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Interview: ‘Once Upon a Time’ at Comic-Con – Sean Maguire and Rebecca Mader on Zelena, Robin Hood and Season Five

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In the midst of this week’s Comic-Con chaos, Once Upon a Time‘s Rebecca Mader (Zelena) and Sean Maguire (Robin Hood) took the time to talk to journalists about what it’s like to be on the hit ABC series, and relationship of their characters. They said little about their forthcoming storylines; since the series is just beginning to prepare for season five, they know very little. The interview, so aptly described by Sean as “speed dating” was quick, and there was no chance, unfortunately, to sneak in a question about “Outlaw Queen.”

Sean Maguire at Comic-Con

Sean Maguire at Comic-Con

As most of you know, we learn toward the end of season four that Wicked Witch Zelena has been posing as Robin Hood’s wife, Marian,” taking him away from Storybrooke, and his true love Regina. It is a noble thing that Robin does in accompanying his “wife” now come back from the dead, but it’s all a scam, and made worse when it’s revealed that “Marian” is pregnant!

All Rebecca would say is that Zelena is still pregnant as we enter season five, and that’s pretty much all she knows. Both actors said they did not know very much going forward, but that it’s better that way. “I like not knowing,” Mader noted. “Some actors like to know everything so they can prepare, but I like to more fly by the seat of my pants and travel along the journey with everybody.” She explained that if she knew more, she could get attached to the future, instead of living her character in the present. So, she doesn’t really read the next script until she’s done shooting the one they’re working on.

Sean has found it hard to find a “good media-friendly sound bite” to “put into words” exactly what’s going through Robin’s head regarding his current predicament. The father of Zelena’s unborn child, Robin had not been aware that it had, in fact, been Zelena in Marian’s skin who’d seduced him.

“Robin is a good guy, trying to do the right thing—a man of good intentions. He loved his wife, but she died; he’d grieved her, and he’d fallen in love again.” And when Marian turned up again, he felt he had no choice, but to go back with her—the honorable thing to do, despite him loving Regina. “I have to say goodbye to that chapter and try to make a go of it with the mother of my child.”

When he read the script that revealed it was actually Zelena, he was a bit terrified what he knew would be a social media frenzy. “I’m going to get so much abuse on Twitter,” he laughed.

“The fandom,” he said, “is like football. The fans are so passionate about their team winning!”

Here’s the complete (albeit “speed-dating” variety) interview:

Follow our weekly coverage of Once Upon a Time all throughout season five: recap, analysis, interviews and more. Once Upon a Time returns to ABC in the fall.

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About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."