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We’ve seen from the various “Once Upon A Time” Season 2 trailers and clips that have been released that Snow and Charming are very eager to start parenting Emma again, but she’s less eager to be parented. Can you talk about how the dynamic has shifted between them?
It’s one of those things where Emma has spent her whole life looking for her parents, and some part of her believed she was never going to find them. I think oddly, to be completely honest, if she doesn’t find them then she doesn’t have to believe that they gave her up. She could then believe — not that she’d wish that upon anyone — that something terrible happened to them and maybe they weren’t around anymore and maybe that’s why she was given up so she doesn’t have to consider herself “abandoned.” When the reality of what you’ve been searching for all these years suddenly comes to light, there’s a tremendous amount of emotion and confusion that comes rushing in, and Emma is not an emotionally advanced person! [Laughs.] She’s definitely someone who has shut herself down in a lot of ways and wears her armor very thick, and doesn’t really have experience with handling emotions. So when she’s got a rush of feelings going on, her immediate response is to shut down or make a joke because she can’t handle it.
Snow and Charming are far more advanced emotionally — they weren’t raised in the foster system, they weren’t abandoned, they didn’t have to survive on their own, barely able to eat or function and do whatever they had to do to survive and end up in jail and all of these things that have happened to Emma! [Laughs.] They have a different capacity for handling emotion and she doesn’t have that. So it’s just going to be a process and it’s going to be a bit complicated for Emma to learn how to handle emotions, handle accepting that this is true, because it’s still an outrageous idea that your parents are Snow White and Prince Charming. She’s really trying, since she has all the proof that this is true, but even with all the proof, it’s still crazy. It’s definitely going to be a complicated process that’s going to be mixed with all sorts of things — sometimes her shutting down, sometimes her being super emotional, sometimes making a joke out of it. It really is the beginning of a journey with Emma learning to be a healthy person emotionally.
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