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Once Upon a Time: An Evening with Snow White and the Evil Queen at D23 Expo

Once Upon a Time Panel at D23 2015

One of my most anticipated sessions at D23 Expo this year was “Once Upon a Time: An Evening with Snow White and the Evil Queen” that included discussion with the show’s core actresses, Ginnifer Goodwin and Lana Parrilla, surprise guest Josh Dallas, and executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis about the upcoming season of unexpected twists, evolving characters, new adventures, and new rivalries.

Inside the Magic

Jeffrey Epstein from D23 hosted the panel and gave us a sneak peak of Inside the Magic, a bonus clip that is included on the Once Upon a Time, Season 4 DVD. Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas took us on a tour of the studio, where all the magic happens.

They showed us the different sets for the show. Our first stop was Granny’s Diner which is the epicenter of the community in Storybrooke. It is where everybody meets and where all the interior scenes are shot. Next stop was the Mayor’s office where everything is black and white.

On the tour, we stopped by Costumes and were introduced to Eduardo Castro, the talented person who designs all the costumes for the show. Next up, we went to Mary Margaret’s apartment, located in Stage 7. The Charmings showed us around the room, including the bed, ahem, where they make tacos, and the never-before-seen (until now) bathroom of the apartment. Lastly, we got a glimpse of the outside and interior of Mr. Gold’s Pawn shop where Ginny slips away with the Dark One’s dagger!

Interview with Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, the Executive Producers

Executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis came on stage to talk about Season 5. Or should I say, vaguely touched on topics about Season 5, especially if it is about the Dark Swan. They were pretty tight-lipped on a lot of the questions. We will just have to see for ourselves when the season premiere SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 8|7c.

Some are some questions and answers from the comical duo:

  • Q: You hinted that something may happen on the show when Henry snapped that quill. Does that mean there was only one quill? What is going to happen with the quill?

    A: There will be events in the premiere that will make him wish he could just rewrite things. There is a lot of power in that quill and maybe he was a little bit hasty. We will see quickly.

  • Q: Anything we can look forward to this season?

    A: We are going to see some iconography of Belle, Merida, and Camelot. We have a lot of Disney things, so this year will be no different. We like to make it fun with surprises, so we definitely have stuff in store throughout the season.

  • Q: Last time we saw Zelena, she was pregnant and in jail. I am assuming she won’t be staying there that long. Thoughts?

    A: It’s hard to keep a good Wicked Witch down. She is kind of like the “Hannibal Lecter” of the show. She lives up to her wicked name, I would say in this season. Her and her sister get into it a little bit.

  • Q: Let’s talk about the Dark Swan. A little origin here, cause I feel like when Rumplestiltskein, when he became the Dark One, he was a very different kind of person. He was weak, he was bullied a lot, and would not stand up for Bae. But Emma is the savior. Emma is awesome. So is becoming the Dark One going to manifest itself differently for her?

    A: Being the Dark One is a magnify glass of who you are, but twisting it a little bit. So how Emma manifests the Dark One will be a lot different. Having the Dagger and the power that comes with it tricks you into believing that there is a freedom to lose your fears. We know Emma as a character and we know what her fears were and are, so she will have her own take on being the Dark One.

  • Q: The show has introduced a lot of characters who have come and gone over the year. Soon you are going to hit the 100th episode. So I am curious if we are going to see any of these characters again. Mulan? Sleeping Beauty? Rapunzel? Red Riding Hood? Ariel? Balefire? Ursula? Cora?

    A: Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe…

You have to love the specificity of these guys. Definitely not letting us know much about the premiere episode until the end of the month!

Season 4 Bloopers

Below is a video of the Season 4 Blooper reel. The actors seem to have a lot of fun on the show. The crowd went crazy when Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Hook) came on the screen. You can see the full video on the Blu-ray and DVD.

An Evening with Snow White and the Evil Queen

Ginnifer Goodwin and Lana Parrilla, who play Snow White and the Evil Queen, respectively, finally made their appearance on stage and the crowd went wild. They walked out on stage hand in hand. This resembles the relationship between their characters on Once Upon a Time. The ladies talked about how much they enjoyed how the relationship between their characters evolved over time. In the beginning, the Evil Queen detested everything about Snow White, but they have now come to a point where they are able to share conversations and joy with one another and have a real mother-daughter relationship.

The changing relationship between these characters show that the definition of Good and Evil is constantly being redefined. There is a lot of gray areas as we got to see the darker side of Snow White in the season finale. Ginnifer loved playing Evil Snow because she felt she was finally playing the polar opposite of what her character is normally like.

In the series, Lana has a lot of great one-liners. Her absolutely favorite scene is from the show’s pilot where she says “I shall destroy your happiness, if it is the last thing I do.” The way she says it in the camera is terrifying and makes you believe she really is the Evil Queen. Fun fact, that was the line that got her the part.

In Season 5, we are taken to Camelot, a place that exists concurrently with our world. Merida is the first Pixar character to come on the show and the producers “hope” we will see other characters from the movie Brave.

In the middle of the interview, we got a question from the audience from a character dressed in a Boba Fett helmet. The question was for Ginny, “If you had to choose another character from the show, beside yourself, who is your favorite character?” Ginnifer responds, “It changes all the time, but Rumple is my favorite.” The masks goes off and it was Josh Dallas under the mask. “What?!” Special guest, Josh Dallas joins the stage and talks about his hilarious green screen scene where he had to sit on a giant green pickle-like object, which looks like a dragon (Maleficent) in post-production.

Ginnifer and Lana talked about how being mothers helped them in their acting. Ginnifer and her on set/off set husband, Josh Dallas, recently had a son and the love she feels for her son is just so different from anything she has ever experienced. With that perspective, when she plays her characters, she feels like she quit acting because all the scenes became easier to act, yet at the same time, more emotionally traumatizing. If anything should happen to her on-screen daughter Emma, she would need therapy.

As for Lana, she is a step-mother in real life, raising three boys with husband Fred Di Blasio. Her step-sons feel like her own children in some way. They have been together for four years and her family life has changed her. She has grown and learned so much, trying to balance family life and her career. When she plays her character, she sees so much of her youngest step-son in Henry (her on-set son).

Some things to look forward to in Season 5 are “Things are not what they appear to be” and “Love is a dangerous weapon.” That is all the executive producers would say about it.

Season 5 Sneak Peek

Finally, at the end of the panel, we got a sneak peek of the first episode of Season 5! The crowd went wild!


Attending this panel with some friends really was the cherry on top of my first D23 Expo experience. This is one of my favorite TV shows and being in the room and listening to all the actors talk about their on-screen characters, their family life, and just joking around imprinted me with a positive feeling for the rest of the evening. The whole room was overflowing with excitement and positive energy.

I am ready for Season 5 of Once Upon a Time. I cannot wait to be transported into the world of Camelot and see how the Dark Swan is doing with her new found powers. Are you ready? Be sure to tune in for the season premiere on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 8|7c!

Related Links

D23 Expo 2015 Complete coverage listing including all of Daynah and Jason’s posts and press releases visit the D23 Expo 2015 Summary Page

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About the Author: Daynah loves everything about technology and Disney. She enjoys blogging about her adventures of raising two kids as well as spend a lot of time browsing pretty things on Pinterest. You can also follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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