For the new ABC series ONCE UPON A TIME, all of Disney’s classic fairy tales have been reworked in a fresh new way with a story that takes the fantasy denizens drops them into the middle of modern day suburbia.
Recently, ASSIGNMENT X got the chance to sit down with Raphael Sbage to talk with him about his character Archie Hopper aka Jiminy Cricket.
Turning the tables, Raphael started to interview ASSIGNMENT X about the show and what we thought of it at the beginning of the interview. Here’s what he had to say.
ASSIGNMENT X: Tell me a little bit about your character? I know that none of you are suppose to know who you were before, but you were Jiminy Cricket, I mean you were after you had the curse put on you?
RAPHAEL SBARGE: The premise of the show is that there is a curse and no one knows who they were. What that does is give you the ability to go between two worlds and some of the people who have learned or remembered have not faired so well, like the Sheriff (Jamie Dornan) who died.
AX: I do watch the show; as a matter of fact I love the show.
SBARGE: What do you like about it?
AX: I’ve liked fantasy and sci-fi my whole life.
SBARGE: Were you a LOST fan?
AX: Oh yeah.
SBARGE: Does this ring the bell for you that way or is it different?
AX: No, it’s a different kind of show. You start wondering about who remembers about the other world, is it Rumplestilskin/Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle), or is it the Mayor/Queen (Lana Parrilla). I actually think it is both of them who remember who they were before.
SBARGE: It seems like that doesn’t it?
AX: What are your thoughts on that?
SBARGE: It seems like that is the case with the writing that they both know. That he has something on her and she is still in power, but he has the ultimate set of been able to trump her when he wants to. He seems to corner her in a way when no one else can.
AX: In the one episode ["That Still Small Voice" – November 27, 2011] where you were made into Jiminy Cricket; so in the fairytale land you were a cricket and in the world that you are in now, you are the therapist. Have you ever thought about why it happened that they changed your character that way and made you the therapist instead of something else?
SBARGE: [Creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis] took a lot of these iconic characters the Queen, Rumplestilskin and Prince Charming, and others and imagined what they would be in the real world. Taking a character like Jiminy Cricket, which was a conscience, and trying to figure out what would he do I would make him a therapist, which is kind of an interesting way to go. Obviously, because a therapist have a way of working with you to help determine what’s right and wrong and which way to go and help you find your way. I thought it was a clever way to spin it in a way. Obviously, what we learn at the end of the Jiminy Cricket episode is and this was a testament to the writing because people said, “oh, I didn’t know that was Jiminy Cricket’s back-story.” Of course they made the whole thing up. It’s completely a figment of their wonderful imagination. But what we saw was that this conscience or consciousness as it were came at a terrible price. It wasn’t like I’m just going to wake up and be smart for everyone…he suffered. When he got turned into a cricket it was his own wish. His wished from the Blue Fairy. It sounds so funny to say it! [Laughs] He wished because he was in this terrible cul-de-sac with his life and he wanted something different.
AX: You’re familiar with the Disney’s Jiminy Cricket, “let your conscience always be your guide” and Geppetto, so when I think of Jiminy Cricket that is what I think of.
SBARGE: Of course I think everyone does.
AX: You can tell that he is also a puppet to the Mayor – actually everyone is a puppet.
SBARGE: Yeah, she is running the show.
AX: But she’s not really - there is something to do with Mr. Gold.
SBARGE: Yeah, he has a trump card there.
AX: How do you want to see the show progress? They brought in Hansel and Gretel ["True North" episode – January 15, 2012] and I guess they will be bringing in other fairytale characters from the stories we all grew up with.
SBARGE: Yeah, and they brought in Cinderella ["The Price of Gold" – November 13, 2011] before. What they are doing is taking a page from the LOST handbook and what they are doing is deep dives of each character to open up and eliminate, because there’s a background there. What it does is several things. Number one, is it gives you in the course of whatever 45 minutes we have of actual television time playing a much deeper richer fabric of a show because you are not trying to be all things to all characters. Number two, when that character comes in, even it’s in one or two scenes, you have so much more information about them it creates a richness of the story-telling. And then number three, what they are doing they are laying, as we learn about all the characters; they are really laying a banquet table for clearly the battle lines that will be drawn. And while we are on episode 16 and you are on episode 8, but what’s happening is, knowing these [writers] there is going to be a crescendo of some excitement of good meets evil here.
AX: You, and the others Mr. Gold, the Queen are basically the main cast of the show.
SBARGE: Yes, and then the Cinderella’s, or the Hansel and Greta’s they sort of illuminate a story or an aspect of something in one of the characters and gives us more a reflection light of who they are.
AX: Can you give any hints of what’s coming up?
SBARGE: I can’t give you any hints, but I can say that you are going to have a lot more information about everyone involved. And there is clearly obvious again some excitement in store for all of us. I mean, they don’t tell us in advance either. We run to the scripts and tear them open and go “oh my God, what is going to happen this week?”
AX: Those dolls that are in Mr. Gold ‘s shop, I can’t remember are those you parents?
SBARGE: No, they were Geppetto’s parents, but remember every time you walk into that shop now you think about those little dolls and that’s what so strong about the story-telling that every episode is sort of informed with a little bit of the last one. People keep saying to me, “I’m so addicted to your show I can’t wait to see what happens next.”
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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Exclusive Interview with ONCE UPON A TIME star Raphael Sbarge