Once Upon a Time Cast Previews the Emma/Regina 'Flip,' New Dagger Rules and Belle's Waiting Game

“If you wanna have a good time, call Emma.”

That’s Jennifer Morrison’s winking assessment of her Once Upon a Time character’s transformation into the “Dark One” — and just one of many amusing/scoopy tidbits our Matt Mitovich extracted from the ABC drama’s cast during an interview in TVLine’s Comic-Con suite at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Of course, with Emma and Regina set to “flip” their roles, how will Hook handle his lady love’s unheroic behavior — and her new look (inspired, apparently, by David Bowie and Blondie)? Colin O’Donoghue teases that his character might dig her new threads, but loves the woman whose goodness he spent Season 4 protecting.

Also on the docket: The new Rumple (and what it means for Belle); a dagger that will come with “caveats” for Snow and Charming; and some teases about Merida (to be played by Scottish actress Amy Mason).

Press PLAY above for the full interview, then hit the comments with your thoughts!

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. Mr. Tran K says:

    Totally dig Ginnifer Goodwin’s new hair and is Matt wearing an Agents of SHIELD T-shirt?

    • MLPR says:

      Ew. I know it’s just my opinion, but I hate it. It makes her look so old. As someone who spends an enormous amount of time and money trying to get rid of my early-onset gray hair, I really don’t get the new trend.

    • Gail says:

      Is the shock of Emma becoming the Dark One going to turn Snow’s hair grey? I guess she will be wearing wigs as both Mary Margret and Snow until they can write the hair change into the story. Snow will presumably be too busy worrying about her daughter to run to the beauty parlor to color her hair.

    • Kristina says:

      Don’t love the hair but yeah I think he is!!

    • JBC says:

      Agree I think it looks really pretty on her.

  2. anon says:

    HE (Hook) spent season 4 protecting Emma’s goodness? What drugs was he on?? Regina did everything. Hook did zilch.

    • Lj1 says:

      I think the only one on drugs and being ignorant is you.

      • Mature. If you follow Hook’s storyline, you’ll see…he doesn’t have one. His whole point of being, is to follow Emma around all day. If there was no Emma, he’d literally do nothing. So when someone states that he’s done ‘anything’, I’d like them to point out a episode in which he actually did something.

        • Buttercup says:

          Hook’s contributions in 4b alone:

          Worked with Belle to figure out how to get the fairies out of the hat.

          Neutralized Ursula as a threat by helping her find her happy ending. In the process, found out Rumple’s plan was to turn Emma dark.

          Convinced Emma to forgive her parents, which was the biggest factor that risked turning her dark.

          Figured out who the Apprentice was and led everyone to him .

          Worked with Henry to pull off the Wookie prisoner gag so they could rescue Emma from the tower.

          Worked with Emma to stop Lily the dragon.

          Risked–and gave–his life to protect Emma and Henry so they could stop Isaac and return everyone to the real world.

          All this in addition to simply giving Emma comfort and support when she needed it, something that was particularly important when she was estranged from her parents.

          • EvilRegal says:

            *applause* ‘buttercup’

          • Kendall says:

            Omg I love you thank you thank you thank you

          • abz says:

            Thank you, Buttercup. Tired of the excuse that he’s useless. It’s like some people think that having a loved one who cares about you and who helps you work through your issues and problems and tries to give you advice on reconciling with your family counts as doing nothing. Of course he isn’t perfect. No one is saying he is. No character on this show is. But he has a role and a purpose. They definitely need to work on exploring his background more and and explore his character and history, but he is a part of their group, their family. I mean look at @Alex’s comment and other similar comments (“if there was no Emma, he’d literally do nothing”). Comments like that just annoy me. Characters especially on this type of show are brought on as love interests or become love interest over time. What would Belle really do without Rumple? She helps tame him as best she can and she loves him and tries to bring out the good in him and make him see that his actions are wrong when he’s thinking about doing something terrible. Is that any different from what Hook’s been doing with Emma especially during 4B? No. He’s someone she has come to be able to depend on for support and love and caring. Belle also has her own set of skills with her books and knowlege, much like Hook has his own experiences being a pirate that come in handy when needed.

    • drkraven0905 says:

      That’s What i was thinking. I love me some Hook, but Regina and the charmings did it. She prevented Emma from killing lily, she went undercover, she went against Gold when she discovered the plan.

      • Sarah says:

        What did going undercover do to help Emma though? And Hook was the one who found out the plan to turn Emma dark in the first place.

