Once Upon a Time Q&A With Belle Herself, Emilie de Ravin


Emilie de Ravin plays perhaps the most beloved of Once Upon a Time's human-incarnated Disney Princesses. Though her version Belle is frequently devoid of memory, locked up, or getting threatening calls from a death's-doorstep Mr. Gold, she retains the essential goodness of the character through it all (which in no small way is just overflow from the residual goodwill Lost fans and others have toward the actress). But in this Sunday's episode, she'll be taking quite a turn as the dark and vaguely trampy Lacey after Regina rewires her memory. She managed to share some of the details in the five minutes we spent talking while I harassed her about Howard Hughes-type germ concerns and questions about ABC #swag.

Who is more fun as a scene partner: Rumplestiltskin with face paint and crimped hair, or Mr. Gold?

I don’t think I can decide, I think they’re both fun in different ways. Bobby’s so amazing, they’re equally as fun because they’re so different.

Have you ever ingested any face paint in your scenes with Rumple?

Ingested?! [beat of horror, laughing] Yeah, but I think we’ve only kissed once in the makeup, haven’t we? Unless I start licking his hand in Season 4. [laughing] I hope not. It’s probably not very good for you.... now I’m thinking about that!



Is it possible for Belle to recover her memory, or when it's gone, it's gone?

Well, this week’s episode, called "Lacey," she’s still in the hospital at the start of the episode. But Regina, to get back at Mr. Gold, plants a fake memory, like she did when everyone else came to Storybrooke. Belle was never given one because she was locked up in a cell and there was no point. But instead of being nice and giving her Belle’s memory back, Regina gives me the memory of Lacey, and Lacey has no clue who Belle is. She’s a whole new person. She spends her time at the Rabbit Hole, she's scantily clad, she’s like playing pool, doing shots, hanging at the bar.  She’s a confident young woman, she doesn’t care what people think of her, she doesn’t dress to be provocative—that’s just her, that’s how she’s happy. She has no reason that she’d want to leave Storybrooke: She doesn’t want to travel, doesn’t like books—like, nothing could be more different than Belle. So that’s pretty fun, and you know, the only way—which seems impossible—for Mr. Gold to get Belle back is to get Lacey to fall in love with him. So that’s an interesting arc, for sure.



You’re doing a lot of heavy lifting. You have like three characters you’re playing already—Fairy-Tale Land Belle, Storybrooke Belle, and Amnesiac Belle—so this is like a fourth. Is it fun to do so many characters or is it confusing?

No, it’s so fun! I mean, as long as I’m adequately prepped and know who I’m doing, it's good. And I wasn’t switching during the same day, thank God, from one to the other, it was scheduled like that which was great. It’s a challenge, sure, it’s like, “Who am I today?” But I love that. The best part is being challenged by a good character and good writing and the great people you work with.

Final question: Do you get in free to Disneyland for life, since you play Belle?

Hmmm! Well… free for life? That’s a bit crazy. I’ll call ABC about that one. I could just get a job there, 'They’ve got a good double for that chick who plays Belle on OUAT!' [laughing] And it would probably work because they’d want the Belle photos. [laugh] I won’t do that.

(Though I sort of really hope she does.)


Once Upon a Time airs Sundays at 8pm on ABC. 

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Meh, she lost me at the part about being challenged by "good writing". But let me just interject something totally unrelated. :) Do any of you think Tamara could be somehow related to Cinderella's fairy godmother? Did Rumpel kill her or just poof her away to our world? Could she be Tamara's grandma from that picture?
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Hmm it was mentioned that neither fairies nor dwarfs make relationships. Dwarfs get borned from eggs (and we never saw the creature that borned those eggs). So my guess is that something similar happens with fairies too, hence they don't get to have fairy-parents (as there are no male fairies-till now), or any family at all.
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I was thinking that maybe Rumpel didn't really kill her, but simply banished her to our world. Once she was here, she would be free to make a relationship and procreate.
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I didn't see the episode yet but I don't get how Regina could make a spell which Mr Gold could not just reverse after all he is much more powerful than she is.Messing with Mr Gold love interest seems to me like signing your own death warrant and we need Regina on the show she is one of the best "Bad Guy" on the show
I hope this not that start of OUAT bad writing downfall after the last episode stupidness
(turning August the only best "Good Guy" into an annoying child and the stupid magic killing taser)
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I agree with you to a point. Mr Gold teached Regina anything she knows hence she should not know 1 thing that Rumble doesn't know as far as magic is concerned. On the one hand, maybe Rumble can't reverse the spell. EG Regina could throw the curse but not break it (even if she wanted to). But on the other hand, if Regina can give Belle a fake past, then Rumble should be able to do so too. Thus, why didn't he just do that already by giving Belle a past crafted by whatever he knew about her?

