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EXCLUSIVE: Paula Marshall to Work Her Magic on 'Once Upon a Time'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jul 27th 2011 9:05PM
Paula Marshall has been cast as a "badass" character on 'Once Upon a Time,' the upcoming fairy tale drama from former 'Lost' executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.

Marshall, a busy actress who has appeared in everything from 'Cupid' to 'Californication,' will play Malificent, the nemesis of Sleeping Beauty. "She's a badass and she's also the rival" of Lana Parrilla's evil queen character, Kitsis said.

Starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Robert Carlyle, Josh Dallas and Parrilla, Giancarlo Esposito of 'Breaking Bad' will also appear in the recurring role of the Magic Mirror in 'Once', as TV Line reported earlier this month.

UPDATE: ABC has confirmed that 'Vampire Diaries' and 'Alias' actor David Anders will play a doctor in an upcoming episode of 'Once Upon a Time.'

I spoke to Kitsis and Horowitz at length in their 'Once' office (where I admired the 'Lost' posters you see below), and I'll publish the majority of that interview closer to the show's Oct. 23 premiere date. But I can't resist sharing a little of what they had to say about the show's central concept, which features characters in a fairy tale kingdom where the evil queen is up to no good, and characters in a modern-day town where things are stranger than they first appear.

Kitsis and Horowitz said they first had the 'Once' idea eight years ago, when the fairy tale pilot didn't sell. Spending six years on 'Lost' helped them get to the point where they felt as though they could tell this unusual story the right way, they said. "'Lost' was the greatest job ever and ... if we were going to go back to TV and back to working really hard, it had to be something we loved and were willing to give up everything to do," Kitsis said of 'Once.'

"Some people don't like fantasy, some people don't like this world, but that's the game," he added. "For everyone who says 'Sgt. Pepper's' is the greatest album in the world, someone is willing to tell you it's the worst. You have to realize, at some point, you're never going to create something everyone's going to like. So you just have to create something, at the end of the day, you like."

"We've researched all sorts of things," Horowitz said. But "we don't want to retell [fairy tales]. We want to take what is that shared cultural knowledge as the jumping off point to tell hopefully new" stories about characters with problems -- loneliness, fear, a desire for connection -- that aren't unusual at all.

"Why does [the queen] hate Snow White so much? How did she become evil? Why is Grumpy grumpy? Why is Geppetto so lonely that he had to make a boy out of wood?," Kitsis said. "We're not interested in retelling fairy tales -- we're interested in the parts that have holes that need filling in or the parts you've never thought about."

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Back show killer!!!

July 28 2011 at 4:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tyler W.

I'm really excited to see this show!

July 28 2011 at 3:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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