“Once Upon a Time’s” Evil Queen/Regina has returned to fairy tale land, and as the season resumes on Sunday night, the character played by Lana Parrilla is in a very dark place.
Stopping one curse, by undoing her own, Lana’s Regina and her fairy tale brethren were taken back to the land they sprung from, erasing both Storybrooke and the memories of both Emma Swan and Henry.
Knowing that her adopted son is out there, with no memories of her — or their years together --will hit Regina hard when the show returns to ABC on Sunday night at 8/7c, Lana told AccessHollywood.com in a new interview. And, then there was a little talk about karaoke, too.
AccessHollywood.com: When the show comes back, who is Regina now that she’s back in fairytale land?
Lana Parrilla: Oh gosh, she’s a brokenhearted Regina.
Lana: Yeah. That’s because she had to give up her son, and she goes back to fairy tale land. There’s an image out there that I saw, and she’s just crestfallen, like her face is just, she’s — tears [are] coming out of her eyes. It’s not where she really wants to be and she just had no other choice. She had to make that decision in order to save everyone and most importantly, Henry, so she’s not really happy to be back in fairy tale land. She’s quite depressed about it.
Access: Is there anyone she can turn to? She’s not really the most open, talkative woman. And, she is surrounded by people who’ve had mixed feelings about her throughout the seasons.
Lana: Yes, I mean at this point, Regina is not the most open woman, but she doesn’t have anyone to talk to. I think what we end up seeing and I don’t want to give away too much ‘cause I don’t like spoilers (laughs) — I really don’t, I love surprises — but, I think what we’ll see is there is someone in her past that she has always had a very difficult relationship with, but so much time has passed and they have had to work together and she has moments where she confides in this person. It isn’t a new character. It’s someone that we know and you’ll see it in the first episode, this Sunday. There’s a small conversation between them where she basically is just talking about how much she misses her son and how difficult it is for her.
Access: Speaking of her son, how certain is she that Emma and Henry have lost their memories and won’t be able to come find them?
Lana: She’s pretty certain about that. She’s done this once before. She’s erased people’s memories. I think she’s pretty confident. It’s also part of what’s so sad about it, because she knows that Henry’s out there and doesn’t know that she exists. I think that’s the most heartbreaking [thing] for Regina.
Access: That is the same thing that Emma had to deal with, with giving her son up, and knowing that he was out there and didn’t know his birth mother. Now, it seems Regina will have to deal with that same kind of emotional arc, I would guess.
Lana: Oh yeah, and… that takes us through quite a bit, in the first I’d say, four to five episodes.
Access: There is a cute thief (Robin Hood) in fairy tale land. Can we expect their paths to cross? She was told that she has a true love out there earlier in the season and we know he is out there. Will we be able to see them together at some point?
Lana: They do meet up, but she doesn’t know who he is. They actually have to work together, but it’s not what you think. There’s a slight flirtation, there’s a little flirtation, but the way I kind of describe it is they’re ‘romancing the stone.’ You know? There’s just a lot of tension between them, which is great to see on screen, but in fairy tale land, like I said, Regina’s heart is so broken and really closed off to anyone. … She’s really given up and she has a secret up her sleeve and it’s quite jarring when you see it. And so at this stage, she’s not open to love, she’s not looking for any replacements or anyone to fill the void. Right now she’s mourning.
Access: Have you heard Sean [Maguire, who plays Robin] sing… because he had a pop career in Britain?
Lana: Yes! I know, he told me! I have not heard him sing. Although we do have kind of have a little ‘Once Upon a Band’ going.
Lana: Yeah, Colin O’Donoghue plays guitar and sings all the time and I think the boys went out karaoke-ing the other night, and Josh [Dallas] has a great voice and I love to sing and I think we all really love to sing.
Access: What is your karaoke standard?
Lana: I love Pat Benatar and The Pretenders. I just love The Pretenders. I also – I like Rod Stewart (laughs).
Access: A little ‘Maggie May’ or something?
Lana: ‘Maggie May’ is one of the best songs to sing. Toto, you gotta do Toto once in a while and do ‘Africa.’ … I’m kind of a dork like that, but I love karaoke.
Access: Finally, we know Rebecca Mader is coming in as the wicked witch. Is being wicked worse than being evil?
Lana: Is it worse than being evil? Hmm… I think they’re both pretty badass, I would say. I don’t think one’s worse than other. I think that they both have different ways of executing their revenge and anger and for different reasons. … Evil is pretty evil and wicked’s pretty wicked. I don’t know, I think they’re both equally badass is what I would say.
Access: Different sides of the same coin.
Lana: Yeah. I just think that they are – it’s gonna be fun. She’s doing an incredible job and I think people are really going to love watching the wicked witch and what she brings to our world.
“Once Upon a Time” returns this Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.
-- Jolie Lash