Once Upon a Time fans rejoiced as Jennifer Morrison made her first Dragon Con panel appearance on Sunday at the Hilton Grand Salon to talk fairy tales, being a strong female role model, and directing.
The yellow Volkswagen was basically a character in its own, and an early question was whether Morrison was able to drive it around. “Yeah, that Volkswagen and I totally had a relationship … that car required so much effort that I drove it where we had to go and back.”
The series ended on a high note, with many original characters coming back for the finale episode, including Morrison, but that almost didn’t happen. For a while, it looked as though her schedule wouldn’t line up with the filming schedule, so in the end, she was “over the moon” to be there for the closure and to work with co-star Colin O’Donoghue again.
Dark Swan was a big character twist to the essence of Emma, and Morrison felt very lucky to have been able to experience such a serious transformation of a character she’d been playing for so long. Most actors never get the chance to experience a change of that magnitude. To prepare for that arc, Morrison did a lot of research on the significance of swans and where dark swans appear in literature. Essentially, they created a character that hadn’t really been done before in that Dark Swan was the villainous side of an established hero.
As far as which Once Upon a Time character she would want to play, Morrison replied that she would honestly always choose Emma. When it comes to which of the fairy tale characters she loved the most, she said that she’s a very fair weather fan in her answer to this particular question. Growing up, she loved The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella, so having those characters on the show was fun. She was also excited to have the Frozen girls on the show.
A recurring statement from the audience was how Morrison’s portrayal of Emma was such a strong female role model and a positive influence on their, or their daughter’s, lives. All of the scenes where Emma is showing her love for Henry or on-screen parents, Snow White and Prince Charming, was her projecting the love she felt, and continues to feel, from her wonderful parents.
Morrison recently moved to the role of director for the movie Sun Dogs, and one young audience member sought out Morrison’s advice on becoming a director. She was thrilled about the question and responded to start working now by making movies on an iPhone, recruiting friends to star in it, and then attempting to create a better film each time. She also said to watch movies. Watch great movies. Watch terrible movies. Watch movies to find out what you love and what you hate. When you find a movie you truly love, then watch it without the sound to get a feel for the cinematic storytelling and not the dialogue.
Once Upon a Time may have wrapped for good, but the love for the show continues on, happily ever after.