        • Buttercup says:

          Also, Hook was the one who convinced Emma to forgive her parents. That was the turning point. It was her anger with her parents that threatened to turn her dark. Hook convinced her to let go of that. Never underestimate the importance of the quiet moments (and a little rum). : )

    • bobbie says:

      I usually don’t ship characters and on the rare occasion I do, it tends to be hetero-normal, but good god, the writers and actors are completely on team swanqueen. Did you see the look that LP and JM had when discussing how CO’D (sorry no idea how to shorten that name) is now a regular?

      When I first heard about this fandom, A) I didn’t see it and B) thought, well that will never happen, but now it’s kinda hard to ignore.

      Yup, Hook just kinda follows Emma around, it’s Regina that is protecting and teaching Emma. I doubt that TPTB have signed off on any of this, but it looks like the actors and writers are really pushing those two characters together and the actors enjoy playing with innuendo.

      • buttercupscarlett95 says:

        Colin O’Donoghue has been a regular for three years, starting at the beginning of the second season. It’s Sean Maguire (Robin Hood) who was only recently made a regular.

        Not sure which writers or actors you mean, but Adam, Eddy, and Jen Morrison have repeatedly emphasized that (1) Emma is in love with Hook, and (2) there is no intention for Emma and Regina to be anything other than friends. That’s how the show is written, and it’s been said over and over again. In fact, just this past weekend, Jen Morrison told the press that Emma is “truly”, “intensely”, and “passionately” in love with Hook. Why do people keep beating a dead horse?

        • bobbie says:

          Oops, you’re right.

          As for why people keep beating this very much alive horse. It might have something to do with JM instagraming a pic of her and LP saying Swan Queen. I only watch the show for these awesome recaps, don’t know if I would get banned linking a competition site, but the reviewer does a great pointing out all the times it’s Emma and Regina and Hook is just sorta tagging along. Heck in the video when CO says how he has worked to protect Emma the look between JM and LP was interesting. I love the reviews, also because they get that Once goes off the rails on frequent bases and aren’t afraid to call them out on it.

          The only time I something similar was on Warehouse 13. The two actors that played Wells and Myka, said they tried to infuse as much ship between them as they could, but the show wasn’t willing to go there.

          To each their own.

          • Cas says:

            Since when does Swan Queen mean an actual
            love story? I mean it could be team Swan Queen or a million other things. People these days always make something out of nothing.

          • Buttercup says:

            JM got attacked by a website when she turned down an interview with Lana to talk about SQ. She was harassed and called homophobic. She posted a pic with Lana and tagged SQ to calm the situation down. She has tried to be nice to all her fans, even those who make up things that are fan fiction and not part of the show. However, she has repeatedly emphasized that Emma and Regina are nothing more than friends on the show, and she repeatedly emphasizes that her character is in love with Hook. In fact, just this past weekend at Comic-Con, she said that Emma is “truly,” “intensely,” and “passionately” in love with Hook, and she angrily shot down a reporter who tried to insinuate that Emma’s sacrifice in the 4b finale somehow represented Emma choosing Regina over Hook. During her “AskJen” on Twitter, she said that Emma “truly” loves Hook, and that Emma and Regina have a “friendship.” I’m not sure what more she can say to get people to stop misinterpreting the show.

            The writers have said similar things. They’ve said that they never had any intention of writing a romance between the characters. They’ve repeatedly referred to them as friends, and repeatedly referred to Hook and Emma being in love and Robin and Regina being soul mates. Heck, in the most recent episode of the show, they had Emma telling Regina how much she loves Hook and begging Regina to give Robin Hood true love’s kiss so they could undo Isaac’s AU and bring Hook back to life. What more do they have to do to make things clear? Like JM has said, people will see what they want to see.

            As for the video, I don’t see any weird looks between the actors. They all smile, laugh, and look at each other throughout the discussion. Nothing strange about that.

  3. ninamags says:

    Merida!!! OMG! I cannot wait.

  4. Just one thing says:

    What a fun group. If I find that a show’s storylines have become weak and contrived, I’ll often turn to the ensemble to see if it’s still worth watching.
    These guys are entertaining to watch, even when it sometimes feels like the show is grasping at straws.

  5. Lj1 says:

    I am looking forward to Merida.

    Lol at Matt for saying “Inner Pirate Flag” ;)

    I cant wait to see what we get with Dark Swan in terms of the arc, and what there foreshadowing and hints are along the way to the Dark Swan as the dark one curse and along the story with herself, her parents, and Hook.

    Hook has fought for Emma, and her heart and would lay his life down. We saw that when Rumple went after Emma with the hat etc and then scared of the darkness getting to her and to talk to her parents etc..

