Scoop: Once Upon a Time Casts Walking Dead Actress -- But Who Is She Playing?

SMGreenOnce Upon a Time is adding Sonequa Martin-Green to its ranks for Season 2 — if not beyond.

TVLine has learned that the actress, whose TV credits include The Walking Dead and The Good Wife, will appear this season in multiple episodes as Tamara. No further details on the character were made available, though TVLine’s previous intel indicates that Once was initially angling to cast an African-American with a British accent in the part, and that Tamara could spill over into Season 3 of the ABC drama.

RELATED | Once Upon a Time Scoop on Two Returns and a New Episode Title

Martin-Green recently debuted on The Walking Dead, just before the hiatus, as Sasha, one of the prison newcomers Carl sequestered from his group. On The Good Wife, she enjoyed a run as Courtney, the assistant Alicia poached from Martha Plimpton’s Patti Nyholm. She also played Army Wives‘ Kanessa.

RELATED | Once Upon a Time‘s Josh Dallas Previews the Charmings’ Future, Regina’s Regret and Hook’s Welcome

Once Upon a Time resumes Season 2 this Sunday at 8/7c. What’s your knee-jerk speculation on the mysterious “Tamara”?

Want more scoop on Once Upon a Time, or for any other show? Email mattmtvguy@gmail.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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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74 Comments
  1. Princess and the Frog?

  2. Tom says:

    /Tiana, Princess and the Frog

  3. Gilda says:

    Yah, my thought was Tiana. Although, Im not sure i see that making the best storyline. Generally the fake names do follow a pattern of same first letter, like Magnolia and Anastasia. Maybe Tinkerbell? Weve got to see Neverland at some point now that we’ve seen Hook.

  4. shuayb says:

    I agree that she could be wendy or tinkerbell. Esp if she could become a regular, she’d have to have interaction with a regular character. Hook seems to be that regular character for me. Can’t wait for the new season!

  5. Jen says:

    don’t really care about Once, but I suppose this mean that Sasha is going to die on The Walking Dead

  6. wassita says:

    Tiana does NOT have a British accent. I doubt that is the character. too obvious… maybe Queen Guinevere?

    • TTY says:

      Yes! That seems like the most obvious choice.

    • Templar says:

      She could be Tiana. Maybe she can do a yankee accent. OUAT hasn’t been very stringent about accents. Jamie Dornan [Graham] has an Irish accent, Robert Carlyle [Gold] has a Scottish one. Jennifer M is Australian. House didn’t have an accent, but Hugh Laurie has one. Owain Yeoman who plays Rigsby on The Mentalist has a Welsh accent, but not on the show.

    • Mena says:

      Great guess! I’ve always thought that Lancelot was still alive. (Cora could’ve been lying when she said she killed him.) And in a flashback, Lancelot mentioned the Holy Grail to Snow, so the Grail could’ve been a little clue that’s hinting at a future storyline (or flashback episode) for Lancelot and Guinevere.

      And the show has already included several different fairytale worlds, so maybe the show will also include Avalon (the mystical island where Arthur was taken to recover from his battle wounds).

      • Addie says:

        Yes. I’m always surprised that people take Cora’s word for it about Lancelot being dead. She’s about as believable as Regina and I won’t believe he’s dead until we see the flashback showing the death/his body

    • Sheila says:

      Am I missing something? The actress is American, right?

  7. Lee says:

    I’m kind of torn. I love me some Tiana, but the last thing this show needs is more multiple episode characters. I had hoped they would slow down now that Mulan and Aurora are out of the picture and but they just keep on adding new characters while characters like Belle, who is a regular suffer from lack of face time and character development.
    I hope they manage a better balance in the second half of the Season.

    • MaryAnn says:

      I completely disagree. I love the way “Once” is like real life in that you have a townful of recurring characters, and see some of them all of the time and some of them very occasionally.

    • Mary says:

      Becoming a regular didn’t necessarily mean a whole lot more episodes. Raphale Sbarge was a regular in the first season, but Jiminy/Archie wasn’t in very many episodes and really only had one episode relating to just his character.

    • Templar says:

      It’s almost necessary to keep adding characters, because otherwise, to quote Inigo “Is over too quickly”.

  8. Gilda says:

    Yah, although they usually have an anything goes attitude with accents, I don’t think they’d intentially aim to cast the most specifically American princess with a British accent. I’m going with Tinkerbell

  9. i’ll just throw it out there

    she’s bae in drag!!!! heck every guy cast is bae why not a woman?? :p

  10. Richard says:

    What about Thumbelina? Lancelot was played by an African American, why not her?

