Entertainment Weekly has been doing a series of interviews with the cast of Once Upon A Time, leading up to it’s season 7 premiere tomorrow night. I thought one particular interview needed to be covered, because it’s groundbreaking in terms of the character.
Which character am a I referring to? Why, none other than Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. That’s right, OUAT is introducing Disney’s first African American princess to the small screen. I find this move to be amazing for the show, and of all the new characters they are adding, I’m looking forward to Tiana the most.
The actress who will be portraying Tiana, Mekia Cox, tells EW she’s excited to bring her to life in the first live action adaption. Cox states in the interview that as a kid she used to work in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Florida.
She says she always wanted to be a princess, but couldn’t because there wasn’t one for her to play. She says of the experience, “And so when the movie came out in 2009, I was like, ‘Oh, some little girl has the opportunity to do that now.'” Now, so can Cox.
Cox was amazed at seeing her princess dress for the first time. Matter of fact, she didn’t even know it was hers until she was told. She also describes her first day on set as “pretty amazing”.
She’ll make her debut in the season premiere – at least, her cursed self will – and hopefully, those fans who haven’t heard about OUAT adapting this character will be pleased. Having the representation of what Tiana stands for on a show such as this will mean a lot to many viewers.
Now, for the good stuff. The background on Tiana, as she pertains to OUAT. Tiana has a love for cooking, and Cox states episode 5 will be her backstory. Her cursed counter part is named Sabine, and Cox states that writers have tried to meld the movie and the stories of The Princess and the Frog together to make the story work for OUAT.
She also has a connection to Cinderella (or Jacinda), who is portrayed by Dania Ramirez. When asked about her connection to Ramirez, Cox states that they immediately found a bond. She notes that there was no chemistry read. They are roommates, but they act more like sisters. I think I’m going to love watching this friendship. I love hearing about actors having a connection on screen that is just natural. That’s when magic happens.
Another thing Cox notes is that Tiana has a very close connection to Lucy, who we all know is Cinderella and Henry’s daughter. Cox states that Jacinda, Lucy, and Sabine are a family and have “been together so long that it’s surpassed roommates.” I’m very excited to see this storyline now.
When asked if she thought new fans would jump in and watch after the many criticisms the show has faced, Cox states, “If they wanted to, they could start here.” I’m sure that with the Hook, Rumple, and Regina storylines, that there will be stuff from previous seasons referenced.
My personal opinion is that if you do just jump in this season, and realize there are plot points missing, please go back and watch the rest of the show. You will be missing 6 seasons worth of an amazing story, and wonderful characters that I have fallen in love with over the past 6 years, many of which will be dearly missed this season. This show is known for bringing up old plots from previous seasons, so I can bet that it will happen. I look forward to hearing from new fans finding the older seasons and falling in love with these characters the way I have.
The season 7 premiere of Once Upon A Time, entitled “Hyperion Heights” airs tomorrow (October 6) at 8/7c on ABC!
Come join me on the @fangirlishness Twitter as I live tweet the premiere! See you tomorrow night, Oncers!