Between the villains, magic, monsters and a wealth of nasty deceptions, there’s a lot to fear in the world of Storybrooke, the fictional town on ABC’s hit series Once Upon A Time.
And while we often have characters like love-to-hate-her Regina (Lana Parrilla) working against Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and her saintly mother, Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), there’s no denying that all these strong women mixing it up creates some definite heat.
“We have strong, powerful women,” said Parrilla to AfterEllen when asked why she thinks the show has such a strong lesbian following. “I think that is something that the lesbians just love and there’s also a masculine side to both Jennifer and I. We’re in touch with the anima part of us and some of my gay friends always say, ‘Oh my God. You’re just like me,’ and I’m like, OK.’”
That said, Parrilla talked about one big scene last season that she has heard gay fans talk about in terms of shipping Regina and Emma as SwanQueen. “They even asked me about this one moment during that mine episode when Henry fell through the sinkhole and he comes out and I have this moment with Jennifer and we got really close.” And while Parrilla says it wasn’t meant to be sexual, she does cop to it being a genuine moment of closeness between the ladies.
Like her brunette co-star, Morrison said she’s also well aware of the gay following of the show but reasoned it more to the fairytale appeal that gay audiences are drawn to. “I think what’s great about fairytales is that it’s about self-identity and self-awareness and my hope is that there’s a character for everyone to identify with—so, if people who’ve in some way felt like maybe they were misunderstood at some point or they don’t necessarily have the voice that they want to have, then if they’re feeling like they identify with characters on the show, that’s awesome.”
Morrison likened hearing about how fans relate to the show as to why people like herself chose the profession of acting in the first place. “That’s why we want to be actors. We hope that in some way we make a positive impact or some sort of emotional impact on the people watching and so if people feel connected to it in that way, we’re all for it.”
Meghan Ory, who plays Red Riding Hood (who happens to also be a werewolf), could gush about any of the sexy women she works with everyday but she chose to talk about a certain guest star and how her assets caught Ory’s attention in a big way. “I mean Annabeth Gish, who played my mother, her costume was just … when I saw her walk on set, I looked at her and just thought, ‘Damn.’ Maybe that’s why there’s a strong gay and lesbian following, because there’s some friggin’ hot people on this show!” She added with a smile, “Her boobs were like up to here. I was like, ‘Hmm.’”
And while Snow’s heart may currently belong to Prince Charming, the relationship between Snow and Regina’s monster of a mother, Cora, played by Barbara Hershey is set to heat up, though not, according to Goodwin, in a positive or sexy way. “I do know that we are establishing that Cora makes Snow feel more unsafe that any other villain has thus far,” the actress said.
She added that part of the wonder of the character of Cora is the actress that plays her, who has clearly impressed Goodwin with one quality that is always sexy — confidence. “Barbara Hershey is so grounded and confident and sort of breathes through her performance in such a way that I feel gives her so much power that there’s…it’s almost like when she smiles, she’s even more threatening because she’s just so confident that she has something to back that smile up. They have written the dynamic in such a way that Snow finds her to be the biggest threat.”
While the landscape of Once Upon A Time affords the characters to often travel to other fantasy lands, Parrilla acknowledged one place she personally would not oppose visiting. She said the fans are “trying to get me on Ellen a lot, which I love Ellen. Anytime.” Now, who can cast a spell to make that happen?
Once Upon A Time airs its winter finale episode this Sunday at 8 pm on ABC.