Once Upon a Time's Emilie de Ravin: 'It Was a Privilege to Bring Belle to Life'

Emilie de Ravin is the latest of Once Upon a Time‘s exiting cast members to reach out to and thank fans for their support over the years.

On Friday afternoon, Once creators Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz confirmed that de Ravin, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Jared Gilmore and Rebecca Mader — plus of course series lead Jennifer Morrison — will not be series regulars for the recently ordered Season 7.

As such, the new season will focus on the characters played by de Ravin’s scene partner, Robert Carlyle, Lana Parrilla and Colin O’Donoghue, plus new additions Andrew J. West (The Walking Dead) and 11-year-old Alison Fernandez (Jane the Virgin).

“While I would have loved to continue exploring Belle’s journey, the show has decided to move in a different creative direction,” the Australian Lost alum posted a message to fans via Instagram. wrote, alluding to the “reset” on tap for Season 7. She then offered a “massive thank you to all the fans for your incredible love and support towards me and this character…. It’s been an honor and a privilege to bring Belle to life.”

Though not an original cast member, de Ravin made her Once debut midway through Season 1, as Belle, the beauty to Rumplestiltskin’s beast.

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  1. Susie says:

    It’s (censored) that they fired her.

  2. Lola says:

    Good luck Emilie!

  3. Lia says:

    Emilie was good as Belle, but it was awful for us, the fans, to see how her character was played over and over – insane levels of abuse – again by Rumple with no proper consequences. Finally they changed it, but she spent a long time tied to a character that made her look like an idiot.

    I’m also no longer a regular viewer of the show (I’m still watching, just not as often) and I wish them all the best.

  4. David Hess says:

    I wonder if the plot of season seven involves the returning characters trying to find their missing loved ones.

  5. Vas says:

    High time. Neither her acting, nor her character were any good.

  6. Butch says:

    There is a preview scene for Sunday’s finale online. It shows what the Black Fairy’s curse does. I won’t mention what happens here because of spoilers.

  7. Lenore says:

    Never liked her as Belle and so I’m pleased she is leaving.

  8. readenreply says:

    Captain Hook, the Wicked Witch and Rumplestilskin walk into a bar…

    • trainerbt says:

      Umm … Rebecca Mader isn’t coming back. Do you maybe mean “Captain Hook, the Evil Queen and Rumplestilskin walk into a bar…”

  9. I feel like Emilie’s characters always get screwed over.

  10. Jason says:

    I’ve always hated that they would never let Belle move on from Rumple. She deserved so much better than what they gave her. If she had come back, it probably would have been more of the same. But I continue to wonder why they’re even bothering with bringing it back. ABC is terrible at letting things end in a natural fashion.

  11. SW says:

    I was so hopeful that they would bring her back for season 7. I loved Belle/Rumple. Hate how the writers treated them, but loved the pairing.
    I guess I will try to watch next season but not sure if I will without Belle.

  12. Jennifer Hoey says:

    The show won’t be the same without her. I will miss her and Rumbelle! She and Robert haveso much chemistry and the ability to take the crap their given and turn it to gold.
    Those who are saying Rumbelle was abusive, Belle was a doormat, and Emilie can’t act, should be ashamed of yourselves for putting such nasty comments on a post about her leaving. Emilie would tell you herself your wrong and writing those things were her fans can see them is low.

  13. I’m very sad to see her go. I think the character was underused since S3, and it was a shame they didn’t develop her more in ways that were natural and made sense. I was hoping that maybe we’d get a chance for that in S7 if she stayed on, but I guess not. I hope she guest stars. Emilie did a great job when they gave her good material to work with. I loved her Belle, and I loved Rumbelle, especially in the earlier seasons. Still there were some great moments between them later on. It’s a real shame that the first half of the current season was so destructive for them. I’m glad that they’ve been on a better path in this half, but I worry that they will end unhappily in some way and at this point, six years on, I would prefer a happy finale for them with the hope for more…

  14. Robin4 says:

    Good luck to Emilie, but man, I’m sad to see her go. Can’t they bring her back at least as a guest star?

  15. Sophie says:

    I’m devastated to see her go. I started to watch Once Upon a Time for Emilie’s Belle so with her gone I won’t continue to follow the show, I’m sure they will find new audience.

    Emilie de Ravin had some of the most memorable acting moments on this show, including (but not only) the really emotional scenes her character had in the first half of this season. I’m sad they neglected her in the second half and didn’t let her deal with the things that happened to her.

    Belle French was an amazing, complex and unique character with so much more stories to tell – I mourn all the wasted potential – without her Once Upon a Time will never be the same again.

    I will miss this character but I’m excited to see Emilie’s future projects.

  16. whisper says:

    Sad. Always liked Belle. The show’s a bloodbath this year. It’ll be next year’s Sleepy Hollow for sure.

