Emma Rigby chats with Hypable about Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and her love of creating the Red Queen and Anastasia. Check out the full interview below!
The ABC spinoff Once Upon a Time in Wonderland follows the intertwining stories of Alice and the genie Cyrus from Agrahbah. The result is an intriguing alliance between the Red Queen of Wonderland and Jafar. Hypable got a chance to catch up with the actress who brings the Red Queen to your screen each week, Emma Rigby. Check out what she had to say about her character, working with Naveen Andrews, and what we can look forward to!
So far this season a lot of your screen time has been spent with Naveen Andrews, who plays Jafar. What is it like bringing two classic villains to life and working together?
Working with Naveen is amazing. He is such a talented and experienced actor. He’s playing Jafar and I’m playing the Red Queen, We’re both fighting for the ultimate power and we’re always trying to gain the upper hand.
But also, we’ve begun to explore our relationship with so many different levels to it. It’s like we’re trying to figure out what has gone on with the two characters and what is happening that’s never been shown on screen. I think that’s really interesting. It adds a whole other dimension to the whole piece.
Speaking of past stories, last week we got to take a look into Naveen’s past story and see Jafar as a younger boy. This week we get to take a look into the Red Queen’s arrival as Anastasia in Wonderland. Did you enjoy exploring how the she became the Red Queen?
Yeah! For me, I was so grateful to the writers because this is the best part. My favorite episode that we’ve shot so far is the fifth episode [this week]. For me it was the chance to play two completely different characters. I have Anastasia and I have the Red Queen and although they are the same person, they are completely different characters.
We discover who Anastasia was and we get to explore the side of her and the Knave in this real innocent time. It’s a lot of fun and childlike as we discover what happened and why, suddenly, it became all very dark and there was a drastic transformation in who she is.
It’s almost the day where she stopped being a little girl and became this woman that she wants to be or tries to be. And we see that reflected when we see the scenes back to back with the present day.
Moving forward into the present day, is the Knave and the Red Queen’s future something you’d be interested in exploring?
I’m all for characters’ growth, but I love playing the villain. But you know there is always a surprise. And I think the audience will be surprised by episode 5 and they won’t be disappointed.
There’s lots of things that happen between then and now, as we’re filming episode 10. So lots of things happen as you can expect with Once Upon a Time. It would be interesting to see but there is quite a different relationship between Anastasia and Will and the Red Queen and the Knave. A stark contrast.
Are there any other characters that the audience should pay close attention to this season that may not be around much? For instance, the White Rabbit?
I feel like they’ve always got to pay close attention to why everything happens. Why do people do things? They do it because they want something.
The characters are very selfish, you know. Each character is only doing something because they want to ascertain something. So we see that the White Rabbit has no choice but to work for the Red Queen.
The Red Queen holds the power with a lot of characters. And the only one that she should watch out for is Jafar.
Alice and the Red Queen don’t exactly see eye to eye, but is there a partnership brewing for the pair?
Actually, in this week’s episode we see the first interaction between the Red Queen and Alice. It plays on the idea that the Red Queen is in power in Wonderland and holds a lot of the playing cards. Alice realizes that she has no choice but to help the Red Queen.
So suddenly we see this weird sort of situation where Alice is being forced to come along with the Red Queen. And I think that’s funny because, for the Red Queen, Alice is this annoyance, this girl suddenly in her life that’s causing her all sorts of problems. But they both realize that without each other they can’t achieve their main priority.
[Episode] 5 is a little sidetracked for the Queen because of what has obviously happened in episode 4, what with the Knave being suddenly turned to stone and is a statue in her hedge maze. That was not in the plan. She wasn’t expecting Jafar to do that.
All the time she is trying to conceal from Jafar the relationship she had with Will because she doesn’t want that truth to come out. Jafar’s the one that’s helping her now and the Knave is irrelevant to her…or so we think!
Be sure to check out last week’s recap for a refresher on Jafar’s past before heading back to Wonderland!
You can catch up on previous episodes on ABC’s website for free!
Tune into Once Upon a Time in Wonderland season 1, episode 5 “Heart of Stone” on Thursday, November 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC