Jennifer Morrison was a last minute but most welcome addition to the Fan Expo Vancouver 2015 lineup. the Once Upon a Time Star fans greeted fans young and old at her autograph table and also delighted fans with Once Upon a Time stories, what it was like to work with Hugh Laurie, being a first time director, getting emotional talking about researching the foster care system for Emma’s backstory to getting giddy when a fan boy asked her out. [UPDATE: Scroll down to the end of this post for video highlights of her panel]
The panel opened up with what it is like to film in Steveston. Jennifer think it is really cool and likes that the place that acts as Gold’s shop sells Once Upon a Time merchandise like Once Upon a Time onesies and Zelena’s necklace.
The panel got interesting when a fan asked her which villain she would like to play from Once Upon a Time.
Jennifer got cryptic and said she can’t tell the fan nor the audience which villain she would like to play as she isn’t allowed to say. I wonder what that could mean?
Another fan asked what stories Jennifer wants to see on Once Upon a Time, she replied “I won’t make assumptions of what is coming. But I know where they are going but I can’t tell you.”
When someone screamed out a Brave story arc, Jennifer liked that idea and added her own saying she would love to see the show branch out to literature. Jennifer cited she thinks it would be interesting to go into the world of The Great Gatsby or Huckleberry Finn. “Classic pieces of literature interacting with fairly tale characters would be cool.”
When a fan asked what her favourite Once Upon a Time story arc, Jennifer had a hard time choosing but did single out the season 3 arc in Neverland and how Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz took a leap of faith with it.
“I liked we had 11 episodes with one villain in Neverland and another 11 episodes with another villain,” she shared with the audience. Jennifer also liked the Frozen arc “Disney trusted us with those characters and Eddie and Adam really folded them in.” Jennifer also loved how Elsa helped Emma grow through their friendship. Also, Jennifer said that Emma’s magic mimics Elsa as it is assumed she taught her.
When asked what it was liked to work with Hugh Laurie, Jennifer described as incredible to work with and said the same of Robert Carlyle.
Jennifer said she would love to be brave and fearless like Emma and that one of the hardest part of playing Emma is that the weight of the world is on her shoulders.
Aside from Emma Swan, Jennifer’s favourite characters are the Queens of Darkness and the Frozen girls. While she doesn’t get to be in any of the fairy tale scenes, Jennifer enjoys seeing them being filmed. Jennifer did share that one of her favourite moments from the show is when Rumple snapped his fingers and Belle was transformed into the iconic gold dress and then had that Beauty and the Beast ballroom dance moment. “The little girl in me went aww.”
Jennifer also directed a short film called Warning Labels that was recently accepted at the Tribeca Film Festival and will premiere April 18. The movie stars include Doctor Who’s Karen Gillian and iZombie’s Rose McIvor. The movie about people who are assigned a label in the universe then get assigned a new label in the mail. Jennifer described the video as silly, fun and romantic. “I loved directing, it felt natural to me and want do more in the future.”
As to how she got into acting, Jennifer cited watching high school musicals. The crowd gave a big cheer but she clarified she actually meant musicals put on by high schools and not the movies that starred Zac Efron.
Jennifer got a bit emotional talking about the research she did into the foster care system for Emma’s backstory but there was a light hearted moment when a young man, who recently got his braces off asked Jennifer out on a date.
When asked who are her closest friends from Once Upon a Time, Jennifer singled out Ginny (Ginnifer Goodwin, who plays her mom Snow White) but they were friends before the show started. Jennifer also developed a friendship Rose Mciver when she played Tinkerbell that continued while Rose was filming iZombie.
Jennifer also outlined her six days a week workout regiment which includes running, hot yoga, spinning, swimming and doing ballet. All of this is to help keep her endurance up for the show.
On Emma’s love interests, Jennifer said to have all those men across from Emma has been incredible listing Jamie Dornan, Michael-Raymond James and Colin O’Donoghue as examples. “Eddie and Adam are great at finding people that I have natural chemistry with. I appreciate the friendship I have with those men and grateful it translated on screen.”