Once Upon a Time Q&A: Lana Parrilla on Regina's Love Life, Teaming with Emma and More!

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Once Upon a Time Season 3 is off and running, as our gang remains in Neverland and is still trying to rescue Henry, who is being held by Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.

On tonight’s episode, the adventure continues with Henry finding out how he figures into Pan’s plan - but we also flash back to Fairy Tale Land with Regina and Tinker Bell.

TV Fanatic was on set with Lana Parrilla a couple weeks ago when she explained some of what we’re seeing so far in the third season and how love may finally find the Evil Queen...

Lana Parrilla on OUAT

On Regina’s powers in Neverland…

Her powers are contained, I find. In that first episode, she was able to throw many, many fireballs. Well, that's not the case anymore and it's been quite frustrating. Using magic in Neverland is like giving off smoke signals or one of those flares – “Hey, I'm over here! Come find us!” [Laughs] – which is not what we want to do, especially if we're sneaking onto the island. So Regina is not allowed to use magic as much as she would like.

On how magic works in Neverland...

No, it's funny there was a lot of talk around how magic works in Neverland. It's different than in Storybrooke in the second season. It was just a little bit wonky and nothing quite worked the way she had hoped. In Neverland, it's more like she's being contained. Like her magic's being contained and she's been forbidden to use it. That's because when we use magic, it alerts Pan and the Lost Boys where we are. It's been quite frustrating for Regina to have to go the Charming route, with their swords. I never have props. It's so unfair. Everyone has a prop. Everyone has a dagger or a sword or a knife of some kind, and I'm like [waves empty hands], “I don't have my fireballs. I can't use magic.” She's at the mercy of the Charmings for a little bit before she gets really fed up. You'll see.

On Regina teaming with Emma…mothers unite!

Regina and Emma are a team for obvious reasons. They start to talk about themselves as the mothers of Henry. I found that to be quite refreshing. Especially for the first two seasons, all I kept saying was, “He's my son. He's my son. He's my son.” And this year, he's our son and we have to save our son. I like that. I like that they're coming together because really the war between – It's not so much between Emma and Regina. It's more between Regina and Snow. I feel like everything's shifting. It's been an interesting third season. We're just playing different sides to the character, but I guess anyone would when you're in a crisis like this. Just survival mode kicks in. Different characteristics come out.

On how Regina really feels about Snow…

I try to if it's not in the writing to give her some looks here and there. Or if I'm standing next to [Snow], just have a look of disdain on my face. [Makes a disdainful face] So we don't lose that. Tracking is important. At the same time, we know this isn't what this scene is about, it's not what this episode is about. It's about getting Henry. I feel like everything's compartmentalized. And it's working. And really learning how to come together, the common goal, which is save Henry and bring him back home. You have to put your ego aside when fighting for the life of a child.

On Regina’s patience being tested...

She's growing increasingly impatient. It's her comfort zone. It's what she knows. She does know love though. Yeah, there's anger and hatred, but she does know love. Overall, love has always been her highest goal. She wants to get there at some point. She wants to have that with someone. And that takes precedence over everything – at least in the first six episodes. [laughs]

But Regina will reach a point where she can't be one of the “Charmings.” It's just not who she is, and she's learning how to be both good and evil and to embrace that. That's what's really special about Neverland. It's a land of truth. It forces everyone to look at their demons and make a choice whether or not you're going to stay the same or you're going to confront your past and deal with these issues and grow from them and move forward.

Love to come for Regina…

I think so. [Smiles] It's so weird. I'm like, “What?! I don't think she's kissed anyone in like 200 years.” Well, the Huntsman…there is something coming up. I will say: Regina has not met him. But maybe the audience has.

On the Regina/Snow battle thus far in Season 3…

With Regina, she has failed so many times at trying to kill Snow that it's just part of the course. “I'm going to try this!” And then it fails. It's very Tom & Jerry. [Laughs] it's like the Road Runner and the Wile E. Coyote, and I sometimes feel like the Wile E. Coyote. [Laughs] “I'm going to get him! I'm going to get him!” And then I don't. It's like she goes back to her castle, and she's like [deviously], “OK, what else can I do?” That's what's so fun about it. I think that's what will help it not get old is if you find the humor in it, and obviously, if it's still honest and connected to a real choice there.

What she sees in Snow [in episode 2 was] a new-found resilience and strength that she never thought she had. Where she learned that from was not living in the castle. So during that time when she was out – was it Robin Hood who taught her how to shoot bows and arrows? – and the dwarfs helped and she was living out in the forest, she became a different person. And [that] was the first moment where we see that.

Regina's always had so much power over her. She comes to realize – and she just [disappeared] because she doesn't know what to do. Regina does that when she feels like she's been defeated. She goes, “Oh, screw it!” [waves hands] and just disappears. … But she doesn't ever give up. And we learn that because she eventually enacts the curse, and that's when she really is successfully. Or is she, right?

What do you think of Season 3 so far? Are you enjoying Neverland or ready to return to Storybrooke?

Once Upon a Time Season 3 airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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