ONCE UPON A TIME’s Raphael Sbarge Previews Archie/Jiminy Cricket’s Big Hour
November 25, 2011 by Marisa Roffman
After a week off due to the AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS, ONCE UPON A TIME is back on ABC this Sunday with a brand new episode — and this time, we’ll be learning more about the mysterious Archie/Jiminy Cricket.
To try and get more insight into the hour, I got on the phone with OUAT star Raphael Sbarge (Archie/Jiminy), who was quick to praise the writing he’s received on the series so far.
“What’s been so exciting about the writing so far…is that what they’re doing — which is really exciting — is that unlike a lot of other standard fare, where you have a bunch of characters that move all around the body or a case or a treatment or whatever, what they’re doing [here] is telling one story,” Sbarge noted. “One big story for one or two characters in the episode, so you have the opportunity to do a deep-dive on the main people in the town, sort of get a window into them. What they’re also doing in this case, by taking characters like Snow White and in [my] case, Jiminy Cricket, is they’re getting reinvented in just a delightful way, [that] I think in a way that brings them forward so we can understand them now. Jiminy Cricket is — [PINOCCHIO] is over 60 years old [and] I think the character was first introduced in the book which was written in Italian in 1880. The character is public domain. The movie is obviously owned by Disney. But what they’re doing is breathing new life into it and it’s really exciting to be a part of. It reminds me of the book ‘Wicked’ or what became the musical, WICKED…where you take stories and reinvent them.”
As for what Archie will be up to in “That Still Small Voice,” Sbarge was a little more coy.
“What can I tell you?” he asked. “Essentially the set up is…Sheriff Graham essentially makes Emma a deputy and in so doing, suddenly the curse begins to shift and change some things and suddenly a gigantic sinkhole mysteriously appears at the edge of the town. And Henry, knowing that that’s a clear clue to there being some shift, decides to go and see if he can find his way towards the other world. In so doing, Archie, out of concern for him and out of concern for his well-being, etc., follows him and all sorts of excitement ensues.”
And while Archie may have the best intentions when it comes to Henry, Sbarge teased that in the fairytale portion of the story, viewers may see a different side of Jiminy than we’re used to.
“What I can tell you — and there’s so much I want to tell you, but I’m supposed to tease certain things and not give you all the information,” he laughed. “So knowing the ground rules, essentially, what I can say is what’s really cool about Jiminy Cricket and/or playing him as a therapist in a modern world and Jiminy Cricket in the fantasy world, is that this is someone who obviously represents consciousness and doing the right thing. What’s the right thing? Obviously, in the modern world, the character is there to find your way and find your path and find honesty in your life amongst other things. What I can tell you is the thing that’s exciting about the episode [airing on Sunday] is that it shows how Jiminy Cricket came to be. He didn’t just land on his feet and become a Pollyanna do-right person. That is born of personal complexity for him and a real struggle and an essentially an out-of-the-fire and find the right way, so in a certain sense, there is kind of a wounded healer in a way. He’s not magical in a magical-for-being-magical’s sake, but someone who has come through it. So what’s fun about it is we can see how someone might not start going in the right direction, but struggle and ultimately find himself on his own two feet.”
Viewers may get to experience the journey of Jiminy Cricket, but when I asked Sbarge about the rumors of the upcoming death on ONCE UPON A TIME, he confirmed we will lose someone we know.
“What I’ve been told that I can tell you is it’s absolutely true, there is a death coming,” he said. “And I think it’s kind of a wait-and-see for you guys to see who it is. But it is absolutely true, there is someone who is going to die.”
Gulp. Can’t we just keep them all?
ONCE UPON A TIME airs Sundays at 8 PM on ABC. If you want to catch up on previous episodes (or rewatch your favorite hours), make sure to check out the official site!
And to be the first to see our exclusive videos by subscribing to our YouTube channel at youtube.com/givememyremotetv
Comments Off on ONCE UPON A TIME’s Raphael Sbarge Previews Archie/Jiminy Cricket’s Big Hour