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Feb 12
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The Los Angeles Times spoke with Once Upon A Times’ writers Adam Horowitz & Edward Kitsis about the show & the characters on the show. It’s a good read.

In their office just down the road from Walt Disney Studios, “Once Upon a Time” writers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis paper their walls with their own past (“Tron: Legacy” and “Lost” posters) as well as their influences (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” and a large, light-up poster of George Lucas’ Death Star. “Star Wars,” Horowitz says, is “one of the most iconic pieces of storytelling ever. It was inventing a fairy tale that also felt like it had always been around.” Fairy tale invention and reinvention are the duo’s focus goal these days as they break the story for the first season finale of “Once upon a Time.” Tonight’s episode, meanwhile, is ”Skin Deep,” which takes on the tale of Beauty and the Beast” and reveals more about how much Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin remembers of his life in Fairy Tale Land. During an interview with Hero Complex writer Emily Rome, the tandem talked about the future of the show.

ER: Do you two feel like human encyclopedias of fairy tales now? Are you fairy tale experts after all the research you’ve had to do for the show?

EK: I can honestly say that Adam and I feel that we are experts in nothing.

AH: Actually, I feel like the Blue Fairy [laughs]. No, I would say that we feel certainly immersed in the world but part of the fun of the show for us was taking these stories that were so formative for us and saying, “What’s our spin on them? What’s the stuff we don’t know about them? Let’s not retell them. Let’s find something new.”

EK: There’s definitely people that know way more about fairy tales than we do, but we love to just kind of get in and say what’s our spin on “Well, why did Grumpy become Grumpy?”

ER: When writing your characters, how do you decide much to turn to the original fairy tales versus the Disney version?

EK: Sometimes it’s what’s most iconic. The reason we chose to open up the pilot with Snow White was because if you were going to show a curse that took away a happy ending, take away the happiest of them all, which is Snow White being woken up in a coffin. So for us there are certain iconic touchstones, like Cinderella with a glass slipper. But how she got the glass slipper, we chose Rumpelstiltskin to have kill her fairy godmother. That’s the part of the story you didn’t know.

AH: We’re sort of trying to build out our own world and use these characters as the jumping off point for telling this larger story that we’re trying to tell about what is essentially a new fairy tale character – the child of Snow White and Prince Charming, Emma Swan, and how she gets embroiled in this huge battle of good versus evil.

ER: Tell me about the choice to have a lot of the costumes, like Cinderella’s and Belle’s in Sunday’s episode, be so influenced by their costumes in the Disney animated movies.

EK: We call it fairy tale couture. Eduardo Castro, who did “Ugly Betty,” does all our costumes. They’re one part Disney and two parts Alexander McQueen. We’re always trying to do something a little forward with them. I think that we use Disney because when Adam and I were growing up, that’s what inspired us. Because they inspire us and because we love them and they’re iconic. We are Disney, so we can use them. It’s really cool to be able to kind of get to play in that sandbox that Disney’s allowed us to. Just personally as a fan, if I’m watching a show I would rather see Grumpy and Sneezy and Bashful than three names we made up.

ER: How different would the show be if it were on another network?

AH: It’s funny because it’s the only place we took it. We’ve been working with ABC/Disney for many years now. I guess it’s a good thing they went ahead with it, because if they didn’t, I’m not sure where we could have done it with the same amount of latitude that we’ve been given. The brand management people at the Walt Disney Company have been great. From when we first pitched the idea, they’ve been very supportive of allowing us to play with their icons and kind of re-invent them.

EK: I mean, we killed a dwarf. We had a pregnant Snow White. We had Cinderella promising somebody her first-born. So they’ve been really great in allowing us that freedom.

ER: Tell me about your approach to the Evil Queen/Regina. There are some moments when you feel sympathetic toward her, but she’s also this despicable villain. How do you decide how much to stay true to the traditional, straight evil villain versus making her more complex?

EK: We have a phrase that you’ll see in later episodes, “Evil’s not born – it’s made.” What we love about Regina is she’s very tortured. And you understand that there’s a hidden pain inside her that is causing her to do these things. We’re just not going to reveal it till the end of the season.

EK: So by the end of the season we’ll learn what made her so evil?

AH: Prior to the end of the season, well before the finale. That question of being evil, what happened between her and Snow that we’ve kind of hinted throughout the season is one that we see a few things before the finale.

To read the rest of the article go here.


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