We’re getting even closer to Sunday’s Once Upon A Time premiere — and if you can’t wait until then, here’s how you can see it early — but we still have two more interviews from our Vancouver set visit left to post!
You can find links to those past interviews at the bottom of this page, but for today let’s meet Once’s “Jiminy Cricket” – the incredibly talented Raphael Sbarge – who, in Storybrooke, is the town psychiatrist, “Archie Hopper.”
Please do not reproduce this interview onto other websites. Instead, just place a link to KSiteTV! Questions to Mr. Sbarge are posted in bold; his answers are not.
How would you describe Once Upon A Time to someone who hasn’t seen it, and who would you say the show will appeal to?
The easiest way that I’ve been able to explain the vibe of the show is “Harry Potter meets Princess Bride.” My daughter, who is 9, is an insane reader, and ripped through all the Harry Potter series, and loves all that fantasy/reality stuff. I showed her the pilot, and she was like “where’s the next one?”
They had asked at the TCA [press tour], if we think that people who didn’t know these stories, or didn’t grow up with Pinocchio, would it matter to them? The genius of what they’re doing is that they’re making it interesting to know the [characters]. My driver who is 20 years older than I am is a Disney fanatic, and he is so excited about this. But then for the kids who haven’t seen this stuff, I think it begins to introduce it to them. It’s very skillfully designed.
What was interesting about a show like LOST, is that you could focus in on a few characters at a time, and then that little story – whatever that was – maybe it would be about a briefcase – it suddenly became about something much more. And the sense is that they’ve got this large ensemble, and the landscape is literally littered with these stories, with myths and fairy tales, and stuff that they can re-explore. And they can be really clever about it. I’ve been really knocked out by how clever it is, in a smart kind of way. When it comes down to it, even though when I explain it to people it sounds like it’s a show for kids, it feels to me like it’s got an 8 to 80 demo. It’s got a much wider demo than one would imagine for a Disney show on Sunday night at 8:00.
Has the quality continued to keep up in the episodes following the pilot?
Here we are [filming Episode] 8 and going into 9, and the scripts have been really dynamic. And the actors that they’ve been hiring – they just hired Brad Dourif in this episode that we just did. That’s cool. So they’re getting wonderful actors, and the look of the show is feature-quality.
What kind of approach does Archie have with Henry?
Effectively, the people that live in Storybrooke, Maine, have no consciousness or memory of the fact that they had another life. So, any good therapist [would], he’s working with his client, in this case, who is adopted. We have no sense of his father, and he’s obviously adjusting and trying to find his balance, and he has all of these amazing stories. So clearly, these stories are his way into his imagination, to understanding him, and helping him adjust, and as any good therapist, he would want to encourage him to see where they take him. Because in his world, it’s all made up. Made up, but it speaks to a sense of what his inner life is. I think, cleverly putting him in the center and having him be the bridge to the two worlds is also really neat. I know my kids, who have hung out with Jared [Gilmore, who plays Henry], love it. He’s their age, and he’s able to be the threshhold into the story, too.
What else is coming up for your character?
There is an episode where we find out about how Jiminy Cricket became a cricket, and what his back story is. The episode is 105, and it’s a huge episode traveling back in time, so you get a sense of what that story is. And again, it’s very imaginative and really cool.
It’s a large ensemble – seven of us – so they can take one or two of us and make a story about them. Again, like LOST did. Get two actors, and a suitcase, and then it’s about that, and then it explains lots of other things. You feel the ensemble around and about, and a part of it at all times.
Come back to KSiteTV tomorrow for our last Once Upon A Time set interview – with Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White!) and be sure to watch the series premiere on October 23! Here are more treats associated with the series that you may enjoy: Once Upon A Time forum – Once Upon A Time Hub @ KSiteTV – Image Gallery – Steve Pearlman (Producer) Interview – Lana Parrilla (Evil Queen) Interview – Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan) Interview – Josh Dallas (Prince Charming) Interview – Jared Gilmore (Henry) Interview – First 9 Minutes Of The Pilot – See The Pilot Early (through Sat. 10/22!)