Once Upon a Time Is Good For Harry Potter Fans

ABC's Once Upon a Time Brings Magic to the TCA and May Fill Your Harry Potter Void

Fairy tales come true on ABC's new drama Once Upon a Time, which follows the fictional characters we've all come to know and love (think Snow White, Prince Charming, Rumpelstiltskin), who have been cursed and forced to live as commoners with no recollection of their magical lives. Jennifer Morrison plays Emma, the abandoned daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, who holds the key to breaking the curse and finding her true family. Morrison joined her costars (like Ginnifer Goodwin) and showrunners at the TCA today to discuss their whimsical show.

  • Each week, the series will go back and forth between the magical world and the current world, where the characters are leading regular lives in a town called Storybrooke. Goodwin, who plays Snow White/a teacher named Mary Margaret, called it "incredibly challenging and inspiring" to play two different sides to one character. She said that what was most exciting was not playing two characters, but playing Mary Margaret as a product of Snow White under the Evil Queen's spell.
  • Lana Parrilla, who plays the Evil Queen and Mayor Regina, echoed that sentiment. She said, "I'm having a blast. Anytime an actor is handed a script where an actor gets to play two roles is pretty awesome. I've worked pretty hard to show the contrast between the two characters. Regina is a much more complex character."
  • For her part, Morrison is enjoying playing the audience surrogate as the only outsider in Storybrooke. She said, "It's been fun to have that perspective on things, because someone has to comment on how ridiculous it all seems. It's fun to be able to have the freedom to have those reactions as Emma. She has a really tough exterior and for her to open herself to the idea of something like this out there and really embrace it is going to take some time."
  • Though breaking the curse seems to be the driving force behind the premise, the showrunners urged that it's really a show about the characters and what makes them tick. We've come to know these characters, but Once Upon a Time will explore that "void" in their lives, like what makes Grumpy grumpy and what makes the Queen hate Snow White.

For more on what you can expect from Once Upon a Time, just keep reading.

  • The showrunners said they plan on pulling fairy-tale characters from a number of realms, and that even characters made classic by Disney aren't off-limits. As for younger viewers who may not be as familiar with classic fairy tales, star Raphael Sbarge mentioned that his 8-year-old daughter loved the pilot, even though she's not well versed in all of the characters. She does, however, love Harry Potter, and most of the cast agreed that Once Upon a Time has a similar feeling to Harry Potter.
  • Photos copyright 2011 ABC, Inc.