EXCLUSIVE: Lana Parrilla Previews the Spring Premiere of "Once Upon A Time"

We recently spoke to Lana Parrilla, who plays our favorite Evil Queen on ABC's hit series, Once Upon A Time. The half-Puerto Rican actress gave us the scoop on the show's Spring premiere (airing this Sunday at 8 p.m. EST) and dished on what role Buffy alum Emma Caulfield will play in the show, what's coming up for her character, and who will replace Graham (Jamie Doran) as the new Sheriff of Storybrooke!

How is Regina reacting to Graham’s death?

Clearly, there’s a mourning period for her. I believe that she really cared for Graham and crushing his heart was not an easy choice. You do see in the early scenes of this new episode, there’s a scene between her and Emma and you see the level of love and compassion she had for Graham. I mean, he really filled that void on some level, as does Henry. Henry, more so than Graham. But those are the two men in her life. She doesn’t have a lot of friends so she tries to keep them close to her, but she’s lost one. It’s not an easy loss for her. Probably part of the reason she goes up against Emma is, ‘how dare you think you can fill his shoes?’ I don’t think Emma’s qualified for that position.

What will we see in Sunday’s episode?

Well, you’re gonna see how Regina and Mr. Gold take opposite sides. Now that the Sheriff has passed on, we need someone to fill that role and Emma is bold enough to stand up and run for Sheriff against Sydney Glass, who is played by Giancarlo Esposito. At first it seems like an easy fight, an easy competition given that Sydney has been writing for The Daily Mirror of Storybrooke for the last 28 years. He knows this town and the town’s people better than anyone else. We soon discover in the episode that Mr. Gold has backed up Emma and we know Mr. Gold is feared by everyone in Storybrooke so it’s dirty politics between these two. It’s a really interesting episode. It was a lot of fun. It’s always a lot fun, but this one in particular is a lot of action. There’s a big fire. You see Regina in a very vulnerable moment needing help from the big hero.

Will they ever explain how Snow White ruined the Evil Queen’s life?

Stay tuned. You will definitely learn what happened between these two women.

Who is the more powerful rival: Maleficent or Emma Caulfield's character, The Blind Witch? 

I would say Maleficent. I think there’s more history between those two as of now. We don’t know what’s going to happen down the road, right? But I had direct scenes with Maleficent. I don’t with Emma {Caulfield}. The way we connect is very different than what you would expect. I think that Maleficent is a much more powerful character overall.

When do you and Emma Caulfield square off?

In Hansel and Gretel. The way we see these two women is linked through mirrors. That’s about all I can say. That story is so juicy. I don’t want to spoil it.