LatinTimes: Lana Parrilla Talks ‘Once Upon A Time’ Season 4, Playing The Evil Queen, ‘Frozen’s’ Elsa And Romance With Robin Hood! [INTERVIEW]
ABC’s “Once Upon A Time" is returning for a fourth season on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 8/7c and fans will see the newest installment of the fantasy drama. One of our favorite lead characters is, without a doubt, Regina (also known as the Evil Queen). The character is unpredictable, badass, and perfectly portrayed by Lana Parrilla. Last season, fans got to see Regina fall in love and have her heart broken. This season, they’re going to see more of television’s favorite villain. Latin Times got the pleasure to speak with the actress about the new season, the future of the Evil Queen and more.
Latin Times: What made you want to play Regina on “Once Upon A Time”? Was that the role you wanted when the show was created?
Lana Parrilla: I originally was approached by the casting director. I was auditioning for a different project and at the end of the audition, she looked at me and she said, “I want you to play the Evil Queen on “Once Upon A Time.”” And I said, “I think I heard of that project,” but I didn’t know she was casting it cause it had just come out and the scripts were just being passed out to actors. So I told her it sounded intriguing and that I would love to read the script, and upon reading it, I thought it was wonderful.
I loved the Evil Queen, right off the bat, because she was different from the iconic Evil Queen we know from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” — she was humanized and she was a real person. So that immediately intrigued me. It was really the only part I was focusing on cause that was the part she wanted to see me in. There weren’t any other roles I was interested in.
I thought, originally, Emma’s character was really interesting. Her name was Anna, actually, before Emma, and I thought that role was really interesting but I thought the part was a bit young for me. I also never played a villain before so I thought Anna/Emma is a bit young and if they’re interested in seeing me as the Evil Queen then that’s pretty awesome.
LT: Out of all the characters, Regina is the most ‘real’ (or as real as a character can be in a magical alternate universe) since she’s been through a lot and her personality reflects it. Playing a character like Regina — who has shades of black and white — seems like it would be complex. How do you approach playing the part of the Evil Queen?
LP: The character challenges me quite a bit — she keeps me on my toes. I never know what to expect from her and, at times, when I do and try to predict her next move, she throws me a curve ball. So she’s constantly keeping me challenged which I really, really like. But getting to her truth is really my approach to this character.
Getting to the core and the origin of her emotions and where things derive from is really is what has set me on this path for Regina. Because there is so much happening on the surface level and so much she doesn’t communicate. But after playing her, I understand her inner life and her struggles and when I start to break that down, it’s a lot easier for me to play her. Her truth is really the most important and it’s what is at the core. If I don’t believe what’s going on to her then the audience won’t either so I have to get to the origin of that conflict. But I wanna see what Regina is struggling with and how she’s going to come out on top.
LT: What is your favorite part about playing Regina?
LP: Whether it’s kicking ass, breaking hearts or being vulnerable — those are equally great aspects of this character and really fun to play. I love playing “badass bitch.” I think that’s fun cause you get to exercise it on screen and get it out of your system, whereas in life, you’d probably lose a lot of friends and loved ones. (Laughs) It’s extremely therapeutic to get that stuff out through a character and not get in trouble for it.
LT: We’re dying to see Regina get her ‘Happily Ever After.’ Do you think that’s in the cards for her or is she doomed for being unhappy?
LP: I think good and evil that are present in everyone’s life. It’s really about making decisions for her and that’s her constant struggle. And it’s a new one. She, before, would follow these impulses and act out. If someone pissed her off she’d break their neck and if someone did the wrong thing she would send them off to the middle of the forest to fend for themselves. Regina, now, is more contemplative — she sits there and thinks things through and thinks about the repercussions. I would say she’s more adult and she’s matured quite a bit since she was the Evil Queen in the Enchanted Forest.
I think that she likes trying this new outlook on life and she likes trying it on. I think she really, ideally, wants doing the right thing but old habits die hard. She’s in that constant conflict within herself. I think what we’ll see a lot this season is her deciding between good and evil — a continuation of what we’ve seen — however there is a lot of room for surprises with Regina this season. I’m really excited about it. She’s a different woman. She’s a woman who has had her heart broken for the second time and that’s going to be a massive challenge to not act out and start hurting people like she normally would have. Those feelings; however, are still there. What will be curious to see is how she’ll react to the loss of Robin Hood and Marian’s return.
LT: What can you tell us about Elsa and Regina’s interaction this season?
LP: Their relationship is still very new. Regina is not quite sure where Elsa came from just yet. Right now Elsa is a bit of a mystery to many people, including Regina. I think at this stage, Emma and Regina will work together to figure out what to do with Elsa and how to deal with her. I think, ultimately, Regina has another agenda which is what to do with Marian. That’s kind of her primary focus right now: Robin Hood and figuring out how to maneuver through this new obstacle. And Elsa is just another added problem. I think it’s going to take more than Regina to handle.
LT: What can you tell fans about what they can expect from season 4?
LP: The first episode is a big “Frozen" episode and we pick up where "Frozen" ended. We start literally in Arrendale. It’s a fun first episode and that’s our premiere. And then, obviously, those are flashbacks and we have present time dealing with Frozen entering world.
We’ll see Rumpelstiltskin and Belle married, but he has a big secret that he’s keeping from her. He killed the Wicked Witch; that’s something we’ll see more in regards to Rumple and Belle. And as for Snow and Charming, they just had their baby Neal and Snow is quite protective him and dealing with the guilt of not being there with Emma in those 28 years. She’s really make sure she and Charming are awesome parents for the new baby.
Emma and Hook’s relationship is still blossoming and we’ll see some fun stuff with them. And Regina has something up her sleeve. We know that she is communicating with her mirror, Sydney, again. She’s brought him back and she needs him to help her find her happy ending. So they’ll be working together again.
You can follow Lanna Parrilla on Twitter @LanaParrilla. “Once Upon A Time” premieres on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 8:00/7:00 c on ABC.
LOVE it #also ohhhhhh what if we get cs acknowleding their voiceover?!! #hehehehe #outlaw queen #regina mills #ouat spoilers #(also...i wrote a fic for the first time ever and regina says this exact line...i died lol)