“Once Upon a Time” is bringing one of Disney’s most beloved characters to life in Sunday’s (Nov. 3) episode titled “Ariel.” Actress JoAnna Garcia Swisher, who plays the Little Mermaid, tells Zap2it that she forms a very sweet friendship with Snow White.
“Ariel comes upon Snow at a moment where Snow really needs her and they have this friendship. It’s cool to see how I’m able to save Snow from a near-death experience, and in return she’s able to give me the courage to follow my dreams and follow my heart and find the man that I’m madly in love with. It’s a really sweet friendship that is struck almost instantly,” says Garcia Swisher.
Part of their friendship involves Snow teaching Ariel about the ways of being a princess, to help her win her love, Prince Eric.
“[Prince Eric] is a prince in a different kingdom. But because Snow is a princess she’s
accustomed to going to incredible, fabulous balls and she’s able to give
me my first taste of how to live in this regal world of balls and
princes,” says Garcia Swisher. “What I love about ‘Ariel’ is that it really does honor the original story and original love affair. I fall in love at first sight when I save him and he has this vision of me. There is that real, beautiful love-at-first-sight component that honors the story.”
In honoring the story, naturally “OUAT” had to have its Ursula, which we saw in the previews was none other than resident Evil Queen Regina. Garcia Swisher says that was a great reveal, rivaling one other spoiler that she’s very excited about — despite not wanting to know too much about the show this season.
“For me — there’s a couple of times where I told [creators] Eddie and Adam … I just need to be very clear. You guys know I’m a fan of the show, I don’t want any spoilers. Please just tell me what I need to know to create this character,” says Garcia Swisher.
“They probably thought I was a ding-dong,” she laughs. “but I really was serious about it. I want to be surprised, I want to go along with the journey. But there’s one other spoiler I have, that I obviously I would never share with you, that made me so excited. But Ursula made me equally excited, I was like, ‘Oh my god, it’s Regina!’ The way that it comes to be is just so cool.”
But don’t think we only see Ariel in Fairytale Land flashbacks. She has already teased for Zap2it that we will see her in Neverland — she’s instrumental in helping save Henry.
“Once Upon a Time” airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. For more information, check out the show’s official website.