Once Upon a Time Scoop: We're Dream Casting the Queen's Evil Mother!

You know the joke about how, whenever a kid turns out rotten, it’s the mother’s fault? In the case of Once Upon a Time‘s Evil Queen (Lana Parilla), it’s actually true.

An upcoming arc will introduce us to Cora, the malevolent Mommie Dearest who taught Regina her wicked ways. And who will play the plum part? No word yet. But if it were up to us, it would be one of these leading ladies:

Kelly Bishop | Gilmore Girls’ grand dame has always carried herself with the regality of a queen, evil or otherwise. Moreover, she has a glare that’s so chilling, it could turn a swimming pool into an ice-skating rink. In other words, she’s brrr… illiant casting!

Dana Delany | The formerly Desperate Housewife does naughty as well as she does nice (and her “nice” was impressive enough to make her an Emmy winner). And, since Season 2 of Body of Proof just wrapped production, the in-demand actress is momentarily free (save for an already-scheduled return trip to Wisteria Lane).

Sean Young | Like the former movie star told David Letterman, she wants to work. So why not let her? Even if she is as zany as her reputation suggests, her short run as a wannabe black widow on The Young & the Restless proved she still has presence to spare.

Jane Badler | Not only did the V villainess scare the bejesus out of a generation of kids when she swallowed a hamster whole, but the born-to-be-bad girl’s new, barely-SFW music videos now titillate them. Black magic, indeed.

Frances McDormand | Frankly, we’d watch the erstwhile Miss Pettigrew perform a dramatic reading of a phone book, we so adore her. But it’s the thought of seeing the Oscar winner go dark that we find utterly bewitching.

Sharon Stone | Quick – what are the first two things you think of when you think of Sharon Stone? Basic Instinct, and where the hell has she gone, right? Time to raise her profile with a guest gig that capitalizes on her appeal as a latter-day Kim Novak.

Lena Olin | After her career-reigniting turn on Alias, she came to epitomize the sort of momster you’d expect to eat her young. Or, at the very least, turn her young into her (talking) mirror image.

So, your thoughts? Have we hit upon the perfect performer to play the part? Or do you have someone better in mind? Vote in our poll below and then defend your choice in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Todd says:

    Susan Sarandon.

    • Zack B says:

      I second this. Ms. Sarandon was malevolent in the Children of Dune miniseries.

    • Trenton says:

      The woman who played Rita Skeeter in the Harry Potter movies. She could play evil bitch wonderfully….and she kinda has a round face like Regina….and she has done American tv b4 w/ AMC’s Rubicon.

      • Simon Jester says:

        Her name is Miranda Richardson.

        If past experience is any guide, however, it’ll either be someone from the Buffyverse or someone who has appeared on LOST.

  2. lb2012 says:


  3. Bradi says:

    Oh my….I think Cher would be awesome!

  4. scooterbeanbag says:

    Sean Young would be awesome. She was deliciously evil on Y&R.

  5. scorpo says:

    Lynda Carter!

  6. Maggie says:

    I dont even watch the show but…Susan Saradon.

    I probably should watch this show, I’ll start it this weekend. It looks interesting

  7. Kate says:

    I’d have to say either Kelly Bishop or Lena Olin. Either one of those would be awesome.

  8. Eran says:

    Can I have a show of hands for Christine Baranski? (Though something tells me, CBS will be less than willing)

    Donna Mills could also rock this role!

    • Joan says:

      Agree and agree! Christine Baranski is amazing in every role and Donna Mills was such a B on Knots Landing!

      • Eran says:

        Another name to throw in the ring,

        Joanna Cassidi. She can be comical and dark at the same time without so much as batting an eyelid.

    • lipsticksocialism says:

      YES! Always love CB! She would be brilliant! But I’d like to see a lady I haven’t seen in a while :) My vote goes to Kelly Bishop, although there’s no one on the list that I wouldn’t support. Fantastic list!!

  9. Kirsten says:

    I think Lena Olin would be good, but Helena Bonham Carter would be fantastic!

  10. Anthony Newhall says:

    Amazingly, I agree that Susan Sarandon would be great, but after Stardust being a flop (where she essentially played the same character) I doubt she’d take this job.

    Therefore, I suggest Mary Louise Parker.

  11. Cantare says:

    People, people, people. Who’s the one woman who is right for all roles, all the time right now? Betty White!

