ONCE UPON A TIME: Lana Parrilla Talks Regina, Sheriff Graham, Mr. Gold and More. Plus, Preview 'Desperate Souls'! - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

ONCE UPON A TIME: Lana Parrilla Talks Regina, Sheriff Graham, Mr. Gold and More. Plus, Preview ‘Desperate Souls’!

January 7, 2012 by  


The last episode of 2011 ended with the (literal) heart-crushing death of Sheriff Graham, and now in his absence, the rivalries between Emma and Regina as well as Regina and Mr. Gold are going to heat up.

What else can fans expect from the show’s return? To try and get some hints, I chatted with Lana Parrilla (Regina/Evil Queen)…

Have people been yelling at you for Regina killing Sheriff Graham?
Lana Parrilla: No, what are you talking about? [Laughs] [I’ve been yelled at] all morning!

I’ve seen such a passionate reaction from fans, so I can’t imagine what you’ve been experiencing!
LP: Well my mother has been attacking me on a daily basis. She loves him, right? And all her friends [do, too]. [My mother says,] “Lana, all my friends keep telling me, ‘Why did she have to kill him? Why did she have to kill the really good-looking one?'” Everyone’s devastated, as am I. Losing a character is sad for all of us on all levels. We all loved Jamie [Dornan (Sheriff Graham)], we all loved working with Jamie, we all became good friends with Jamie and we miss him.

That’s understandable. How is Regina coping with the fallout of Graham’s death?
LP: You’ll see early on in this next episode how she feels about it. It wasn’t an easy choice for her. She clearly loved him; she did. You see it in the bedroom scene, too. Yes, he’s remembering and yes she’s worried about that, but when she touches him, when she kisses his shoulder, it’s real. And she really cared for him. Or she still does. He just died, so it’s not like those feelings are gone so easily. [Laughs] But there is a genuine love and care for him and you will see that in the next episode.

Does it cross her mind in any way that by eliminating him, she could be drawing more attention to herself — and the curse — if people start to wonder why he died?
LP: You know, I don’t think Regina is really afraid of anything. She makes these choices in her life — these are her choices, these are her decisions. She may not know what to do in the moment — even as she’s crushing a heart — but she’s not afraid of the repercussions of her choices. I think she really takes everything on full-force and deals with it as she needs to, as she moves forward to whatever challenges come her way. She’s a bold character, she’s fearless. She really is.

Which makes it even more interesting that she’s going to be up against Mr. Gold in Sunday’s episode in regards to Emma. What can you tease about that?
LP: I think she’s quite surprised to see Mr. Gold backing Emma up. It’s not something she anticipated. I think that when she learned that Emma was going to run for Sheriff, she was like, “[Laughs] Well, okay, this is going to be easy. Here’s this new chick that’s come into town, she’s been here like six weeks, she doesn’t know anyone and she’s running up against Sidney Glass, who has been here for 28 years and knows these townspeople better than anyone?” I don’t think she sees it as a threat initially — until she learns that Mr. Gold is backing her up. It just becomes a different game, dirty politics.

I always see these two, Mr. Gold and Regina, as the mob. I just do. It’s funny, because there’s a photo that was taken of both Robert [Carlyle (Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold)] and I, and we look like hit men. [Laughs] And I showed it to him and I was like, “Check this out!” And he was like, “Oh my God.” I mean, we’re both putting our gloves on at the same time like we’re about to kill someone. [Laughs] It’s like we’re the mob!

That’s amazing.
LP: It’s hilarious. I like to bring comedy to the whole thing. Dirty politics and mobsters. That’s how I see them and [their] rivalry.

They do have such an interesting relationship, because it feels like every word they say to each other also has layers of knowledge and threats mixed in. Will we be learning a bit more about their history as well?
LP: Yeah, you will, you will. You’ll also see them in fairytale land together and…you know, Robert and I talk about this and it’s like a love-hate relationship [with those characters]. I see them as comrades and I see them as [having] rivalries. They really go back and forth. It’s fun for these two. it’s fun for them to toy with one each other. It’s a game and they both play it so well. One triumphs and the other one triumphs and it just goes back and forth. It’s a lot of fun for the actors and I know it’s fun for the audience to see.

ONCE UPON A TIME returns Sunday, January 8 at 8 PM on ABC. But if you can’t wait another moment, we have the first 8 minutes for you to watch right here!

We’ll have more for you from our chat with Parrilla soon, but in the meantime, don’t forget to check out the fun extras they have on the show’s official site!

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