  6. Zelda says:

    Lovely interview! I’m looking forward to Merida and hope she has a connection to Snow (or Robin Hood even though they said ‘someone in this room’) because of the archery and it would be so fun if that played a bigger role on the show with two main characters so being into as their weapon of choice and Merida being so skilled too. I’m also really looking forward to Regina’s new role because that’s gonna be so interesting for her character to kind of be the ‘new savior’ as they call it in interviews. I can’t wait to see that play out and how others like Robin and hopefully her friendship with Snow and possibly even Rumple once he wakes up will figure into that.

  7. thisismenow says:

    But but but you had Lana there and you didn’t focus your entire interview on her. I mean I needed more of a scoop from her about her character. XD I’ll admit it, she is probably one of my favorite actresses of all time. It’s a toss up between her and Gillian Anderson.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Fantastic interview. Thanks for seating Jen and Lana next to each other. It was really cool to hear how their characters are going to flip, confirming what a lot of us have been guessing. It’s a really exciting premise and I’m looking forward to it.

  9. Sally says:

    The show is finished. If Regina, the unrepentant, mass murdering rapist whose main trait is her innate selfishness and who spent all of season 4 talking about how much she herself deserved a happy ending is the ‘new savior’, then I give up. I almost gave up when her white magic without a heart crap happened but then they never mentioned it again so I was fine. But this is too far even for these writers who love her beyond all reason. The only way they could make Regina the ‘savior’ before was by literally rewriting all reality and even then it didn’t make any sense! I mean Emma is still the savior – she sacrificed herself to take on the Dark One curse so as long as she’s the Dark One then that means her savior sacrifice is still ongoing. This show is supposed to be about hope but Regina as the new savior is the exact opposite of hope. Please tell me it won’t happen!

    • abz says:

      I don’t think it literally means that Regina will become the saviour. She won’t take on the mystical nature of the role and just become it the way Emma did. Emma is still the true savior, but she’s a savior in big trouble. By Regina becoming the new savior, I think they just mean that she will take the reins for a bit and lead the group to help bring Emma back from the Darkness. Someone has to do it. Rumple is comatose and his magical status and power is still somewhat unknown given he’s no longer the Dark One and that makes Regina’s basically the most powerful person in that town (Zelena is powerful too. but she’s still evil and locked away and doubt she’d be eager to help). She’ll need to work hard with the rest to help save Emma. Plus she’s gotta do it for Henry too. The three of them (Emma, Regina, and Henry) have come a long way.

    • THB says:

      Wow so you’re saying that for a fictional villain to redeem herself and become the hero is the opposite of hope? These characters (except for Emma) are hundreds of years old. Everything that’s happened to them is because of magic. Regina has often been the victim (her mother’s manipulation is what sent her down a dark path). This show is not about black and white. There is a huge grey area between what makes a person a savior/villain/hero. Weren’t you paying attention at all to the whole Heroes and Villains storyline of season 4?

    • Bruce says:

      It will happen. There’s the door. BTW: character development, we’ve had four seasons of it ;)

      • Katherine215 says:

        Character development of Regina? Hardly. She just wants something that murdering people isn’t going to get her. It’s all a pity party for one when it comes to Regina. “Poor me, my mommy was mean and so I found it necessary to murder people to get what I want but it’s not my fault!!”

    • Shes the only character on the show to have a redemption arc. And if you count ‘saves’ from s1 till now, it actually goes like this from most to least ‘saves’: Regina with the most, Emma and Snow more or less neck and neck, Charming, Belle, Gold, ect.

      Its been pointed out for a few years now, that Regina does the most saving out of everyone on the show. Despite all the bad she did in the past.

      PS: Calling her a rapist is a bit much, seeing as half the storylines are rape culture rewarding or alluding to rape. Regina, Hook, Neal, Zelena, Leopold, all rapists.

      • Bela says:

        Rape culture and rape are not the same things and the fact that other characters like Zelena have been turned into rapists does not make it any better either. And I’m saying this as a Regina fan. Stop trying to brush dark aspects of her past aside like that. It’s selling the character and her growth short if we act like those things didn’t happen and they’re not so bad after all because others did similar things too. That some haters can’t see beyond the past and their own bitterness over Regina’s growth as a character and her importance to the story the writers are telling is their own fault. Their loss.

      • Michelle says:

        Can you tell me which storylines you’re referring to regarding Hook, Neal and Leopold?

