ABC’s new Once Upon a Time Reboot premieres on October 6th 2017. And boy, do we mean new. To a certain extent, the show is beginning again.
In the first episode of the new season, Henry Mills leave Storybrooke in search of his own story. Years later his daughter Lucy finds a disillusioned Henry (Andrew J West) in Seattle and must make him remember his true identity in order to break the curse afflicting the fairytale characters of “Hyperion Heights.”
The curse that Henry is under, where he doesn’t remember his past, also affects other fairytale characters now living in Seattle, including Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue), who is a police officer and the evil queen Regina (Lana Parrilla), who brought up Henry, and now owns a bar in the city.
Andrew, Lana and Colin came to the TV Critics tour this summer to talk about this new spin on Once Upon a Time.

Were you a fan of the series?

Once Upon A Time, Season 7 - Andrew J West
Once Upon A Time, Season 7 – Henry Mills (Andrew J West) ©2017 ABC, photo by Craig Sjodin

Andrew: Yeah. I only have the history of having watched the show as an audience member. But it’s cool to see these characters interact in a completely new way. It’s one of the most exciting things about the beginning of this season coming up.

You’ll get a chance to see various time periods in these characters’ lives. You see where we leave young Henry at the end of Season 6, then going into Season 7, you see him a little bit older, even older still living in Seattle in the real world. And we’ll fill in different periods in these characters’ lives.

Through some of the flashbacks in the beginning of Season 7, we’re going to see it really retains the spirit of what they’ve always done so well with the show for six years. You see a continuation of  Henry’s character that feels very much like the Henry that we’ve all watched for six years. Then we get to see him a little bit later in life, and all of that just feels so new and different in a really exciting, interesting way.

Colin, can you talk a little about the Hook we’ll see this season?

Once Upon A Time, Season 7 - Lana Parrilla
Once Upon A Time, Season 7 “Hyperion Heights” – Captain Hook/Rogers (Colin O’Donoghue) ©2017 ABC, photo by Craig Sjodin

Colin: Yes. When we meet Hook at the start of this season, he is a uniformed cop in Seattle. He’s different from any of the other ten different Hooks that I’ve played over the five or six seasons. There’s a sense of loss in the guy, and I think that he just doesn’t know what it is that’s missing.

The Hook that we meet is trying to be the best uniformed cop that he can be and do things the right way. He’s striving in some way to find who he is. But as is always the case on Once Upon a Time, it’s more complicated than that. And it’s fun. This season I get to explore him in a completely different way than you’ve seen, and see how we can spin it.

Lana, can you talk about Regina a little bit?

Once Upon A Time, Season 7 - Lana Parrilla
Once Upon A Time, Season 7 – The evil queen Regina/Roni (Lana Parrilla) ©2017 ABC, photo by Craig Sjodin

Lana: Yeah. I don’t know her name’s Regina, and that’s cool. I’m no longer in pantsuits. I’m in denim and rock T-shirts.

When we meet her, this other version of Regina, she’s working in a bar. She’s a bar owner. She’s a little rough around the edges, not the queen that we’re used to. She has curly hair, she looks very different, she feels different. Like Colin, I also played so many different versions of this character and this one feels really different. All the other versions were evolutions of the character.

Her name’s not even Regina. And she’s no longer in charge. We’ve always seen Regina in charge or try to be in charge, try to control, try to manipulate, and then she redeemed herself.

This Regina is something else, and I’m having a blast playing her. I’m still discovering her. I think we’re all still discovering who she is. It’s refreshing. It feels different. You don’t get a lot of opportunities where you get to play so many different versions of these characters, and it’s fun as an actor to be a part of something that is constantly evolving.

Colin: It’s like we’ve started again.

Lana: Yeah. We were saying it kind of feels like a pilot.

Colin: Yeah. It’s like we know the characters inside out, but we’re starting to play them for the first time again.

If Regina’s name is not Regina, what is her name?

Lana: I can’t tell you. You have to tune in.

Once Upon A Time, 701 - Lana Parrilla and Andrew J West
Once Upon A Time, 701 “Hyperion Heights” – Regina/Roni (Lana Parrilla) and Henry Mills (Andrew J West) ©2017 ABC, photo by Eike Schroter

Lana and Andrew, can you talk about the relationship between your two characters? It was such a core part of the first six seasons. How does it evolve now that Henry is older?

Lana: How much can I say? Well, we actually meet. We reunite after many years in a flashback.

Regina has not seen this grown man ever before. So she’s taken back by that and is sort of finding their relationship now that he’s no longer this little boy.

Andrew: I think what is so cool about it, too, is that enough time has passed so that there is an element I would imagine, (to Lana) especially for you, of who is this person? He’s grown up. He’s changed.

Lana: He’s a man now and how does she deal with him as a man?

Andrew: Yeah, it’s two strangers having to interact. It is kind of cool and exciting, even though obviously that relationship still exists. And I’ve really taken Lana’s lead in terms of how these two characters interact together and who they are for each other now.

Lana: And we interact in two different worlds, so in the fairy?tale world and in the flashback, and also in Hyperion Heights in the present time in Seattle. We are our cursed selves, so we don’t really know each other.

AndrewThat’s what’s exciting, because I think that you’re going to see these two characters interact in a way that you’ve certainly never seen before.

Once Upon A Time, 702 - Andrew J West and Dania Ramirez
Once Upon A Time, 702 “A Pirate’s Life” – Henry Mills (Andrew J West) and Captain Hook/Rogers (Colin O’Donoghue) ©2017 ABC, photo by Eike Schroter

Once Upon a Time Reboot Soundbyte

Also at the press conference was Dania Ramirez, who portrays Cinderella. Someone asked her if she as a child had ever considered that she would play such an iconic fairytale character.

Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.