  17. Hans says:

    They made a mistake with letting Emilie go. What happened in season 6A needs to be properly addressed. Emilie is an actress and Belle as a character took a while for me to warm up to. After a few seasons I found myself loving her more and more (both character and actress). When the show started giving her more depth I realised what a wonderful actress Em is and that Belle is not our average heroine princess. Belle’s a wonderfully flawed character and I wanted the show to delve more into her background, sadly, we never got to see much of that.

  18. I’m devastated. If Em had chosen to leave, so be it – or if ABC had decided not to bring her back, ok (though I would have been angry). However, Adam and Eddy deciding to dump her has made my blood boil, while I’m also crying at the same time. They probably wanted to do this for years – watch now as they destroy Rumbelle and Rumple off-screen.

    For Emilie:

    Thank you, Emilie…
    You were the reason that I was interested in Skin Deep in the first place – I hadn’t ever seen B&B, but I saw you in the LOST pilot and I fell in love. I fell all over myself when I heard you were guest-starring – and you were everything I ever hoped and thought you’d be.

    Thank you for being so kind and warm, so caring to your fans. Thank you for bringing Belle to life – compassionate, brainy, strong, brave Belle – no one else could have made her what she was. Thank you for your incredible abilities – who else could have stood toe to toe with Bobby in all of Rumbelle’s emotional scenes ? Thank you for being half of an unforgettable couple – Rumbelle inspired me to believe in true love and they’ll live in my heart forever.

    I love you, Emilie – I’ll miss you, but I will follow you wherever you go.

  19. Janice says:

    Emilie will always hold a place in my heart for bringing Belle and half of Rumbelle to life. I’ve never been so moved by any TV couple and am sure I will never be again. They were a beautiful, magical couple who were close to destroyed by the totally OOC storylines and characterizations that A&E concocted for them in seasons 4-6. If they had not treated Rumbelle/Belle/Rumple so badly, they would not be at the ratings low they are now and would not have had to get rid of so many main cast to cut costs.So many Rumbelle/Rumple/Belle fans stopped watching because they could no longer bear to see their favorite characters/couple treated so badly. I’m terribly sad for this loss, but I’ll always be a part of the Rumbelle fandom and will continue to follow Emilie’s career in the future. I wish her the best in her life and I still have a tiny bit of hope that she’ll return to Once to possibly tie up some loose ends. (And I agree that it’s shameful that there are people who would come on this post to badmouth Emilie, They must be so proud of themselves.)

  20. Margaret says:

    Going to miss Belle so much. She was the only current main character we never saw as a child, still so much backstory untold. Hope Emilie can return to guest star once or twice before the series finale.

  21. Annie says:

    Kitsowitz, you lost me! This was the lost step, you screw this fantastic show!

  22. G says:

    She’s such a great actress who deserved better than the show has ever given her. I’m definitely watching her next project. Can’t say the same about A&E’s.

    • Katie says:

      Ditto. The way this show treated Emilie de Ravin and Belle was nothing but wasted potential. Fingers crossed she’ll be back on our screens soon in a better project.

  23. Anna says:

    I am so sad that she is leaving. I will not be watching season 7 and this is the biggest reason why.

  24. Kelly says:

    I guess I won’t be watching next season.

  25. CVJ says:

    So sad to see you go Emilie! Hope you come back at some point. You will forever be the only Belle for me. Good to you in all your future endeavors!

  26. Jodi Caryn says:

    Won’t be watching season 7 with no Belle (Emilie Dr Ravin). Not even Bobby Carlyle can entice me to watch since they seem to have zero ability to continue writing such a beautiful and complex pairing. They had such an opportunity with two amazing actors with incredible chemistry. But they squandered it since season three in favor of a shiny pirate who needed propping. Goodbye OUAT. The first three seasons were amazing. The last three were a bunch of lies.

  27. Becca says:

    What hurts the most is how the writers squandered the incredible and inspiring stories they could have told for Belle and Rumbelle if they had not sacrificed them to make other characters seem more palatable. I’ll forever be angry over how Belle was relegated to the sidelines in 6B, a storyline centered around her own son. We’re supposed to believe that Belle would give up her son in 6A to protect him and then sit back in 6B when Emma and Snow threatened to kill him? We’re supposed to believe that she would happily remain in the shop babysitting for baby Robyn while Zelena was off fighting the BF, the person who had kidnapped and tortured Belle’s child? A&E disrespected the character and the actress. I’m heartbroken to see her leave because I love Belle and Rumbelle so much, but I hope that Emilie finds a role in the future where she is appreciated and not constantly pushed into the background.

  28. Jodi Caryn says:

    Won’t be watching season 7 with no Belle (Emilie De Ravin). Not even Bobby Carlyle can entice me to watch since they seem to have zero ability to continue writing such a beautiful and complex pairing. They had such an opportunity with two amazing actors with incredible chemistry. But they squandered it since season three in favor of a shiny pirate who needed propping. Goodbye OUAT. The first three seasons were amazing. The last three were a bunch of lies.

  29. The writers have been screwing up the Belle/Rumple pairing for seasons now, but they were my favorites of the show.