        • BoothBrennanlover says:

          The person means probably: hook getting women drunk to the point of them being unable to gra t consent. Neal commiter statutory rape with a 16-17 years old Emma. Leopold commited marital rape with Regina since she was an unwilling participant to her marriage. Regina took graham against his will, and Zelena fooled Robin into sex. Yeah, lots of rape going around ouat

    • buttercupscarlett95 says:

      I don’t think it means Regina is literally becoming the savior. I think they were just saying that Emma’s going to be off doing the dark one thing and Regina is going to have to step it up and protect the town, especially from her crazy sister. I’m not a Regina fan, but doing her job as mayor to protect the town is the least she can do. Especially after she ruined the lives of pretty much everyone there.

      I also expect her to lend Killian and the Charmings a hand in saving Emma. Like Eddy said, she’d be really selfish if she didn’t. Emma helped her get Robin Hood back, and Regina needs to help Killian now.

      • Zelda says:

        Regina doesn’t need to do a single thing for Hook. He has never done anything for her either. In fact, he was all about stopping people from trying to comfort and help her at the beginning of season 4. God forbid the world and especially Emma’s world does not turn around Hook and his needs, for once.
        Regina cares about Emma as a friend and she cares about Emma’s parents. So she will be working with Snow and David, she’ll be working with Henry, and she might eventually recruit Rumple to help them. For Emma. Nothing about this has anything to do with Hook and frankly it shouldn’t. No one on this show owes Hook anything. Everything he’s done comes down to wanting to get with Emma and that’s far from selfless.
        This is not about Hook and his happy ending. This is about Emma, independent person and more than a prop in “Killy’s” happy ending. Emma has existed before he came on to the show and has developed relationships with people other than him on the show. The Regina/Emma dynamic has been at the heart of the show since season 1.

        • abz says:

          Way to blow @buttercup’s comment out of proportion. Hook is already WITH Emma. There’s no wanting to get with her. He’s already with her. They are a couple and they are together. @buttercup did not just say Regina needs to help Hook. She also said Regina should lend a hand to “Killian AND THE CHARMINGS” (not just Hook alone, her parents too) because those are Emma’s family and loved ones. Emma loves her parents. She loves her son and yes she also has a boyfriend that she loves and cares for too. How difficult is it to understand that?….”This is about Emma, independent person and more than a prop in “Killy’s” happy ending.” => A huge problem in Emma’s life has partly been her independence. She used to be closed off, insecure, possibly lonely. She had no one to care for her and love her before she came to Storybrooke and over time she’s allowed her to be more open. To welcome in family and friends and yes even to let a little romance in her life after she got over the pain of her last relationship. How you can twist a boyfriend wanting to help save his girlfriend who just became the Dark One into it being only about him amazes me. You’re telling me if someone you really cared for started on an evil or bad path, you should sit back and not even consider trying to help them in any way you can.

          • MastersM says:

            You are ignoring buttercup’s last sentence. Which does say Regina has to help Hook. Weirdly enough, the logic seems to be that she has to do it because of something Emma did for her. Not Hook. Why Hook has earned her help because of something Emma did… I don’t understand either. It does sound like the type of strange way of looking at female friendships that Hook fans sometimes have where everything comes back to him even if he did nothing for it. I agree with Zelda here, sorry. Hook’s role in this situation is irrelevant if you look at it from Regina’s pov. Regina helps because it’s Emma. Not because she’s weirdly in debt to Hook for something he never did.

          • abz says:

            I had a response typed, but as usual the TVLine site commenting system has become so frustrating and just eats up your comment randomly when it feels like it and doesn’t post it. I really wish they’d fix it. I’ll just say that Emma is in need of rescue. The people who will be working hard to rescue are the loved ones in her life who care for her (Snow, David, Henry and yes Hook). Regina has become Emma’s friend and she has developed a relationship with her over the years and they co-parent a son together. So, Regina is also a part of that group too. So she would be helping Snow, Charming, Henry AND Hook all of whom would of course want help to rescue Emma. It’s not that she’s indebted to Hook and owes him anything (he doesn’t owe her anything really either; they’ve both done things to each other. She abandoned him in the clock tower to be killed by Maleficent, he abandoned her while she was being tortured by Greg and Tamara, etc.). It’s that they are all a part of this group, this family and friendships, and they will be helping each other. I didn’t ignore the last line, I even referred to it and I can’t speak for buttercup, but the way I took the comparison is if Emma worked hard to help Regina reunite with Robin, why shouldn’t Regina try and help Emma reunite were her parents, her son, AND her boyfriend Hook. Why can’t she and Hook start to move forward from their rocky first acquaintances? They are clearly in each other’s lives for as long as Emma wants him in her life (and she does want him). There’s nothing wrong with them being friendly and seeking help from one another.

