Tomorrow, August 19, marks the release of Once Upon a Time Season Three on Blu-ray and DVD. To mark the occasion, Jennifer Morrison spoke about her character Emma Swan’s growth and relationships–and a bit about the upcoming season four.
Although Emma and the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) seemed to be on the same page from time to time during season three, Jennifer believes that although it might be possible “in real life,” it’s not so likely on a television series. “There wouldn’t be much drama if they got along,” she said. “So much of television is based on conflict, resolving things and coming together, and it all goes in cycles. To keep intrigue going and to keep people tuning in to see what’s going on I think we’re always going to be in cycles of conflict together.”
Jennifer noted that her favorite moments of season three were in the final two episodes. “They were both basically about Emma going on this great adventure. It was really fun.” Going to Fairytale Land for the first time was really enjoyable for her as she observed “her parents back in time meeting and falling in love, plus all of the journeys and adventures that I got to go on in those two episodes was really fun,” she explained. And then there were the gowns and all the other exquisite paraphernalia Emma finally got to wear.
Of course, season three saw Emma much more involved in the fantasy of Once Upon a Time. And staying grounded going into season four must be a challenge. Although she knows little of her season four story arc, she does have some definite ideas about Emma Swan. “I’ve always seen Emma as her own person and also she’s a little bit like the representation of the audience. When people first began watching the show there was no reason to believe in all these crazy things we were proposing so Emma didn’t believe, along with the audience not believing. As Emma started to be convinced and to fall for the truth of this storytelling, then the audience fell for it with her. It needed to happen in season one that she broke the curse, otherwise people would start to get frustrated at her not believing – because she had too much proof that these things were real. She obviously has to deal with the fact that she’s the product of true love and she’s the child of Prince Charming (Josh Dallas) and there’s magic inside her that she doesn’t understand or know how to deal with. That keeps her grounded in a sense.”
The success of Once Upon a Time is part of a growth in fantasy and science fiction on mainstream television these days, but particularly with fairy tales. Jennifer believes that “it’s a representation of what’s going on in the world.” Living in a time of easy information access, few secrets and a world in turmoil. “Everyone is searching for a place to have hope,” she noted. “The underlying message of fairy tales is that you’re searching for yourself, you have obstacles to overcome, there are journeys you need to take to find out who you really are, but when you overcome those obstacles you hope that life will be good. When we’re facing a lot of obstacles and we’re aware of the whole world facing obstacles maybe we’re all secretly searching for that kind of hope. So maybe Maleficent doing well and Once Upon A Time doing well is not just because there’s something comforting and nostalgic that we remember from our childhoods, it’s because there are underlying metaphors and subconscious meanings that are resonating with people right now.”
Once Upon A Time: The Complete Third Season arrives on Blu-ray and DVD August 19, 2014. I will be posting my (written and video) interviews with the cast and crew as we get closer to the season four premiere, so stay tuned.
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