Once Upon a Time Q&A: Lana Parrilla on Helping Emma
TVF: And Emma needs her help right now but since Regina has had her own time on the dark side of things, can that help her help Emma or could Regina get pulled back to where she used to be?
LP: The good thing is that Emma is outnumbered. There are a lot more good people around her than there are bad people and/or evil or dark characters. That’s really helpful for Regina because all it takes is to have one person to believe in you and that’s how Regina ended up on this path to begin with is Emma believed in her. Emma believed that she could be good and make the right choices and do the right thing and have her happy ending. Because Emma believed that in her, Regina feels the brunt of the responsibility to save Emma. Having the experience, the darkness, the contagion of the darkness, the joy and the magic in dark magic, Regina understands what that’s like and what Emma’s internal struggle is. So having that knowledge, she’s going to help her resist the temptation as much as she possibly can but ultimately it’s up to Emma. You’re going to see quite a bit of episodes of the two of them having very similar conversations about that topic specifically.
TVF: How was it been working with Jennifer this season since she’s playing a different side o Emma than we’ve ever seen before.
LP: It’s been great! It’s nice to see Jen explore this side of Emma because she was born with darkness so it’s been really fun for me to see Jen’s journey and how she’s chosen to go about all this with her research and what she brings to the table.People say it’s a role reversal but it isn’t. Regina’s never been The Dark One. In fact, the role reversal would be more with Jen and Bobby [Carlyle]. When I look at it that way, Regina’s never been afraid of Rumple or Mr. Gold. She’s never feared him so therefore she won’t fear Emma. Even less so because she knows Emma is somewhere in there.The way Regina deals with her is like she’s dealing with a person who is bi-polar. There’s Emma and then there’s The Dark One and sometimes The Dark One is so overpowering so when Regina is dealing with that sort of entity – because I look at it as some kind of possession – there’s a firmer, more ruthless direct approach.You’ll in this coming episode on Sunday Regina is looking and searching for the Emma that she knows. Her friend is in there somewhere. I don’t know if that’s been Jen’s choices in playing this character and if she’s made these choices for herself but these are the choices that I’ve made to help in how I deal with and respond and act opposite of Jen as The Dark One or Emma.