Once Upon a Time is about to unfurl another epic love story.
Friday’s episode of the ABC fairy-tale drama will flash back to show viewers how Zelena’s daughter, Robin (Tiera Skovbye), and Hook’s daughter, Alice (Rose Reynolds), first met — and EW has an exclusive sneak peek at their meet-cute in the video above. But the first encounter between Reynolds and Skovbye was quite different, as the duo met just prior to shooting their passionate kiss in the winter finale. Talk about an interesting first day — which is exactly what the actresses do below:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tiera, when you auditioned, did you do a chemistry read with Rose?
TIERA SKOVBYE: No, I actually didn’t, and when I auditioned, I was given dummy sides with a dummy character name, and I had no idea what I was cast as or who I was going to be working with at all.
What was your reaction to finding out who Robin is, and that she was going to have a love story with Alice?
SKOVBYE: I found out that my name was Robin Hood and initially I was like, “Wasn’t there already a Robin Hood?” I was told I was playing Robin Hood, and I didn’t really realize what that entailed. I think our first scene was the kiss, where we meet in fairy-tale land. Initially I didn’t have any idea where the story was going and that it was going to be such a big love story. I also was only told it was going to be, like, three episodes, so I had no idea. Everything unraveled as we went on and continued filming.
And, Rose, what was your reaction to meeting Tiera, knowing she was going to be playing a big love interest for your character?
ROSE REYNOLDS: It’s really funny, we talked about this the other day, me and Tiera. The first scene we shot, as Tiera said, was the kiss. I thought the kind thing to do was to introduce myself before we start going straight at it. So I knocked on her trailer door and said, “Hi, I’m Rose, really looking forward to working with you.” But it was the first time we’d met each other, so it was professional. “We’ve got a job to do!” We arrived on set, and it was then easy to do the kiss scene, our first-ever scene together, because we didn’t know each other, and so we could only be professional about it. We’ve had some kissing scenes since that moment and we just fall about laughing a little bit, just because we know each other so well and we know it’s coming. Meeting Tiera was really great fun, and seeing the love story progress and continues to develop is something that’s really exciting and really wonderful.
SKOVBYE: To make matters more interesting, we were filming in the middle of a forest in Vancouver in the pouring rain. We kept slipping in the mud as we’d run in to kiss each other. A couple of times, we knocked teeth. We were so professional, but we didn’t know each other, so we were like, “Okay, let’s just act our pants off and let’s do this! This is fine!” But if we had to do that scene now, they would’ve been like, “Can you guys stop laughing? What’s happening?” We just wouldn’t have been able to hold it together.
REYNOLDS: That’s because we’re so comfortable with each other now.
We’ve barely seen the two of you on screen together, so what was it like gearing up for this big episode that is centered on your two characters?
SKOVBYE: Initially we got the script and I was so excited, because when I got that script for the first episode where we kissed, I really had no context of anything that was happening, or any of Robin and Alice’s backstory, where we met, and how far in our relationship we were at this point, or what was happening. So it was really fun to get a script where we discover some of their initial meeting and how they fall in love. It’s a beautiful episode, and it was so much fun to do. Rose?
REYNOLDS: Yeah, thank you, babe. I would echo that completely. It’s written by Dana [Horgan] and Leah [Fong], who also wrote episode 4, the Halloween episode, and I love their writing. I think they’re very, very clever. There’s moments in this — I don’t want to give too much away — but I didn’t know how I escaped the tower, so there was our love story that we needed to develop and explore that backstory, but there’s also the Alice situation of how she leaves the tower. I think that’s really well pieced together in how it relates to the real world as well, Tilly’s world, and how that particular character, who I can’t talk to much about, comes into play. I thought that was really clever writing. Also, the echoes. Ah, there are so many great moments! The first meeting of Tilly and Margot, Tiera’s Hyperion Heights character, the role reversal, the fact that I’m not the one who reads books in the real world, it’s Margot who’s the avid book reader. It just feels like everything is slightly different, but there are nods to both sides of the looking glass in terms of fairy tale and real world. It’s almost a role reversal when it comes to Margot and Tilly and Alice and Robin, which I thought was very clever.
What can you guys tease about Alice and Robin’s very first meeting? What kind of dynamic do they have?
REYNOLDS: The first time we meet them, I can’t be with Hook because of his poisoned heart, so I think we’ve seen it in the promo pictures that I’m using his spyglass to spy on him, because I have to keep a safe distance, and in that promo shot, someone creeps up behind me and holds an arrow to my head. To say that it’s a meet-cute between Robin and Alice is something I would not describe this as. From that moment, it develops into something that’s really wonderful. We have a moment where we’re running through the forest and we have a confrontation, and then for ages in this episode, we are opposing ideas, and we are looking to do different things in terms of — ahhh, I can’t say it without giving it away! Tiera, help me out here.
