There is no Rumbelle on the third season of ABC’s Once Upon A Time— not in the traditional or physical sense anyway. With Rumple (Robert Carlyle) searching for Henry (Jared Gilmore) in Neverland and Belle (Emilie de Ravin) holding down the fort, so to speak, in Storybrooke, the couple can only think or reminisce about each other, not spend actual time together working on their relationship.
“[The fans seem to] want to see more of us in Fairytale Land, actually. A lot of filling in the gaps there, after he gave me the library. There’s a lot of stuff there. They just always seem to want more scenes…which is great, because we love working together, and we always seem to have really interesting scenes. And there’s always stuff to tearing us apart or pulling us back,” de Ravin said when LA TV Insider Examiner visited with her in Vancouver.
And this season the show has certainly given this couple one of the more unique situations in that Belle has appeared to Rumple during his strange and emotional journey in Neverland. Since Belle is a figment, she is more made up of Rumple’s inner thoughts than Belle’s own stock and spirit, so de Ravin did admit her approach to embodying that new version of the character is slightly different than the Belle we have seen in other places.
“She comes back to Neverland quite frequently…[Rumple]’s going off to his death, so he thinks, and as you can see even from him magically changing into a more dark one costume in the first episode, you can see him slowly progressing more back that way, because he thinks it’s the only way for him to save Henry. He’s going to die anyway. She’s always been the good one on his shoulder, and she can bring out the best in him, and maybe try and reason with him, instead of him going deeper and deeper into his darkness. She’s basically trying to help him, as per usual.” de Ravin said.
“It’s been fun because I’ve done that and the Lacey bit. And of course we all have our Fairytale Land characters, which are always a little different to the Storybrooke, even though it’s the same person playing them in the fairytale manner.”
The first few episodes of the season focus on these characters physically split apart, with Belle becoming a source of information in Storybrooke– when we finally do see those remaining characters again.
“I just did a really cool episode in Storybrooke, so it was fun to get back to that Belle…She has to be quite responsible. There’s a lot on her shoulders with her cloaking spell in hand. She’s always been an independent woman [but] she’s just always hanging out with [Rumple]. I don’t think that’s ever trampled on her independence. I think it’s almost lifted it in a sense.
Whether or not we actually get to see more backstory for Rumbelle is to be determined later in the season, but though she has spent less time with her character than the actors who started in season one, de Ravin felt like she certainly knew a decent amount already but hopes that the fans will get what they want in seeing more of her past– and that it comes with a little more action.
“I would love to learn more about her past. I think there are some unanswered questions about her past, with her family situation. She’s got daddy-issues,” de Ravin said.
“I would like to do a bit more of the adventurous side of Belle in Fairytale Land. And I believe that is hopefully going to happen soon. A bit more sword-wielding and dagger-stabbing!”