This Sunday at 8/7c, ABC’s Once Upon a Time will spin a fantastical tale that could only come from former Lost executive producers and scribes Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.
The sleepy berg of Storybrooke seems normal – except for the fact that the town clock has frozen time at 8:15 and most of the people living there are actually fairytale characters. It’s up to a boy named Henry to bring “savior” Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) to town if there’s any hope of lifting the curse the Evil Queen has put on its inhabitants.
TVLine got the scoop on this magical, mysterious tour through worlds real and surreal straight from the cast during a Vancouver set visit arranged by ABC. Here is who’s who in Storybrooke and from storybooks.
In Storybrooke: Henry Mills
(Played by Jared Gilmore, Mad Men)
Henry, the glue that holds the story together, seeks out Emma Swan, his biological mom, and ropes her into coming to Storybrooke. Emma may be the savior, as Henry calls her, but first he's got to help the town's residents "remember who they actually are,” says Gilmore, 11. Among “them” are his adoptive mother Regina (really the Evil Queen), whom he believes has no love for him, and schoolteacher Mary Margaret (really Snow White).
As for Henry himself, “There is a little bit of a magical quality to him,” says executive producer Steve Pearlman. “There's an innocence to him and a wise-beyond-his-years quality.”
In Storybrooke: Emma Swan
(Played by Jennifer Morrison, House)
Emma is a fearless, tough and ball-busting bounty hunter who's had a rough childhood herself. “She's been in seven foster homes,” says Morrison. “She's been on the streets. She's been in juvie.”
Emma is celebrating her birthday the only way she knows how – by herself, with one lonely cupcake – when she gets a surprise visitor in the form of Henry, the son she years ago gave up for adoption. As she becomes entangled in Henry's problems back home, she's forced to face her own issues about “not being connected to people, not being used to feeling responsible for anyone else and having to deal with the fact that she now has these emotions for a child,” says her portrayer.
In the Enchanted Forest: Snow White
(Played by Ginnifer Goodwin, Big Love)
This is not your ordinary Snow White. For one, the damsel wields a sword when the Evil Queen crashes her wedding to Prince Charming and casts a spell over the entire kingdom. Snow also proves to have a strong voice, convincing the Prince to let her visit the dangerous Rumpelstiltskin in order to find out more about the curse. “We haven't redefined her,” says Goodwin. “We're just fleshing her out a lot.”
Goodwin's of the thought that because they are close-ish in age, fair-skinned Snow probably believed that she and the Evil Queen were “friends, before what happened with the poisoned apple.” Yeah, that can be a deal-breaker.
In Storybrooke: Mary Margaret
(Ginnifer Goodwin, Big Love)
A teacher at Henry's school, Mary Margaret offers the lonely boy a book of fairytales to give him the hope of a happy ending. That ultimately puts her in direct conflict with his mother, Regina, who's not keen on Mary Margaret's interference. The sweet, demure teacher is “just not strong enough” to stand up to Regina because “that's how the Evil Queen made her,” explains Goodwin.
“We created Mary Margaret based on a amalgamation of characterizations we thought the Evil Queen would want her to have,” the actress continues. “Their relationship is based on Mary Margaret's fear of Regina.”
In the Enchanted Forest: Evil Queen
(Played by Lana Parrilla, Swingtown)
The Evil Queen may do some terrible things to the residents of the Enchanted Forest, but Parrilla has a feeling some people are going to connect with the “big, bold” personality. “The gay community is going to love her!” exclaims the actress with a laugh. But others… maybe not so much. “I know a lot of kids are going to be fearful of me,” she says before pointing out, “A lot of actors that play villains are really nice people.”
Parrilla watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Glenn Close in 101 Dalmatians in prep for the role, but the greatest inspiration for the Evil Queen lies in the script. “She's just fun,” Parrilla raves of the character. “She's not afraid to say how she feels. … And the costumes are phenomenal!”
