Swan’s Lake – Jennifer Morrison For BELLO Mag

Featured in Bello Mag #52 November 2013 Holiday Issue.


Jennifer Morrison is no stranger to success. Fans of the long-running House remember her as Dr. Allison Cameron, but now she gets to portray one fierce fairy tale character, Emma Swan, on ABC’s Once Upon a Time. The time-and-universe-hopping adventure has seen her battling dragons, climbing beanstalks, and holding her own with one of the most eclectic ensembles on television. For the uninitiated, Morrison’s Emma is the long-lost daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming. As an orphan, Emma at her core is a survivor, and the end result is a well-rounded portrayal of a modern woman thrown into extraordinary circumstances.

Photography Benny Haddad
Styling Annabelle Harron
Hair Riawna Capri
MakeUp Colleen Campbell Owell
Art Direction and Production Leslie Alejandro
Words by Scott Youngbauer


“What’s fun about playing Emma is that she can in one moment be incredibly courageous and tough as nails,” she says. “Then in the next moment something can trigger her, and she’s crying, reduced to feeling like when she was ten years old.”

Morrison chats with me over the phone from her Los Angeles apartment where she’s recovering from a hectic schedule. She just finished shooting episode nine in Vancouver and has returned from the chaos at New York Comic Con. Today, she’s recuperating after a red-eye flight.

When it comes to discussing women finding their niche in television, Morrison thinks it all has to do with what’s being written in the scripts. “The writers are finding ways to write complicated and real women,” she observes. “I think for a long time, and still in certain areas, a lot of female characters are very two-dimensional. They’re there to serve a purpose for someone else. Shows like OUAT, Revenge, and Scandal are written in a sort of way that shows how these women are complicated. They’re independent [and] smart, but they’re also damaged, hurt, and vulnerable. Television is where the writers are really starting to capture the more accurate complexities of being a woman.”

With a 22-episode shooting schedule, Morrison is always on the go, but she tries to find time for herself when she can. “I’m a big reader. I’m always in the middle of a book. I love watching old movies. I have Apple TV so I have access to as many as possible. The last movie I bought was Harold and Maude, which I love. I also do my best to go back to the cities that are home for me so I can see my family.”

Naturally, we have to talk about our favorite Disney characters – after all, she’s employed by the Big Mouse himself – but before we do, someone interrupts her over the line. Her sister has walked through the door, making Morrison laugh out loud. “Sorry,” she giggles, “my sister just walked in with like a hundred pumpkins, and I don’t even know how you carried all of these.” Muffled laughter continues, and it’s pretty contagious.

Family is evidently important to Morrison, and she cherishes every moment she gets to have with them. While reminiscing about her childhood, she returns to the question at hand. “Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella have always been my two favorites. I always wanted to play Alice as a little girl.”

Seems like Emma Swan will have to do in the meantime, unless the OUAT writers have some kind of identity-swapping storyline up their creative sleeves… But Morrison has no complaints.

With families and Disneyphiles tuning in every Sunday night, what more could they ask for than a heroine as strong and determined as Emma?

Young girls of the world, meet your new action hero/Disney princess.











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This fashion story + Interview from Bello Mag Issue #52 with Jennifer Morrison and Milo Ventimiglia on the main covers is available to purchase worldwide on iTunes Newsstand for iPad and iPhone.


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