February 16, 2013

Canadian Magic in ABC’s Once Upon A Time



Unless you have been under the Evil Queen’s sleeping curse, you have probably heard tales of ABC’s newest hit TV show, Once Upon A Time. The show is complicated to explain, I mean, the creators, Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis, were writers of Lost. The basic premise is that all fairytale characters you’ve read about actually exist, and they are trapped in our world, in a town called Storybrooke, Maine.

The show boasts a talented ensemble cast chock-full of previously unknown names, and also a few known names. But amongst this large cast are also a significant number of Canadians!

Meghan Ory as Red Riding Hood

Meghan Ory as Ruby with Josh Dallas

Meghan Ory hails from Victoria B.C. and is the biggest Canadian star on the show. Ory plays Little Red Riding Hood and her Storybrooke counterpart, Ruby. While she had small roles in every other episode in season 1, Ory had her chance to really show off her acting chops in the Red Riding hood centered episode titled “Red Handed”. This was when many people fell in love with Ory, as they learned the truth about Little Red. Spoiler: The big twist of the story is that Little Red Riding Hood is also the Big Bad Wolf. She performs with a great range of emotion and is definitely working some of that voice control that co-star Lana Parrilla, who plays the evil queen, is well known for. In season two Meghan Ory was promoted to season-regular status, and we have already seen another episode centered on Red, “Child of the Moon”. That episode tells the story of Red and Snow’s actions after fleeing her village, and what ensues in the present, when Ruby faces the first full moon since the curse broke in Storybrooke.

Beverley Elliott as Granny

Beverley Elliott as Granny

Of course, the Little Red Riding Hood story needs its Granny. Beverley Elliot plays this character and she is originally from Listowel, Ontario. Granny took care of Red in the fairytale world, while Granny Lucas in Storybrooke runs an inn, a diner, while also being the parental figure for Ruby. Like her granddaughter, Granny was also a werewolf, but has since stopped changing – possibly due to werewolf menopause! Beverley effectively plays the sassy Granny who cares very much for her granddaughter, but also has a sarcastic attitude as she wields her crossbow that she is not afraid to use. During her break from filming Once Upon A Time, she starred in the Arts Club’s Henry and Alice: Into the Wild at the Granville Island Stage from April to May of 2012.

Keegan Connor Tracy as The Blue Fairy

(L to R) Keegan Connor Tracy, Emilie De Ravin, Meghan Ory, Lee Arenberg

Keegan Connor Tracy plays The Blue Fairy, who is Mother Superior in Storybrooke, and she hails from Windsor, Ontario. The Blue Fairy is the fairy of Pinocchio’s story, but she has her magic wand in a few other fairytales as well. We have yet to learn much about her backstory, so that is something to look forward to in future seasons. She has also played Jeanne in Battlestar Gallactica, Kat in Final Destination 2, and has guest starred in Supernatural. Most recently, Keegan Connor Tracy has been filming in Vancouver as Norman Bates’ schoolteacher for the upcoming Bates Motel TV show on A&E.

The Seven Dwarves and More

The Seven Dwarves

A story about Snow White is not complete without her royal guard, the seven dwarves, or “Team Seven” as known on Twitter. Six of these seven dwarves are played by Canadian actors. David Paul-Grove plays Doc and originally comes from Calgary, Alberta, whose other notable roles include Jonny in Ed, Edd, and Eddy, and a guest role in Supernatural. Faustino Di Bauda plays Sleepy and has had guest spots in Supernatural, The Killing, and Fringe; three other shows filmed locally in Vancouver. Bashful is played by Mig Macario, who is from the Philippines but was raised in Canada; his recent roles include Arctic Air, Fairly Legal, and Sanctuary. Michael Coleman is Happy and has been in Smallville, Fringe, and X:Men Evolution. Gabe Khouth plays Sneezy and has had a role in Supernatural; he can also be heard in a voice-over role in the upcoming animated film Escape from Planet Earth. Finally, Jeffrey Kaiser stars as Dopey, and has previously been seen in Eureka and Psych. Even in their relatively small amount of screen time, the chemistry and brotherly vibe between these actors is very apparent.

Canadian actors play several more guest characters. The secret eighth dwarf you may not have heard of is named Stealthy. He is played by Geoff Gustafson from Vancouver, and has recently guest starred in the TV show Emily Owens M.D., as well some movies. Vancouver native Jakob Davies plays Young Pinocchio. Another child actor, Dylan Schmid, plays Baelfire, and comes from Victoria. Eric Keenlyside, from St. Stephen, New Brunswick, plays Maurice/Moe French, otherwise known as the father of Belle.

It is great to see a successful show make use of the local talent while filming in Vancouver. It’s fun to watch the episodes and see their small but effective actions in embodying their respective characters. If you follow them on Twitter (their Twitter handles are scattered throughout this post), they are very responsive to their fans and sometimes even give behind-the-scenes facts from filming! Check out the video below for an introduction to the entire series!

What do you think of the series so far? Sound off in the comment box below!

Once Upon A Time airs Sunday nights, 7:00/8:00 PM on CTV and ABC.

About the Author

Dulce Rosales
Dulce Rosales
Traversing the galaxy as a fourth-year business student at SFU, Dulce always takes a moment to stop and smell the metaphorical roses (Not real ones as she has a slight pollen allergy). She is a passionate fan of being a passionate fan of things. Feel free to geek out with her any time online and off!

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