Fans may fight over whether Emma belongs with Captain Hook or Neal on Once Upon a Time, but in real life Michael Raymond-James and Colin O’Donoghue are buds. When Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with stars at San Diego Comic-Con 2013, they opened up about Neal and Hook's father-son dynamic, what to expect from Season 3, and how they go about playing their parts when they don't know what's coming next.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Colin will Hook be taking the lead to find Henry in Neverland since you’ve had lots of experience in the there?
Colin O'Donoghue: Well we’re all there together but I think Rumplestiltskin has his own sort of, you know what I mean, he’s been there as well, as we found out in the finale episode. So it will be interesting to see, we’ve only just done the first week so I’m not exactly sure what’s going to happen yet, but it will be interesting. I’ll obviously know the lay of the land having been there hundreds of years so I don’t really know yet!
Where do Neal and Emma stand? He can’t be gone for good.
Michael Raymond-James: Well, where we left it was that we just were about to say some of the unsaid things we’ve been carrying around with us like a cross on our backs. You know at that moment where you think, oh it’s too late. Where it goes from there, it’s really — this show in particular is difficult to discuss in normal terms, but now the fact that we really don’t know where it’s going at this point makes it way more difficult. We’re sort of finding out as the audience does.
Colin: Pretty much, but it makes it interesting when you don’t really know what’s going to happen and then you get the script and you go Oh my God, really?
Is it difficult to portray a character when you don’t know their arc?
Michael: Well, yeah. The thing is we’ve lived in these characters, Colin and I, for year, so the character aspect is sort of dialed in and now just the direction of where they take the action. They’re really great about, Adam and Eddie are, about opening up lines of communication. Like, is this working for you? Last season I knew my entire arc because I had a beginning, middle, and end. This season we just sort of hit the ground and started running, and, you know, we’ll fill you in later type of thing.
Colin: But the filling in hasn’t happened yet so….
Will you be passing down your fatherly advice?
Colin: It’s sort of weird because I think Hook was genuinely willing to give up anything for this child because he represented the love of his life. He was willing to be a father and I think that’s still relevant.
Michael: One of the interesting things your character said last year was when you spoke about Rumple’s quest to try and find Baelfire you said maybe he doesn’t want to be found because, you knew. That’s sort of step-fatherly!
Colin: It kind of is, yeah.
Will Neal be out for revenge for Tamara and Greg?
Michael: The forefront of Neal’s mind at this point is the love of his life and his son. That’s the most important thing, once I can make sure they’re safe… I don’t think Neal has, he’s seen what revenge has done to people, you know what I mean? He takes a different approach to it. He’s not one that’s going to seek out and physically harm anybody. Obviously the marriage is off! The wedding is off!
Catch the Once Upon a Time Season 3 premiere on September 29, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.