When last we tuned into ABC’s Once Upon a Time, Captain Hook — with evil Cora at his side — had sailed through a portal from The Fairytale Land That Is to Storybrooke, Maine, where they planned to drop anchor and dust up some trouble. Colin O’Donoghue, who was promoted from recurring to series regular before he even made his Once debut, shared with TVLine a look at his pirate’s plan for revenge, the wrinkle that will delay Hook’s wrath against Rumple and whether such a bad boy can win over a good-ish girl like Emma Swan, as Season 2 resumes Sunday at 8/7c.
TVLINE | The fall finale left off with Hook and Cora approaching Storybrooke by ship. Will there be any stealth involved in actually entering town? Might you stop into a J. Crew, grab some normal clothes…?
No, he doesn’t stop into a J. Crew. [Laughs] He’s in his regular clothes but he is a little bit stealthy. He stalks Rumple a bit, and it’s about him figuring out a way to get back at Rumple and not go straight in all guns blazing, because at the end of the day Rumplestiltskin is still powerful.
TVLINE | OK, because I was wondering: Is Hook going to be surprised to learn there is magic in Storybrooke? Because the bill of goods Cora sold him was, “There’s no magic in this place, so you’re going to be able to show up and kick ass.”
It is a surprise, so he has to figure out what’s the best way to get to Rumple, the best way to get his revenge, because obviously Hook is not really a magical character.
TVLINE | I was thinking maybe there’s a way to take Rumple’s advantage away from him. Because if there’s one person that doesn’t like the fact that he uses magic, it’s Belle. Is that something Hook’s going to play with?
Belle is such a huge part of Rumple, you know what I mean? So, you know, she might figure into the equation….
TVLINE | And Hook does fancy himself a pretty lady.
[Laughs] I think Hook fancies himself whatever is going to benefit him the most, because he’s definitely that type of character. Who knows? He might use Belle, he might not.
TVLINE | What kind of welcome does he get from the other people in town? Josh [Dallas] said there was something violent about how you get introduced to Storybrooke society.
Yeah, how I get introduced is a little bit of a “Whoa! Wait a second!” moment. So he hasn’t had much interaction with many of the townsfolk.
TVLINE | What about the ship itself? Do you use, like, fairy dust to make it look like a shrimping boat? Pass yourself off as a tourist attraction? Because if I’m the Coast Guard in Maine, I’m making phone calls.
The ship is…. People don’t see the ship. He is with a very powerful person, after all.
TVLINE | Speaking of that person: How is it working with Barbara Hershey?
Barbara is fantastic, really fantastic. I’ve had a lot of scenes with her, obviously, and I’ve had such a great time working with her. She’s just a wonderful person.
TVLINE | One of the most polarizing topics on TVLine is the possibility of a Hook-Emma romance. Given how they left things on the other end of the portal, has that ship sailed, so to speak?
I don’t know if it’s sailed. Hook and Emma, they have a kind of… a funny sort of relationship. I think they, in some kind of weird way, respect each other because they can see elements of themselves in the other person. You know what I mean? Like, Emma is no saint….
TVLINE | Jennifer Morrison said to me the same thing, that they were similar in that respect.
Yeah, so they are very similar. And it’s like you say, “Hook likes himself a pretty lady” and he’s also not afraid to stand up to Emma, which I guess not many people do, really.
TVLINE | Plus, now that she has freshly bested Hook, that’s probably kind of a charge for him.
Yeah, yeah. And so I’m interested to see what way it’s going to go.
TVLINE | Do you believe Hook was sincere about the deal that he tendered over in fairytale land? “I’ll help you get the enchanted wardrobe ashes if you bring me to Storybrooke”?
You saw in the midseason finale a little glimmer of him, in a way, honoring his offer — when he gives back Aurora’s heart and stuff like that. It’s like, ‘Look, I may be a nasty piece of work, but I do have my code.” Now, whether that code is slightly askew from most people… [Laughs] I think their relationship is a funny one. I think they both enjoy the banter that they have with each other. Even though she pretends not to, he definitely does. I think there are very few women in Hook’s life who’ve ever gone, “Nope, not interested.” For him, that’s like, “Whoa.” The challenge has sort of been set.