Colin O’Donoghue, Jennifer Morrison Interview: ‘Once Upon a Time’ Season 5

Jennifer Morrison and Colin O'Donoghue Once Upon a Time Season 5 Interview
Jennifer Morrison and Colin O’Donoghue at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con (Photos by Richard Chavez / Showbiz Junkies)

Once Upon a Time‘s favorite onscreen couple Colin O’Donoghue (“Hook”) and Jennifer Morrison (“Emma Swan”) made the press room rounds at the San Diego Comic Con as a team, however O’Donoghue was a little late sitting down at our table because he was going to flip things up by interviewing Emilie de Ravin instead of being the interviewee. Fortunately, that gig didn’t last long as we had many questions to ask both Morrison and O’Donoghue about Once Upon a Time‘s fifth season.

As you’ll remember, the final episode of season four found Emma turning dark. Although fans (myself included) might have wanted a little happiness for Emma, season five doesn’t appeat to be set up that way. However, we can still hold out a little hope. “Who knows? Maybe the darkness will bring out some happiness,” joked Morrison.

When asked for some hints as to how their relationship will play out in season five, O’Donoghue said he found some info out during Comic Con which he was willing to whisper in his co-star’s ear.

“I mean, Hook was a villain for a long time. I think he might like her dark side,” said Morrison, not sharing whatever was whispered. “I think he wants to keep her heart good, but it’s not like it’s going to turn him off. She’s still her. I mean, Emma’s still in her; she’s just tethered to the darkness. So what’s talked about at the beginning of the season, just in terms of me structuring the character, is that there’s this constant tugging. [Tugging at her hands] That’s what it feels like. She feels violent because of being tethered to the darkness, and yet she’s trying constantly to overcome it. There’s this underlying push of this dark, angry, angsty energy that doesn’t go with what she’s saying and doing, so the energy doesn’t always match her actions.”

“Much the same way with Rumple when he was the Dark One,” added O’Donoghue.

Morrison agreed, adding, “You know, she loves Hook so truly and so intensely…”

“Yeah,” confirmed O’Donoghue, with a sexy smile.

“So passionately,” added Morrison with an equally irresistible smile.

“Yeah!,” interjected O’Donoghue.

“That when she is herself and her good version of herself, she can make good decisions amidst that passion and that intensity,” continued Morrison. “But now that she’s tethered to darkness, we’ll see her making different choices because she’s not necessarily going to be as selfless once she’s tethered to darkness.”

How will this new darkness affect Emma’s relationship with Henry? “I don’t know,” replied Morrison. “I don’t have a lot of details about what it means for her and Henry. I know that everything in her being is going to fight against anything that can hurt Henry. Even if she is tethered to the darkness, she’s still going to be determined to protect him and to make sure that he’s safe, even if that means keeping her away from him. But I don’t have details on how that plays out.”

As the seasons progress, the story has gotten even less black and white, with more shades of grey coloring each of the characters. “I think what Eddie [Kitnis] and Adam [Horowitz] are exploring is that no one is entirely good and no one is entirely bad. And that there are all sorts of things that happen in life that push us in a direction. There are tragedies, there are losses, and there’s pain in life that can push people to do terrible things,” said Morrison. “And then there are places in life where you can find hope and strength that you can overcome some of that stuff, so nothing is ever clear cut. There’s a lot of messiness in life and I think that that makes these characters and storytelling relatable, because that’s how life is. You know, no one wakes up in the morning and says, ‘I’m going to be a terrible person today,’ but something might happen that causes them to do something they regret or maybe isn’t the nicest thing, and then they try to redeem it. We all make mistakes and we all have things to overcome, and there’s reasons for that. There’s baggage in all of our lives. I think that they’re trying to show that through these characters who’ve been in Storybrooke for a very long time and trying to use them as a way to say we’re all the same. We all have things that we fail at and we all have things that we succeed at.”

Turning to O’Donoghue, Morrison asked if he had anything to add to that. Laughing, O’Donoghue replied, “That was pretty comprehensive. Yeah, bad people are bad and good people are good. And sometimes good people are bad and sometimes bad people are good on the show, and that’s kind of the way it is. No, it’s interesting because as a character who came in as a villain, then you realize that he was a good guy at one point and then he became a villain and became a bad guy, and then another good guy and then a bad guy again… It’s what Eddie and Adam do really, really well because it’s so complicated – and all the writers do it well – because it’s so complicated and so crazy to try to get your head around. But they manage to always make it work. It’s a very difficult thing, especially in the relationship that they have because Hook has been bad so he’s desperately trying to keep her heart from going into that darkness because he knows what is like. Now that she’s in that darkness, he’s going to try and bring it out of her but he still has a little bit of it. I mean, we saw it last season – he still has a little bit of darkness in him. So, does he give into it? Does he try and take her away from it?”

Once Upon a Time fans will have to wait until this fall to find out the answer.

Watch the Colin O’Donoghue and Jennifer Morrison interview: