Q& A

with JEN­NIFER MOR­RI­SON

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - GUY DAVIS

MEET­ING the child you gave up for adoption a decade ago would be tough. Hav­ing that child tell you he’s ac­tu­ally a fairy­tale char­ac­ter cursed by a wicked queen and forced to live in the real world, that’s even tougher. That was the set- up for Chan­nel 7’ s new fan­tasy- drama Once Upon a Time. Jen­nifer Mor­ri­son plays Emma Swan, the mother in ques­tion, who found her­self en­tan­gled in the mag­i­cal goings- on in the quaint lit­tle town of Sto­ry­brooke when she re­turned her boy Henry to the home of his fos­ter mother Regina, who turned out to be the Evil Queen her­self. And then there’s the se­cret of Emma’s own parent­age. A hit in the US since it pre­miered last year, Once Upon a Time has also found a strong fol­low­ing in Aus­tralia. Mor­ri­son ( pic­tured), a for­mer star of House, ex­plains why. Q: Tell us about Emma . . . A: Emma’s had a re­ally rough life. She was saved from the curse as a baby when she passed through into re­al­ity and was found on the side of the road. She ended up go­ing through the fos­ter sys­tem, and not a good ver­sion of it. She has been in a lot of tough sit­u­a­tions, so she’s re­ally had to be a sur­vivor. She’s a bail bondswoman, very scep­ti­cal and closed off. As time goes on you’ll see how her child com­ing back into her life is go­ing to af­fect her emo­tion­ally and start to cause her to open up in ways that she never has. Q: Given the fan­tas­tic sit­u­a­tions Emma keeps fac­ing, how do you bring that to life while cre­at­ing an emo­tion­ally authen­tic char­ac­ter? A: What you see is what was on the page. It was such a beau­ti­ful script. But we also had lots of con­ver­sa­tions about what Emma’s back­story was and I spent a lot of time read­ing mem­oirs of peo­ple who were raised in the fos­ter sys­tem. It’s been in­cred­i­bly hum­bling and mostly up­set­ting to read them. It just seems wrong that so many peo­ple have had to deal with these hor­ri­ble cir­cum­stances. What I did was take bits and pieces from each mem­oir and filled de­tails of each into the fab­ric of Emma’s past. So all the re­search I was do­ing was sort of find­ing the fab­ric of Emma’s dam­age and fig­ur­ing out how to build that. Q: There’s a fair bit of fairy­tale sto­ry­telling in Once Upon a Time, but Emma re­mains in the real world. Ever get jeal­ous you’re not in­vited to the ball, so to speak? A: Ob­vi­ously it’s fun to look at all the pic­tures from when they shoot in fairy­tale land, and ev­ery­one looks beau­ti­ful in the gor­geous cos­tumes, but I’m so in love with Emma. I just love play­ing her and I have such a good time play­ing her that I would never wish that away just to have pretty cos­tumes. Plus, when they shoot the fairy­tale land stuff, I usu­ally get a day off. ONCE UPON A TIME, South­ern Cross, Sun­day, Mon­day and Tues­day, 7.30pm

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