Now that Once Upon a Time's Regina has been framed for murder, will she welcome her mother with open arms?
That will be the big question when Regina (Lana Parrilla) finally comes face-to-face with Cora (Barbara Hershey). Little does the Evil Queen know that mommy dearest actually framed her for the murder of Jiminy Cricket (Raphael Sbarge), who isn't actually dead! How will Regina now handle being shunned by the residents of Storybrooke? TVGuide.com sat down with Parrilla on the set of the ABC fairy tale drama to get the scoop:
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Poor Regina! She just can't catch a break.
Lana Parrilla: I think it's a really lonely, sad place for Regina to be left in Storybrooke without anyone. Even Gold (Robert Carlyle) — he's there but he's not there.
She'll soon have her mommy! How do you think Regina is going to feel about her mother after all these years?
Parrilla: I think there are going to be moments when she does revert back to that little girl. As much pain as her mother has caused, at the end of the day, she is her mother and she loves her. I think that's true for a lot of parent/children relationships. Even when they go awry or horrible betrayals take place, there's a connection that's undeniable and that could never be broken by anyone. So, I want to make sure that that's there even through the fighting, even if we're throwing fireballs at one another. So much so that she blames Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin) for Daniel's (Noah Bean) death when she saw her mother rip Daniel's heart out right in front of her and crush it.
Children, a lot of times, can't make their parents wrong because they have to live with them, because they have to love them. And when you're young, you can't get on your Big Wheel and go down to the Best Western. You've got to live there and you've got to figure it out. I think that she's done that often with her mom. She's made a lot of excuses and has blamed others so she can still coexist and love her mother and feel loved, even though it's a demented sort of unhealthy love. And then there's going to be moments of the Evil Queen. But I think it's going to be different. It has to be. She's grown up in a different way. Now that she's lost everything and she's had this huge revelation, she's going to have to find a new way to deal with Cora.
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Were you surprised when you found out that Regina being framed for murder was the direction they were going in for the midseason return?
Parrilla: I'm constantly surprised. I don't always agree with all of it either, by the way. I don't. And there's a fight in me. But instead of making the call I go, "Okay, what's that about? What's the resistance?" Meryl Streep said, "When you read a scene that you hate or you don't like, that's where the character lies. So, you have to go deeper." So, I'm forced to go deeper. I don't like that Regina kills Archie for the sole fact that he represents the conscious mind. I question why would she do that? Obviously there's a twist. But that's what he represents for everyone.
Is this the turning point for Regina?
Lana Parrilla: Absolutely. There was that scene where Snow says to the Queen, "I know the woman that I met is still in you, the woman who saved my life." I do believe that that woman is in there somewhere. Sometimes it's lost for the moment and for a long time. But there are redeeming qualities to Regina. It's getting back in touch with the person she was before the betrayals, before the trauma, before she was damaged. One little incident, someone's wrong choice or bad decision, or a betrayal of some kind can mess someone up for the rest of their lives. That's where she is.
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How have you grown from playing Regina?
Parrilla: I wrote to [series co-creator] Eddy [Kitsis] and Adam [Horowitz] the other day, I said, "I want to thank you. I have grown so much." I have grown playing this character. It's not all easy. I think every character is a marriage between self and character. How much of the character is like you and how much of it isn't?
Do you feel pity for Regina?
Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8/7c on ABC.