Once Upon a Time Casts Amy Acker as Love Interest for [Spoiler] - Get Exclusive Details

Once Upon a Time has dipped into the Whedonverse yet again to fill a guest-starring role.

Amy Acker, who had roles on both Joss Whedon’s Angel and Dollhouse, will visit ABC’s fantastical freshman drama as a romantic interest for both Grumpy (of the Seven Dwarves) and his surly Storybrooke counterpart, Leroy, in a late winter episode that delves into the grouch’s backstory.

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Lee Arenberg (Grumpy/Leroy) cheered the casting via Twitter, saying that on Friday he was “living the dream” working opposite both Acker and Ginnifer Goodwin (aka Snow White/Mary Margaret) — though it was not clear in which of the show’s two worlds their scenes were taking place.

Well, TVLine can exclusively report that Acker will play characters in both Storybrooke and the fairy tale world that was.

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Earlier this fall, Once cast Buffy the Vampire Slayer alumna Emma Caulfield as the Blind Witch from Hansel and Gretel lore; she will appear in this season’s ninth episode (get exclusive scoop here). Of course, Buffy/Angel/Dollhouse vet Jane Espenson is a writer/producer for Once.

Acker’s TV resume also includes ABC’s Happy Town and No Ordinary Family, and last month’s Lifetime movie Dear Santa. Ironically, she will also guest-star this winter on NBC’s Grimm, which like Once (though in a decidedly different way) revolves around fairy tale characters.

Once Upon a Time, having aired its seventh episode/fall finale this month, resumes its freshman run Jan. 8.