Once Upon a Time... Raphael Sbarge landed the role of a lifetime.
"I feel like the luckiest guy in the world," the veteran actor said of appearing on Once Upon a Time as Archie Hopper/Jiminy Cricket. "I feel like the guy in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with the Golden Ticket."
Sbarge won't blow up like a blueberry on this week's new episode, but he will play a prominent role in "That Still Small Voice."
"This episode tries to define how Jiminy came to be," Sbarge told me, comparing the origin story to the Broadway hit Wicked. "This fairy tale character is defined by doing the right thing, by his conscience. But how did that come to be?"
Viewers can expect to learn about Archie's family business, the exact nature of which Sbarge would not divulge, while witnessing the character struggle with making a choice between what's right and wrong.
"It's so inspired that he's a therapist in the real world," Sbarge said of Jiminy's other side. "He's living in this world of grey and trying to help others evolve their consciousness. His past plays a significant role in that."
How does the actor feel overall about Once Upon a Time, which has already been picked up for a full season?
"It's so beautifully produced in every way," he said. "And it manages to appeal to every demographic, from 8-80, which is really difficult to pull off. With all these characters and with so many more they can choose from, it really can go anywhere!"