        • buttercupscarlett95 says:

          Yes, Regina does need to help Hook. Emma helped Regina and Robin get their happy ending, and Regina now owes it to Emma and Hook to do the same. Simple. Of course, the Charmings and Henry will play a big role, too, and Regina certainly owes the Charmings a lot after all the crap she’s done to them.

          And it always sounds ridiculous to me when people ridicule Hook’s redemption because it was motivated by his love for Emma but praise Regina’s redemption, which was motivated by her love for Henry. How are those two things any different? Both Hook and Regina found redemption by letting go of hate and allowing love back into their hearts. The fact that they were inspired to change through their love for other people is a good thing. Why belittle it?

          As for season 1, Hook was supposed to be part of it, but the writers couldn’t get the rights to his character until season 2. So pointing out that his and Emma’s relationship doesn’t reach back to season 1 is silly.

          This next season is about both Emma and Hook and their happy ending. They made clear last spring that Emma is Hook’s happy ending, and the writers said he will go to hell and back to save her. Emma is her own person, but she has people who love her and who are important to her. She’s finally let down her walls and learned to love again. That is a beautiful thing.

          • Buttercup says:

            Oh, and one more thing–Hook died in the AU to save Henry and Emma. If he hadn’t, Charming and Snow probably would have killed Henry, and Henry would never have been able to undo Isaac’s book, which is what gave Regina and Robin their happy ending. So yes, Regina owes her happy ending in part to Hook.

  10. KWeim says:

    Would’ve been even more fun with the whole cast, but I get why Sean Maguire left early and Robert Carlyle never does those additional SDCC press interviews.
    You can kinda tell the actors don’t know that much about the new season yet, I think one mentioned in another interview they only read 1 script for season 5. But the “Brave” teaser and the new Savior sound good. Bring on September.

  11. Odette says:

    Black Swan – White Swan… hmmm, maybe they’ll find a way to fit a bit of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake…?

  12. ninergrl6 says:

    The wording of Matt’s question for Colin is HILARIOUS. I don’t know how he was able to give a serious answer after that!

  13. Spence says:

    First Frozen, now Merida… This show is going downhill so fast, sadly. Wonder when they’ll bring Woody, Buzz, Lightning McQueen and Sully while they’re at it…

    • THB says:

      Pixar characters? Really? I think we need to be more afraid of Star Wars characters visiting honestly.

    • hi says:

      your comment makes no sense. first frozen now brave? there’s no theme there. brave was not nearly as mega as frozen is; this is not merely a ploy to capitalize on success and attract viewers. it’s a show about Disney fairy tale characters, of course they are going to add to their roster.

      • Terry says:

        Frozen was a cash cow that was gifted to OUAT to boost ratings and it did for short period of time. Using Brave is another way to gain viewers. This is a business.

        • abz says:

          But some people act like with every new character this show adds that it’s some kind of stunt and they start hating. Yeah of course they want to attract more viewers, what show doesn’t? But they’re also doing what they’ve always done from the very beginning. The show has a vast pool of source material to pick and choose from ranging from Disney to Grimm to Greek Mythology to film and more and they are constantly adding characters that might give them interesting stories to tell and will interact well with the cast.

    • John NYC says:

      A show integrating characters from he wider universe of it’s parent group is offensive? I expect you watch none of the Marvel etc. comic genre then?

      Well, tastes differ, I like them and appreciate the depth of their “bench” so to speak, though not being a comic aficionado I expect I miss a lot of the content when characters are introduced…

  14. jealous fan says:

    Oh lordy Matt, JMo was jokingly flirting with you at the start, how are YOU ALIVE?

  15. Gail says:

    I wonder if the scene with Emma in the cage is going to be in the show or if its just a promo clip made for Comic Con. Why would she be in a cage after becoming the Dark One. Where was the cage? If it suppose to be the Enchanted Forest how did she get there? Rumple couldn’t go to different worlds with the Dark One magic.

    • T.W.123 says:

      I think it’s just a comic-con promo. Past comic-con promos for the introduction of Hook, Ariel, and Elsa were never used in the actual show.

  16. theeinvisiblecircus says:

    Reblogged this on Invisible Circus and commented:
    this show….

  17. Darlene says:

    I’m so excited! Why do we have to wait so long!!!

  18. John NYC says:

    A Scottish actress to play the Scottish princess?

    Such a shocking leap, no wonder the fandom is going crazy in some quarters.

    Oh. Wait.