Let's wait and see how it happens though. (Maybe Rumble is about to make the spell to Belle but Regina steals it and casts it in her conditions?)
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Hmm...I could totally be wrong about this but didn't Rumple try to get Belle her memories back by spelling the tea cup except Belle threw it across the room and broke it?
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Yes, this happened in ep12. But it seemed to me like he used the same philtre he used to charm Bael's scarf. So 1) we don't know if it would work retroactively, 2) even if it could work there is no other item that Belle could use as a talisman (or I think so).

I guess there should be another way as the description of the episode says "David reluctantly agrees to help Gold restore Belle's memories, but they discover that Regina has given the amnesiac princess a new set of memories.".
So we will find out soon (hopefully it won't be a totally false story).
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"Regina gives me the memory of Lacey, and Lacey has no clue who Belle is. She’s a whole new person. She spends her time at the Rabbit Hole, she's scantily clad, she’s like playing pool, doing shots, hanging at the bar. She’s a confident young woman, she doesn’t care what people think of her, she doesn’t dress to be provocative—that’s just her, that’s how she’s happy."

This sounds like a much better character than Belle. REGINA, YOU FIEND, HOW COULD YOU....
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For some Roberts the nickname Bobby works, for others it doesn't. Carlyle belongs to the latter group. Robbie, maybe, but I cannot see him as "Bobby". Looks really weird when Emilie uses it.
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to be honest I think that is the name people who are his friends call him...sooo Like Sandra Bullock is Sandy to her friends..Not really a choise but it is what it is.
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With DeNiro, however, it works.
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Yeah, with him it really works.
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you realise they know each other for real and are thus entitled to give each other the ninckname they want, don't you???
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Naturally. It would be pretty weird if I didn't. But it doesn't change the fact that I personally find the nickname Bobby a mismatch for Carlyle.
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Emilie is a talented actress, one of my favorites. I love Belle and still hope she'll end up with Red. They have great chemistry together.

Emilie was also fantastic as Tess in Roswell. Shame, she was only in one episode of season 3.
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Belle and Red? That is a fantasy I never knew I had until now.
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I agree, don't see any of this stuff, haha. Sometimes I think TV.com is more an amateur psychologist hangout. :P
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You're joking, right? Have you never felt all that sexual tension between the ladies?

The Belle and Red ship is called Bed :)
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Then count me among the Bed-heads. :D
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Welcome :)
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I love Emilie though, she's always my favorite.
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Why is the only way to get Belle's real memory back to get Lacey to fall in love with Mr Gold? Doesn't even make sense...Or is it like one of those Lost things from the last season in purgatory or whatever that they had no recollection of anything until they got reunited with their true love and then they'd remember the island and stuff? ... Cause, you know, it sounds familiar...
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Maybe it's the only way cause of the true love kiss. Rumple already love her, so if she loved him too, they would kiss and reverse the curse.
But maybe she could just fall in love with a 3rd person and the 3rd person get in love with her, as well.
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Yeah, it's kind of messy and plain confusing when you think about it, but true, since they've been insisting that true love is the most powerful magic and all of that...
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" But Regina, to get back at Mr. Gold, plants a fake memory, like she did when everyone else came to Storybrooke. Belle was never given one because she was locked up in a cell and there was no point. "

So Regina planted the fake memories of everyone else when she cast the curse?? That doesn't seem to be what either the "curse-casting" flashbacks or "Welcome to Storybrooke" indicated. Granted we haven't seen the "Regina excludes Belle and imprisons her" flashback yet (if ever). But that seems kind of odd. It seemed like the curse created the fake memories as part of the magic, and Regina just let it do what it did.

