LANA Parrilla, whose dual roles on fantasy drama Once Upon a Time include the fearsome Evil Queen, wasn’t satisfied just knowing her character was evil.
While she prepped for her audition, she asked herself: What caused that pain?
‘‘ So I did a meditation, and I saw a lot of her past and tapped into it,’’ she says, discovering in the process that ‘‘ a major betrayal and the loss of someone she deeply loves are what caused the darkness to overtake her, and what caused her need to punish everyone in her life. ’’
The show in a nutshell: Thanks to the Evil Queen’s curse, a number of fairytale characters were transported to the contemporary village of Storybrooke where they have forgotten their pasts as wellknown storybook characters and now, stranded in the artifice of real life, have been denied every fairytale character’s birthright: the prospect of a happy ending.
The hard-hearted mayor of Storybrooke is Regina, the other character played by Parrilla.
‘‘ When the script came my way,’’ she says, ‘‘ I had the thought that maybe it will last only a season. Even if it hadn’t been picked up as a series, I’m happy to have played this part.’’
Parrilla’s special brand of faith has served her well, particularly as she settles happily into a mystical show like Once Upon a Time.
But when asked about the tattoo of a feather on her wrist, she recalls a painful period that put her belief system to the test.
‘‘ I was living in LA having a hard time, and I had lost faith,’’ she remembers.
‘‘ I said, ‘ Send me a sign. Why am I here?’’’
She spied a feather dancing in the wind and kept seeing more feathers, especially when she was down and distraught. ‘‘ You ask for signs in your life, but what you get is more like a confirmation: You are where you need to be. Just take a deep breath.
‘‘ Now when I look at it (tattoo), it makes me happy.’’ Once Upon A Time, Channel 7, Tuesday, 7.30pm Lana Parrilla sees life, like her show, as a series of once-upon-atime events.