November 13th, 2011 by thetvchick
Once Upon A Time was one of those pilots that I watched and I was immediately entranced by. It was different. It was something that I hadn’t seen before. It’s a modern-day fairy tale that focuses on Emma Swan who meets her son, Henry, who she gave up for adoption. Henry lives in Storybrooke, Maine, a town that he’s convinced has been cursed and that everyone living there is a fairy tale character, they just don’t know it. The show premiered to great success and has kept up its strong ratings ever since, and I’m so glad it has. I recently had the chance to chat with the show’s creators, Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (both former “Lost” scribes) about the show, what fascinates them about fairy tales and even the similarities with Lost.
First of all, congratulations on the full season pickup!
Eddy Kitsis/Adam Horowitz: Thank you!
What does the pickup mean in terms of where you can go with the story, and how it will expand?
EK: I think it allows us to open up the show a little more and start to dig deeper into some of the other characters that in the first thirteen, you only kind of got a little glimpse at. And I think what’s great for us is that we get to really tell more of the story over the full season and build to kind of where we were hoping to take it.
AH: Yeah, in the first thirteen, we were able to build a foundation of characters and storytelling and now we’re so excited at the opportunity to build it out further.
At New York Comic Con, you guys both said that this idea had been around for a long time. What made you want to tell the story of a modern-day fairy tale. And what fascinates you most about them?
EK: I think the thing we love about fairy tales, are, as writers, selfishly, they allow you to do everything. Some fairy tales are romantic, some are dark, some are scary, but at the end of the day, what we like best about them is they’re about hope. And it’s the possibility that your life can change. And I think that’s what attracted both of us, was that kind of underlying message.
And let’s talk a little bit about the casting process. I think Ginnifer Goodwin and Lana Parilla are fantastic, and really the whole cast is brilliant. What went into choosing everybody?
AH: It was a dream process, really. We were very fortunate that many of these parts we wrote with specific people in mind and when we went to them, they said they wanted to do it. We sent the script to Ginnifer, we sat down with Jennifer.
EK: Robert Carlyle.
AH: We wrote Rumpelstiltskin thinking of Robert Carlyle, who is someone we’ve been a fan of for so long, and to finally get the opportunity to work with him, and with all of them, was just amazing. We were very, very fortunate.
A lot of the story is told through flashbacks and the present day. Is that going to continue throughout the whole season?
EK: Yes, we plan every episode to go back and forth between the two worlds.
The Evil Queen/Mayor has control over the entire town. Is anyone else going to catch wise to her ways, besides Emma, who has been the main one to challenge her.
EK: Well, I don’t know, I’d keep watching, but Henry certainly seems onto her.
That’s true. And I know you are probably going to avoid answering this question, but am I right in assuming that perhaps not everyone in the present day has forgotten who they are?
AH: Um, I would say that right now, the only one who seems to have a handle on it is the Queen. But I don’t know, after last week’s episode, I’m beginning to wonder what Mr. Gold knows.
(laughs) That was my thought as well. Emma right now is straddling the line between believing Henry and thinking he’s crazy. Are we going to see her pick a side, or is she going to continue that journey throughout the season?
AH: That journey is part of her journey for the season, which is as her relationship with Henry and the town grows and deepens, what she believes when she comes to Storybrooke and what she believes after spending some time there, will inevitably change.
EK: But whether she’s willing to admit the crazy, remains to be seen.
Obviously, you both come from Lost. What do you see as similarities between the two shows?
EK: Well, I think that the thing that Adam and I learned on Lost, that Damon and Carlton really put in our heads is character first. And so I think that this is a show where also character is also much more important than mythology. And so that our entry point into every story is what does the character want and what do we learn about them. And also mysteries and mythology are a lot of fun, and things we love to play with. The most interesting mysteries for us are character mysteries. Mysteries about why people do the things that they do and how they got to be who they are. And that’s, in many ways, what this show’s really about.
And do you both have a favorite moment or scene from what you’ve shot so far?
EK: It’s hard to say. It’s like asking who your favorite child is. But every new episode, you’re like this is my new favorite!
AH: Eddy only has one child, so that question’s really not that hard for him.
(laughs) What can you share about this week’s episode? I’m particularly interested in finding out more about how Charming and Snow White fell in love.
EK: Coming up, I think we’re going to introduce Cinderella which we’re really excited about.
Kristin Bauer was just on recently as Maleficent. Will she be coming back? What can you share about upcoming guest stars?
AH: We loved Kristin, she did such a great job.
EK: Jessie Schram is going to be Cinderella in Episode 4.
AH: Alan Dale, who is our first Lost alum, is coming on in Episode 6, to play Prince Charming’s father. We got a bunch of guest stars we’re really excited about bringing on.
Not Lady Gaga though…
EK: One can dream! If she wants to come on the show, we are more than happy to write something for her!
That’s exciting. Obviously, the show is about fairy tales, would you ever release a Once Upon A Time Book?
EK: There is a book coming out.
AH: A fairy tale book.
EK: It’s the actual fairy tales. I don’t know if Henry’s book will ever come out. That story’s still being written.
AH: Never say never, but right now, we’re focusing on the telling of the story of the book, within the confines of the show. There’s a lot to it that we want to explore, before we’d be ready to show it in its full form.
That makes sense. Obviously there are a lot of little things that reference fairy tales — the poisonous apple, and more little things in the pilot. Can we expect to see more of this? Are there any tidbits you can share?
Ek: Every episode will have little touches like that. And little Easter Eggs coming up, and maybe including a few Lost ones that you might see in some episodes.
Sounds good. I think everyone can relate to reading fairy tales growing up, which is why I think the show has really caught on the way that it has. But why do you guys think the show has gotten such an outpouring of support?
EK: We’re as stunned as anyone. We’re really grateful that people like it. The two of us just wanted to do a show that we were passionate about and do it the way we wanted to. And we hoped people liked it, but to be honest, we weren’t sure they would. So we are very humbled by the support that we’ve received, and it’s really inspiring to us.
And viewers that perhaps haven’t tuned in yet (I’m not sure why!), what would you tell them as to why they should watch the show.
EK: Well, I would say because we think this show is unique and there’s not a lot of things out there like it. And every week, we’re trying to do something new.
AH: We’re not attempting to retell these stories. We are trying to find something new in them, something exciting about the characters to share with everyone.
Be sure to tune in tonight to ABC at 8 PM for an all new episode of Once Upon A Time!Tweet