. Every week, I feel like there’s something that’s going to push me and make me better, and make me uncomfortable in a good way.
What appealed to you about the character of Emma Swan when you first read about her?
I was instantly interested in Emma’s vast range of emotions and her experiences. I was also intrigued by the fact that she had such a rough upbringing and the way that affects her. Emma has a strong, tough exterior and yet she’s incredibly vulnerable and soft underneath.
Is it tough for her to show the vulnerable side of her character?
Part of the reason why she keeps that tough exterior up is because she is afraid of revealing that part of herself – and that’s what makes her so interesting to play. There is so much to play around with when you know you’ve got a lot of depth and complications going on in someone’s life.
What other complications are going on in her life?
Emma has a lot of guilt in her life, mostly due to the fact that she had to give up a child when she was younger. She feels really guilty about that. She is a fascinating girl with endless possibilities, which is what makes her so exciting. One minute, she smashes someone’s face into a steering wheel; the next minute she has to drive a kid to Storybrooke. I love the fact that she’s so varied.
How would you describe Emma’s role in the story of Once Upon A Time?
Emma is the link between the fairytale and reality. However, when we first meet her, she isn’t in a place where she embraces that or is aware of anything going on. She’s a skeptic.
What is it like to play the skeptic?
It was fun to have that perspective on things because it was important for there to be someone who comments on how ridiculous it all seems at the start of the season. I get to show a genuine response to what’s going on in the crazy, interesting world around her.
How much research did you undertake for the role?
Emma is not a traditional fairytale character. She is a new fairytale, so there was no research to do. All she knows about her past is that she was wrapped in a blanket with the name Emma on it, but she chose the last name of Swan for herself.
Do you know why the writers decided to name her Emma Swan?
I think [show creators] Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz knew what they were doing when they named her Emma Swan. They told me they thought it was a cool name and they were moved by the idea of The Ugly Duckling story, so it appeared to fit. Emma has had a really rough upbringing because she was abandoned as a child, yet she blossoms into this beautiful swan that is destined to hopefully save everyone from an evil curse.
Have you done any research into the mythology of swans?
I looked up the meaning of swans. I also looked into what swans have represented in different cultures and in different religions over centuries. I was amazed that there was so much written about them.
What did you discover?
Often, in literature and in a lot of religious references, swans are some sort of unity between divinity and humanity, which is a great fit for Emma. It’s very symbolic because she doesn’t realize she could be the link between the fairytale and reality worlds. It’s incredibly fitting for her.
How does it feel to be part of a show that’s been picked up for two seasons?
It feels great. I was pinching myself when I found out the news that we were picked up for Season Two. Throughout the first season, I had a lot of hope that we’d be able to return to the show for more because we had such a wonderful time shooting it. I’m thrilled that we’re all going to be back for another season. I can’t wait.
What is the atmosphere like on set in Vancouver?
The atmosphere is amazing. We have a cast that really gets along, so it’s been a complete pleasure. Ginnifer Goodwin is incredible, Lana Parrilla is amazing, Robert Carlyle is outstanding, and getting to watch Josh Dallas work is incredible, too. It’s like we get to go and play every day. It’s so rare that you get a job like that.
What does Vancouver add to the look of the show?
Vancouver is incredible. We got to film on a real mountain in a real forest with real snow, which is fantastic. There was one scene in the first season where we wanted snow and it actually only snowed for three hours that day. It was weird. It felt like it magically snowed for the scene. We couldn’t have been happier.
An Interview with Josh Dallas for Once Upon A Time
Josh Dallas plays Prince Charming and David Nolan in the show.
How would you describe the premise of Once Upon A Time?
Once Upon A Time is a charming fantasy show. It’s fun and it’s entertaining, but it’s also a little weird and a little different. It features fairytale characters that we all know and love – but they have been cursed by the Evil Queen to live in the town of Storybrooke, Maine. This is a place where there are no happy endings and nobody can leave… Until a new arrival in town starts to break the spell.
Who do you play in the show?
My character, David Nolan, is also Prince Charming. Charming is a prince who gets his hands dirty. He’s an everyman; he can swordfight with a baby in his arms!
