Interview by Zach Van Norman - @TheZachVan
Zach: First of all, thank you for giving me your time again. I appreciate it. You were on our podcast once with Michael.
Faustino: I remember that. That was a lot of fun actually.
Zach: Thank you for that. Yesterday was fun, too.
Faustino: I should be thanking you guys. That was a really special day. I only had the opportunity to go to Disneyland when I was in my teens. I’ll be honest with you; I can barely remember the trip. It looked so different this time. It was a really special day and it only happened because of you guys, so thank you.
Zach: No problem. It was fun. It’s been a crazy season for Once Upon A Time. What do you think about the storyline so far and where it’s gone?
Faustino: I think it’s interesting, I love it. It’s showing so many different layers to the characters and how everything isn’t so cut and dry. Just when you think it’s this, it’s that. And just when you think it’s that, it’s this. I think it’s wonderful. It’s life. It represents life.
Zach: It’s nice that it’s not so black and white, evil and good. Everyone is kind of mixing it up. What has been your favorite moment of the show so far?
Faustino: Oh my goodness. There are so many. You know, they’re all special moments. There’s just times when we think of little things. We don’t want it to end, ever. The last episode that we worked on we had a really good time. Lee gets into his little character moments sometimes. He had us in stitches between takes while we’re waiting to get set up for the next shot. Just those fun moments when you’re laughing and you’re thinking “I don’t want this to end.” There was that time when we set up on a river on the creek, and it was all rustic. This is where we set up camp . . . I can’t remember which episode this was in particular. I think it was season three.
Zach: I think it was “Lost Girl”.
Faustino: We were all sitting there around the table with Snow, Charming and all the dwarfs and we’re just talking, and then a deer just pops out of nowhere and starts walking into our scene. We’re all just doing our stuff and this beautiful creature just pops out, just starts walking, and wasn’t even startled or anything. It was so natural. We happened to get it into the shot afterwards which is really cool and amazing. Things like that, little special moments that were created throughout. It even started as early on as the Pilot. I think probably one of our last days that we filmed was ours, at the time we didn’t even know whether it’d get picked up. There was that moment doing the casket scene. We were in the forest. We show up that day. We just had a beautiful March, it was actually quite warm. And then April 2nd comes around, and it’s snowing. This is supposed to be spring. That scene, I don’t think it would have had the same flavor to it had there not been snow on the ground.
Zach: It felt so appropriate since it was Snow White.
Zach: It made it feel much more magical, much more like a fairy tale thing.
Faustino: It wasn’t even us doing it. It was Nature saying “hey, this is what we’re going to do today”.
Zach: Yea, kinda like the deer walking through the scene. Here’s a gift.
Faustino: We don’t want it to end.
Zach: Neither do we. One of my favorite moments for your character was in “Going Home.” Regina is reversing the curse and as the camera is panning, you kind of wave. Was that in the script or was that impromptu?
Faustino: We’re given so much liberty; you just do certain things out there. It is what we feel and if it happens to work in that take and they may use it. So it was just a lot of fun. We were invested all of us in that moment as far as what was taking place. It just seemed appropriate.
Zach: It was sad and touching. Very bittersweet. What’s something you would want to happen see with the storyline? Do you have any wish list items that you would like to see?
Faustino: I think they are doing it already. I was big Lost fan. I love the show, that time-travel. We’re doing it now, but we’re doing it in a different realm. It’s not just alternative worlds. That’s the kind of stuff I’m liking a lot. I like that stuff. I’d like to see more myself. What they write is just amazing on its own. Everybody is just amazing on its own.
Zach: What do you think it is about the show that has connected to people in such a way?
Faustino: It covers all age categories. It’s being so human. I think every one of us is caught up in our devices these days and whenever you see human interaction, friends, even family, everybody that’s part of the society. Like Storybrooke is. It’s a small epicenter of representation of the world. I think that’s probably it. And the fact that there are so many things that people can relate to. They do it so well in the writing. They give you so many different layers. And then there comes the relation with it. And once there is that relationship with it, that’s where people start to like it.
Zach. Hope is a very strong theme in the show. It has been ingrained in the show from the beginning.
Faustino: That’s what it is. We all want more out of our lives, to believe that things work out, and it does if you believe it. It gives you that power. Our suggestion is pretty darned strong sometimes. The most important thing sometimes is never to lose hope.
Zach: What was your favorite fairy tale growing up as a kid?
Faustino: I like Pinocchio. I think it’s because he’s Italian, an Italian fairy tale. It was the one that was introduced to me by my mom as a kid. As a kid you’re given certain stories to work with and that was the one I had. My mom would always make little comparisons, “if you don’t do your homework, your nose is going to start to grow.” She would get us to believe my nose . . . actually my nose was quite as a kid. It one of those things that you connected to. As I got older, the one I liked a lot was “Beauty and the Beast”. What I liked about it the most is that just when you think there’s a beast here, the beast is somewhere else. It isn’t that person. It could be Gaston. The actually beastly looking person is actually so caring. And of course,Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Everybody used to whistle and sing the song. A lot of fun.
Zach: What’s your favorite Disney animated movie?
Faustino: Up. Love, loved, loved that movie. The old guy. How he missed his wife. That bond.
Zach: What is it like when you’re on site and the weather is not cooperating?
Faustino: Best job in the world! Every day you go on set it’s a great day. As much as the elements can be hampering you and hitting you hard, when you see how they set up these sets, the work that goes into it . . . it’s quite the production. When you’re actually doing it, sometimes it’s just “wow”. One of the ones we had last season, we were in the forest with horses. We went into Stanley Park and they lit it up so well. Campfires. Just an incredible day. Everybody was out there. Lana and Sean, and everyone were walking through the forest. It was a flying monkey scene. That was actually quite warm that night. There are times that it is super cold. The Pilot. The day it snowed. They at the time built us these wonderful cobbler- looking elf shoes. But they were leather so there was nothing to insulate. I couldn’t feel my toes at the end of the day, but I was happier than you could think of. It was just so amazing to be part of that whole thing. Even when it does hit you hard like that, you invest more. It’s just so much fun. You just forget about it.
Zach: Has there ever been an episode when you were working with CGI, and then when you’ve seen it on TV and the effects were finished. Was there any episode that surprised you?
Faustino: What surprised me was the first day. The castle scene where I fall asleep. They built us a wood stage. And the bell and everything, and the bell was styrofoam or something. The stage is wobbling. They were using that and a camera coming in. This other guy was going commando style with the camera on his shoulders. He’d be following us to take away the wobble of the stage to buffer it. We were in a big green room and the only thing that was real was the stage. We were asked to look at where the curse was, just an “x” on the wall. It’s when you just imagine what it is. At that point, I was surprised. Then afterwards, when we are working on other scenes like the wedding scene, we had the opportunity between takes to watch it on camera, not 100 % colored in, but already kind of giving you the idea what it looks like. “Oh, so that’s what it looks like!” Had we not gotten that preview there, when we see it when you see it, it would be quite the surprise... We would have been quite surprised.
Zach: If you could say something to your Sleepyheads who can’t be here, what would you say to them?
Faustino: They’re amazing. They’re a great bunch. Sometimes we say good morning. That’s so nice. Thank you. Just a great bunch. I love them.
Zach: Thank you very much for your time.