'Once Upon a Time's' Lana Parrilla on Graham's Death: 'People Are Going to Hate Me'
With the surprising loss of Jamie Dornan's character, the actress who plays Regina and the Evil Queen tells THR there will be repercussions.
Producers and the actors hinted that someone major was going to die on ABC’s freshman drama, Once Upon a Time, but when it happened in the last episode to one of the show’s most beloved characters, Sheriff Graham (Jamie Dornan), many fans didn’t see that one coming.
“I said, ‘My God, people are going to hate me. I mean, not me but like Regina, the Evil Queen,” Lana Parrilla tells The Hollywood Reporter. “They are going to hate her. Especially, like why did Jamie Dornan have to be so damned good looking?”
In addition to the fallout from fans, Parrilla tells THR that Graham’s death will have major repercussions for the series going forward.
What was your reaction to finding out that the sheriff would be killed off?
Lana Parrilla: Oh, my gosh. Well, my first thought was I’m going to miss Jamie. That sucks. I thought it was very bold. I think it’s very smart for the writers to do that scene. I think it’s always hard losing characters, right, especially if you work with someone for so long and you start to really bond and become friends and stuff. So, it’s hard to lose a fellow thespian. But, I thought it was great. I think that as more people in Storybrooke start to wake up, it becomes more threatening, doesn’t it? We’ll see who else’s heart gets crushed down the road.
There will be a ripple effect from Graham’s death as the series moves forward from it. How does that affect the queen?
Parrilla: Well, you know you do see a level of compassion for Graham. Regina, I believe that she really does care for him. If I approached it in a way where she didn’t really give a shit, pardon my French, you would lose some respect for the character. So, I really wanted to make him important. On the episode coming up, you do see this one scene with Emma [Jennifer Morrison] and Regina where you do see in Regina that there was a genuine care for Graham. There are only two real men, one being the boy, really, in her life and that’s Henry [Jared Gilmore] and Graham. She doesn’t really have a lot of friends. There is no one close to her. So, losing someone, it’s not easy. Especially, her life is very lonely. For the most part, everyone is afraid of her and everyone is, on some level, against her. It was a hard choice. It wasn’t easy for Regina to crush his heart. That’s why there is a tear coming out of her eye when she does it.
How does Graham’s death affect Regina and Emma’s relationship?
Parrilla: Up until now, we’ve seen Regina do everything in her power to get this woman out of town. She’s arrested her many times. She’s threatened her. This woman just won’t leave. And now she’s running for Sheriff. Holy shit. You know there’s a double threat there. One, she’s going to be around in Henry’s life more. And now, she has some power over this town. I mean, at the end of the day Regina’s the Mayor. So, you know, it’s dirty politics with her. Mr. Gold [Robert Carlyle] also has a hand in this. He jumps in and teams up with Emma.
Regina and Mr. Gold’s relationship is quite the mystery. When will we find out what’s going on between them?
Parrilla: I look at them as like mobsters. I always go to like Irish and Italian mobs. I just see them on these opposite sides but there’s also…there’s a camaraderie there, too. They know each other really well, these two. The way they communicate you can see there’s always a game. There’s always a game being played. Robert and I have such a great time working together. We’re just constantly dying for more scenes, more scenes. But I think they’re going to drag that out a bit; keep us, as the actors wanting more and keeping the audience wanting more.
Watch an extended sneak peek of Sunday's episode below.
Once Upon a Time returns Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro