Colin O’Donoghue was happy to move to Vancouver, Canada and join the cast of “Once Upon A Time’s” Season 2, but the intense response to his portrayal of Captain Hook, which has captured the imagination of fans, wasn’t something he expected.
“Yes, I was surprised by the reaction,” Colin admitted to AccessHollywood.com after ABC flew us to the set of his fairy tale drama, and we brought up to the actor the Tumblr accounts, online fan art and Tweets his character has inspired.
“I was kind of – a little bit taken a back,” he continued of “Once” fans who have gone ga-ga for the blue-eyed hunk, and his youthful bad boy take on the famed fairy tale character. “I didn’t expect [it].”
The Irishman has had a host of roles overseas, but before his “Once” stint began earlier this fall, his highest-profile role in front of stateside audiences was appearing opposite Anthony Hopkins in the exorcist-themed thriller, “The Rite.”
Now, playing a swashbuckler each week — one who combines a little heart, a touch of ruthlessness and a hefty chip on his shoulder — has brought him a host of fans, who are fond of sharing their big, big love for Colin across social media, including a few places he discourages his family from visiting.
“My family was sort of — [they] take the mick out of me and think it’s funny, and so does my wife,” he told Access during a roundtable interview, using an Irish phrase for “making fun.” “She’s like, ‘Have you seen what they’ve said, here, about this, or that and the other,’ and I was like, ‘No.’ I just say, ‘Don’t look at it.’
“It’s weird. You start working on it and… I’ve been up here since August… You’re here and you’re doing the work and then you go home, you prepare for the next day. So it’s not like it’s real, I guess,” he said of the fan fever. “I don’t know. It’s kind of strange (laughs).”
Also enjoying his success as Capt. Hook are Colin’s bandmates in his Ireland-based rock group (he’s the guitarist) – The Enemies.
“The guys think it’s great craic,” he said, using an Irish expression for “fun.” “They love it.”
Although still getting used to his stateside success, Colin has found the attention comes with some educational benefits — like increasing his vocabulary with terms like, “shipping,” a word employed by those who dream of seeing characters (or people) get together romantically.
“I didn’t know what ‘shipping’ meant up until like five weeks ago… I set up a Twitter because I thought that I should set up a Twitter and people were going, ‘Oh, I ship you. I ship this.’ I was like, ‘What does shipping mean?” he laughed.
Aside from his flashback romance with Rumplestiltskin’s wife, Colin’s Hook character has had little time of late for relationships on “Once.” Whenever Hook seems to make a connection with one of the ladies on the show, he finds himself tied up.
“I am tied up, a lot, yes,” he replied, when Access brought up Hook finding himself strapped to a tree, and most recently, chained up in the giant’s castle, as Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) escaped down the beanstalk. “I’m not adverse to that. I don’t mind.”
And in this weekend’s episode, “Into The Deep,” it appears he’s still in those chains Emma left him in when Hook again encounters Barbara Hershey’s Cora, the mother of Regina/The Evil Queen. (Click HERE to see a pic from this weekend’s episode.)
“I think the thing about Hook is that he will try and figure a way to get out of it, you know what I mean?” Colin continued. “If you’ve noticed, he’s always gotten out of it somehow or another.”
“Once Upon A Time” returns with a new episode, this Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.
-- Jolie Lash