It's not easy being Charming -- just ask Josh Dallas, star of ABC's newly renewed "Once Upon a Time" (Sundays at 8 p.m. ET). While Dallas' fairytale alter-ego is exactly the kind of noble prince we'd expect from a Disney fable, his Storybrooke counterpart, David, is still trapped by the Evil Queen's curse, which has led him to make some seriously less-than-heroic decisions over recent weeks.
Fans are still rooting for Snow White and Prince Charming -- and Mary Margaret and David -- to find their happily ever after, so HuffPost TV caught up with Dallas ahead of Sunday's season finale to find out what the game-changing episode has in store for our two favorite couples, his thoughts on David's not-so-charming actions and what he'd like to see in Season 2. Tread carefully: light spoilers ahead.
Last week's episode basically led us up to where we first met Snow and Charming in the pilot. What can we expect for them in the finale?
The finale is bananas. It's going to blow your mind. Last week's episode kind of followed Snow's story and about what's going on with Snow. The finale follows Charming the whole way, his story and where he's coming from. And the finale fills in a lot of the holes in the story that we presented in the pilot. It kind of fills those in and gives you answers to those. And it's going to surprise you in many ways for things you didn't know. It's like a train that doesn't stop going!
It sounds like an action-packed episode. Is the emphasis more on what's going on in Storybrooke than the Fairytale flashbacks, or is it evenly split?
I think it's kind of evenly split between the two worlds and what's going on. Most episodes I think we try to do an even split as much as we can.
How does David tie into the narrative on the Storybrooke side?
I mean, poor David! I always feel for David so much. The curse has really affected him. And by the nature of the curse, he can't have any of the attributes that Charming has. He can't be brave; he can't be honest; he can't be noble; he can't be forthright; he can't be all these things. But he's trying. I think David is still trying to figure who he is and his place in the world, and his place in Storybrooke and whether or not Storybrooke is the place for him. So he might make a decision to possibly get out of there. You're going have to tune in on Sunday to see the rest ...
Excellent segue, because I love that the writers have really played up the duality of the characters in the different worlds: Charming is so heroic, but David's been decidedly less than perfect, which fits with how flawed we all are in real life.
Right, exactly -- he gave her the wrong card on Valentine's! I mean, what a tool. [Laughs.]
I think there were probably a lot of women who wanted to strangle him on Mary Margaret's behalf over that.
I wanted to strangle him, as the actor playing him. But you know, this curse is a strong one, and like I said, he can't have all those things that Charming has. That's part of his curse ... It's hard. It's hard for David. He's struggling. But I think there's some redemption coming in him. I think you can see moments. And I think even in the last episode and certainly in the finale, you're going to see more Charming coming out in David. And it's in there. It's inside of him because it's the same person, so it's in there fighting to get out.
Did you ever worry about whether his actions were coming across as too unsympathetic?
Oh no, I fully tried to go there. [Laughs.] I wanted that duality, that total disconnect. I wanted to play him as unsympathetic or as sympathetic in whoever's eyes we're watching. It didn't matter to me. As an actor, I'm just playing what I'm given and trying to make them as different as possible ... as different as the same person can be. But I think the boys, Eddie [Kitsis] and Adam [Horowitz] are just genius storytellers and such good writers, and I think they're really finding David's voice and how the curse has affected him. So it's been a pleasure to play that duality. And you know, if it's unsympathetic then unfortunately, that's the nature of the curse. So I'll play it as much as I can.
Lana [Parrilla] seems to have so much fun playing Regina's villainous tendencies. Do you ever wish you could go full-on evil for a couple of episodes?
Oh sure, of course! I mean, it's got to be a lot of fun right? Villains are always fantastic characters. And Lana and Bobby [Carlyle] are such consummate actors. Bobby has been, for a long time, a huge hero of mine; I've followed him, I've watched his movies as I was growing up. And it was just a real thrill and honor to know that I was going to be sharing the same screen as him.
Have you had any discussions with the producers about your potential arcs in Season 2?
None at all. [Laughs.] These guys are so secretive. And we don't find out what the episode is until about three days before we start shooting it. So we kind of discover it as you guys discover it in many ways. So I don't know anything about potential Season 2 storylines or anything like that, but I'm hoping there's going to be more delving into the backstories of all the characters that we already know -- and finding out so much more about them, because there is so much more to find out, and also adding new people to come and play with us.
Is there anything in particular you'd love to see next year, not necessarily for David so much as for the show in general?
I would love it -- because it's just one of my favorites -- I would love to see Jack and the Beanstalk.
Well, we did see that the fairies once had magic beans, so that could totally happen, right?
Looking back on the season, do you have a favorite scene or moment that really stands out?
Yeah, there's been a few. In the finale, there's some pretty epic scenes between Charming and Rumple that are coming up, and I really did enjoy it. And certainly I loved shooting the third episode. It was kind of the meeting of Snow and Charming in Fairytale Land; I enjoyed filming that episode so much. It was such an amazing thing to be able to go back and recreate these characters and recreate their meeting and how Charming got his name "Charming." That was a definite favorite of mine.
Yeah, I think I would say that Episode 3 and "Hat Trick" were my favorites of the season.
Oh, I love "Hat Trick," too! Even though I wasn't in it. [Laughs] I loved it. I thought it was great. I thought that everybody went in and killed it and did a great job on it. And it's a different episode from all the other ones. It had a different feel to it. It's slightly edgier and darker. I liked it a lot.
In terms of other projects coming up for you, have you seen a script or had any discussions relating to "Thor 2" yet?
Yeah, that's next. In fact, I just had a costume fitting for that yesterday. So the stuff is looking amazing, and I can't wait to start going back on more adventures in Asgard with the other boys. It's going to be fun. We're shooting that in London. So I'm going to be going back and forth. We start that actually in August, so I'm going to be going back and forth from Vancouver -- which is where we shoot the show -- to London.
I didn't even think about the potential clash. I imagined you would be shooting it during hiatus, but it doesn't always work out that way.
Yeah. Actually, it was going to work out that way, and then we had a change of director. We've gotten the magnificent Alan Taylor on board, so things had to be pushed a little bit. I'm not saying that they were pushed specifically for Alan, that's just the way it happens sometimes. So now, I'm just kind of taking it easy. I went to the White House Correspondents Dinner, which was an amazing event to go to and just be in that room with those people. I went back to my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky for the Kentucky Derby last week. I'm in New York for the Met Ball and some other things. So yeah, I'm having a good time. And by the time I know it, it's going to be time to go back up to Vancouver and start shooting more "Once Upon A Time," my fingers crossed. [Note: The show was officially renewed for Season 2 a couple of hours after the interview.]
How would you pitch the finale to get people to tune in, aside from "bananas"?
I kind of feel like it'll be a mix. Like I said, it's like a train that doesn't stop going; it just keeps going. You're going to have so many answers fulfilled, but you're going to have so many questions left.
Do you think fans will be satisfied with where the finale leaves David and Mary Margaret as a couple?
I think they're going to have to tune in on Sunday. [Laughs.] Because I fear for my job. The ending in the finale is something that the fans are not going expect, at all. So it's exciting. Super exciting.
The "Once Upon A Time" season finale airs Sunday, May 13 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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