What are the main differences between David Nolan and Prince Charming?
Because of the curse on Storybrooke, David does a few stupid things. He has a total disconnect from Charming. All of the qualities that Charming has, David can’t have; that’s the nature of the curse. That means David can’t be honorable, he can’t be confident, he can’t be honest all the time and he can’t be forthright. He keeps putting himself in ridiculous situations, but he has Charming within him; he’s just waiting to get out.
Do you prefer playing David Nolan or Prince Charming?
I love playing both. It’s challenging to play David because he is cursed. He’s very conflicted and confused – and that’s fun to play as an actor. It’s the total opposite of Charming, who is a confident man with a sense of purpose about him. David is lost and he’s trying to figure out where he belongs, as well as his true identity.
Is it difficult to identify with a fairytale character?
You can identify with all of the characters in the show because they are fairytale characters as real people. They have real emotions, real problems and they are in real situations. It’s fun to be able to play two characters within the same role. In fact, I think that’s one of the things that attracted me to the project in the first place.
How much pressure do you face in playing such an iconic character like Prince Charming?
Is it a big responsibility, but as an actor I can’t think about playing him as an iconic fairytale character. I have to play a person that has emotions like everyone else. If I thought too much about it being Prince Charming, the pressure would be too great and I’d crumble. It is a great role, though. I love it.
How did you get involved with the project?
I got a call from my agent telling me about the script. And once I read it, I thought it was one of the most unique scripts I’d ever read for network television. I was really excited about the project, so I went in and met the producers and creators – and a couple of days later I was cast as Charming and David Nolan.
What research did you undertake for this fairytale role?
I certainly went back and re-read the Snow White story. I looked into the relationship between Prince Charming and Snow – and how they got together. It’s been fascinating to discover that there are so many different stories about them; there are many different variations of the tale.
Who does the show appeal to?
You know what? It is a very interesting show because of the huge demographic of people who are watching it. From kids to teenagers to men and women of all ages, a lot of different people are watching it. It’s great.
How would you sum up the first season of the show?
Oh, it’s been crazy. There is so much going on in Season One; there’s so much to see and think about. As the first season reaches the finale, it’s like a train that will not stop. I want people watching to be shocked, I want them to be awed, and I want them to be amazed.
What’s been your most challenging scene so far?
I’ve had a lot of sword fighting to do for the show – and I specifically remember one really hot day in the woods of North Vancouver that was incredibly tough. My costume is made from leather and we had to run around a lot, so there was definitely a lot of sweating going on.
Storybrooke might be cursed – but does the season have a happy ending?
I’m not going to give away any spoilers for the show; you’ll have to watch to find out what happens. I’ll tell you one thing, though. In Storybrooke, there are always a lot of obstacles to a happy ending. There’s a very long way to go if these characters are going to get there.
An Interview with Lana Parrilla for Once Upon A Time
Lana Parrilla plays the Evil Queen and Regina Mills in the show.
Did you research the mythology of the Evil Queen in the Snow White fairytales when you signed up for Once Upon A Time?
I tried to do a ton of research into the character because I was very intrigued by the role. Thankfully, I found a huge book with a lot of notes on her and it was interesting to read so many different interpretations of her character. I shared the book with Robert Carlyle [who plays Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold in the show] and I think he learned a lot, too.
Is it tough to play such an iconic character?
No, I wouldn’t say it’s been tough. Instead, it’s been a lot of fun. I did a lot of homework to ensure I didn’t play evil for the sake of playing evil. I wanted to understand why the Evil Queen is the way she is.
What did you discover about the Evil Queen during your research?
I believe there is a deeper pain inside of her. It’s not like she’s thinking, ‘I want to destroy her so that I can be prettier.’ In fact, I don’t think about the vanity aspect of her character at all when I’m playing her. From the moment I took on the role I thought about things like, ‘What did Snow White do to the Queen? Why does she want to kill Snow White so badly?’
Are those two questions answered in Season One of the show?
