Season 2 of Once Upon a Time has turned out to be quite the roller coaster and we are only 5 episodes in! TV Equals got a chance to chat with Raphael Sbarge whom you might know better as Archie (aka Jiminy Cricket) about the new season and his character.
Sbarge talked about Archie and Regina’s relationship, possibly getting more scenes with Henry, and more of what we can expect for Archie this season. Enjoy the interview below and don’t forget to watch a new episode of Once Upon a Time tonight at 8pm on ABC, which also features the fictional character Sbarge really wanted on the show, Jack and the Beanstalk.
What’s coming up for Archie in the remainder of the season?
Raphael Sbarge: What I can say is this, as you know at this point, what you’re seeing is a whole lot of new characters who have been sort of invited to the party here in terms of opening up the world around…that we live in. We had our certain main set of folks and then we’ve had Mulan and Sleeping Beauty and Captain Hook and you’re about to meet Jack and the Beanstalk. There are three or four or five other folks as well. There’s Lancelot. There’s a lot of folks, obviously, coming our way, and they had said as much going into the season. ‘Hey, we’re going to sort of expand the canvas a bit,’ and that’s been true to form. I guess, apparently also taken somewhat from the ‘Lost’ handbook where they did something very similar, where they had the core group and then they expanded and then they came back to the core group.
So that’s what’s happening this year for sure. Obviously, what you’re seeing for Archie is from the beginning of the season, once the curse was reversed and then there was an awareness of, ‘Holy crickey, we’re stuck in this terrible situation. We’ve got to get out. This is terrible, let’s go,’ and then finally at the last moment everyone was turned back by the impassioned speech from Prince Charming. We have now Archie and his desire to want to try and do what he can to help and to make a difference has, as opposed to running from her, turned and gone sort of directly to the mayor, Regina, the Evil Queen to try and reach her in some form or fashion, to try and break through and try and see if he can somehow [help] her bridge to a different side, to try and begin to understand her relationship to magic and what that means.
Obviously, what she has at stake in this case is her relationship to her adopted son, Henry. So, what he is doing is sort of really trying to connect to her, and to try and sort of be reasonable and be maybe counterintuitive as to how one might approach someone who’s done so many terrible things. He’s the man to do it. So you’ll see a bit more of that, and then without being able to give you details, sort of a big encounter will happen between the two of them in the episodes that I’m actually about to shoot right now.
What I love about Archie is that he’s stayed true to himself. The core of him is similar to whom we came to love, even though he’s helping Regina who’s the last person he’d want to help. How will that relationship evolved in upcoming episodes? Does he want her to stop using magic?
Raphael Sbarge: I think he sees that obviously magic is dangerous and that it’s a two sided kind of knife that can cut both ways, in a way. What I believe is that he understands that if she continues to be isolated and continues to be pushed to the margins that more often than not she’s going to continue to go back to what she’s done. We know what she’s done has been terrible and had terrible effects. We’ve all lived not only under a curse that’s now broken, but we’ve lived with sort of death and destruction and at her whim for years and years. By the way, side note, wasn’t it shocking that these incredible writers were actually willing and daring enough to break the curse after the first year? I thought that was amazing.
I have so much respect for that. I was like, ‘What, it’s broken already?’
Raphael Sbarge: I know, like maybe somewhere in year two or three, but it’s gone. Again, I have such respect for these writers and their vision of the show. But what Archie’s trying to do is the only thing he can, [he] is trying to reach [Regina], because obviously everyone else feels rather polarized by this person.
Will we see more of Henry and Archie together this season, maybe later on?
Raphael Sbarge: Yeah, you will, and I had some of those questions as well. Obviously, Archie has been working with Henry at a distance, where he’s sort of counseled them and he’s counseled other people on his behalf and he’s sort of the person that everyone always comes to about Henry, what’s best for Henry, ‘How do we take care of Henry? How do we consider him?’ There’s a lot going on, actually, and I’m told now that will again be addressed. Obviously, there are opportunities for Henry…I mean, at least initially last year, pre end of curse as it were, Archie believed very firmly that this was a sort of psychological issue that he had. So we’re going to get to see what that means, where Archie gets to have some kind of a mea culpa with [Henry] at some point. That will be interesting. That has not been written yet, but that’s what I imagine based upon the trajectories of the courses we’re all on.
