In present-day Storybrooke, Maine, the fairy tale characters we know and love — Snow White, Prince Charming, and even Jiminy Cricket — have been trapped without their happy endings, perpetually stuck in time via a curse. Lana Parrilla gets to play the baddie who put them there.

“I’m having a blast,” says the actress, who plays the Evil Queen with deliciously cruel flair.

But the residents of Storybrooke — including, seemingly, the queen — are unaware of their true identities. In this real-world parallel to the lost fairy tale realm, Parrilla plays the mayor, Regina, who isn’t much kinder than her alter ego.

“I’ve worked pretty hard at showing the contrast between the two characters,” Parrilla says. “The queen is very powerful and puts everything out there, where Regina, she masks everything. I think she’s a much more complex character, but I love them both. It’s a lot of fun.”

 
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