Sean Maguire discusses ‘Once Upon a Time’
Bandit: Is this your first Comic Con?
Sean: No, I’ve been to a couple now. This is now my fourth or fifth I think.
Bandit: First one in New York or?
Sean: You know, I actually did come to this one. I had a TV show called Krod Mandoon. And we kinda launched that show here about 2007 or 2008. So, I was here once before.
Bandit: Actually that was going to be my first question, Kord Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire. I remember watching it one night and I had no idea how to explain it.
Sean: We sort of called it a medieval A-Team. That were rubbish. It’s probably the best way to describe it.
Bandit: So, if it was the A-Team then who would you be?
Sean: I guess I’d be Hannibal. I suppose. If that analogy is to hold up. But yeah, I think that was how Peter A. Knight sort of pictured it, a medieval bumbling A-Team. Trying to be good. Trying to do right. But they’re just a hopeless bunch of idiots.
Bandit: You have also done a lot of stage. So, how was the transition to stage? Because I know acting in the UK is a lot different from acting here in the US.
Sean: Ummm, yeah! I mean, it’s just different training ground so to speak. You know, I mean, I love doing theater. I love doing television there. All different mediums in a way, that I mean that, theater tends to be an actors medium. Film tends to be a directors medium and television tends to be a producers medium. By that I mean in theater once an actor comes on stage you can’t really stop them. They’re the in flow, it’s their thing, and they own it until the curtain goes down. With TV it’s more to do with what producers want. It’s their show. You have to sort of give them what they are trying to achieve. And in film, the director kinda calls the shots. So, they’re all interesting and fun for different reasons.
Bandit: So, do you have a favorite?
Sean: I mean, I’ve kinda grown up, my whole life doing television. So, it’s something I’m comfortable with. Something that I know. But, you know, making a movie is a special thing, you know. Because you feel like you’re making something. TV kind of comes and goes a bit like today’s newspaper. While film tends to sort of last more. So, you know, I think most actors will tell you that everyone wants to make at least one great film that will live on after they’ve shuttled off.
Bandit: So, when you’re not doing film, you’re there for Once Upon a Time. How did the Robin Hood happen?
Sean: Well, there was another actor called Tom who played the role in the season before me. And he could not reprise the role because he was on another show and so, they just did the usual thing where they had auditions. I was painting my kitchen and I got a call saying ‘do you want to go?’ and I was like ‘No, I want to paint.’ I was just in a kind of grumpy mood and I didn’t really want to go and my wife said ‘It’s Robin Hood. You, you could be Robin Hood. I can see you in that’. And I was like ‘Oh! Alright!’ And I think I was in that sort of, slightly sort of belligerent mood I kinda did it right, and kind really did my best, and I was very decisive about what I wanted to do in the audition and despite chance they were like ‘Yeah! That’s what we want’. And so, it just came about.
Bandit: So, when we last left you in the scene opener and Marian coming back, the relationship between Regina and Robin kind of changed again.
Bandit: So, how do you feel about that? I mean, they leaving Robin there.
Sean: I think Robin’s very confused and in turmoil really. I mean, he’s an honorable man and he went about his life as it’s in the episode but he’s still in love with Regina so, he’s in an unusually difficult situation. There’s not many people who would go ‘Oh! That typical thing where your wife comes back from the dead’. So, it’s tough because he’s torn between the woman that he’s betrothed to and honor and the one, his wife died and he mourned her. He got on with his life and fell in love again. As it happens. It’s just an unusual for his wife to come back.
Bandit: It’s cruel.
Sean: Yes, certainly the first part of the season is to examine how he’d deal with that. If you’re a decent guy. How do you reconcile your split heart and mind.
Bandit: So, are we going to see more of you this season?
Sean: Yes, that much I can tell you.
Bandit: What more can we expect besides the turmoil between the Regina and Marion?
Sean: I don’t know if I can say. There’s a strong code of secrecy on the show. If I say anything, Robin might be dead in the next episode so, I’m going to keep my lips shut on the future. All I can talk about is the how do I feel about the scenario and…All I will say is that this Sunday there’s an interesting element between the three people.
Bandit: So, is there anyone Robin hasn’t had a scene with yet that you would like, or at least had a moment?
