September 27, 2012
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Lana Parrilla works hard on voice
By Bill Harris, QMI Agency


Lana Parrilla (AFP photo)

Lana Parrilla has a great voice.

Sexy and sinister, rich and versatile, evil and sweet. It certainly comes in handy for her dual role as the Evil Queen and Regina in Once Upon a Time.

As it turns out, it's no accident.

"Thank you -- I studied voice for about 10 years, not for singing but for acting," Parrilla said. "I've always had a deep resonance, but I love vocal work, and I've been doing it for so many years.

"It has been fun working on this show and playing with my voice, using it differently for both characters, going up or down. And it helps in life too, when I really have to tell someone off. I can project."

Projections are optimistic for the second season of Once Upon a Time, which begins Sunday on ABC and CTV.

You've heard the term "winter is coming" with regard to Game of Thrones?

Once Upon a Time has a similar catch phrase: "Magic is coming."

The basic season one setup: Familiar fairy-tale characters were cursed to exist in our modern world, exiled to a town called Storybrooke, Maine, unaware of their true identities. The curse, of course, came courtesy of the Evil Queen.

But as season one ended (spoiler alert, up-to-date plot points follow), a well-placed kiss from Emma (Jennifer Morrison) unleashed the power of true love and broke the curse. As the fairy-tale characters awaken to their true identities, they obviously are none too pleased with Storybrooke Mayor Regina, a.k.a. you-know-who.

But with the curse broken, why, pray tell, has everyone not been instantly transported back to fairy-tale land?

Meanwhile, Rumplestiltskin, a.k.a. Mr. Gold (Robert Carlyle), has just unleashed magic into our previously magic-free realm. Why? "Because magic is power," he explained. And wherever there's a struggle for power, you'll find the Evil Queen.

Once Upon a Time really can't work unless the Evil Queen and Regina express a tasty combination of menace and vulnerability. Did Parrilla ever feel that pressure?

"It's such a high concept, it's a very challenging show, but I never thought of it that way," Parrilla said. "I think every actor is kind of worrying, 'Oh my God, are they going to write me out?' "

Parrilla is safe on that front. No Evil Queen, no show.

"This is the honest-to-God truth, I just focus on the work, because if my work isn't good, then I won't succeed either way," Parrilla said. "And I won't be happy with it.

"But I've heard, yes, she is the ... she enacted the curse, so ... well, they don't call her the evil queen for no reason."

Both literally and figuratively, Once Upon a Time is lucky to have Lana Parrilla as its voice of reason.

 




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