Once Upon a Time Spoilers

Once Upon a Time's Amy Manson Talks Merida's New Target, Ruby/Mulan Team-Up, Crashing With Karen Gillan

This Sunday on Once Upon a Time (ABC, 8/7c), Dark Emma compels brave Merida to set her sights on a new target — sweet Belle! — in the name of making Rumple do her sword-pulling bidding.

TVLine invited Scotswoman Amy Manson to preview both Merida’s new (hidden?) agenda and her upcoming adventure with Mulan and Ruby, as well as reveal her Arrow/Constantine/Doctor Who connections.

TVLINE | I have to tell you, when I saw Jen Morrison at Comic-Con over the summer, the first words out of her mouth were her raving about you. And she’s friends with Karen Gillan, so I thought that high praise indeed.
Yes, I know! I was exactly the same as you when I found out those two were buddies, I really was. Because I stayed with Karen, actually, in L.A. before I found a place. I think I’m the “go-between” for them when they’re away, since they’re both so busy.Morrison-Gillan I fill Jen in on what Karen’s doing and vice versa!

TVLINE | You stayed with Karen because, what, Scottish actresses have a secret society or something?
[Laughs] We’ve worked together before, that’s why there’s that connection. We’re always in touch, so we go out for lunch, and that first time I came to town, she said, “Hey, come and stay with me!,” so I stayed with her for a week, which was lovely.

TVLINEIn the time since Brave came out, have there been occasions where you’ve had your red and people drew a comparison?
Nooooo! I think if I did, it would be madness! But I am debating whether I should just take the plunge and dye my hair. My hair’s that wild anyway, it’s got that natural curl. The thing is, we did discuss it — [series creators] Eddy and Adam both said, “Would you be willing to dye your hair?” and I was like, “Yeah, let’s do it.” And then the hair department said there’d be a lot maintenance with something like that, whereas they can control it and do a lot of work [to a wig] before I put it on my head, so it saves a lot of time.

TVLINE | I see that in this week’s episode, Merida is ordered by Emma to kill Belle. I do not envy your Twitter feed right now.
I know, exactly. But Merida doesn’t want to do it, and what ends up happeningAMY MANSON, ROBERT CARLYLE is a formation has arisen in her own mind of how she can avenge Emma and Emma’s decision, how she can get her heart back, and if there’s any way that she can pull Gold into helping her. That’s what you find out this week, that even though she’s under Emma’s control, Emma doesn’t exactly know what’s going on when she’s with Gold. She has a hidden agenda, for sure.

TVLINE | Did you get a kick out of the line they gave [fellow Scotsman] Robert Carlyle in the premiere — “What’s she saying? Accent’s a bit much, no?”
[Laughs] Robert said to me initially, “They’re writing for Scots, so a few of the words you maybe don’t want to say because we don’t actually say it like that. You say it the way you say it.” So when he did actually say that line, we were all in fits — we ruined takes because the way he said it was just hilarious. He is so much fun.

TVLINE | Meanwhile, whats going on in the Camelot storyline this Sunday? Are we off to DunBroch?
Well, yes, but we’re in jail at the start of the episode, and then you find out why Belle is kidnapped by Merida. Merida sees something that Belle does in the episode and wonders if it’s something that she could also use in the quest to save her brothers. AMY MANSON, EMILIE DE RAVINYou find out why Belle is the key to helping Merida, even though she’s annoyed with her for being kidnapped!

TVLINE | They just cast Merida’s parents, what are we going to be doing with them down the road?
That’s Episode 9, solely set in DunBroch, and you find out why and how and who killed Merida’s father, in flashbacks. That’s mixed in with why Merida needs Mulan’s (played by Jamie Chung) help on that journey. And then Ruby (Meghan Ory) comes into play as well.

TVLINE | It sounds like a rather cool version of Charlie’s Angels.
Isn’t it?! [Laughs] I did wonder, when [Jamie’s return was announced], how the hell is she going to come on this journey and help Merida? But it’s all clear in Episode 9. Basically, Merida and Mulan have had quite a close friendship for some time, so you find out how Mulan was introduced into Merida’s life. And then Ruby ends up meeting Mulan, and they offer to help Merida on her mission. That’s how the three of them become Charlie’s Angels!

TVLINE | Merida’s never been one to wear her heart on her sleeve. Will we have time to see her romantically drawn to anyone?
Definitely not. No, the mission for her is too big. The only people she could be with are the clansmen — and they just kidnapped her brother, so it’ll take a lot for her to forgive them.

TVLINE | Were you tempted to run over to the Arrow set and play around with his fancy-ass bows?
That’s so funny…. I’m actually in New York right now, and I’m going to see my friend Matt Ryan’s play. So, I hung out with him when he was doing his episode of Arrow (reprising his role as John Constantine), so I got all the goss from there. It was nice to have an old friend around in Vancouver! They do so many night shoots on that show, I don’t know if I could keep up with that!

Want more scoop on Once, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.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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  1. Dean says:

    Charlie’s angels more like sisterhood of the travelling Reds.

  2. Ray says:

    Why does this episode even exist? Did ABC force this, because you know Adam and Eddie would rather eat glass than tell a story not about men.

  3. It's Delovely says:

    Fun interview! I like that you asked about Amy’s reaction to Robert’s “accent” line–too funny. After “Frozen” sort of took over Season 4A, I was wary of them bringing on Merida. So far, though, I like the way she’s been incorporated. Not too much focus, and her story is in service of the main characters (instead of the other way around, like it was with much of the “Frozen” arc). I’m looking forward to her Camelot adventure with Belle, and finding out more about Merida’s “hidden agenda”. The story with “Charlie’s Angels” sounds good, too–I’m excited to see Mulan and Ruby again.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      I’m hoping that everyone read her responses in her voice. I’ve been speaking around the office in a brogue ever since replaying the interview.

  4. buttercupscarlett95 says:

    Sounds like Ruby and Mulan are going to be the LGBT couple Once is planning to introduce. I was kind of hoping for Merida and Mulan, but Ruby and Mulan should be an interesting pair. I’m looking forward to the Charlie’s Angels adventure!

    • Dean says:

      It would explain why no one has seen them in town recently. I’m sort of disappointed that the only way they’ve made Ruby seem important was that they suddenly make her play for both teams.

      • Ian says:

        Agreed. I was hoping we’d see a same sex romance actually DEVELOP, and not have it done offscreen. Ruby (and Mulan) seems like a cop out too. Assuming Merida is gay is one too, but…

    • Asher says:

      I also shipped Merida and Mulan together. As both as warriors and strong characters, however I can see a Ruby and Mulan pairing as well.

  5. Vari says:

    Cute story and connection with Jen, Amy and Karen

  6. Lorraine says:

    Great Interview, I love Merida so much!

    Also a little fun fact; Amy and Karen starred together in ‘Not Another Happy Ending’, a Scottish Romcom, alongside Agents of SHIELD’s Iain De Caestecker.

  7. Isa says:

    Love Red/Mulan/Merida trio – I cannot wait to see what actually happens….

  8. HellBeast says:

    Merida’s story is so interesting! I can’t wait to see more! I sorta ship her with Mulan! :D

  9. Just got the image of Merida and Green Arrow in an archery challenge…