Sean: Me and Colin have had scenes together but we’ve never really had a scene where it’s just the kind of two of us. It’s always been a group thing. And Colin and I’ve always been good friends and I think he’s a phenomenal actor and I would love to work more with Colin. But it’s kind of like picking between your kids. They’re the nicest people in the world. All of them. It’s just a terrific bunch. So, it’s very difficult to say one over the other. And they’re also phenomenally talented. Everyone raises your game, you know, they are all really really stellar actors. So, I’m happy with whoever I’m working with.
Bandit: So, you said you are Colin are also friends in real life. Is there any sense of camaraderie amongst the other actors?
Sean: Oh! Huge. Do you mean on the show?
Sean: Oh! Yeah! I mean there are long days. 15 to 16 hours days. So, the whole lot is sitting around. But it’s kind of like high school but without the meanness and the bullying. It’s just a great camaraderie and a great friendship and a lot of mutual respect. There’s honestly out of my heart, there isn’t one person on the show I don’t really enjoy hanging out with or working with.
Bandit: Any pranks that go on?
Sean: You know, people have asked me this before but not really, not pranks. I mean, we are a bunch of actors so, we are naturally entertainers by trade. So, you know, when you sit around with a bunch of talented actors you tend to entertain each other. So, there’s silliness and jokes and you know, just that kind of, you know, when you’ve been working for really long long day or through the night or whatever. You tend to make each other laugh, but I don’t think anyone has got the energy for pranks. Really, you’re going to cling film my toilet after I’ve done 15 hours. So, not really pranks per say, but they are a lot of fun. There’s a lot of laughter.
Bandit: So, do you enjoy your costume by the way? Because everyone tends to be in costume when they’re in, kind of, the Enchanted Forest. But you tend to stay in that as well, even more so.
Sean: Well, I do. I really love the Robin Hood costume because it’s just, it’s like bond putting on the tuxedo. It makes you feel like the character. It makes you take on the personification of that kind of icon. But you know, there’s a lot of layers to it. It’s pretty uncomfortable when you’ve got all those layers and it’s the summer and the quill, the quiver, sorry, and the bow. So, it’s the little cumbersome. Not the most comfortable thing in the world but it’s worth it.
Bandit: Did you learn how to shoot?
Sean: For me, on the first day, I was filming, there was an archer on the set. And I had, ridiculously, had done all this research and read up and thought about how I want to play it and do this and I just completely forgot about the archery. And so, luckily, just by sheer chance the unit stills photographer on the show was a professional archer. So, she taught me, you know, three fingers, hold to the chin, and all of that. But I mean, it’s more about the character rather than just shooting the bow and arrow.
Bandit: So, you went to Fairytales this year in France.
Bandit: So, that kind of the only Once Upon A Time Convention.
Sean: Yeah, I guess.
Bandit: So, how was it?
Sean: it was terrific. I mean Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world obviously. And the fans were just so warm and gracious and gave just a great reception and yeah, it was terrific. Going to another country and seeing hundreds of thousands of people that love something we do all the way over here is just an extreme pleasure. It was just very humbling actually. But we all had a great time. I mean, Lana was there, I was there with my wife. Jared and Emily and you know, for us it’s sort of like a work holiday, you know. And we all hung out in Paris a little bit. We got to enjoy the city as well. It was terrific.
Bandit: The show has a very big fandom on Tumblr. So, are you part of that?
Sean: My only outlet, other than meeting fans, is really just Twitter. And I was not a Twitter user. I’m not a Facebook user. I’ve never been into that kind of, I’m not really a social media guy. But I did it because I wanted to interact with the fans of the show. And I’ve been really fortunate that the fans have been so supportive and warm and welcoming. And you know, of course you’re going to get a hundred people saying something nice to you, you’re going to get one person saying something negative. But I don’t read Tumblr, I don’t read blogs. I don’t read…All I read is what people directly write to me on Twitter. I don’t go looking for people that are going to say sort of negative things.
Bandit: I have to say, as some who does go on Tumblr, you are loved.
Sean: Oh! That’s very nice to hear. I don’t go on it for fear that someone is ‘I just wish he would die now.’
Bandit: No, no. You’re definitely loved.
Sean: That’s really sweet. Thank you.
Bandit: Thank you so much for your time.
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