[ Written on February 12 2012 by Sarah ]

Emilie made several interviews about Once Upon a Time!

“It’s beautiful and slow the way they begin to like each other,” de Ravin previewed to me over the phone. “She’s really scared at first… he’s bemused by her demeanor… and they eventually form an intimate relationship where she can see what others don’t.”

As if often the case when Once Upon a Time tackles a classic fairy tale, viewers shouldn’t expect this one to remain true to the animation, de Ravin says, though some basic facts are similar.
And one fact that cannot be denied: Robert Carlyle is incredible in the role of Rumpelstiltskin.
“He’s amazing,” the actress says. “He gives the character so much power, but in this episode his walls tumble down. It’s scary for him. And he plays that so beautifully.”

It must be weird to portray such an iconic character, right? One who has been around for so many years, yet one who doesn’t actually exist?
Absolutely, de Ravin agreed, although she expressed gratitude that Belle has never been played by an actress before, so there’s no performance with which she’ll be compared.

“My conversation with [writer Adam Horowitz] was really more about who this person is,” de Ravin said. “And we wanted her to be strong, intelligent, brave, passionate and non-judgmental. She can see through people and that’s what happens with Rumpelstiltskin.”

How is it different going from Lost to Once Upon A Time, both hits?
Well, the outfits are little different for starters [laughs]. It’s actually really fun being able to wear some beautiful gowns as opposed to ‘Wait, we need more dirt on your face!” But it’s a fun challenge, although it was kind of fun to not have to worry at all about what you look like [on Lost], so there are pros and cons I guess.


In the episode “Desperate Souls,” Once Upon a Time viewers got a look at Rumpelstiltskin as we’d never seen him before. And in this week’s episode, guest star Emilie de Ravin says Rumpel fans will get yet another new look at one of show’s most iconic villains. “He’s still Rumpel. He’s the same guy, but it’s going to be cool for the audience to see him in his home environment — to see him in his castle and day-to-day Rumpel life,” she says.

The real fun, however, comes when Belle enters his world and, much like the story we all know, disrupts his ongoings. “[They also get to see] how he’s influenced by Belle,” de Ravin says. “In this episode, for the first time since he changed into this crazy guy, he has somebody whose starting to care for him. And he’s disbelieving of that [but] starting to enjoy it and be a little more open and jovial and sweet. That’s a really different Rumpel than we’ve seen before.”

And while fans shouldn’t necessarily expect a happy ending, they can count on one thing: Belle’s imminent return after this week’s episode. “I do come back, and I’d love to come back for a lot more because I love the show and had a lot of fun with it,” she says. “Belle’s a really fun character because she’s a strong young woman. Also, the people on the show are giving actors and fun to work with. That’s hard to find.”

In Sunday’s episode (8/7c, ABC), the actress who once donned a shaggy wig and toted a crazy-looking squirrel baby around in the final season of ABC’s island mystery series will transform into Belle, an often odd and bookish young lady who’s unaware of her true beauty. And just like with the other Disney princesses who’ve made their way to the series, Once takes a more mature, adult approach in depicting Belle.

“She’s actually quite a grounded young woman,” de Ravin says. “She still wants to not just do what’s expected of a woman in fairy tale land, which is basically to just stay in the castle, marry Gaston [Sage Brocklebank], probably have a bunch of children and all that.”


Lost scribes turned Once Upon a Time creators Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz didn’t have to ask twice when they courted Emilie de Ravin to be the Belle of the fairyland land that was in “Skin Deep,” this Sunday’s episode of the new ABC series.
“They were like, ‘Hey, do you want to play a princess?’ And I’m like, ‘Hell yeah!’” the actress tells TVLine with a laugh.
Though de Ravin notes that she was never the type of little girl to dress as a princess, she counted the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast among her favorites “because it had such a fantastic moral to it,” she explains. “Belle is a strong young woman – there’s nothing insipid about her – and we talked a lot about emphasizing that.


How is this Belle similar, or different, to what we already know of the character?
Looks-wise, extremely similar. [She has] beautifully made, insanely gorgeous dresses that make you feel princess-y as soon as you but them on — so that’s kind of cool. She’s similar in the sense that she’s always wanted to see the world more and escape the confines of the life she’s living in. She wanted to go outside of the box and be brave. That’s a little bit more of a strength, instead of her being quite whimsical about it. Obviously it’s a different relationship being with Rumpelstiltskin, but it’s still the same dynamic as far as the progression of their relationship and bringing out qualities in each other that they maybe didn’t know they had. I think that Belle always knew that she was a very open, honest, caring, non-judgmental person, but I don’t think that she knew she had the strength to maybe persevere through this lifetime agreement to go and live with this guy and actually change him.

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