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.
Ashley: You said in the panel you guys don’t know so much ahead of time the plot twists. I have to say that the Red Riding Hood plot twist . . . that cemented my love of the show. How was it keeping it under wraps? How was it getting that reveal?
Beverley: For me it was so funny, because up until that point my character had just had a couple of lines here and there, a little bit… a little bit, nothing, but I remember getting that script right before Christmas, and my sister was visiting and I said I was going to flip though and see what my line are and I was flip, flip, flip, Granny…..flip, flip, flip ….a monologue …Granny ….and Oh MY GOD. This was ginormous. The really long monologue about talking about my father and my brothers were killed and then how the wolf came, and what happened, how they took me away. We do not know the reveal. So it was still early in the show so the fandom had not built yet. People were enjoying it, but the whole Twitter world and everything was just getting going, so it wasn’t a problem keeping it under wraps because, nobody was really asking. But now… We sign confidentially all the time. We’re not supposed to post photos, some of the cast do, but we can’t post it until the episode has aired. Even a costume or wardrobe piece being revealed. Seeing two actors together: “Elsa and Granny are in the scene together?” I didn’t say that!
Ashley: It’s crazy nowadays about how much promotion the fans are doing. Richmond has been tweeting. They tweet constantly about having folks on set. How is that working with having more of an audience live?
Beverly: It’s hilarious how many people are there. It’s great, because it means the show is such a hit. One day there was 1000 people there, which we had to have roped off. We have security guards that keep them back, but the fans are so respectful, and the security guards are great and friendly, and they just say “If you guys stay quiet and just hang out and watch, then usually the cast will come over and sign autographs”. And mostly we do. If people don’t, it’s because they have to get ready for another big scene, especially with the leads. They have so much dialogue. I don’t have that all the time. I’m in and out with my one line. You only have so much energy so sometimes you have to pick and choose where your energy goes.
Ashley: Since you’ve been on the show since day one, what are your thoughts on how the show has evolved?
Beverly: It’s funny because for me I thought it would just stay Storybrooke/Fairy Tale Land, the Enchanted Forest. I think we were all surprised when we started taking off to other worlds and Neverland, but in a good way, because your brain just goes, “oh anything is possible.” You can’t latch onto one idea and think, “this is how this goes”. You have no clue. Somebody dies, they’re back again. I like that there are so many dimensions. Granny has only gone to two worlds, Enchanted Forest and Storybrooke. But even when other people do travel there, they stay the same person, but in just a different land. I think it’s really great. I just can’t imagine what is going on in Adam and Eddy’s brains, Jane and all the writers. So much imagination.
Ashley: Every time I think I have it figured it out and tacked down, there will be this huge twist.
Beverley: And keep watching till end of the episode. Because even when things wrap up, you go “No,no,no,no. They’re going to hit us; they’re going to sucker-punch us, right when we think we’ve got it.
Ashley: And I love it. That’s my favorite part of the show. I think it’s kinda funny that Little Red Riding Hood’s Granny has evolved into, for lack of a better word, a bad-ass. How do you feel about that, and the crossbow? Everyone’s like, “Oh, Granny and her crossbow! Watch out Peter Pan!
Beverley: I wish! I wish I could get my hands on Peter Pan. I think it’s great because the only granny I can relate her to is the one from the “Beverly Hillbillies”. She’s tough as nails *imitation of Granny from BHB* She’s like the epitome of the other end. But I think it’s great, because once again it’s a twist of reading the book. Old Granny, cooking muffins and cookies, she’s in bed, she’s a little old lady. “Nuh uh, nuh uh! Out of my way!”
Ashley: She’s out there kicking butt. I understand you have a one-woman show coming up?
Beverley: I do! I wish everyone could see it!
Ashley: It’s next weekend. Is this a story of how you got her? Tell me a bit about it.
Beverley: It started out being that kind of show when I was writing it because. I flew to Ontario where I’m from and I did a show for my hometown, it was a charity. They wanted to hear about my career and at first I said No I’m not doing that in front of my high school friends, thank-you-very-much”. They just said, “small time girl does good. So tell us, name-drop, tell stories of people that you’ve worked with and what it’s like”. So with that kind of parameter, I did that. It went really well. And I loved it. I told stories and I sang songs. Since then I’ve been in Vancouver in this event called “The Flame,” which is like “The Moth.” There’s one in New York and I think Boston. But it’s a storytelling event. You get up and you tell a story for ten minutes. It has to be true, have happened to you, and you don’t take any papers with you. So I did a part of the flame in Vancouver and I’m just telling these stories and I realized, “I love telling stories” it’s a natural thing for me. And I have a parallel career as a singer. So I wrote the stories that are this show called “Didn’t See That Coming”. There are eight stories and each has to do with bumping into a stranger and then having a life-change happen. It’s unexpected blessings and uncomfortable epiphanies. Because sometimes you bump into a stranger and you do the right thing, and sometimes you don’t do the right thing. And then you go away, and learn the lesson and go, “Ok, I can be a better person.”
Ashley: I wish I could see this. I’m a big believer in serendipity.
Beverley: And that’s what it is. It kinda evolved into that. And I realized every one of these stories is me bumping into a stranger. One happens in a wedding, one in a funeral, one in a hot yoga class that I never went back to. So that’s what it is. It opens next weekend in Vancouver at the French Festival. I hope it has a life. That’s my plan. Right now we’re the top ticket seller at The Fringe. We’re on the must-see list. It’s Once Upon A Time. It all feeds into each other; it’s all building a career. I’m a character actor who’s been around forever, and I will hopefully work forever. I don’t imagine retiring. so this is a nice offshoot to have, a live theater production where I get to be the lead because the lead is funny and messed up and heartfelt, which is where I live in the world.
Ashley: That sounds fantastic. I talk to a lot of fans who talk about they say how much good the show has done from them. It’s good that it’s done that for you as well.
Bev: It’s so good, all the promotion. My profile is higher because of Once Upon A Time. I’m doing the show in Vancouver and people are, “I want to see her because she’s Granny.” Maybe it’s the same show I would have done six years ago, but now maybe more people will come to the show because of this.
Ashley is a professional event planner, OUaF Forum Administrator, convention enthusiast, and resident sass master. When she's not tweeting up a storm, Ashley also finds the time to write reviews for Once Upon a Time at SpoilerTV.com. Feel free to contact her at @MitigatedText