The third season of Once Upon A Time (Sundays at 8PM on ABC) puts a lot of focus on Henry (Jared Gilmore) as he has been a captive of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys in Neverland, unaware that his very large family is there, too, trying to find him.
We spoke with 13-year-old Jared Gilmore at OUAT’s Vancouver studio recently about what Season 3 has been like for him — starting with the part of the new year that he is liking the most.
“For me, my favorite part would be getting to work with Peter Pan and all of the Lost Boys. It’s different for me, working with all these people that are more my age, rather than Jennifer and Ginnifer who are older than me,” he admits. “It’s nice having kid friends, or younger friends to work with.” This new friendship for Jared’s character of Henry means he gets to do some cool things — including flying, in the season premiere.
“That was so much fun, flying, in that scene,” he enthuses. “It was so fun, because at one point, we had to jump off this cliff that was on the green screen stage. We jumped off a cliff, and then eventually got on harnesses, and we flew around in the air, and it was a lot of fun!” “I’m really hoping that eventually at some point, I’ll get to fly again, because it was a lot of fun.”
Henry is so valuable to Peter Pan because he is the “truest believer” – someone who is filled with belief, which is like magic in Neverland. Why is Henry so resilient? “I think Henry has so much belief because over his life, he’s had so much stuff to believe in,” Jared tells us. “In the first season, he had to believe in Emma, that she was the Savior, and he had to try and convince her that she is this person, and all these people are them. And then, in the second season, at the beginning, he has to believe that Emma and his grandma, Snow White, can get back from Fairy Tale land, and he also has to believe in his whole entire family, too. And in the third season, he has to believe in his family to come save him, but because he doesn’t know that they’re coming to save him, he could eventually lose that belief.”
“Pan says magic is dying, and he needs Henry to save magic from dying, because magic is fading away. In Neverland, things are dying, people are getting older, even though they’re not supposed to… so, he needs Henry to save magic,” he continues. Could Henry have magic inside him too? “I think Henry is magical himself, well, being his bloodline, his family, and also the fact that he has so much belief makes him magical,” Jared answers.
As Season 3 progresses, it is possible that the relationship will change between Henry and Peter Pan. At first, he doesn’t like Pan,” Jared says. “He doesn’t trust him, but I think over the next couple episodes, Henry will slowly start to trust Pan, and begin to like him, and eventually come to the point where he doesn’t know if his family is coming to save him, and he eventually thinks this could be his new home if they’re not coming. He starts making friends with the Lost Boys and Pan,” he explains, confirming that in a way, Henry is becoming a Lost Boy himself, because he’s lost. “He’s away from home. He doesn’t know if his family’s coming to find him,” he says.
Becoming a Lost Boy could also possibly turn Henry against Emma and his family. “Over time, he’s being with the Lost Boys and Peter Pan and not with his family anymore. He doesn’t know that they’re coming to get him, and he could eventually start losing hope in them, and start gaining hope with the Lost Boys and Peter Pan,” he says. Obviously this would hinge on Henry not knowing that his family is in Neverland and looking for him. “I think he is still oblivious to that,” Jared says. “He has no idea that his family’s even on the island. I think Pan’s trying to keep him away from knowing that, because Henry might lose hope and start believing in his family, when he needs Henry to trust him.”
Once Upon A Time is new again Sunday, October 20 on ABC. Take a look at some photos from the next new episode, “Nasty Habits!”