‘Once Upon a Time’ Season 7: Andrew J West and Dania Ramirez Interview on Henry and Cinderella’s Relationship

Once Upon a Time season 7
Andrew J. West as Henry and Dania Ramirez as Cinderella in ‘Once Upon a Time’ season 7 (ABC/Eike Schroter)

ABC’s season seven of Once Upon a Time will take the show in a new direction, with the addition of new key characters joining just a few of the past seasons’ favorites. Among the newbies joining the world of the fairy tale drama are Andrew J. West and Dania Ramirez who play a grown-up Henry Mills and Cinderella, respectively. Teamed up together at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con for roundtable interviews, West and Ramirez talked about what fans of the popular series can expect when Once Upon a Time season seven premieres on October 6, 2017.

What can you say about the upcoming season?

Andrew J. West: “We can tell you that you’re going to see some characters that you’ve known for six years who are all in new places in their lives and in their particular stories. You’re going to see a version of Henry who has had some adventures, who’s learned some things, who has had some trials and tribulations, and who has been changed in some very significant ways. And we’ll discover through the season whether those changes are more positive or negative. He’s at a turning point in his life.

We also meet some new characters, like Cinderella.”

Dania Ramirez: “Like Cinderella. You know what’s interesting is the last six seasons you met young Henry, and young Henry was the believer. He was the one who was driving the real belief system between all these people. ‘Believe! I believe, you have to believe there are happy endings and we have to get to these happy endings.’ They did get a lot of happy endings by the end of last season. And then his story, he was so busy getting everybody else’s story written and everybody else’s happy ending done and solved that now he needs to go out and find what is his purpose. What is his life like?

He ends up believing at a young age and then growing out of it and getting to a different place. That’s how we start season seven. What’s happened to him between the time that he was sheltered – because he was sheltered all these six seasons by the love of both mothers and other people around him. So now he’s gone out on his own. And sure, as you know, growing up and being alone, leaving your home, you’re going to hit some hardships in life and that’s going to take a different toll on you and a different life. I think that just when you think hope is gone, I do believe that that’s where we are right now after we’ve finished six seasons. Just when you think something is done, there’s a new journey about to begin and that’s where we start. So, he goes out to find his own story and find his own happy ending.

There’s a lot of vibes between Cinderella and Henry. And she’s edgy; she’s a different kind of Cinderella. She’s not a damsel in distress. She’s been through a lot. She’s got this stepmother who’s put her through so much and now we see Cinderella kind of fighting back and saying, ‘Hey, what is my life like? I don’t want to put up with this and now let me find what can I do with me right now.’ That’s where we pick up. What happens to Cinderella after she leaves home? What happens after midnight?”

How has it been for you to take this classic character and see her in a new way?

Dania Ramirez: “Groundbreaking for me on a level of when you grow up, no matter where you’re from and what country you’re from, what ethnicity you’re from, you read fairy tales. You’re hopeful and you feel like you want to believe in something bigger than anything you know. And so I cried the entire day when I found out I was playing Cinderella because never in the realm of any reality did I ever think I was going to get a chance to play this character that was written many, many, many moons ago. But the universal themes of what a fairy tale is, in this particular one – the love story, the pain, the struggle – is something that everyone can relate to. It’s just going to be a different kind of pain, a different kind of set of struggles because of what she’s going through. You can see her as a mother in the real world as well. And that child, Lucy, is now the believer and take us in a different direction.”

More on Once Upon a Time Season 7: Colin O’Donoghue and Robert Carlyle Interview / Lana Parrilla and Gabrielle Anwar Interview

Watch the full Andrew J West and Dania Ramirez Once Upon a Time interview:

(Interview by Alice Balagia. Article by Rebecca Murray.)