Exclusive Interview: Once Upon a Time’s Rose McIver Talks About Tinkerbell, Hook, Her Wings, Storybrooke & More

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When we headed to Neverland on Once Upon a Time, we knew that things wouldn’t be as we expected. In fact, while we did meet most of our beloved characters, they didn’t turn out exactly as we remembered them. Take for instance poor Tinkerbell who is not even technically a fairy anymore, having lost her wings due to her trying to help Regina. But her story is not yet over.

TV Equals got a chance to talk to the lovely Rose McIver who plays the iconic Tinkerbell in Once Upon a Time and according to her, there is not only much to learn about her past (and specifically her relationship with Hook), but there is still hope for her to regain her wings and maybe take a trip to Storybrooke.

Find out everything she had to say below, and don’t miss Once Upon a Time on Sundays at 8pm on ABC.

How did you go about creating the character of Tinkberll because she’s so different than what we’ve come to expect of her?

Rose McIver: What was quite liberating was that I didn’t know that I was auditioning for Tinkerbell when I went into the room. So I didn’t bring any of those prior expectations or any apprehension to the character. I went in and read for a fairy. So it was kind of fun. I just played like a street smart, fun party girl, and then I got a call from my agent telling me that I got the role of Tinkerbell. So they don’t necessarily tell you who you’re going in for. Then when I knew I was playing Tinkerbell, I was able to infuse the character elements that I could research with what I had gone in and played in the room without having had that idea. So it was a nice kind of combination.

Is Tinkerbell going to stick with Emma and everyone else, or could her loyalty shift to Peter Pan now that he’s so powerful? Where does she stand at this point?

Rose McIver: I think although Tinkerbell obviously has an alliance with Pan and has history with him, what he’s become and what he’s trying to do, she understands the vast negative repercussions that are going to happen not only for Henry and the team, but for her as well and Neverland. So I think she knows that the team are out to do the right thing and wants to stand by them. I think it’s just probably a little more complicated for her given that she has history with this character.

Are we going to find out more about that history with Peter Pan and how that relationship came about and what she’s been doing on Neverland all this time?

Rose McIver: What’s funny with the show, the way that it’s written is so out of sequence that chronologically you don’t know what’s going to happen. So we’re learning bits and pieces in flashbacks as we speak. I just shot an episode last week that will shed a little light on Tinkerbell’s back story, but yeah, we only learn it in pieces as we go as well. So it’s quite a lot of fun to pick up each episode and learn backwards where you’re from and where you’re going.

Are you allowed to tease that flashback and what it was about?

Rose McIver: We explore a little more about how Tinkerbell knows Hook.

How much about Peter Pan do you think she knows? Are you aware of that, or have they told you?

Rose McIver: She’s obviously been in Neverland with him for a long time and knows his brain and she speaks several times about what Pan is capable of. So, yeah, she does know large amounts of where he’s from and what he’s been up to, but at the same time, as I said, we only really learn as we go as well. Little bits and pieces are revealed each episodes, and so there’s still just lots that we’re just working out as we go, what the creators have up their sleeves and the actors don’t yet know about.

What do you think drives Tinkerbell at this point? What does she wish for?

Rose McIver: I think she wants a home, she wants her wings back. She wants her identity, and having a family of people that have come into her world and sort of swept her off her feet and swept her into chaos and adventure provides a suggestion of that. It suggests that she will be able to maybe find a hint of self again feeling very lost for a long time.

Do you think there’s hope for her to get her wings back?

Rose McIver: I hope so. She wants to fly again. It’s where she belongs. She’s a fairy. Although you can understand where the blue fairy came from and removing them, but also Tinkerbell was pretty justified in her behavior with Regina and it would be lovely to see her get her wings back.

How is her relationship with Regina going to evolve? Does she still want to help Regina be a happier person?

Rose McIver: She knows Regina better than anyone else in some ways. She’s seen her fall and she’s seen her be more vulnerable than a lot of other characters have. So she has a special connection with her, and definitely a desire to see her fulfill who she could be. Understandably she was really hurt by her as well. So there’s more of a complication than she just wants Regina to do well, but I think in the long run she cares about her a lot and definitely hopes that they’re able to get Henry back.

If there was a relationship that was going to come out of them saving Henry, could that mean Tinkerbell would go to Storybrooke at some point?

Rose McIver: I think you’ll start to know a little bit more about that in the next couple of weeks.

Is there a moment that stands out for you so far since being on ‘Once Upon A Time’?

Rose McIver: We had a couple of night shoots which weirdly were incredibly cold by a river and kind of harrowing in some ways, but there’s another side of it, which I said to somebody that it feels like a school camp. You are all huddled around a heater in a tent, and you get this real camaraderie when you’re on location and everybody who I’m working with is so lovely, and so I’ve really enjoyed that. That was actually for the scene that aired on Sunday night, of us approaching Gold and Regina, and talking to them. I enjoyed shooting that scene just for the sense of being on set and the quite a bit of conflict, the drama that was in that scene, was great.

If you could talk to Tinkerbell, what would you tell her?

Rose McIver: I would say don’t let go of who you were, and it’s the advice that she gave to Regina. It is possible to love again and it’s possible to find a happy ending. And Tinkerbell was so busy looking for it for other people that it’d be nice to see that happen for her.

If you could guest star on any other show, which one would it be?

Rose McIver: I think at the moment it would be something a comedy. My friend, who I’m working with on ‘Once Upon A Time’ was on ‘How I Met Your Mother,’ and she said that was a lot of fun. Something like that would be great.

Thanks for your time, and I can’t wait to see that flashback episode.

Rose McIver: Yeah, get excited. It is a good one. It’ll definitely get people talking.

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

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