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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.

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