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The Evil Queen is dead. Long live hero Regina!
When Once Upon a Time debuted four years ago, Regina, aka the Evil Queen played by Lana Parrilla, was the villain of the story. Her foe was Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), a hero who’d swooped in to save Storybrooke, son Henry, and the day.
Now, in Season 5, which premieres Sunday night on ABC, the tables are turned: Emma is the Dark One. She’s the villain, and Regina is the hero. Not only that, Regina’s got love in her life thanks to Robin Hood (Sean Maguire).
Of course, this is OUAT, so even a happy ending can have a wrinkle in it — and that wrinkle is named Zelena (Rebecca Mader), Regina’s half-sister, who duped Robin into impregnating her. And as we all know, three’s a crowd when it comes to love.
So, how will Regina deal with the Wicked Witch? Yahoo TV chatted with Parrilla to learn that, and more about season 5:
What would you say is the theme for Season 5?
It’s really family-oriented, as it always has been. It’s about us trying to save Emma — trying to save Emma from the darkness and pull her into the light.
Regina got her happy ending, or mostly. She started out as this villain, and now she’s one of the heroes. What’s it like for you playing that evolution?
The last couple of years, exploring the lighter side of this character has been a ton of fun. I don’t think Regina ever thought she’d have family in her life. I think she accepted that she’d be alone. When she got to Storybrooke, this world that she had created was not really amounting to much for her and wasn’t providing her much happiness, and that’s why she adopted Henry. But she’s never had a support system or a team of people who are banding together to fight for her happiness. I think for Regina, she’s touched by this, overwhelmed by it, and also uncomfortable about it.
At the same time, she’s genuinely happy. She has turned a corner and the woman she once was — she isn’t that person anymore. She can never really go back to being that evil, dark character — unless something horribly dramatic happens and pushes her back into that darkness. I really have enjoyed it; it’s given me as an actor so much to play and so much to explore. And I’ve loved her evolution, and that she’s constantly fighting to grow and be a better person.
Regina and Robin are together, but there’s a big complication in the form of her half-sister, Zelena, aka the Wicked Witch, who’s pregnant with Robin’s baby. How will that play out?
I have a feeling that this situation is going to take time. [Zelena] is going to be pregnant eight to nine months, and I think the story is going to be told over the course of that. At this stage, right now, everyone is trying to jump on board to help Emma. Regina’s feelings about the pregnancy, we’re going to get to that — obviously this is a big issue — but it’s secondary to Emma going dark.
I think this season Regina is less threatened by Zelena. In Regina’s mind, she’s already won. It’s complicated, but we’ll figure it out. She feels like she and Robin can get through it together.
Speaking of Robin, it must be fun to have a real love interest, finally! What will we see from their romance this season?
It’s a lot of fun! It’s a little crazy because this season we are in Camelot, and there’s a lot that takes place there. Regina and Robin might sneak in a kiss while they’re running off into the woods chasing monsters [Laughs].
We’ve always loved seeing Regina’s Evil Queen outfits, but now she’s a hero, so will we see some new looks?
You’re going to see me costumed in a whole new look, a Camelot look. It’s not fairytale-land attire, it’s not Storybrooke attire. We’re now in medieval times. So, we’re going to see a whole new look for all these characters. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m dieting at the moment [Laughs]. These are VERY form-fitting, revealing costumes!
Season 5 of Once Upon a Time premieres Sunday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. on ABC. And be sure to check out our OUAT aftershow, Superfan Live, on Monday, Sept. 28 at 10 a.m. ET.