Granted, Ms. de Ravin may not know what the writers/creators have in mind. And it doesn't make sense that she had her own memories no matter whether Regina decided not to do it (wouldn't she do it just as a precaution?) or the curse omitted her memory wipe. But it still seems kind of weird that Regina would individually craft and plant memories into every citizen of Storybrooke. Especially when the first day she woke up ('in "Welcome"), she didn't seem to know what had happened after the curse hit.
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Having seen the episode, the suggestion appears to be that it was "intelligent design." Regina knew what personality/memories that Belle was supposed to have, and knew that using a matchbook from the bar that Lacey was connected to would act as a trigger to bring those memories back. If Regina originally just let the curse have its way, and didn't know the specifics, Regina wouldn't have known the significance of the matchbook to use for her spell.

But then that conflicts with Welcome to Storybrooke. And/or Regina lacking enough knowledge of the real world to craft those kinds of 21st century memories, complete with the technological and culinary knowledge necessary in many cases.
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My theory is that the Curse created a set of personalities for everyone in Storybrooke at once (except Regina, who as the caster was immune). I think there were basic subroutines programmed into the Curse which would allow individuals to interact on a "real-world" level, pursuing similar occupations and such. But it's possible that "Greg's" dad (willingly or otherwise) contributed his knowledge of their new world which would improve their ability to function.

That being said- Regina obviously had the power to create false memories all along, because she did it for David with the windmill when he woke up from his coma. I doubt she bothered with most people, since it would be a power drain; most likely she'd pick the ones she'd most enjoy seeing altered.

Perhaps Charming's false memories were a rush job, slapped on like a bandaid when Regina realized he might remember Snow. "Lacey" was installed quickly; but I bet Regina had a pretty darn good idea of what would aggravate and repel Gold/Rumplestiltskin!
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I think I've figured out the issue. If you believe the curse was a "big bang" her casting this spell makes no sense. If you believe the curse was created through "intelligent design" the first day in Storybrooke makes no sense. My assumption about the whole nature of the curse is something of a hybrid theory, so this reconciles just fine.
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Well, how would she know anything about the "real world" to give anyone memories? Including herself, since obviously she knows about real world technology when she wakes up. So unless she took some as-yet-unflashbacked trip to real world to study up, there couldn't be any intelligent design.
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If she can insert memories, she can also insert knowledge. As to the micromanaging the individual memories, that's hardly necessary. It's the difference between having a spell that takes you to the store vs having a spell that takes you "left onto main street. proceed straight 3.2 miles, turn left at the stop light, proceed 200m, turn right into the parking lot". Or making spaghetti out of atoms. I wouldn't assume any such microdetail is necessary, or any knowledge of the real world or travel to it. Just an ability to give direction.
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I am suggesting that one of the spells in the chain is "give this group of people memories and skills appropriate to fill a town as sourced from the world where said town will be" and another is "give me the life skills and knowledge of the world necessary to occupy the top spot in that town". No micromanaging necessary, you give the spell directives to source the details from elsewhere. There doesn't need to be magic in Maine for the spell to have information from Maine. There are no cameras in my fish tank, but I can still take pictures of my fish.
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But she didn't insert memories, if "Welcome to Storybrooke" is any example. If she did insert them, she would presumably have some idea of what they were.

As for micromanaging, it kind of is necessary sometimes. Gepetto, for instance, uses sophisticated tools. Billy was an auto mechanic. Granny knows how to cook meals that didn't exist in the Enchanted Forest. Where did those detailed skills of which they had no previous knowledge come from, if Regina is the one who planted them as suggested by Ms. de Ravin?

Unless you're suggesting that "magic" that originates from a realm with none of these things, somehow provides them?
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I agree. Regina didn't know that Gold didn't have Rumplestiltskin's memories before she talked to him. If she had been personally planting memories in everyone that seems like something she would know.

But I've learned with OUAT that you should pull too hard on any threads.
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Or she could have planted the memories in Rumple, but they just didn't take.
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I've always assumed the curse involved chained spells. It would have been too unpredictable for her otherwise. She could have ended up school janitor in the town of Storybrooke, Saskatchewan. One of the spells in the chain was probably cast (in advance) to go off on a group of people to give them a set of appropriate roles and memories. And, as we all know, the single target spell is always lower level than the area spell. #geek
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The point would be to, oh I don't know, for Regina to cover her butt in case Belle escaped. :)
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