"Once Upon a Time" fans have gotten their wish: Jamie Dornan returns as the Huntsman/Sheriff Graham on this Sunday’s new episode.
After Graham's heart was squeezed to death last season, fans have been clamoring for Dornan's return, either as the sheriff or as his fairy-tale counterpart. "It’s always nice to be liked," Dornan told Yahoo! TV.
Luckily, the flashback-heavy "Once Upon a Time" can bring back even deceased characters anytime. This Sunday’s time warp goes back to the first day of the curse, when the denizens of Fairy Tale Land showed up on Storybrooke. We chatted with the Northern Irish actor about returning to the show and what Graham is up to on Day One.
Were you surprised by how vocal "Once Upon a Time" fans have been about seeing you on the show again?
I'm surprised. It's always nice to be liked … that's a nice feeling. I take it as a compliment. [Creators] Adam [Horowitz] and Eddie [Kitsis] tell me they get a lot of mail, not all of it too pleasant, regarding my death. I don't like the idea of them being hassled all the time, but it's also nice to know you have support and that people like the character and people like what you did with the character.
The flashback goes back to the very beginning of the curse, right?
It's the first day of the curse, so you see all the regular characters of Storybrooke and dealing with the curse in its earliest form. So it's kind of bizarre because in Episode 1, Season 1, we see they’ve been living under the curse for years, so it's kind of the "Groundhog Day" effect -- they're used to it.
What's Graham doing on Day One?
You see his relationship with Regina and how she's controlling him from the start. That's quite hard to watch, it's quite ugly. We see her at her most evil and manipulative; we see her getting what she wants right from Day One. There's quite a few interesting things going on in this episode, and they get to tell a lot of things they probably wanted to explain for a while, so it's going to be a fun episode for fans.
We also hear that some characters come to town who aren't fairy-tale characters. What can you tell us about them?
I can't tell you a great deal about them, but a father and son come to town. And you know, people don't come to Storybrooke, so everyone's a little bit confused about where these guys came from. Obviously, Regina is the most confused. … From Graham's point of view, he's kind of confused and he questions it for a second, but Regina manipulates him into dealing with it and then doing what sheriffs should do -- on her terms.
There's something that is revealed about the father-son combo that come into town that I can't say too much about, but they play a big part in the future of the show and stuff that we've seen already makes sense. I had some scenes with those guys and they were really fun. New blood in Storybrooke is always interesting.
What do you think it is about Graham that he can be manipulated by Regina this way?
She's got his heart in a box and basically she can do whatever she wants. I almost think, though, even if that wasn't the case, Graham has a naive side to him and would fall for someone like that anyway. But he doesn't have a choice, basically, and she can do whatever she wants with him and plays him essentially like a puppet.
Would you be open to coming back, as either Graham or the Huntsman?
I'm definitely open to coming back. I feel like I'm part of that family. … Whether that means coming back in flashbacks as the Huntsman or the Sheriff, I enjoy playing both characters and exploring both sides of those characters. Look, it could happen again and again and again, or it could never happen -- that's not my decision, but I hope it happens more because they can play around with it and there's so many different things they can do to bring me back.
Is there anything you'd like to explore about the Huntsman's past?
We got to reveal in [Episode] 107 quite a lot about the Huntsman, and that's so fun to play because it's dark and sort of feral and primal. And also the bonus is you get to play around with wolves, which as an actor, is quite a fun thing to do. So if there's more exploration into that world of his, that would be cool because visually that would be amazing and it's fun to play as well.
"Once Upon a Time" flashbacks are usually very revealing. Will this one affect the rest of the season’s storyline?
It definitely answers a few questions and explains some stuff from Season 1 that people haven’t quite worked out. That's the beauty of the show -- they can flash back whenever they want and answer questions, like they did with "Lost." I think [this episode] is definitely an essential part of the "Once Upon a Time" jigsaw.
"Once Upon a Time" airs Sundays at 9 PM on ABC.