  12. Thayná says:

    Lena Olin was my first thought!
    I’d love to see her on TV again.

    • Agreed says:

      No doubt Lena Olin would be great for this role! She was such a pain in the A$$ for the money just to get her to participate in Alias, however, that the powers that be may not want to rattle her cage again… However if they cast her for just a few eps ending in her death/with no need for her to return next season, there could be something happen here!

  13. chandramas says:

    Dana Delany is too young to be a proper evil queen mother! Plus I reaaaally hope she will go back on Castle! So, still ABC but definitely another show!

  14. Mile says:

    Jane Seymour

  15. keith says:

    Jessica Lang

  16. MandyJane says:

    I don’t know why I always believe it when i see SPOILER ALERT coming from Ausiello on twitter. I should know better!

    • lipsticksocialism says:

      Well, the fact that we will see the Queen’s mother IS a spoiler alert, and the fact that that’s where she got her evil ways from. It’s not a “detailed” spoiler, but it still qualifies as a spoiler!

  17. Renee says:

    Jane Badler

  18. Dee says:

    Kelly Bishop would be great. I would like to see a fresh face. An unknown actress that we don’t associate with another role.

  19. oliver says:

    meg foster or mary woronov bot played horribly nasty women

  20. C says:

    Kelly Bishop <3

  21. Cari says:

    How about Joanna Lumley?? She’s got both the dramatic and comedic covered thats for sure. I can totally picture her being Lana’s/EQ’s mother.

    • Bear75 says:

      Good call Cari! Do reckon Kelly Bishop would be awesome though, as soon as I saw the name I pictured her. Maybe even another Brit suggestion in the superb Julie Walters? x

  22. J says:

    Helen Miren. ‘Nuff said.

  23. Laura says:

    Mary Steenburgen i just love her

  24. angie says:

    Claudia Black!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Jason says:

    Sigourney Weaver, Kathy Bates, Jessica Lange, Sally Field or camp it up with Betty White!

  26. Vannesa says:

    Lena Olin…Irina Derekvo…need I say more.

  27. obisgirl says:

    No, Cristine Rose?!

  28. Stacy's Mom says:

    Hello Jessica Lange. I don’t think it would be a stretch to make Evil Queen’s mom a fading, former-glory that tried to live vicariously through her daughter.

  29. Nicole says:

    Sela Ward!!!!!

  30. gcem says:

    Actually…none of the above. I cast my vote for Angelica Houston.

  31. Tay says:

    If it was me I would cast Cloris Leachman or Michelle Pfeiffer.

  32. Kellie says:

    All I know is that I am very disappointed about how stupid they made Emma look last night. Does she really think Sydney is on her side? If so, she doesn’t deserve to be sheriff and she doesn’t make a good protector for Henry being that naive! That being said, Lynda Carter would be sweet or Jane Seymour

  33. Debbie says:

    Ms. Susan Lucci

  34. Kingship says:

    Candice Bergen, Jessica Lange, Jane Fonda

  35. carolyn says:

    glenn close

  36. Maggie Dalton says:

    Sean Young she really pulled off sly & cunning on Young & Restless.

  37. lindsay says:

    I think lena olin, Sharon stone, or Susan sarandon would b good ppl for this role. Susan sarandon has experience playing an evil queen.

  38. Arnas says:

    My dream casting to play Queen’s Evil mother would be none other than Desperate Housewive Marcia Cross..Why??? Cause they kinda look similiar…And would be perfect Evil….

  39. dloulou says:

    Joan Collins.

  40. Susan Brillhart says:

    Constance Towers – aka Helena Cassidine on GH – She’s BEEN the Evil Queen for YEARS!!!!!

  41. kimmy says:

    Dana Delaney seems really young to play the Queen’s mother… I would vote for Cher

  42. Kyla says:

    Kathy Bates (Misery) does a pretty good wicked when she wants, if network issues could be dealt with.

  43. kirads09 says:

    How about Joan Collins? (Cher is a great choice too – I could see that!)

  44. Joe says:

    Bette Midler

  45. Bianka says:

    DANA DELANY! I know that she looks too young to play the part but I don’t care. I wanna see my love on the show! Vote for Dana Delany.

  46. Matt says:

    What about Frances Conroy? I think she could do the role justice!

  47. Josh says:

    I think Jean Smart would be terrific. I’d love to see her play evil.

  48. Michelle says:

    You had me at Kelly Bishop. PERFECT!!