Once Upon A Time Season 3: Colin O'Donoghue On Hook's 'Internal Struggle,' His Relationship With Emma

On ABC’s “Once Upon A Time,” Colin O’Donoghue’s Captain Hook has done plenty of lying, scheming and double crossing, but Season 3 has offered a look at his noble side as he pitches in alongside the Charming family (and Regina) in the quest to find Henry.

“He’s had 300 or so odd years of living with hatred and all that kind of stuff and now he’s desperately trying to figure out if he wants to let go of that or not, which is an incredibly difficult thing to do when that’s been the only driving force that you’ve had for so long,” Colin told reporters on the “Once Upon A Time” set in Vancouver on Thursday. “So he’s sort of a man who’s had a massive internal struggle and I definitely think there’s a side of him that wants to do the right thing, within the confines of being Captain Hook, and being a pirate, and being quite selfish. So that’s kind of where he’s at, at the minute.”

He isn’t always selfish. In last Sunday’s Season 3 premiere, the pirate captain gave Henry’s mother, Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), a gift of great personal and sentimental value in order to cheer her up and arm her for their journey to Neverland — an item that belonged to her ex — Neil/Baelfire (Michael Raymond-James).

PHOTOS: ‘Once Upon A Time’ — The Latest Episodic Pic Sneak Peeks From Season 3

“[Previously,] Hook was willing to give up everything for Baelfire to sort of become a father figure to him and in the first episode he gives Emma this sword that he’s kept for hundreds of years that was Baelfire’s sword and he says that he misses him as well, and so she sees a side of him that’s kind of a little bit different,” Colin said. “She sees that he does actually care about Baelfire. … Hook and Emma have always sort of been able to see an element of themselves in each other.”

But, whether kindness, caring, and being a handsome, quick-witted pirate will lead to romance for Hook and Emma is still up in the air.

WATCH: Jennifer Morrison — We’re Headed For New Adventures In Neverland On ‘Once’

“I guess we’ll see,” Colin said when one reporter asked how long Emma could avoid Hook’s charms. “Maybe she will. Maybe she won’t.”

But there’s no doubt Hook’s flirty one liners will keep coming.

“I did like that line in the first episode — ‘I quite you fancy you from time to time when you’re not yelling at me.’ — I like that one,” Colin smiled when Access Hollywood asked on the set visit trip, courtesy of ABC, about his amusing Season 3 dialogue. “I somehow manage to get away with these crazy lines with massive amounts of innuendo and stuff. It’s great.”

Around those lighter lines is some dark material. Henry has been kidnapped under the direction of Peter Pan, who now holds the youngster. Hook is the one character who knows Peter the best and as the season unfolds, audiences will get to learn more about the “Once Upon A Time” version of their fairytale history.

WATCH: Robert Carlyle On ‘Once Upon A Time’ Season 3: What Does The Future Hold For Belle & Rumple?

“At some stage you will get to see what’s gone on in the past, some of what’s gone in the past ‘cause remember that he was in Neverland for hundreds of years,” Colin said. “[Pan] — he’s quite a nasty character, really and sort of, traditionally, Hook, I guess, is the kind of bad guy. But their relationship is complicated. It’s not just as straightforward as, ‘Hook wants to kill Pan.’ … He’s tied to him in ways that I can’t actually say at the minute, but it’s interesting the way that they’ve done it.”

“Once Upon A Time” continues Sunday at 8/7c on ABC.

-- Jolie Lash

Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.