Once Upon A Time storytellers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (executive producers of Lost and writers of TRON: Legacy) invite audiences to experience an intriguing twist to the classic fairytales of Snow White, Pinocchio, Red Riding Hood and many more in their ABC series. Packed with enchanting icons from the world’s most beloved stories, the show stars a host of talented actors including Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla and Robert Carlyle.
We had the pleasure of chatting with young actor Jared Gilmore – who plays Henry Mills – to find out more…
How would you describe Once Upon A Time to viewers who haven’t seen it?
Jared Gilmore: The story of Once Upon A Time is about fairytales colliding with the real world, so it’s really fun. I read a lot of fairytales when I was younger, so I am familiar with all of the stories. I still read them now because I love tales of evil magic and crazy occurrences.
Describe your character in the show?
Jared Gilmore: My character, Henry, is a strong-willed 10-year-old with a vivid imagination. He’s convinced that the town in which he lives, Storybrooke, has fallen under the curse of the Evil Queen. It’s a really exciting tale with lots of twists and turns.
What do you like about your character in the show?
Jared Gilmore: Henry is the only person in Storybrooke who knows that everyone in town is basically a fairytale character. That’s a lot of fun for me because it’s so different to anything I’ve played before. As the story moves on, he tries to get the other people to believe him – but it’s very difficult.
How does he do that?
Jared Gilmore: He helps them remember who they are in the fairytale world. And then, when it gets to a certain point, he talks to them and helps them with suggestions.
How would you describe Henry’s relationships with his adoptive mother, Regina?
Jared Gilmore: Regina is very strict. Before he found out about the curse, I think he actually liked Regina – but in some way he always knew that she wasn’t his real mother.
Is it different to his relationship with his birth mother, Emma Swan?
Jared Gilmore: His relationship with Regina is very different to his relationship with Emma. Finally, he has found someone that he can trust to tell all of these secrets – and she won’t throw them away.
You’re 12 years old, but you already have a long string of acting credits. Was acting something you wanted to do from a very young age?
Jared Gilmore: Not really. I have a twin sister and she was the one who got me into acting. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her.
How did she get you into acting?
Jared Gilmore: Well, we were always putting on little shows for people. For example, we’d put on shows for the people around us while we were waiting for the parades at Disneyland. My mom and dad encouraged us to get an agent and to get into the industry – but when we finally did, it ended up that I liked it more than my sister. She quit. I kept going forward.
How different is Once Upon A Time compared to other TV shows you’ve worked on before?
Jared Gilmore: Before Once Upon A Time, I worked on Mad Men. They are completely different shows! Not only does Once Upon A Time have a completely different storyline and plot, but there’s also a lot more mystery involved in the show. In Mad Men, there wasn’t much mystery at all.
Are you Mad Men and Once Upon A Time characters similar in any way?
Jared Gilmore: It’s hard to compare the two characters because I played a regular kid in a regular world on Mad Men. In Once Upon A Time, I’m a kid who knows that everyone in this one town is a fairytale character from a whole different world. It’s very hard to connect them!
What’s life like on the set of Once Upon A Time?
Jared Gilmore: I get along with everyone in the cast and it’s a lot of fun. I like to play around, but it’s all business as soon as the director says, “Action.”
Is it tough to juggle your schoolwork with your work on the show?
Jared Gilmore: No, it’s fine. When I am not at the studio, I go to school – and school is very, very important to me. I also have schooling at the studio, so when I am not in a scene, you will usually find me studying. There’s a lot of work involved in being a young actor, but it’s all worth it. I’m having the time of my life.
Once Upon A Time: The Complete First Season is available on DVD and Blu-ray now!