In both Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest, there is a woman so tough, anyone would think twice about messing with her. The Evil Queen? Nope! We are talking about the crossbow carrying, family defending, sassy strong Granny played to perfection by Beverley Elliott. At Regal Con, Zach Van Norman had the opportunity to talk to Beverley about all things Once and more.
Zach: Hi Bev. I’m Zach Van Norman from OnceUponAFans.com, the number one fansite for the show. I think you met my colleague Ashley, who cosplays as Granny.
Beverley: Oh yeah, yeah. She came as Granny at Dragon Con, it was great.
Zach I wanted to start off talking about Season One where we had a little more of Granny’s presence than later seasons. The episode “Red Handed” which had that huge reveal that Red was actually the wolf and Granny was just trying to protect her the whole time. When you first got that script and saw that twist, what did you think about that?
Beverley: (Laughs) Well up until that point my character, Granny, had had a few lines here, maybe a line there. I got the script right before Christmas and it’s funny because my sister and brother in law were visiting. And with all actors, you sort of read through going “ok crap crap crap, ok my line” …So I was going through and it was all “my line, my line, my monologue my monologue…OH MY GOD this is a BIG episode!” There were just big chunks of dialogue like when I spoke to the town’s people in the tavern and told them the story of what had happened. That was three minutes and 26 seconds of straight dialogue. I know because I believe it was Helga who was in charge of continuity at the time and we went through that piece 8 times. It was great, it was great. To reveal in that piece what had happened, I thought it was brilliant writing. It was a great example of what the writers do, how they take a fairytale we know and turn it on its head. And we’re not thinking “oh my God that’s not what happened”, it just takes us deeper into the story to where we didn’t think that would be possible. And I love that about the writing on this show. They turn it just enough, or even completely around, but it never feels like its in a land where it is not complementary and integral to what the story already is. And I love the fact that I am part wolf, I love that. The heightened senses, I kind of married into it you know?
By Ashley Benson - @MitigatedText
Ashley: Very glad to get to meet you and hearing you singing. It looks like you have a lot of fun on set
Beverley: We do. Yea.
Ashley: What’s a typical day like for you? Do you prefer doing Fairy tale land or Storybrooke when you film?
Beverley: Oh, that’s such a hard question! I like both. What I do love about FTL is I feel Granny is a bit tougher, and less sophisticated, not that she’s uber-sophisticated anyhow, but I just feel more primal in Fairy Tale Land, we’re usually outside, we’re on the hunt, and I use my senses, my wolf senses. My smell and hearing. So I love that. But in Storybrooke, I get to work with more people, other actors. In Fairy Tale Land, it’s mostly the Snow White Crew. I’m with the dwarfs a lot, Snow White and Prince Charming; we mixed with Robin Hood’s group. But both are good.
Ashley: What of yourself do you see in Granny or that you put in Granny when you play her?
Beverley: Practicality. I think she’s very practical, matter-of-fact, down- to- earth, calls a spade a spade. I come from a farming family in Ontario and we were never without food or anything, but we earned money by manual labor, always blue-collar, so I know that kind of practicality way in the world and I think Granny’s like that too. I call it even kind of Presbyterian where you keep your love and your cards close to your chests. You’re not openly hugging people, although Granny has been like that with Henry. When Henry left, and was found again. When Emma left, and was found again. So I bring that part of myself and my humor.
Ashley: I was going to ask about the one-liners. Granny’s known for a few good quips. Do you have any input on that or does it flow naturally with what they write?
Beverley: They write it and sometimes I look at it and “really? You want me to say ‘bitch?’ This is Disney! I’m allowed to swear?” I’m kinda of shocked about how far it goes. Not that I don’t swear like that in real life, I have a trucker-mouth, but I’m surprised that Granny is allowed to have that. When I got to be the welder.. That was cool.
Interview conducted by Amy Hood- @AmyLia403
In Season one of Once Upon A Time, the character of “Granny” quickly became a fan favorite. From her first sassy lines on screen in Storybrooke, to her stereotype breaking turn in “Red Handed”, Granny found her way into the hearts of thousands of fans. Who could forget the now famous image of Granny wielding that crossbow? Not your traditional version of Red Riding Hood’s Granny from the stories, our Granny is one tough lady.
We at Once Upon A Fan have been extremely lucky to conduct a “quick fire” twitter interview with the amazing actress that brings Granny to life each week, Beverley Elliot. Beverley is an amazing, kind and extremely talented performer whose body of work includes television, movies, theater and vocal performance. We appreciate this opportunity to Tweet with Beverley and get to know her a little better. The answers brought interesting and often hilarious results.