‘Once Upon a Time’ Musical Postmortem: Lana Parrilla Talks Channeling Bowie

Kelly Woo
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
Lana Parrilla as the Evil Queen in Once Upon a Time. (Photo: ABC/Jack Rowand)

Warning: This interview for “The Song in Your Heart” episode of Once Upon a Time contains spoilers.

The musical episode of Once Upon a Time featured rousing anthems, tender duets, a singing duel, and a dash of Bowie.

The seven original songs were written by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner taking both characters and actors into consideration, so an angsty rock ‘n’ roll ballad was the perfect fit for Lana Parrilla’s Evil Queen. As she told Yahoo TV, they loved the “guttural” quality of her voice. So for “Love Doesn’t Stand a Chance,” Parrilla channels one of her musical icons.

The episode also culminated in the wedding between Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue). But happy endings rarely last long in Storybrooke, and the Black Fairy’s dark curse breaks free to wreak havoc.

Here’s what Parrilla had to say about the musical, the Captain Swan wedding, and next week’s big season (maybe series?) finale.

What did you think of Regina’s songs?
I love Regina’s songs. It’s rare that I don’t like anything that they write for Regina or the Evil Queen. But I love those songs. I think that I have probably the only rock ‘n’ roll number out of all the songs. It gave me the opportunity to live out my dream of playing Ziggy Stardust; it was, like, my Ziggy Stardust moment. David Bowie had a huge influence on them when they were writing the song. He is my ultimate favorite, so I felt so lucky to be able to have, like, a rock ‘n’ roll number. I love how it all turned out. And there’s the song-off or battle-off, or whatever you want to call it, with the Charmings, which I thought was really fun and cool.

So you were channeling Bowie? The Evil Queen was definitely strutting around.
Yeah, I watched Bowie, and I watched a little bit of Rocky Horror Picture Show and there was the Ziggy Stardust concert. And I studied some different moves, to incorporate some of those glam rock moves, and some of it was more contemporary. I said it was like Bowie meets Hamilton meets Fosse.

You previously told us you wanted to do it again. Do you think it’ll happen?
If it does happen, it would have to fit in the story. And I think that that’s the only way they would do it. Or they write the musical and we all come to Broadway and do it!

Have the songs gotten stuck in your head? Are you still humming them?
Yeah, I have been humming mine. I also hum Rebecca Mader’s song “Wicked Always Wins.” It’s super-catchy and I sing it all the time. And she sounds so great. She killed it.

Josh Dallas as Charming, Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, and Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow in ABC’s Once Upon a Time. (Photo: Jack Rowand/ABC)

Emma and Hook finally got married after so many ups and downs. Are you glad that it happened?
Absolutely. I think this is something a lot of Captain Swan fans have been waiting for, and you know it’s nice to see characters that have a love, and that we follow their sort of evolution over so many years to get to this place where they can have their happy ending.

That’s ultimately what everyone wants for these characters … getting a happy ending, and I guess it really just depends on what you know that defines the happy ending. Everyone thinks it’s getting married, but I don’t know. I think a happy ending is so unique and personal to everyone but from [a] sort of character standpoint.

What can you tell us about the finale?
Nothing, really!

How would you describe it, in one word?
Unpredictable.

The show hasn’t been renewed yet, but does the finale lead into a possible Season 7?
Something happens in the finale that alludes to where Once Upon a Time is headed. Again, unpredictable. Things happen that set up where we’re going. Hopefully, there will be a seventh season so we can continue telling compelling stories.

Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.


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