Rebecca Mader, Once Upon a Time’s Wicked Witch of the West and LOST alumni, sits down to talk with Zach Van Norman from OnceUponaFans.com
ZACH: I’m Zach Van Norman with Once Upon a Fan. Thank you very much for your time today. I appreciate it.
REBECCA: My pleasure.
ZACH: Lots of big twists going on with Zelena’s character. Obviously, she’s not quite as dead as some have assumed. Not only is she not dead, but she has been masquerading as Marian for the last several episodes. When you first got the call that they wanted you to come back to the show, and they explained everything to you, what did you think about that?
REBECCA: I said “Really?!” I was really shocked. I was driving through Beverly Hills, having a normal day and my phone rang. “Hey, it’s Adam and Eddie for you.” I’m like what? Alright. They got back on the phone and said “hey do you want to come back from the dead?” I’m like “Really? Yeah, alright.” It was a really nice surprise. I love playing this character.
ZACH: What did you think of the twist of Zelena not only being alive but then pregnant with Robin’s and Zelena’s child?
REBECCA: Oh my God, they told me that. I think I knew that back in September. They are like, this is what we are thinking. This the way we think we’re bringing you back, and then you've been Maid Marian the whole time. I was like, “Oh my God, shut up!” I mean I was driving thinking, the fans are going to go nuts. That’s awful! It’s deliciously awful, you know. So then, on top of it, I didn't find out about the pregnancy. I found out though a crew member actually. I was just like on the set, “Well, you know now that you are pregnant.” I’m like what?! I didn't get the memo, you know, and then I found out. It’s so funny when you are on a TV show, different departments get scripts at different times. So sometimes the costume department and the prop department have gotten the script before the actors. So you hear a conversation, and you go “Wait, what do I do in the next episode?” You don’t even know. It’s crazy.
ZACH: Yeah, that’s pretty crazy. You bring a lot of small nuances to your performance that I've noticed especially in the episode Heart of Gold. Where Zelena is confronting Gold in the hospital room, and you are leaning in so close to him. You’re just relishing how it is. Where does that kind of just delicious wicked evilness come from?
REBECCA: I don’t know. There must be something wrong with me, ‘cause I had a really normal childhood. My parents are lovely. They’re still together. They’re my best friends today. They hung out with me on Skype when I did hair and makeup this morning. So I’m actually a little bit concerned where it comes from because with that episode, Heart of Gold, was these two gargantuan scenes where I remember when I got the script I was “Oh, good God! Like Zelena, just like there were pages of me not shutting up, you know what I mean. So, I was a little bit concerned, and then when I went to do the rehearsal, the director was “Oh, should we rehearse it?” I was “Well there’s not a lot to rehearse; I’m just going blah blah blah by the side of the bed.” So we went to do the rehearsal, and I started talking, and I said to the crew, “You might want to have a seat, because we’re going to be here for a while.” Because it just went on while the crew was sitting there. I had no idea how I was going to perform it. I just thought somehow I’m going to have to make this interesting. I didn’t prepare it or anything, but once I become Zelena, I just go off on these tangents and I just literally disappear into this character, and the insanity just comes from somewhere. It’s just like I don’t have any control over it. It’s weird, it just takes me over.
ZACH: You do a fantastic job with that, I must say.
REBECCA: Thank you.
ZACH: She’s a completely captivating character. You bring a lot to the performance.
REBECCA: Aw, thank you!
ZACH: I hate the character right now because of what she has done.
REBECCA: Oh no! That’s good though. I’m doing my job.
ZACH: Yes, you’re doing it very well.
REBECCA: If everyone loved me, then I would be like, hmm. You’ve got to love to hate a villain, haven’t you?
ZACH: Yeah. You do have to. You’re right up there, top tier, I’d say, with Regina and Rumple. You’re just digging it.
REBECCA: Thank you.
By Ashley Benson - @MitigatedText
Ashley: Are you surprised at the response fans have had to the character of Zelena?
Rebecca: I was worried. I was nervous. When I first joined the show I talked to Adam and Eddy and they were like “Get ready for hate! Get ready for hate-tweets” and I was like *crying noises* “I’m a really nice person!” I was really nervous that but the outpouring of love was just a real shock and a delight, because I love the show, I love the fans and interacting with them and I’m really into connecting with my fans, being a part of it with them, and enjoying it with them on social media. So it was great that I didn’t have to block a million people to protect my heart. Everybody’s been really kind and supportive.
Ashley: A lot of fans really want Zelena back, if she were to come back, what do you think her next step would be?
Rebecca: I would definitely want to sees some progression for her in terms of retribution . . . peace. And also, Regina doesn’t have any real family in Storybrooke and I think it would be amazing if the two of them could make up and join forces. Lana brought up at the Fairy Tales convention that we did in Paris that there was this line in that great scene we did together in the jail cell. That as she was leaving, she turned back and looked at me and said, “It’s nice to have family in town.” It was a really cool moment and they cut it out. That made me think that would have been lovely if the two of them could have reconciled and joined forces, because I’ve got an amazing relationship with my sister. She’s my best friend so I would have liked that for them.