In the first four episodes of the show, you learn lots – but I don’t want to give away any spoilers to people who haven’t seen the show. It’s fun to be able to watch the show for yourself and uncover the various plot points.
Do you feel any pressure in playing such an iconic character?
Perhaps not in the way that Ginnifer Goodwin feels when she plays Snow White in our show. It’s different for the Evil Queen. Her story has been broken down into so many different cultures and languages – and there are so many different stories about her. The story that I grew up reading was the one in which the Evil Queen asks the Huntsman to bring back Snow White’s heart, but there are many more versions than that.
What other interpretations of her story did you enjoy?
I enjoyed a lot of different stories, but when I was researching the role I discovered a fascinating Spanish version. It described the Evil Queen as a character who would use an eye or a thumb as a bottle stopper. That was something incredibly sinister and new that I hadn’t heard about before.
The Evil Queen’s story has such a varied history. Do you get to play the character the way you want to play her?
Early on, I spoke to [executive producers and show creators] Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis about this. They told me they were trying to do something different with the fairytale characters, which was really interesting to me. It’s nice to have the history of these different renditions of Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs but, as I hope we’ve proved during Season One, we definitely have our own take on it.
Will that continue in the second season?
I certainly hope we will stay open to that idea. We get to learn a lot about the characters in Season One, but I’m sure there’s much more to come. It’s fun to see so many more sides to these famous characters than anyone has ever seen before. I think it’s especially fascinating to see the conflicting vulnerability in all of these iconic villains.
Why do you think fairytales are so appealing to audiences around the world?
These are the stories that everyone has read, with characters that everyone can relate to. There is a moral in every story, so you get a life lesson just by reading one. They have a timeless appeal. They are magical and enthralling. They are thrilling to read.
Why do you think there’s been a recent resurgence in the genre on television and in movies?
If you look around, there is so much destruction and so many disasters in the world today. I think we all need to dream a little bit. There is hope out there and that’s what these fairytales are about. That’s why they were written for children: to dream, to fantasize, and to hope for something.
Has it been difficult to show the contrast between the Evil Queen and your other character in the show, Regina Mills?
I like to think I’ve worked pretty hard at showing the contrast between the two characters. The Evil Queen is very powerful and she puts everything out there. She’s open in her quest, whereas Regina masks everything. They are very different, so it’s been an easy task to separate them.
Do you enjoy playing the villain?
Yes, because the villains are always the most fun to play. They are the most challenging, but if you dig deeper you find the jewels in them.
Did you always dream about playing an iconic villain like the Evil Queen?
As a child, I never wanted to be a princess. Instead, I always wanted to play a witch. I love the ocean and I loved The Little Mermaid, so Ursula was always my favorite character. I preferred to pretend to be a sea witch rather than anything else.
How easy is it for you to connect to the Evil Queen on a human level?
Robert Carlyle plays Rumplestiltskin on the show and he has compared our portrayal of these evil characters to Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver. Remember when he speaks to the mirror and says, “Are you talkin’ to me?” He’s looking in the mirror and he’s by himself in monologue. You’ve got to be a smart actor and you’ve got to make some really bold choices to connect with the audience on such a human level like that. I hope we do something similar with our portrayals in the show.
Is it difficult to stop yourself from going over-the-top or campy with your portrayal of the Evil Queen?
Whenever I’m playing a character, I’m always thinking about what motivates them and what they are feeling – but I know when to pull pack. When it comes to the villainous portrayal of the Evil Queen, it’s all about honesty. You have to focus on something that’s truthful about her and the acting follows through.
Do you think the script offers many campy lines for the Evil Queen?
Our lines can be campy and over-the-top, but it’s our responsibility as actors to make some honest choices and keep the scenes believable. I feel that we’ve all managed to do that successfully in the cast, so it’s not a worry for us. To be honest, we look forward to receiving the scripts and discovering what fun things we have to say each week.
How much have you enjoyed working on the show in Season One?
I’ve had a complete blast. I think any time an actor is handed a script where you get to play two roles is pretty awesome. It’s an incredibly fun show to work on and it’s great to work on a project where everyone in the team gets along so well. You know what? I can’t wait for Season Two.
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