Thirteen-year-old Dylan Schmid has a great job. Playing the young son of Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) in the ABC hit series Once Upon a Time, Dylan’s character Baelfire was introduced earlier this season in “Desperate Souls.” Sunday evening, Baelfire makes a return appearance in an episode called (not coincidentally) “The Return.”
A resident of Vancouver Island, Dylan Schmid has been acting for several years. Dylan’s mom Sherri told me that “Dylan has been ‘wowing’ us for years!” starting at the tender ago of 5. Dylan has appeared in everything from student films to opera (but not singing). Dylan sat down with me last week to talk about his experience Once Upon a Time.
Thank you, Dylan for speaking with me. Once Upon a Time fans are really looking forward to “The Return” (airing Sunday night, April 22).
So am I.
Tell me how you got cast as Baelfire? What was the process?
Well, it was just like an everyday audition. I usually do a couple of auditions every week, and it was just like one of those. My agent just calls me up, or she emails me, and says, “Yeah, we have a great audition for you.” She just emails me the script, and then I practice, and we just take a ferry to Vancouver and just go to the location of the audition and see what happens.
What was your Once Upon a Time audition like? Did you read with Robert Carlyle (who plays Baelfire’s father Rumplestiltskin on the series)?
No, Robert wasn’t there. Michael Waxman (director of Dylan’s first episode “Desperate Souls”) was there.
Is Once Upon A Time what you would call probably your most high profile part so far?
Yeah. It’s the biggest show I’ve done. I’ve done a lot of theatre, but, yeah, it’s totally the biggest show.
You’ve also appeared in another big primetime television series, Fringe, which airs on FOX. Has that aired yet?
Yeah. That’s already aired. (“Forced Perspective” aired in January.)
So tell me what a day on the set of Once Upon A Time is like.
It’s really fun. Everyone there is really nice. Everything’s really prepared. I felt like everyone there knew exactly what they were doing. Everything just worked out perfectly. And it was really, really fun.
How many days did you spend on the set shooting your Once Upon a Time episodes?
“Desperate Souls” was about four days. “The Return” just four days as well? But it was much more intense.
Most of your scenes, at least in the last episode were with Robert Carlyle and then a great scene with Brad Dourif (Lord of the Rings). How was it like working with just like really actors like that, who are at the top of their game?
Well, it was pretty overwhelming at first. I can’t really explain how fun it was. It was probably one of the [most fun] things I’ve ever done.
What was the most fun thing about it?
Probably work one-on-one with Robert Carlyle.
Can you tell us anything about that?
He was just fantastic. Like he’s just such a good actor and he knows what he’s doing. I mean, there’s fun times and there’s the serious times and I—because he’s such a great actor, it helps me too to learn and to take off of.
Okay. I know he’s known as a great improvisational actor and…
Were you able to do a lot of improvising things with him for your scenes?
Yes. Actually, yeah.
I have a question about Rumplestiltskin, since he’s your dad on the show. Do you think he’s a bad guy or a good guy?
I think he’s kind of in the middle. I think there’s something like overtaking him, like some sort of evil that’s kind of overtaking him. I think sometimes he sort of realizes…
I know you can’t tell us much about the upcoming episode, “The Return,” But can do know if your character will return and be in another episode?
I actually don’t. It’s up to the writers, so I don’t know about that.
Are you a Once Upon a Time fan?
So what’s your favorite episode, not counting the two that you’ve been in?
My favorite one other than that would probably—I actually don’t know. I like all of them. They’re all really good.
And, agreeing with the young actor, I left it at that!
In Sunday’s new episode penned by Jane Espenson, we learn what happens after the events of “Desperate Souls” in which Rumplestiltskin transforms from being a terrified peasant to gathering within himself all the powers of the Dark One. When we last left Rumple, he’d become (to say the least) a much more agressive soul, leaving Baelfire the one now terrified. Of his father!
On the Storybrooke scene, we will learn more about August’s (Eion Bailey) role in the story, as events begin to come to a head for all the characters, from Mayor Regina Mills (Lana Parrilla) and Mr. Gold (Carlyle) to Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin), Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and David (Josh Dallas).
Once Upon a Time returns to ABC Sunday night at 8:00 ET, heading into the final four episodes of its first season.