  11. We’ve seen hints this season already about the Land of Oz, so I’m going out on a limb and will say she is one of the witches from Oz.

  12. Drew says:

    A Wendy angle could be interesting on this show. Wendy, Peter and the others should be from our world, right? Maybe even Alice should be. But time flows differently, so they’re all long gone. Maybe Tamara could be one of their great-great-granddaughters or something. Probably not, but I still say that those characters would be from our world.

    And Dorothy, since we know she’s from Kansas.

    • Addie says:

      Why do you say that? Hook was in Neverland and never aged. It’s always been told to be a land where you don’t age and is not part of our world

      • Drew says:

        Peter might still be around, but Wendy and others from the story returned to this world. Same with Alice and Dorothy.

        This actress doesn’t strike me as a lost boy, so I was focusing on the female characters from those stories.

  13. mawhi says:

    I bet she’s the little mermaid.

  14. TvjunkE says:

    This is just a wild guess. But would it be possible to assume that she is Pocahontas ? I mean her love interest was John Smith and he was from England.

    • nick1372 says:

      No. I don’t think Once will attempt to have a character that was a real person.

      • Tv junkE says:

        Why not ? If you saw the preview the spell is going to be lifted and the fairy tale characters will be able to go into the rest of the world now . But who knows guess we will have to just have to tune in and see but it seems like a possibility to me .

        • Addie says:

          Probably because Disney already had a lot of controversy about the animated movie, I can see them telling the producers to not go near her. Plus she was a real person

      • Spencer says:

        Could Tamara possibly be Princess Jasmine? She kind of fits the description.

  15. Dave says:

    First of all, in previous articles, the producers specifically stated Peter Pan wouldn’t be on this season, so Wendy is definitely not an option… Wouldn’t make sense. If they wanted Pocahontas, they’d go with a Native American (imagine backlash for not hiring an authentic actress for a character who is a historical figure). I’d say someone from Lancelot’s backstory or Tinkerbell

  16. L. hodkey says:

    Martin-Green is a nobodyand her arrival elicts a loud: “Who cares”.

  17. rob says:

    Let’s be real about it though, as far as her maybe being pocahontas, Disney doesn’t care about backlash, especially of the racial kind. Help, they had backlash from the princess and the frog with that white prince, and they will most likely have her paired with a white man if she is a love interest just like they did with Mulan.

    • TvjunkE says:

      Thank you! OUAT is known for its ethnicity changes so just because the actress is African American doesn’t mean anything.. If im correct Belle was French and on OUAT she’s Australian . Mulan was Chinese and they have a Korean actress playing her on OUAT.So I’m not saying it will be Pocahontas but just because she’s a real person doesn’t mean they will stay away from her . They keep releasing the damn DVD from the vault so i doubt disney cares that much lol.

  18. sue says:

    i just hope they stay true to the original stories im sorry i love those stories grew up on them so in terms of them doing them i hope they stay true to the stories so far they def have! and thats what i love about the show!

  19. Ali says:

    Just throwing this out there….Princess Jasmine? The name normally hints to what character they are in some way, but Tamara means palm tree…sooo. Hmm.

    • Templar says:

      Well, if they delve into the Aladdin/Jasmine story again [we already have Glass the genie], I hope they have the good sense to cast Sendhil Ramamurthy [Covert Affairs] as Aladdin.

  20. Camila says:

    I’ve been doing some research on the name cause ouat writers don’t choose the names just because they are pretty. Here’s what I found: in England, Tamara is the goddess of rivers and streams. Then, there was this queen of Georgia back on the 12th century whose name was Tamar. A russian poet once wrote a poem in which he took the old Georgian legend about a siren-like mountainous princess who was given the name of Queen Tamar.

    My guess is that she will definitely be a siren (we’ve heard about sirens once or twice on the show). Again, it’s only my guess.

    • Suzie says:

      Could be, although I don’t see any connection between Grace and Paige. I get that Jefferson’s daughter was Grace because of Grace Slick, but where did Paige fit in? A book? And in Snow’s case it’s her last name, Blanchard, that is key, not her first name. So, perhaps. Tamara’s last name will be the clue. Or maybe she’s just an earthling. Also the names David & Kathryn Nolan have no relation to James [Charming] and Abigail.

      • Ace says:

        For David, at least, his Storybrooke name does point to his fairytale character. David of the Old Testament was a shepherd boy who became a king, and Charming was a shepherd before he replaced his twin, James, as a prince. (Also, Abigail was the name of one of the biblical King David’s wives, although I’m not sure where “Kathryn” comes into play. I can’t find any obvious connection there.)

