Lana Parrilla on ‘Once Upon a Time’ and Not Getting Her Happy Ending…Yet

Lana Parrilla Once Upon a Time Interview
Lana Parrilla at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con (Photo by Richard Chavez/ShowbizJunkies)

At the end of season three of ABC’s Once Upon a Time it appeared that Regina (Lana Parrilla) was about to get her happily ever after ending. But giving Regina the chance to actually be in a loving, committed relationship based on true feelings that have nothing to do with magic or spells just wasn’t in the cards, and before the credits rolled on the season three finale Regina was once again left heartbroken. Catching up with Lana Parrilla at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con, I had the opportunity to ask her about having that shot at happiness snatched away and what we can expect from the upcoming fourth season of the addictive, entertaining series.

Lana Parrilla Once Upon a Time Interview

So just when it looked like she was getting the chance to be happy everything got pulled out from underneath her again.

Lana Parrilla: “Yes, it’s not happening. It’s a bummer.”

Is she ever going to be happy?

Lana Parrilla: “Probably not. I am!”

Doesn’t she deserve a little happiness by now?

Lana Parrilla: “I think everyone does, yes. And yes, Regina does. She’s been through hell and back. Poor woman.”

So what’s happening with her this season?

Lana Parrilla: “You know, what’s interesting – and I was just having this conversation with Adam Horowitz – is I never like to know where Regina’s going. I don’t, and that first season I did and I think it was because I was the crazy fan and wanted to know and couldn’t wait. And after that first year I decided that I like being surprised, I like going through whatever Regina’s going through. When the audience experiences it for the first time, I like it experience it for the first time. So in this fourth season, I don’t know a lot. I don’t know a lot. I refrain from asking, but I will say that she is heartbroken and that it’s not the first time that she’s felt that. We saw what happened last time her heart was broken. Giancarlo [Esposito] is back and Regina goes to visit him in the cell/insane asylum where she locked him. She opens the door and says, ‘I need my mirror. There’s someone standing in the way of my happiness, I need help getting rid of them.’

I don’t know if she’s going to come back as the full-blown Evil Queen that we all love. But, there’s a high chance of that.”

Do you like playing her better as full-blown evil?

Lana Parrilla: “I honestly love both. I really do. I think if I’m the Evil Queen all the time, as an actor you can just kind of get like, ‘Okay, now what?’ Especially after four seasons you want more colors to play, more different sides to a character. I feel that they balance it out so perfectly that I never get bored. I really love playing both sides of her. I really do. I love the flashbacks. At times when I’m missing the Evil Queen, the satanic side of me, and then I get the opportunity to play that, it’s so much fun and delicious for me. And then when I get to play the vulnerable, redeemed Mayor Regina that we’ve grown to love, it’s refreshing and equally as fun for me to play.”

There’s a panel at Comic Con on ‘Kick-Ass Women’ and while she’s not an action woman in the classic sense do you see her as an action woman because she’s essentially built out of strength?

Lana Parrilla: “Yes, I do see her as a hero. I also from what I’ve seen and I’ve met a lot of fans, she’s been a lot of people’s salvation. They’ve learned so much from her that just because you’re evil doesn’t mean you have to stay that way. Just because you’ve made mistakes and done the wrong things, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t any hope for you. At the end of the day, that’s what this show is about. And at the end of the day, that’s what everyone wants for themselves too. They want to be happy. If they’re bad, they don’t really feel good about that. I think Regina provides a lot of hope for people out there.”

-By Rebecca Murray

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