SKOVBYE: Throughout the episode, we’re going on this adventure, and I think initially the two of us have very different ideas of how to go about solving this problem that we’re trying to solve on this adventure.
SKOVBYE: I’m struggling right now without trying to say anything. Robin is a little bit more like, “Who is this girl and why does she keep following me? What is she doing?” Robin is a little bit more matter-of-fact, a little tougher, whereas Alice definitely sees outside the box more. Robin just doesn’t get it, she doesn’t really understand what she’s doing or why she’s saying certain things that she’s saying. It takes her a moment to appreciate all that Alice is, and once she does, the two definitely see eye-to-eye, and they help realize each other’s true potential, which is what I think is so beautiful.
REYNOLDS: They are so different initially, and I think they learn so much from each other, so that by the end, they understand each other a bit more. But there’s a lovely line that I say during our first proper meeting, where Robin asks something like, “You’re not cool,” or something like that, and I say, “Cool? Why would you want to be cool?” It’s not in Alice’s vocabulary or makeup to be cool, whatever cool means. So Alice is so open compared to Robin, and towards the end, they just learn so much from each other and help each other out in so many different ways.
What is the meeting between Tilly and Margot like?
SKOVBYE: Their meeting in Hyperion Heights initially is more of an accident — I feel like it isn’t an accident, it’s fate, but it is a genuine accident. It’s one of those people where you have a very brief conversation with. It’s in a very trying time for Tilly, in a very confusing time. She has a conversation with Margot that helps her see something in the same way that happens in fairy-tale land, where we have the same kind of conversation. “Oh, I never thought of something that way,” or “Oh, you helped me realize this.” They both do that to each other. I think Margot pops up at a very important time for Tilly.
REYNOLDS: Also, there’s this concept of family that comes into play as well. When we first meet Margot, she’s talking about her mother and their relationship, and I offered advice about that. We talk about family and how family are important to both of these young women as well. So there’s that to play with as well.
Executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz have described this as an epic love story in the vein of Snow and Charming. Was there any nervousness then playing out this relationship?
REYNOLDS: Yeah, 100 percent, because those two are the epic couple, so to be compared to them was completely humbling. But there’s also the thing of Dorothy and Ruby as well, because we are the second coming of the lesbian couple, so to speak. Ruby and Dorothy also had their love story. It was very short, but they had their love story. It felt like, not a weight, but there was a lot to think about in terms of telling their story right, and making sure that it was given its due weight and due care in exploring it, so it didn’t feel rushed or unrealistic or forced, or any of those things. But in terms of being compared to Snow and Charming, flipping heck, I don’t know about that.
SKOVBYE: [Laughs] Oh, come on, Rose.
REYNOLDS: All right, yeah, okay. Their meeting didn’t start off as a meet-cute, they started off on the wrong footing as well, so there is that comparison that you can make between the two. It wasn’t smooth sailing for either love story, I don’t think.
SKOVBYE: I think Rose basically said it, it’s definitely intimidating. I think for me what was most intimidating was hearing some fans with the previous lesbian love story, and how fans were a little bit upset as to why they didn’t continue on with that. Anybody I’ve talked to since then is like, “I’m so happy they’re doing this love story, it’s so good.” I think because it’s done very well and it’s very thought-out. That’s what makes it such a great love story, is that it’s very real; it’s a very real love story. It’s very sweet as it develops. It just gets better.
What has the reaction from fans been like about this LGBT couple?
SKOVBYE: It’s been nothing but positive.
REYNOLDS: Yeah, they’ve really embraced us. This whole concept of ’ships — you’ve got OutlawQueen and you’ve got CaptainSwan — and people have asked us to name our ’ship. I always feel I’d never know what the right answer to that is, so we’ve got various names that people call us now. We’ve got MadArcher, we’ve got RabbitBow …
SKOVBYE: I think MadArcher is the one that stuck the most.
REYNOLDS: Yeah, I think that MadArcher is our ’ship name.
SKOVBYE: It’s crazy that we have a ’ship name!
REYNOLDS: They’ve embraced us and they’ve embraced this love story and are looking forward to seeing how they met, and seeing the backstory of these two, because as you said, we’ve only seen that epic kiss in the midseason finale, so the fact that they are anticipating and looking forward to the rest of our story is something that’s very exciting.
Once Upon a Time airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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