Is there a plan for a new Archie centric episode where we find out more about his time as Jiminy Cricket?
Raphael Sbarge: At this point, what I can tell you is that I think we’re still dealing with the curse and still kind of dealing with the unraveling. I think there’s an opportunity for that, for sure and to get more back story. There’s a lot of people on Twitter that keep asking about Archie’s love life and what’s his life outside the office. They know he has this sweet Dalmatian, but what else is behind those glasses essentially. I know there’s an opportunity for that and I’ve been told that we’re going to be exploring some of that. I know that they now have their hands full with not one, but three worlds and our two stars sort of fighting their way to get back, and then trying to finesse, trying to recalibrate post-curse.
So, a love interest is a maybe for Archie?
Raphael Sbarge: Here’s what I know, before we went to Comic-Con over the summer, we all produced kind of a Storybrooke.com kind of a website which is what we’re all looking for in a mate, as it were, and if someone were to come along that this is what we want. What I thought was that they were setting up stories for all of us to begin to figure what those were, a romantic kind of possibilities for. It seems like that’s a fertile ground for conversation and we’ll see where this goes. There’s a lot of polling going on, on the internet, as to where people want to see them. I’m staying out of it and waiting on the sidelines to see what will be discovered.
If you could bring any fictional character to the show, which one would it be?
Raphael Sbarge: The one that I said for a long time is the one that they are literally going to do next week which is Jack and the Beanstalk.
There you go, wish fulfilled.
Raphael Sbarge: Yeah, but what they’ve also done now by going out of the Disney characters or out of some of the more mythical characters, or characters from myths that they’ve just now opened up Frankenstein and obviously they’ve got the Mad Hatter. So they’ve got another offer at work here. Lewis Carroll. So we’ve got in this case the opportunities for them to continue to open up stories. It’s going to be quite interesting.
If you could talk to Archie, what would you tell him?
Raphael Sbarge: Well, I guess I would say…he’s a good man who really wants to do the right thing, and he’s clearly impassioned by his own desire to try and right the wrong that he feels that he perpetrated as a kid. Clearly, his life’s mission has been about trying to set things right. What I would hope to say to him is just to let him know in this case that he’s a good man and to let him know that he’s doing the right thing. And that a lot of people count on both his counsel and his good deeds. You wonder sometimes if someone so impassioned and intent on trying to do the right thing, if they’re aware of the good that they do. I would just want him to know that a lot of people are counting on him.
Once Upon a Time airs on Sundays at 8pm on ABC.
[Update: Raphael Sbarge also has an organization that he is passionate about called "Green Wish." Find out what he had to say about it below.]
Can you talk a bit about the organization you support “Green Wish” and what its goals are?
Raphael Sbarge: I’ve never really considered myself an environmentalist with a capital E. But when my daughter, Gracie, was born I looked around and asked myself: What kind of planet are we getting ready to pass on to our kids? The birth of my son, Django, just helped to solidify that feeling, and from it all came Green Wish, a nonprofit, green organization that works to help other local nonprofit environmental groups achieve their goals and projects.
The group began in Los Angeles, where we’ve focused on working with up to 10 local groups, including Friends of the Los Angeles River, Algalita Marine Research Foundation, Coalition for Clean Air and others. We strive to pass along ninety cents of every dollar collected via small donations at local retailers and events as well as through online donations. I’m so thrilled to share that this year we’re launching Green Wish chapters in the Midwest and Northwest, as well. Each chapter selects local nonprofits that are focused on environmental concerns that benefit the area and its citizens.
It’s been an honor and a joy to watch what started out as an idea to help the planet on a local level spread to other communities throughout the country. We’re always looking for new cities to bring into the Green Wish family, as well — if anyone’s interested in starting a chapter in their community, we’d love to hear from them at firstname.lastname@example.org!