ONCE UPON A TIME: Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz on Frankenstein, Possible Trouble for Snow/Charming, Neal’s Return, and More
January 20, 2013 by Marisa Roffman
In its two seasons, ONCE UPON A TIME has given us a fair amount of backstory for many of its characters, but tonight’s episode will more fully dive into one whom we’ve only started to really know this year — Dr. Whale/Frankenstein!
I spoke with ONCE UPON A TIME showrunner Edward Kitsis at the recent ABC winter press tour party, and he teased — with a bit of help from co-showrunner Adam Horowitz — a bit of what’s to come from Whale, Snow/Charming, the returns of Neal, the Giant, Bae, and if there’s pressure to make sure the end of season 2 ends as strongly as the first year did…
We’re learning more about Frankenstein this week! What can you tease about tonight’s episode?
Edward Kitsis: Once again, we’ll return to a land without color. For us, it was interesting he teased that he had to get back to his brother, so you’re kind of wondering what’s his story.
Dr. Whale is a — we’re going to tell you why he wants to make a monster.
Fantastic. Given how drastically the fight between Rumple and Hook is escalating, does one have the upper hand right now?
EK: When there’s a world with magic, you can’t stop Rumple. I think you’ll have to wait and see, because you have somebody who doesn’t care about his life, who only wants revenge. And you have someone who needs to find the love of his son, who has something to live for. So, when they come together, who wants it more?
You’ve teased we’ll see Bae soon. Will we learn what he’s been up to over the years?
EK: We’re definitely going to see Bae this year and we probably will see a bit of his backstory as well.
Rena Sofer was just cast as Snow White’s mother. What will that dynamic be like?
EK: Well, it’s going to be played with Bailee Madison (Young Snow White) who is so talented and so fantastic and she just blows me away. At that age, to be that mature?
She’s so good it almost feels like you’ve cloned Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White).
EK: You don’t understand, she did something on the dailies: she asked for all the DVDs of Ginny — she always does, she’s really professional. And she did this thing that Ginny did in another episode, and you’re just like… [makes a shocked face].
The interesting thing is, you’d think it would be easy to mother Snow White, but maybe Snow wasn’t always so white.
Hm. Will Snow and Charming be traumatizing Henry and Emma much more in the future?
EK: [Joking] You know, the original scene had them on a swing, so, this was the 8 o’clock version…I don’t think they’ll find the dungeon!
What’s interesting is how do you parent someone who’s the same age as you? And what is their place here? It’s going to be interesting. I’m excited about the Snow/Charming arc, because they’re going to face both external and internal adversaries.
One of them might be causing problems the other might not be so happy with?
EK: I would say please keep watching.
Okay, fair enough. Jorge Garcia (The Giant) is returning to ONCE soon. Did he and Lana Parrilla (Regina/Evil Queen) get to share a scene? I know she really wanted that opportunity…
EK: They have a really nice scene together. She probably told you they’re friends. And it was funny, they have one really good scene together, and that’s episode 13. And that’s Jorge’s [return] episode; it’s one of my favorites…It’s just fun and with Jorge, after writing for him for six years [on LOST], and Adam and I wrote — I can’t even tell you how many Hurley episodes.
Almost all of them, right?
EK: Almost all of them but “Numbers.” And I think may be one more. To get to work with people you love is why you do this. You want to create for people you love. Jorge just sings the songs the way they were meant to be sung.
Speaking of guest stars, Michael Raymond-James tweeted recently that once he returns, Neal will be in every remaining episode of the season. Is that correct?
EK: I don’t know, is the real answer. He’s going to be in a large portion of the rest of the season in a way. Obviously, he’s Henry’s father, but he doesn’t know about it. Actors are up there. They move up there. Emilie [de Ravin (Belle)] hasn’t been in every episode, but she’s been in a lot of them. We’re going to know MRJ.
Does Neal know anyone aside from Emma in Storybrooke?
EK: In Storybrooke? I don’t know.
[Co-showrunner Adam Horowitz joins us]
Adam Horowitz: We do know, but you have to watch.
EK: I don’t want to say. That’s the honest answer.
Fair! Aside from episode 13, what is your favorite episode coming up?
EK: The funny thing about our show is that everything is like the new toy. Every new episode is your favorite.
AH: The goal is always to make the current episode our favorite.
Where are you in the writing process of the season?
AH: We are around episode 18. We plotted out how we want to get to the end of this year, and all the writers are buckling down. We’re trying to make the coolest end run we can.
EK: This is the intense time. At Christmas, you get to push pause on the TV, you get to walk away and relax. Once it comes back, it’s hard.
Given how massive the season 1 finale was, are you feeling pressure about the season 2 finale living up to that?
EK: Yes, pressure that keeps me up at night.
AH: Look, we put intense pressure on ourselves, we try and do it with every episode, to always raise the bar. Finale or episode 18 or 19, we’re always trying to push.
ONCE UPON A TIME airs Sundays at 8 PM on ABC.
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ONCE UPON A TIME: The Cast Teases Tension, Revenge, and More in 2013