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Once Upon a Time's New and Returning Faces
The ABC fairy tale drama is undergoing a major reboot heading into its seventh season. To keep track of the new and returning characters, EW turned to executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis to get the scoop.
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Cinderella (Dania Ramirez)
We'll meet this new iteration of the glass-slippered princess — who is Henry's wife and Lucy's mom — in the midst of her iconic fairy tale story, but there's a twist. "We'll find out she's not necessarily looking for her prince," Kitsis says. Her cursed Hyperion Heights counterpart, meanwhile, is named Jacinda. "We see a single mother who is struggling to keep her family together, keep her life together and keep her head up against many obstacles. So she's finding herself once again being Cinderella to the world where she feels like she is constantly cleaning up her mess, but yet she can never get ahead."
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Lady Tremaine (Gabrielle Anwar)
The new big bad is Cinderella's evil stepmother, "who wants to get to the top and will use any means necessary," says Kitsis, teasing that her Hyperion Heights counterpart takes the form of a developer named Victoria trying to gentrify the neighborhood and push out the fairy tale characters. But there's more to Lady Tremaine than we may yet realize. “Lady Tremaine doesn’t like Cinderella very much and she’s got an agenda," Horowitz says. "But there is something broiling beneath that’s personal and painful that is driving all of this."
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Drizella (Adelaide Kane)
Cinderella's step-sister is "deliciously evil," says Kitsis. "She presents herself to be as evil as the evil stepsisters promise to be, but like everything in Once Upon a Time, you never know what's underneath it." Viewer, beware: She may even rival her mother, Lady Tremaine. "She takes a lot of abuse from her mom," Kitsis says, "but I wonder how long that will last." Horowitz adds: "There's a lot going on inside of Drizella, and she earned the evil moniker."
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Alice (Rose Reynolds)
Another new iteration of a familiar face, Alice from Wonderland fame "is a character in the vein of Rumplestiltskin in that you don’t really quite know what she’s up to, where she’s going or where she’s been," Kitsis says — a fact Rumple, in particular, will find curious.
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Tiana (Mekia Cox)
The Princess and the Frog heroine will take center stage in episode 5 when viewers get to see her origin story, but it doesn't necessarily follow the film. "We're not redoing the movie," Horowitz says. "We're taking it as a jumping off point. We want to honor the character and make sure we're true to it, but we have a Once Upon a Time spin." In Seattle, Tiana's counterpart Sabine will play a vital role. "Her relationship with Cinderella is like Snow and Red's," Kitsis says. "They're roommates, they're good friends."
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Lucy (Alison Fernandez)
The daughter of Henry and Cinderella has the unenviable task that her father also faced as a child. "Lucy, right now, has to bear the burden of the truest believer because her father no longer does," Kitsis says. "It is up to her to get people to remain hopeful. You’ll see a lot of Henry in her, and I think you’ll see a lot of her grandma, Snow, in her."
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Henry Mills (Andrew J. West)
After leaving home to find his own story, Henry finds an epic romance with Cinderella, but eventually ends up cursed in Hyperion Heights. No longer a wide-eyed believer, Henry is now a cynical author-turned-Uber driver. "Henry had the heart of the true believer and when we meet him he no longer believes, and it’s up to his daughter — who he doesn’t even realize is his daughter — to help him find his belief again," Kitsis says. "He is a Uber driver. He wrote one book called Once Upon a Time that we’ll realize has all the stories from the first six seasons, but it did not do well, no one bought it, and he’s a guy that’s down on his luck looking for his place in the world."
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Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle)
Details about the trio of returning stars are being kept under wraps, particularly when it comes to Rumplestiltskin — his Hyperion Heights counterpart has been described as "menacing," but we won't find out his name until the premiere. "We warned you season 1 he was a difficult man to love, but at the same time, he did find true love last year and chose love over power, so we don’t know what we’ll be looking at," Kitsis says coyly. "I would hope that the growth and everything he fought for wouldn’t be erased. But as we know, that’s the day-to-day fight." To note: Both Emilie de Ravin and Giles Matthey will return as Belle and their son Gideon, respectively, in the Rumple-centric fourth episode.
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Regina (Lana Parrilla)
When Henry finds himself in trouble, he calls out to his family for help and Regina comes running. But that's also why she ends up in a cursed Hyperion Heights as a denim-clad bartender named Roni. "Roni is Regina with the wisdom of six years of the show," Kitsis says. "She is a tough character, she’s a bartender, she is sticking up for the little people in the neighborhood against the bully who we’ll realize is Lady Tremaine. At the same respect, all the experiences she’s had going from Evil Queen to Queen [have led to] a mature character."
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Captain Hook (Colin O'Donoghue)
The one-armed pirate also comes running to help Henry, though we'll find a very different Hook in Hyperion Heights, a despondent cop named Rogers — no, his name is not Polly Rogers, as some internet rumors have indicated. "He is a cop with a very specific mission and a case that has haunted him that he has not solved, and that will be what we’ll be teasing out in the first couple episodes," Kitsis says, adding: "He’s a good cop [with] a plate filled with temptation." Plus: There's this.