W: Hi there, this is episode 508, entitled “Birth.” Um, I’m David H. Goodman; I’m an executive producer and writer.
W: I’m Jerome Schwartz. I’m a producer and writer on the show.
Colin O’Donoghue: I’m Colin O’Donoghue. I’m an actor who plays Captain Hook on the show.
COD: I don’t know why I sounded so formal there.
W: We appreciate a formal introduction. Thank you, Colin.
COD: Well, I thought it was important, you see.
W: I think we should say, I can’t imagine anyone who’s watching this for the first time listening to the commentary, but if you are: stop, because I think we have to start with a big spoiler, which is that Captain Hook is a Dark One. Which obviously is something everyone was going to find out very dramatically by the end of this episode here.
COD: I thought it was interesting that it seemed to be, uh, quite a big shock to people. For some reason. But to me, Hook was quite dark in the beginning when I first started on the show. You know, he always had that darkness within him. So it would have been easy for him to give into it.
W: Yeah, and I mean, I should say, I remember when we were just starting out talking about this season, there was an idea of Emma’s plan in the present being—turning Hook into a Dark One, and then the room had this kind of “aha!” moment, which was, well, what if she already—what if she’d already done it, and that was the secret she was keeping in the present. And so, just in case anyone was wondering, it was something that was planned pretty much from the get go—
W: In one form or another, yeah.
W: Liam Garrigan, who plays, um, King Arthur, who has just been a super pleasure to work with and brought so much to the Arthur role.
COD: Yeah, Liam’s amazing. I mean, and a great guy as well.
W: Yeah, great actor and great scene here directed by, uh, Eagle Egilsson, director of the episode, who did a fantastic job with—yeah, I love that. Love that look right there. [Arthur looking at Excalibur]. And now, Colin, just to ask the question, I mean, what’s the approach actor-wise to an episode like this in terms of knowing you’re the Dark One, and knowing your character doesn’t know he’s the Dark One.
W: Is that hard to play and to hide and do you sometimes get confused even yourself?
COD: I just put on more eyeliner, to be honest. To dazzle people so that they don’t ask the question. No, eh, it’s an interesting thing to sort of know that that’s coming up. You know, for me, it was good because I got to play, you know, over these couple episodes—I got to play both sides of Hook, and it was fun for me to get to go back to sort of what the old version of Hook was like for me when I first came on. Well, I mean, it’s not that hard to do, I mean, you take the scenes as they come. You know the intention and the emotion and whatever that you want to bring across in the scenes and you just do it. I mean, it’s hard not to approach it that way when it’s, I think it was nearly 5 o’clock in the morning when we were shooting this scene, so it’s like late and cold and, you know, you have to try and bring as much energy and stuff to the scene at that time, so you kind of more deal with the elements at that stage than anything