Entertainment Magazine

Lana Parrilla Interview

Posted on the 16 February 2012 by Bittersweet1975 @onceupon_fans

The Chicago Sun Times had a lovely chat with Lana Parrilla!

NEW YORK — Lana Parrilla, whose dual roles on the fantasy drama “Once Upon a Time” include the fearsome Evil Queen, wasn’t satisfied just knowing her character was evil.

“You can also see she’s a tortured soul,” says Parrilla, “and I made a very conscious choice to reveal the pain underneath.”

The ABC freshman hit (7 p.m. Sundays on WLS-Channel 7) has a mind-bending premise.

In a nutshell: Thanks to the Evil Queen’s curse, a number of fairy-tale characters were transported to the contemporary village of Storybrooke, Maine, where they have forgotten their pasts as well-known storybook characters and, now stranded in the artifice of real life, have been denied every fairy-tale character’s birthright: the prospect of a happy ending.

The hard-hearted mayor of Storybrooke is Regina, the other character played by Parrilla. Also starring on the show are Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Robert Carlyle, Jared Gilmore and Jennifer Morrison.

Parrilla counts “Once” as her seventh series. Longevity isn’t a priority for her.

“When the script for ‘Once’ came my way,” she says, “I had the thought that maybe it will last only a season. But I was willing to take that risk.”

She should have said “parts.” She has had to master not one role, but two, “and in the beginning the challenge was finding their voices and how to make them different. I wanted the queen’s voice to have a deeper resonance and for her to have a freedom in her body — she’s fierce, she’s bold. Regina, I think, is much more calculated. She’s a politician. She has to keep her emotions in check.”

Even now, switching back and forth between the characters can be dizzying.

Literally: Playing the Evil Queen, Parrilla performs in a cavernous studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, with few sets or props, instead dominated by a sprawling green screen.

“After 16 hours on a green-screen stage, your head is literally spinning,” she says with a laugh. “Most of the queen’s scenes take place in the palace,” which is virtual”

But it’s not as if she doesn’t love to play pretend, and always has, even as a child back in Brooklyn.

“I played lots of fantasy games,” recalls the 34-year-old actress. “I would create these worlds, and I would believe in them. So it’s not that different as an adult. I figure if I did it then, I can do it now.”

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