Regina is facing a very unique kind of problem this season on ABC’s “Once Upon a Time.” She’s literally her own worst enemy now that her bad side — The Evil Queen — is actually walking around and plotting trouble in Storybrooke.
And The Evil Queen isn’t doing it alone. The villainous monarch, played by Lana Parrilla too, has a partner in crime – Mr. Hyde (Sam Witwer). This Sunday, the two evildoers will work on their attempt to steal the serum that could potentially split others into good and evil, something AccessHollywood.com asked Lana about when we hopped on the phone with her earlier this week. But first, we had to ask about the process behind bringing to life these wicked and wonderful roles in this new and unique storyline.
AccessHollywood.com: Obviously you’ve played multiple versions of your character, but I’m curious how this is different.
Lana Parrilla: Well, it’s different because I’m actually in scenes with myself. So, that’s really different. So it requires me to approach the whole process differently because I have to remember how I’m going to play it on the other side before [I’ve] even played it (laughs). And then, if I play the Evil Queen first, when I’m Regina, I have to remember what I did as the Evil Queen. And then, if I am playing the Evil Queen first, I have to know what I’m going to do as Regina (laughs). … So, it’s really about tracking. Yeah, it’s a little harder this season.
Access: As hard as it is, and as much work as they put on your shoulders for this, are you also, as an artist, kind of finding it invigorating?
Lana: Yeah, for sure. I mean, this is so awesome to be doing this role. I would say that I probably have one of the top 10 best female roles in television right now, and everything that I get to do with her and everything that they give me, with the material and what they allow me to do, is pretty incredible.
Access: How much fun was it to shoot Evil Queen and Hyde in the cell [from last weekend’s episode]? It was like evil and evil, bad to the bone, you and Sam, back and forth.
Lana: They’re like a match made in hell. They’re so fun together. First of all, Sam is a riot. I just adore that guy. He is so cool and so fun and he plays like 12 different characters after ‘action’ and ‘cut.’ Like every time we’re just hanging out, he has all these different accents he puts on and you can just improv and play with him, so he’s a lot of fun. And then as Hyde, he’s just drops into this crazy, scary villain. It’s like how do you do that? He’s really talented, so much fun to play with and I’m really curious to see what’s going to happen with those two.
Lana Parrilla as the Evil Queen in the ‘Strange Case’ episode of ‘Once Upon a Time’ Season 6 (ABC)
Access: [Back at Comic-Con, you told us you’d] like to see the Evil Queen go on a date because obviously, Regina’s not in that place right now. Is that something that they’ve written in yet? Some sort of romantic escapade … for something that she’s going to go on?
Lana: I could safely say that the Evil Queen is going to encounter some romance coming up.
Access: Was it as delicious and delightful as you had hoped it would be when you brought that up at Comic-Con, when you were [about to, I think, shoot] episode 2?
Lana: I think it’s all that and more.
Access: I love it. … Sean Maguire is coming back as Robin Hood for a multi-episode arc. Have you started shooting with him yet?
Lana: No, not yet. I’m not sure when he’s coming up, but I’m really excited.
Access: How did they break that news to everybody – or, did you just hear it? Sometimes stories break out there in the press first…
Lana: We learned about it, we were told and so we had to kind of not say anything and then it came out very quickly after we were told. It was a surprise to everyone and everyone’s really excited because Sean is — he’s a veteran on the show, he’s a ‘Once Upon a Time’ family member and we are really excited to have him back. Everyone’s had babies on the show, so everyone’s babies know each other, and it’s going to be a big family reunion, so we’re really excited to have Sean back.
Access: Awesome. So with the splitting serum sort of being a focus of Sunday’s episode … if the Evil Queen and Hyde [get ahold of] it, do you think that they could control themselves when it came to using it?
Lana: I don’t know if I want to see them control themselves. [I think it’s] fun, kind of, seeing them do all the things we don’t do (laughs). I don’t know. … I don’t think they’re going to be able to control themselves. I think they’re just out to be bad.
Access: Lastly … let’s talk about Regina and just how she’s feeling. What is she most worried about at this point in time? I feel like they’ve thrown a lot on her plate at the minute.
Lana: Yeah, they have. I think that … right now, is just trying to deal with one problem at a time. She’s juggling quite a bit, but ultimately, she feels really guilty. She feels at fault, like this is her fault. She let this darkness out and now the Evil Queen is on the loose and creating havoc and problems and driving wedges in between people and this is all Regina’s fault. And so she’s determined to permanently destroy her evil self.
“Once Upon a Time” continues Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.
— Jolie Lash