Lana Parrilla ‘Fairest Of Them All’ For BELLO Fashion + Exclusive Outtakes

Featured in BELLO mag April 2015 issue.

Playing the bitch on ABC’s Once Upon a Time is a hard job, but the lovely Lana Parrilla is more than up to it. Stepping into the role of the Evil Queen, also known as Regina, who puts a curse on an alternate fantasy realm, Parrilla quickly became the scene-stealer of the show when debuting back in 2011.

Parrilla’s performance as Regina is nothing short of brilliant, and one of the more complex character studies of the series. Throughout its four seasons, viewers have been taken on Regina’s journey toward redemption wherein she transitions from a bitter woman fueled by revenge on Snow White (played by the apple-cheeked Ginnifer Goodwin) to someone whom the audience can’t help but root for to find happiness.

A trend that began with Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked, which portrayed Oz’s green witch as the misunderstood heroine, recent pop culture television has tried to get underneath the skin of classic villains. While Snow White gets the prince at the end of her fairy tale, wasn’t it always the Evil Queen who as a child you were always more fascinated by? Recently, Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent and Cate Blanchett’s Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella have been huge successes; both actresses crafted interesting character studies of seemly one-dimensional roles. Parrilla’s pitch-perfect Evil Queen no doubt deserves a ranking right up there with both of those actresses who have tackled Disney’s villians.

Parrilla has been steadily working in TV since the early 2000s with her breakthrough role on Spin City as a recurring cast member. Other notable TV credits throughout the years have included Boomtown, 24, and Lost. Parrilla currently divides time between shooting the show in Vancouver and her home in Los Angeles. In reality, Parrilla is actually quite the polar opposite of the icy Regina. I caught her on break from filming the two-part finale of the current fourth season.

She describes to me her first impression of the role: “When I first read the script I read her as a very sad and lonely woman who was obviously living with all this pain and hate, but we really didn’t know where it came from.” Through the course of season one the viewers were given more insight into how she became the Evil Queen persona whom we all grew up reading about. Telling me about the challenges of playing Regina, Parrilla says that “she’s constantly evolving, and constantly changing; we’re constantly chipping away and learning more about her. That’s not so much the challenge, but part of the fun of learning about her.”

Along with Parrilla’s performance, a lot of the execution of the Evil Queen can be lent to OUAT’s lead costume designer, Eduardo Castro, the man responsible for all of the lavish styles adorning the actors. Decked out head to toe in fairy tale couture, the Evil Queen no doubt has all the makings of a fashion icon while wearing garments that look like they walked off a Paris runway. Gushing about Castro’s work, she says, “Oh my god, he’s incredible. What a vision! His costumes…each and every one of them is so unique. There’s this modern twist [and] the colors have such flair. I love working with him. They are hard to breathe in at times, but they help shape the character a tremendous amount. I can at least feel it in the performance.”

Season four has proved to be one of the most challenging for Regina, wherein she tries to fight for good while still being tempted by the dark side in the form of equally spectacular co-villains Ursula the Sea Witch (Merrin Dungey), Cruella De Vil (Victoria Smurfit) and Maleficent (Kristin Bauer van Straten). Parrilla does nothing but rave about the three actresses, and shares a story of a memorable shooting day in which she and Bauer van Straten endured the icy cold British Columbia weather to shoot a scene that features Maleficent turning into a dragon. She says the end result of the beautiful but vigorous shooting day was “spectacular” to see come to life in the episode when it aired.

The misunderstood Regina has come a long way since bursting through the chapel doors on Snow White’s wedding day, condemning everyone to the town of Storybrooke. Viewers are on the edge of their seats, waiting to see which direction her character will head. Will Regina find salvation? Or will she go back to her evil ways (which are arguably the more fun scenes to watch)? Either way, the charming Parrilla is having the time of her life, and taking the magical journey in stride.

Lana Parrilla For BELLO mag Fashion - April 2015

photography JOSH REED
hair JONATHAN HANOUSEK for Exclusive Artists Management using T3 Tools Nails
manicurist PILAR LAFARGUE using Dolce & Gabbana
stylist assistant HOPE GRIFFIN

Because we love Lana and we love you guys so much, here are a couple of exclusive outtakes from her BELLO mag shoot:



About The Author

Stephane Marquet
Creative Director

First of all, excuse my French! … I was born in the South of France. Lived in Paris for 10 years and travelled the world until I moved to Los Angeles in 2008, because obviously recession was a great time to move to a new country! I also arrived around Halloween and was greeted at the Social Security offices by a nurse who directed to the window Number 6 so a witch could hand me my social security number. Welcome to America. I am a painter, a photographer and the creative director of BELLO mag.

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