        • Ace says:

          Per Wikipedia, an actress named Kathryn Beaumont voiced both Alice and Wendy in the original Disney films (Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan, respectively). I’m not sure if that has anything to do with anything, plot-wise, but perhaps Abigail’s Storybrooke name is a tribute to Ms. Beaumont.

    • Thanks for the research, I think this leads me to believe she might be “The Lady of the Lake” for the Arthur/Lancelot/Guinevere time period. I believe she was Merlin’s great love. So maybe Merlin will be cast soon too (Maybe he already is in either Neal or Ethan Embry’s new stranger coming in a couple weeks.)

      • Suzie says:

        Now you mention Ethan Embry, I remember that he’ll come as a stranger to Storybrooke. Not part of the curse, so perhaps Tamara will be from outside as well.

  21. Patti says:

    I hope it’s just a guest appearance. I like the current regulars and season one recurrings too much and don’t want even less of them.

  22. MP says:

    I just hope her character doesn’t automatically get killed at the end of the episode. Seems to happen a bit with the number of PoC characters on the show.

  23. carrionne says:

    I don’t understand the whole “accent” thing. It’s not like any of them actually comes from a Real-Life Country. So why would they hire someone so they could play a specific accent? THEY COME FROM ANOTHER WORLD

  24. Guss says:

    Ok so here’s my theory. I believe she is the little indian girl who was kidnapped by Hook in the Peter Pan cartoon movie who Peter rescued. Maybe that’s why Baefire has so much beef with Hook.

    • LCRose says:

      Tiger Lily. In the books she’s the leader of one of the Native American tribes in Neverland and a love interest for Peter Pan/competition for Wendy. She was my first thought as well until I saw that the casting notice said specifically African American. But, if Bael is Peter Pan, or at least one of the Lost Boys, then Tiger Lily would tie in nicely. But then why not make the casting notice for Native American?

      • Guss says:

        Hmm…true. Who knows? The way Hollyweird does things now days they very well may have cast an African American to play an Indian Character. After all they didn’t get a full blooded Chinese to play Mulan and a Caucasian played Goku in that awful DBZ movie and that whole Last Airbender movie? Well you catch my drift….

  25. Crazycat4904 says:

    What is she’s Jasmine… Neal could be Aladdin. He’s a thief right? A diamond in the rough… Or Tiana… Maybe she’ll go with them to Storybrook and find her frog prince. Then Emma can be happy for a minute. Sheesh.

  26. stepnturn says:

    The original story of the princess in the frog didnt involve an african american turned princess living in New Orleans. Why does everyone assume she will be Tiana? Only bc Disney takes a alot of liberties with their retelling of stories. Princess and the frog is much older story than that movie… much. Ive guessed quite a bit right so far so im excited that ive yet to figure her out. Im looking forward to being surprised! Love ouat!!

  27. Ben says:

    She *has* to be Wendy. If she was cast to have an accent that makes sense since in the fairytale Wendy is from London. It also makes sense because she’s Bae’s fiancé… and Bae is Peter Pan.

    Also anybody think that August/Pinocchio is involved in the story whenever they do show Wonderland? He’s already connected to Bae and said that he got caught up on a pleasure island and forgot about his purpose until he started turning back to wood…

    And on a random side note… maybe this has been resolved and I missed it, but what ever happened with Cinderella’s husband disappearing by the well? Did I fall asleep at the end of that episode and missed something or has that never been brought up again?

  28. stefanie says:

    didnt neal say that our world was not the first world he was in. or else he would have been really old, in neverland you dont age. so neal has been most defenitly in neverland, the question is was he a lost boy or was he peter pan, if you remeber than neverland and where he was born are both different worlds so he could be peter pan and Tamara could be Tiger Lilly…..

  29. Christopher says:

    After watching the episode tonight, my best guess is Ursula. The mirror, the lips, the eyes. This is the sea witch.

  30. Cathy says:

    So far, all of the ethnic actors and actresses have been minimal. Take for instance those killed off early: Fairy Godmother and Lancelot; Mulan; whatever happened to the Genie / Mirror guy who fell hard for Regina? Now we have Tamara who is a villain, even though Regina has done so much worse? Perhaps when they are done with Tamara and her boyfriend, they will turn them into frogs and they will be eaten by storks. NOT GOOD!

    They definitely surpass the original Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales as far as unhappy endings for some of the characters.

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