On 23rd November 2011, the day after the 20th Anniversary of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, filming for Skin Deep started, and this scene, with Rumple catching Belle on her fall from the ladder, was shot on that very first day. This scene was basically where the magic of this episode and the Rumple and Belle ship really started.
She reaches up to tug a cover from a mirror but he quickly stops her, ending up pressed against her, his front to her back… They stay that way for a long beat. Without her seeing, he breathes in the scent of her, leans towards her…
"When she fell— fell down from the ladder, into my arms, when the curtain gets pulled down, I did— I really liked that, that little moment: there’s that really kind of startled look in my eyes, when Rumple sees the light come in and he’s holding her for the first time, and of course that human touch is the last time Rumple actually had a human touch like that, so it’s a big moment."
↳ The behind the scenes footage gives us a much better look at Belle’s expression when she has a moment of doubt and sadness when she thinks maybe Rumplestiltskin isn’t coming to save them after all. Of course just moments later she goes to her father and insists there’s still hope: she often seems to just know things. When the knock on the door comes she’s certain it’s HIM, but the sadness she felt here, before she’s entirely certain he would come, that was real, because what would her life have been, what would all of their lives been, if he never saved them from the Ogres? Maybe she knew some of that too.
"For me, it’s been [about] developing her brightness, and her strengths but at the same time her vulnerability. I really get to have fun with her. It’s nice to play a strong woman [who] also just has this wonderful energy to her.”
Jane: “This character that you’ve come up with, Bobby, is so amazing. The way he moves and speaks is so unique and so.. you can’t look away![…]It’s fantastic, and it’s really fun to write toward.[…] I wasn’t here for the pilot but obviously they wrote these lines originally not knowing how they were going to be performed, but now that I’m writing them - knowing how it’ll be performed - it’s so much fun to hear it in my head. I hear your voice as I’m writing it, and that helps so much.” Bobby: “Well… I thought for the first few episodes - I always imaged you guys back in L.A. seeing this stuff going [laughing] ‘What is he doing? I didn’t expect it to be like that at all!’” Jane: “Oh, no, well, I don’t know what the reaction was like during the pilot but I assume it was unmitigated glee because it’s absolutely perfect.”
Jane Espenson and Robert Carlyle on bringing Rumple to life and having fun writing a favourite character, Skin Deep commentary
"It was fun to sort of hide we were doing ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and let people gradually figure out like ‘hey, that looks like Belle, look she’s holding a book’ and then eventually he says ‘this beast’ and then we realise the handsome guy’s been Gaston this whole time."