Lana Parrilla Talks Second Season of ‘Once Upon a Time’

Lana Parrilla has been bewitching audiences as the Evil Queen on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, and it doesn’t look like that will be changing anytime soon.

During the season one finale earlier this spring, we witnessed Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) break the spell cast by the Evil Queen that transported various fairytale characters to the fictional seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine. Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle) anxiously awaited the moment to drop a love potion into the wishing well to bring back the magic that was once lost. 

We spoke with Lana about what we can expect from the Evil Queen, her character in season two and why she is cheering for evil to win out in the end! 

How would you characterize the Evil Queen’s relationship with her adoptive son, Henry and how did your own upbringing play into that portrayal?

“What I see from Regina and her choices with Henry, is her commitment to him and how she holds on to him. She's so afraid to let him stray because she doesn't want anything to happen to him. To me this shows a mother who really loves her son and wants to protect him. 

This is something that I experienced in my family being a Latina.  My father was very loving and very protective. Protective to the point that it drove me crazy! But it was because his love for me was so unconditional and intense, that he didn't want anything to happen to me. I bring some of that to Regina and Henry's relationship. This is how I justify her stern and overprotective ways with him.” 

We’re starting to understand a little bit about your character’s upbringing and her own mother, Cora. What can we expect this season?

“There is something coming up in episode five (titled “The Doctor”) that will reveal quite a bit. You will see her relationship with Rumpelstiltskin during the time when she was young Regina. You learn the very specific reason why she chooses to go down the dark path with him.”

What's the motivation for your character now in season two?

“She enacted a curse and lost her son in the process. I feel that the price has been paid. What more could happen to this woman? Others might disagree, and even say she deserves it, but I think there is room for redemption.

She is mentally ill, she really is!  So we can't expect her to think like a healthy-minded person. In her eyes, none of it is really that evil. It's all for a good cause.”

How would you like to see the series go in terms of storyline or ending? 

“I'd love for some crazy showdown to happen. I think it should end with blood and tears! It would make for a great ending! It would also be cool if everybody died or if maybe we are all stuck in a book.” 

How has the role of Latinas in Hollywood changed since you started acting?

“The minds in Hollywood are starting to open up where we aren't being so categorized, which did happen early in my career. People thought I didn’t look Latina enough, that I wasn’t dark enough or that my lips, hips, or something wasn’t big enough. Later, other doors started opening up when I started getting recognized for my work. 

Sometimes people think I got a role because I'm a Latina, but in fact, it’s the character who ended up becoming a Latina because I got the part.” 

What advice do you have for young Latina actresses?

“I think it’s important for the young Latinas out there to go after every role, not just the traditional ones. They should realize they can be the lawyer, the doctor, the politician, the school teacher, the mother and even the Evil Queen.” 

Once Upon a Time airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m. EST, only on ABC.