Robin Givens has been tapped to play Tiana’s mother on Once Upon a Time, EW has learned exclusively.
As previously announced, Mekia Cox joins the ABC fairy tale drama as Princess and the Frog heroine Tiana, who’s among a quintet of new faces appearing in the show’s rebooted seventh season.
Givens, who currently costars on Riverdale, will pop up in at least one episode as Eudora, a loving mother to Tiana and benevolent noblewoman. Formerly wealthy, now facing financial disaster, she handles the transition with grace and inner moral strength.
Weeks prior to Givens’ casting, Cox actually met her TV mom-to-be in the elevator at their hotel in Vancouver, where the Head of the Class alum is currently shooting Riverdale. “I had come from the grocery store, and there was this woman waiting for the elevator, but I didn’t really see her,” Cox says. “We got on the elevator and I turned and said, ‘Oh, hi! I know you.’ She was like, ‘Oh?’ I know I probably scared her. I was like, ‘I think you’re great.’ ‘Oh, thank you,’ and she looked at my grocery bags and she was like, ‘That’s normally me.’ I was like, ‘I need my own groceries, I can’t eat out every day.’ We had a fun little moment with each other and that was that. Then I came to set and found out she was going to be playing my mother, so when I re-met her, she was like, ‘It’s nice to meet you,’ and I was like, ‘Well, it’s re-meeting because I’m the girl from the elevator.’ She was as excited as I was at that time. She’s the sweetest woman, she’s very down to earth and it’s really awesome getting to work with her and play her daughter.”
Once Upon a Time returns Friday, Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.