In Storybrooke: Regina
(Lana Parrilla, Swingtown)
Naturally, the Evil Queen made herself the Mayor of Storybrooke, one of the most lofty positions in the town. But no amount of power can get Henry to embrace her. “He doesn't particularly like her,” says EP Pearlman. “And here is this stranger [Emma] who comes in and is now a threat to her relationship with her kid.” Although Regina may seem like an overbearing – possibly even evil – parent, Pearlman insists there are shades of gray to both of Henry's mothers. “In the long run, Regina may be a better mother for Henry than Emma,” he argues. “Emma did leave Henry, [and] Regina has been parenting this kid for 10 years.”
In the Enchanted Forest: Prince Charming
(Played by Josh Dallas, Thor)
Snow White finds her perfect match in the charming prince. As these stories usually go after the “happily ever after,” they get married and have a child. However, in the land of Once, the Evil Queen declares there are no happy endings and quickly tears them apart. Even so, Episode 3 will reflect on cheerier times, flashing back to how and where the fated pair met. We'll even learn the Prince's real name and how he got that "Charming" moniker. (We're guessing it's got something to do with that charismatic face.)
In Storybrooke: John Doe
(Josh Dallas, Thor)
We don't want to give too much away about Dallas' Storybrooke counterpart, so we'll just say there's a very good reason why he's a "John Doe." While that doesn't reveal much, the actor promises, “We're going to learn a lot more about him. His story is yet to be discovered in Storybrooke.”
In the Enchanted Forest: Rumpelstiltskin
(Played by Robert Carlyle, Stargate Universe)
Snow White turns to the mysterious and enigmatic Rumpelstiltskin, who's locked up in a dungeon, for help with the curse -- though maybe she shouldn't be so quick to seek aide from the shady character. After all, even though the Evil Queen/Regina is a great villain, “There's something scarier about Rumpel because we don't know that much about him," Pearlman warns. "He's unpredictable.” And someone who “seems to know a lot more than he lets on” all behind bars can't possibly be up to any good.
In Storybrooke: Mr. Gold
(Robert Carlyle, Stargate Universe)
Like with Rumpelstiltskin, Mr. Gold is a mysterious figure who pops up unannounced and never in a good kind of way. Instead, his sudden and ominous appearances tend to be unnerving. “He's almost just kind of there,” says Pearlman. “You turn around, and there he is.” Seeing as Mr. Gold "owns the town,” as Bed & Breakfast keeper Granny explains, he is possibly even more threatening to the people of Storybrooke than Regina. “He is kind of the Big Bad,” suggests Pearlman.
In the Enchanted Forest: Jiminy Cricket
In Storybrooke: Archie Hopper
(Played by Raphael Sbarge, Dexter)
Pinocchio’s sidekick cricket, seen briefly during the pilot's fairytale roundtable, is a different kind of partner in the real world, as young Henry's therapist. “Jiminy Cricket being someone who obviously represents caution and doing the right thing is actually a perfect therapist when you think about it,” says Sbarge. “He's someone who's trying to help you find your way.”
One of the early episodes will shed light on Sbarge's fairytale alter ego and how Jiminy Cricket became a cricket, teases the actor.
In Storybrooke: Sheriff Graham
(Played by Jamie Dornan, Marie Antoinette)
The handsome lawman comes to Regina's aide when Henry runs away, but the case we'd like to investigate is whether he has a fairytale counterpart as well. Emma's car does get forced off the road by a mysterious – and rather random – wolf at one point, so we must wonder if he could possibly be the Big Bad Wolf. “I don't know. I think he is...foxy,” Morrison teases with a laugh.
Luckily, it sounds like our question will be answered – eventually. “Everybody who's in Storybrooke either had a fairytale version, or they came from the outside world as Emma and Henry did,” says Pearlman. “The fun thing will be to see which category [the sheriff] falls in.”
I want to make my name on facebook “Nobody” so when I see someone post something stupid… I can like it and It will say “Nobody likes this”
Edited (10/22/11 08:51 AM)