ABC’s fairytale drama, Once Upon a Time, has proved to be one of the most popular new dramas of the television season. The cast and crew of the show gathered Sunday afternoon at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills for the third day of PaleyFest (the William S. Paley Television Festival) that is in its 29th year of celebrating television.
The show’s creators/writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz pledged that they will continually try to “keep surprising people…and always push the show forward” through the rest of the first season.
The event started with a brand-new episode, “Dreamy,” that wasn’t set to air until Sunday night. The producers of the show also treated the audience to a sneak-peek of next week’s episode—where we learn who the Big Bad Wolf is. Along with the creators, many members of the ensemble cast were present, including: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Josh Dallas, Lana Parilla, Robert Carlyle, and Raphael Sbarge.
Some of the afternoon’s best insights came when the actors described getting into their Storybrooke characters. Carlyle, who brilliantly plays Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold, revealed that he decided on how to play the role by setting up three layers: his facial tics were inspired by masks, his theatricality by the Italian Commedia dell’Arte, and his voice by his 6 year-old son. The makeup process for Rumpelstiltskin takes around two hours, not including the time it takes to put on the actual costume.
Parilla is deliciously wicked as the Evil Queen/Regina, and although she admitted her costumes make it nearly impossible to breathe, she said they do, “help me create the character.” Parilla said the Queen is so much fun to portray that “I feel like I’m flying when I play her.” It was recently announced that actress Barbara Hershey will appear in later episodes as the Queen’s mother. Parilla said, “I kept saying, ‘Can we have just one Beaches moment?’” But from the looks of things, the Queen won’t be getting along great with her mom.
Lots of details were revealed about upcoming episodes; however, these are the same guys who created Lost, so they know how to keep some mystery under wraps. One of the biggest spoilers was that both Mr. Gold and David would end up on Archie the therapist’s couch. Sbarge noted that “he has real job security” living in Storybrooke.
Kitsis and Horowitz also divulged that the Stranger who appeared a few episodes back will eventually be revealed, as will Henry’s father (or at least sometime in future seasons.) Emma will not necessarily start to believe in Henry’s take on the people of Storybrooke being fairy tale characters, but she will begin to notice that something is off in the town. When asked if Maleficent was going to return, Horowitz responded that “it would be a disappointment if we never saw her again.” The show is also eager to add new characters to the cast, including Little Mermaid in season two.