With just three episodes left until the season finale of the ABC drama series Once Upon A Time, there are bound to be twists and turns and shocking reveals before all is said and done in Season 2. In “Lacey,” Belle (Emilie de Ravin) takes on the cursed identity of Lacey, a young woman who enjoys a good tune, a good drink and a good game of pool, while Mr. Gold, aka Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle) wonders if he’ll ever be able to regain her memories and her love for him.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Emilie de Ravin talked about how fun it was to essentially get to play a new character, the difference between Lacey and Belle, how much fun it is to play the challenging relationship between Belle and Rumple (known to fans as Rumbelle), that viewers will get to learn about her connection to Robin Hood, how amazing the fan support has been, how she thinks fans will react to the season finale, and that her favorite upcoming moment will take place in Mr. Gold’s shop during the finale. Check out what she had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
EMILIE DE RAVIN: As far as the Lacey character goes, it was a lot of fun. Basically, it’s like doing another job, except that I’m working with the same people. It was great! It’s a complete 180 from Belle. These guys write so well. It’s always fun to have something that you don’t expect, and that happens a lot, in a good way.
What was your reaction when you found out where the story would be going?
DE RAVIN: I suppose I was really just excited. I think I thrive on the challenges. It plays into the Rumple-Belle or Rumbelle, or whatever people call it, relationship. It’s not the Snow and Charming relationship, where they’re just together. We were torn apart, we were back, I’m shot. That’s been a couple little obstacles, along the way, to say the least. It’s that back and forth that really emotionally gets to people. It also makes it fun to play because it’s not just a one-note relationship where everything is fine or they’re always fighting.
You have a very unusual situation with this show, getting to explore the new character while still getting to explore the other character in flashbacks in Fairytale Land. Is it fun to have that duality?
DE RAVIN: Oh, yeah! It goes back in time to Fairytale Land, but to a portion that we haven’t seen yet with her, and Rumple and Robin Hood are included in a portion of that. It also joins up some puzzle pieces that we don’t have, and teaches us more about Rumple and Belle in Fairytale Lane, prior to them kissing. She’s still in the gold dress. In the “Lacey” episode, it shows Belle’s first little inkling that this guy maybe isn’t as bad as he thinks he is because of a little thing that he does.
Who is Lacey compared to who Belle is, and is there anything specific you wanted to bring to Lacey to set her apart from Belle?
DE RAVIN: Not that Belle’s not a free spirit, but I think she wants to be in a relationship. She has a very loving, maternal side to her. She’s very book smart. She really cares about the world. It’s not that Lacey is obnoxious or unaware, but she’s just in her own little world. She’s happy to be where she is, drinking and playing pool at the Rabbit Hole. She doesn’t really need to venture anywhere else. She’s stable, self-sufficient, street smart and ballsy. Belle is just more refined. I wouldn’t say that Lacey is dumb, in any respect. She just read a different encyclopedia than Belle. She probably listened to it on tape. She probably doesn’t read.
How is the relationship Lacey has with Mr. Gold different from his relationship with Belle?
DE RAVIN: Well, Lacey is just bloody confused. She remembers her time at the hospital, not as Belle, but she remembers him visiting her there when she didn’t know who she was. This was done by Regina to destroy Mr. Gold’s heart. Regina says, “Good luck getting Lacey to fall in love with you,” he knows that the only way to get me back to Belle is to have me fall in love with him. So, that’s an interesting arc for him. It evolves really well, from the awkward start of them having absolutely nothing in common and leading up to this unexpected bond that starts to happen.
Were you surprised of the popularity of Belle and Rumple, as a couple, and just how much fans have been rooting for them?
DE RAVIN: Yeah. It’s amazing! And thank you, fans everywhere. It’s pretty damn cool, especially knowing that I was only going to do that one episode, “Skin Deep,” a year and a half ago, and it even started then. It’s fantastic! It’s nice because we work really well together, and they write really well for us both together. It’s an interesting change to not just have people enjoy your character alone, but also as much with your character’s partner. Thank god we like each other!
Without giving anything away, what words would you use to describe the season finale, and how would you describe the way you think fans will react to what happens in it?
DE RAVIN: I think there’s going to be a few minds blown. There’s also the element of Storybrooke not being safe anymore. You’re not sure who some people are or what their intentions are. It ain’t looking good! There will be more evil people. We can have outsiders now, and that’s not good. With the finale, I think people will be really, really excited about the happenings. There are sad and happy moments. There are very sweet moments, and there’s some sadness, too.
Have you had a favorite moment on the show?
DE RAVIN: Yeah, I do, but I don’t know if I can say it. It’s in the finale, so I probably shouldn’t say anything. It’s so relevant in my mind, but I don’t want to give anything away. There’s a really, really beautiful, emotional scene in the finale, with us in Mr. Gold’s shop.
Once Upon A Time airs on Sunday nights on ABC, and you can find out more about the show at www.abc.com/shows/once-upon-a-time.