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'Once Upon A Time' Scoop: Kristin Bauer Spills On Playing The Queen's 'Frenemy'

Fri, October 28, 2011 3:38pm EDT by Andy Swift Add first Comment
ABC/Jack Rowand

Kristin makes her debut as Maleficent this Sunday & she gave the scoop on her wicked new role!

The Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) may seem like the biggest, baddest witch on Once Upon A Time, but all that will change when Kristin Bauer Van Straten makes her debut as Maleficent on the Oct. 30 episode. The two ladies are lot like the fairy tale versions of L.C. and Kristin from The Hills — but with even crazier magical powers. “We tried to create this longstanding frenemy thing,” Kristin tells “There’s something the Queen wants from her, so Maleficent holds that power, and she definitely enjoys their game of cat and mouse.”


Read on for my full interview with Kristin:

>>> Maleficent is an evil icon at this point. What was it like stepping into such a familiar character?

Yeah, literally “stepping in!” I went in for the wardrobe fitting and put this [costume] on and went, “Oh my God. This is incredible. This is so much fun.” I read the scene and I had an immediate spark that came to me, but you never know if that’s correct. But after doing this for 17 years, I usually end up using that — my first impression — and building on it.


>>> Most people know her from the Disney movie, but your Maleficent looks nothing like that. Did you try to make your version as different as possible?

I YouTubed Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty and I sort of had these warning bells going off in my head, like “You have to make it your own. You have to do something separate and new and really build the character.” When you have a human doing it, instead of a cartoon character, it’s going to be very different. And then you have the LOST guys, so there’s always part of you that wants to find a new layer and a new take. But I also didn’t want to lose the essence of her evilness; I remember being very frightened by her when I was seven.


>>> And you think you were able to find Maleficent’s second layer?

I think so! I’ve found that when I see these iconic, evil characters — like Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs — it’s helpful for them to have redeeming qualities. Like, he was really into classical music and had great taste. So that’s what Lana and I tried to do; we tried to create this longstanding frenemy thing. We tried to develop some color, like a chess game, because there’s something the Queen wants from her. So Maleficent holds that power, and she definitely enjoys their game of cat and mouse.


>>> Frenemies, eh? So we can expect a pretty fair amount of drama between the two women?

Definitely. I’m always working with these envirommental and animal causes, so I read a little bit about different chess moves happening on earth between countries, and [our relationship] is a bit like that. It’s politics.


>>> And how does Maleficent stack up against [your ‘True Blood’ character] Pam?

Pam is very direct, what you see is what you get. And what’s fun about playing her is that she says the first thing that comes into her mind. This is the opposite of that. Maleficent isn’t going to say what’s on her mind. They’re two very different chicks.


>>> Will we see Maleficent in Storybrooke as well, or is she strictly in the Enchanted Forest?

She’s strictly in the fantasy world at the moment, and I can only imagine how she’d end up in Storybrooke.


>>> Maleficent’s episode hasn’t even aired yet, but I already want more. Is there a chance you’ll be back in the future?

I hope so! It’s left open, so we just have to see how it plays out with scheduling and writing. But it’s totally open, and it’d be fun.


— Andy Swift

Follow Andy on Twitter for more Once Upon A Time scoop

And watch a preview of the Oct. 30 episode below:

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