On-Set Scoop: Once Upon a Time’s Lana Parrilla Reveals Major Evil Queen/Regina Spoilers
Sunday’s episode of Once Upon a Time is all about the Evil Queen and the time-freezing curse she placed on our favorite storybook characters, trapping them in a small town, unaware of their identities.
Putting meat on the bones of a character who could have been a cliché is Lana Parrilla, who, in deliciously complex fashion, gets to exercise over-the-top meanness in Fairytale Land, while showing off more sneaky, life-ruining abilities in the real world.
"I am having a blast," she told Wetpaint Entertainment at a recent visit to the Once Upon a Time set in Vancouver. "As an actor, you always think, what’s you dream role? I feel like I’m playing so many different characters in one. It’s so fun and complex. It challenges me as an actor."
Lana gave us the scoop (and we’re talking lots and lots of scoop) on her two characters.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Are the two characters the same person to you?
Lana Parrilla: They kind of are. They’re both pretty evil in their own ways. The Evil Queen is just a joy to play, she’s just so out there and fierce and there’s no holding back with her, whereas Regina is much more contained. She has to be, being a political figure. But I love them both. They both have a heart — even if it’s cold and frozen.
What's it like to play a character we all know so well, but go beyond caricature?
I don’t think we’ve seen humanity, well, maybe later with Disney characters. The one that comes to mind is Ursula. You can see a desperation in her, which is something I’ve been able to show in the Evil Queen, because they write it. I think what people are going to love about our show is that these characters are very human, even though they are these iconic caricatures.
With as much power as she has, does Regina have an inkling that she’s part of the greater fairy-tale world?
I think you can see that she knows who she is. We don’t really get into that until later. So you will see how much she really knows.
We’ve seen that Regina, as a mother, has a vulnerable side. Does the Queen have vulnerabilities?
Absolutely. You will definitely see a vulnerable side to the Queen, and it will help people relate to her on a human level.
Does it relate to Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin)?
What I’ve been trying to show is the hatred towards Snow White, where it derives from. It’s not so surface. So that brings a vulnerability to the character, and also a history. You’ll see into our history and that exposes her.
Do you think the Queen knew that the spell was going to be this out of control?
It’s interesting, Episode 2 ["The Thing You Love Most"] will tell you a lot about this curse, and her need for the curse to be successful. And how she goes about getting it, and successfully going about it. You learn more about who the Queen is and why she became evil.
Do you think Henry (Jared Gilmore) has absorbed any of her darkness?
No. He’s a good kid, and I think he relates more to the Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) character, which is probably what’s frustrating for Regina as well.
She’s been raising Henry for 10 years. Does she care about him, or is she just using him as a pawn?
I think she does care for him. I think she really does love him. She may have a frozen heart, but it pumps mainly for Henry, I think. She genuinely loves her son and doesn’t think of him as an adoptive son, she thinks of him as her son.
I think Maleficent, for the Queen, is almost like a big sister. She’s taught her some tricks. And they’ve probably created curses and spells together. But when she goes to visit her, it’s not necessarily coming from a friendly place. She needs something from her.
This season, Snow White gets a gal pal in Cinderella (Jessy Schram). Will the Evil Queen have girlfriends?
I’m hoping Kristin comes back as Maleficent, or to Storybrooke, where she can be one of Regina’s friends. Regina does have one friend in Storybrooke that’s connected to the John Doe (Josh Dallas) character. Someone you haven’t met.
We hear that when John Doe finally comes out of his coma, Regina will be right there to help him.
Regina helps him get back to his life before he fell into a coma. And there’s always an ulterior motive. It’s always some control or power that she’s afraid to lose. There’s a lot of set-ups with her, but how much of it is real, we don’t know. Remember, it’s the writers of Lost. This can go in any direction.