'Once Upon a Time' Star Michael Raymond-James Teases Neal's Backstory: It's All About Family
Fairy tale worlds collide on Sunday's new "Once Upon a Time"!
In the episode "Second Star to the Right," fans will learn more about what happened to Neal/Baelfire after he jumped through the portal that took him away from the Enchanted Forest. Turns out he ended up in 19th-century England and was taken in by a family named Darling. As in the family who took in Peter Pan!
So, Neal is Peter Pan? We asked Michael Raymond-James, who plays the grown-up Neal, but his lips were sealed. He did tease that the flashbacks show just how important family is to Neal, and that he and Emma will address their "unfinished business."
We haven't seen Bae/Neal interact much with his father, Mr. Gold. Where is their relationship now?
That's a question that Bae has as well. That's something that you're going to see get looked at and examined. That's a question that Neal has as well -- why hasn't it developed?
Do you think Neal hopes to repair their relationship?
I think at this point, there's so much damage to the relationship. There's also that hope that -- it's my dad, and hopefully someday it can work out. But there is a lot of damage, and it's not just going to happen. There's work that needs to be done. I think that there is hope from Neal's perspective that, at some point, we'll be able to have the type of father-son relationship that I've always wanted. But in the meantime, I have an opportunity to have a father-son relationship with my son that I've always wanted. That's the biggest motivating factor for Neal to remain in Storybrooke.
Some of the other characters have talked about returning to Fairy Tale Land, and Henry might go as well. Would Neal want to go with them?
I think that Neal would move heaven and hell to be near Henry. I don't think that there's any circumstance where Neal could even consider the idea of choosing something over his son.
For such a shrewd, streetwise guy, it's interesting that Neal is so trusting of his fiancée, despite what Emma has told him.
And she continues to try to convince me. You know, the eye sees what it wants to see, and the ear hears what it wants to hear sometimes. The idea of a betrayal on the level of what I've already gone through with my dad is almost impossible to even imagine. Yet Emma is fairly convinced something is going on. And her and the audience know. But Neal just doesn't know. He's having a hard time accepting the possibility.
The episode description mentions that Baelfire is taken in by a family named Darling in 19th-century London. Does that mean he's Peter Pan?
Look at you trying to sneak one in. (Laughs) I think you're going to have to tune in. A lot of the questions are going to be revealed.
What will the flashbacks reveal about how Neal became who he is today?
You're going to see a kid who has always wanted a family dynamic ... and that's going to be a huge thing for young Bae, and it's been a huge thing for Neal -- the family thing. That's why as a father, he wants to approach things as cautiously and in the most appropriate way that he can, to be the kind of father that he wants to be.