Lana Parrilla in ‘Once Upon a Time’

Road to the Emmys 2012: The Supporting Actor & Actress

She may play Evil Queen-turned-Storybrooke mayor on “Once Upon a Time,” but Lana Parrilla is also a fan of the ABC show.

“I find myself rooting for Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) so often, even against my own character,” Parrilla says. “Sometimes you do want good to win.”

That may explain why Parrilla’s a bit surprised at how warmly her character’s been received.

“Even from the second episode where she rips her father’s heart out, I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God. Everyone’s going to hate her. How could this woman kill her own father?’ ”

Instead of spilling the Evil Queen’s motives then, producers waited for the 18th episode, “The Stable Boy,” to reveal why she hates Snow White enough to commit patricide and cast unwary fairytale characters into an un-magical life in Storybrooke, Maine.

“That allowed the audience to like Regina and understand her conflicts, her relationships with others, her love of (adopted son) Henry, her fears and the threat Emma brings,” she says. “When we finally saw her backstory, it was like we’d earned it.”

Parrilla loves both sides of her character.

“My heart breaks for (modern day) Regina on so many levels, but from a theatrical standpoint, you can go anywhere with the queen. She’s such a bold character I take a lot more risks when I play her.”

Now that the show is a hit, Parrilla is eager to get back to work.

“I’m really compelled by what happens in Storybrooke now that there’s magic, and how Regina’s going to use magic to get Henry back.”

More TV

  • 'Scarface' Slated for 35th Anniversary Re-Release

    Film News Roundup: 'Scarface' Set for 35th Anniversary Re-Release

    She may play Evil Queen-turned-Storybrooke mayor on “Once Upon a Time,” but Lana Parrilla is also a fan of the ABC show. “I find myself rooting for Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) so often, even against my own character,” Parrilla says. “Sometimes you do want good to win.” That may explain why Parrilla’s a bit surprised […]

  • John Malkovich Valley of the Gods

    John Malkovich to Play Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie's 'The ABC Murders'

    She may play Evil Queen-turned-Storybrooke mayor on “Once Upon a Time,” but Lana Parrilla is also a fan of the ABC show. “I find myself rooting for Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) so often, even against my own character,” Parrilla says. “Sometimes you do want good to win.” That may explain why Parrilla’s a bit surprised […]

  • Danica Patrick

    TV News Roundup: Danica Patrick to Host 2018 ESPY Awards

    She may play Evil Queen-turned-Storybrooke mayor on “Once Upon a Time,” but Lana Parrilla is also a fan of the ABC show. “I find myself rooting for Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) so often, even against my own character,” Parrilla says. “Sometimes you do want good to win.” That may explain why Parrilla’s a bit surprised […]

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine

    'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Boss on 30-Hour Cancellation, Revival, Planning the End

    She may play Evil Queen-turned-Storybrooke mayor on “Once Upon a Time,” but Lana Parrilla is also a fan of the ABC show. “I find myself rooting for Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) so often, even against my own character,” Parrilla says. “Sometimes you do want good to win.” That may explain why Parrilla’s a bit surprised […]

  • Arrested Development

    Jessica Walter Says Jeffrey Tambor Verbally Harassed Her on 'Arrested Development' Set

    She may play Evil Queen-turned-Storybrooke mayor on “Once Upon a Time,” but Lana Parrilla is also a fan of the ABC show. “I find myself rooting for Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) so often, even against my own character,” Parrilla says. “Sometimes you do want good to win.” That may explain why Parrilla’s a bit surprised […]

  • Michael Jackson Sony

    Michael Jackson Estate Slams ABC News Special

    She may play Evil Queen-turned-Storybrooke mayor on “Once Upon a Time,” but Lana Parrilla is also a fan of the ABC show. “I find myself rooting for Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) so often, even against my own character,” Parrilla says. “Sometimes you do want good to win.” That may explain why Parrilla’s a bit surprised […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content