Once Upon a Time Exclusive: Rebecca Mader Teases Trip to Oz, A "Bonkers" Finale

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On Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 16, the Wicked Witch will head back to the land of Oz, where we'll find  why "It's Not Easy Being Green."

During a recent chat, Rebecca Mader shared some of her favorite moments playing this wickedly evil character, telling me what fans can expect as the Once Upon a Time Season 3 inches ever closer...


The next episode title is "It's Not Easy Being Green" How much should we read into that?

Well, it might be a little bit about me. I was pretty excited when I saw the title of this episode. I was like, hmm. There must be a back story, me thinks. So it's really cool. We really get to see a lot of my character and find out why I've become green and why I become wicked. And why it's not easy being green.

We get to go to Oz. My character finds out she's got a sister and she's jealous and she wants to go to fairy tale land and get to the bottom of it. So it's a pretty exciting episode for me and my character. 

The Dagger

Did Eddy and Adam search you out specifically for the role of the Wicked Witch?

Yeah, kind of. I always wanted to be with them on the show. I worked with them on Lost and they wrote for me a lot on Lost. I knew about the show a while ago. A while ago, fans of mine on Twitter were saying, You've got to be Ariel! You've got to be Ariel! I was like, that makes sense. I've got long red hair. I used to babysit for these little kids who used to make me sing songs as if I was Ariel.

And then they gave it to JoAnna Garcia Swisher and I was like, Oh that's a shame. Alright, nevermind. Then they called me in October and they're like, Hey do you want to be on our show? And I'm like, Well, yeah. And I didn't know what they wanted me to be at first and I said yes anyway without even knowing what they wanted me to play cause I just wanted to work with the boys again. So I didn't know until about a week after that who they wanted me to be and I screamed. I was like, I knew you were going to make me bad! I knew I was going to be a villain. I knew it! I knew it! 

So I spent the whole night the night before googling wicked Disney characters because me and my boys were trying to figure out who they were going to make me be. 

Zelena has a lot of rage against her half-sister. Why so angry at a woman who never actually did her wrong?

There's a lot of pain and there's a lot of hurt and there's a lot of jealous which is where all of this wickedness is coming from, you know. We will see, especially after Sunday night's episode the truth about where all of this wickedness and greeness and rage is coming from and it's not misdirected. Zelena has a reason to feel the way that she feels. 

Can you give us any clues as to why Zelena seems so drawn to Snow White's baby? 

I can't  but you will find out really soon what my interest is in this baby. There is a reason. I just can't tell you yet, I'm sorry. 

Have you had any favorite scenes or moments so far?

Oh my god. So many. So many. I mean, it's been really fun because it's such a complex character. I really enjoyed playing the fake me in Storybrooke where I'm being just so incredibly lovely to everybody. That's been really, really fun. Where nobody knows where I really am. I really enjoyed that because you're acting on top of acting. You're being somebody else pretending not to be somebody else. I really, really enjoyed that. And also I really enjoyed being on my broomstick and going head to head with Regina and flying around and being green.

All of it's been really fun because the other actors on the show are so good and so much fun to play with. And don't even get my started on Robert Carlyle. I mean, shaving him with his own dagger, that's not normal. That's not a normal day at the office, is it?

Any chance Zelena might find a little love in Storybrooke? Or was there someone in the fairy tale world who captured her heart?


You were on several soap operas over the years. Do you have a favorite soap moment or experience?

Yes. When I was on All My Children and they flew me to the Bahamas to shoot me in the chest. They took me to the Bahamas to kill me in a bikini. That was a good day. I'm not going to lie. Soaps are always shot on stage and this was the one time we all got on a plane and went somewhere tropical. That was fun

Are you close to filming the end of the season?

We're about to wrap the end of the season this week. Episode 22.

Can you tease fans about what to expect going into the last portion of the season on Once Upon a Time?

I think the whole thing with the Wicked Witch coming to Oz has just been really fun and really cool. Because the first half of the season was all about chasing Pan and Neverland and now this feels like another season in and of itself.

Questions will be answered and fights will be had. It gets pretty exciting and bonkers towards the end. It's definitely building with this showdown between the Wicked Witch and Regina. 

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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