OUAF chat with the creators of Feather of Hope, Dieuw(@Diejj), Lusiana (@Uglylusiana) & Xiluva (@Xiluvanyane), about what inspired them to create such a supportive website and all things Once Upon A Time.
How did you hear about Once?
Lusiana: On tumblr, I got captivated by a few gif sets, I am sure they were about Lana Parrilla as the Evil Queen. I went looking for information about the show and then, well, it was obsession!
Dieuw: My best friend told me I had to watch it, since it was the ultimate uni-work-procrastination-activity. So naturally I was willing to try....and I have to say...yes, OUAT has kept me from studying quite often.
Xiluva: I was watching TV and during the commercials they were announcing OUAT. And Lana was there, as the Evil Queen…and I thought OMG! So afterwards I went to youtube and found several fan videos…I confess that in the beginning I thought Regina and Emma were a couple because of the SwanQueen videos that I found on YT, but then I really loved Regina so I started watching OUAT just because of Regina.
What was your first impression of the show?
Lusiana: At the beginning it looked darker than it actually is, but the always present hope in a happy ending really got me. And I actually hated Regina for the first episode, then I obviously changed my mind.
Dieuw: Honestly, when I saw Prince Charming rushing to get to Snow White on his 'noble steed', I was thinking: Dear god, what on earth am I ever watching? But then the Evil Queen barged in, and we saw Rumpelstiltskin...and I was sold. When we saw Regina's struggle to kill her father for the curse in the second episode I knew there was more to this character than just the evil villain she is in the fairytales and that got me to continue watching.
Xiluva: To be honest when it started I really loved it, because I was very excited every time a Disney character appeared, I really love the show. I can say that it was "love at first sight". And I saw the Evil Queen…and I forgot about the others…I really love her expressions, that evil laugh….but when she killed her father…all I could think was just "what just happened"… I was in shock, but I kept thinking…she will change, she will change….and she didn´t for the whole season!…And she was doing evil things…but my thoughts were always: Lana is an amazing actress…
Tell us more about your involvement in the Feather of Hope group and the development of the website?
Xiluva: Well, after we launched the Evil Regal Family website with the other girls, Lusiana had the idea to write an article about Evil Regals Against Cyber bullying. It was an amazing idea, a few weeks after that I had the idea to write an article about Equal rights so I asked Lusiana to write it and her article was like WOW. One of the things that I always wanted to do was charity, I live in a very poor country so I think it´s very important to help others if you can. So when I sat down thinking about these things I had a bit of a dilemma. Because I thought that the Evil Regal Family website was not the right place for those subjects, because ERF is supposed to be fun, sharing photos, drawings, articles, etc. So I thought that we needed a different place for those kind of things, a place that makes us think, help others, be inspired. We thought up the Evil Regals Against Bullying compaign, and Lusiana made some logos, but still it was not enough for another project, we didn’t have enough content. And then Dieuw, spoke with me about sharing the stories of Evil Regals that can help others, that focus on positive things, and I was like "voilá" this is perfect for the new project. This was the missing part for this new project.
So with Lusiana and Dieuw, we started working and organizing everything for this project.
Dieuw: Exactly! Lana Parrilla is really committed to some good causes, especially to those supporting LGBT-rights, and what I noticed, is that she is as both an inspiration to people who are having a difficult time and also inspires others to help out as well. Noting this, and realising we didn't really have something or someone to pick up on this, I started talking to Xiluva to suggest whether maybe Regal Family could pick up on this. Lana's 'life motto' is 'you are where you need to be just take a deep breath', and 'follow your heart because it always knows'. So in general that says: Be who you want to be, believe in yourself, and as long as you are confident that what you do is the right thing, gó for it. But that isn't always easy, so why not help those who need a little bit of help to get there?
Lusiana: Everyone of the three of us has a talent or an interest that we used to develop the idea. Xiluva is a pitcher, her mind lights up with ideas every second, Dieuw is an organizer, she does research and intel, I am usually the one who smooths things out, calms the enthusiasms and says NO to hurried ideas. A beta editor for their minds, basically. My prides are the logos, though, they are all my creations. Vectorial drawing is a passion of mine.
What is Feather of Hope looking to focus on/achieve?
Lusiana: We'd like to provide a safe place where past mistakes, painful experiences or struggles do not make an outcast out of an Evil Regal but an example how to deal with it for others.
We believe that reading real stories is an important step to understand others, learn to think before sending hateful comments to someone you don't know because this person is fighting its own battle and do not deserve your bullying. To understand how much hate can hurt, every Evil Regal should try, at least through a story, to walk in someone else's shoes, at this purpose, Feather Of Hope should be the changing room to try those new shoes on.
Can you tell us about any specific events/projects the group has going on at the moment?
Lusiana: We are permanently running Evil Regals Against Cyber Bullying with a monthly picture challenge. We ask Evil Regals to stand up against Cyber Bullying taking creative pictures of themselves wearing something red and using the campaign logo, every month there is a wristband ready for the most creative!
At the moment, through Evil Regals For Equality, we are supporting Joshua Ferguson and Florian in cooperation with RegalFamily Member Annie, in spreading the word about their new project Mosaics, it will be a short movie they are producing with the help of an Indigogo campaign.
Dieuwertje: And for the long term we are hoping to launch some bigger events. But that takes a lot of organizing, so we can't really tease anything about that yet, just keep an eye on our website and twitter and you'll be up to date
How Has OUAT Inspired You Personally?
Lusiana: I have learnt about the power of gray, I used to be a lot more judgmental about what was evil. Falling for an iconic character like Snow White's Evil Queen has definitely changed that. For the good!
Dieuwertje: First of all OUAT inspired me ‘artistically’. The costumes of the show were one of the first things I fell in love with, I just had to do something with it, so I started drawing again, at the start my drawings were horrible, but I have improved greatly over time, and found in drawing a great way to relax and escape from the stressful university life. Through OUAT I got to know many people, and I get to “know” Lana Parrilla, her unconditional devotion to what she believes in, is something that really inspired me: Do what you think is right and go for it a 100%.
Have you made new friends through the fandom?
Dieuwertje: I sure did! I got to know a lot of people over twitter, however I am always a bit cautious with these things. I don’t call someone my friend very soon. However there now are a handful of #Oncers that I got to know really well and I can really call them my friends now. Some live in the Netherlands, where I live too, but now I can also say I have friends in the UK, the US, Finland, France, Sweden and many other places too. This April my friend Annie from Sweden is coming to visit Amsterdam, and in July I am going to Stockholm, and I am so incredibly super excited for all of that. I never expected all that would happen through a TV show!
Lusiana: I am not one who usually makes friends online because I am really one of those people who like speaking face to face with a person, I like looking in people's eyes but my team mates on Evil Regal Family have taken a big place in my heart even without the chance to actually meet them.
Xiluva: I made friends. I can´t deny that, from several countries around the world, Italy, German, England, Portugal, USA...we talk about of Once Upon A Time, and Regina, and other shows that she appeared on. But with some of them we started talking about other things besides Once Upon A time, in some cases we even speak via Whatsapp, Skype, etc... but one thing is speaking on twitter where nobody can see me and I can be 100% myself, another thing is speaking in person...which can be a big problem since I´m shy, but even though I´m shy I would love to meet them in person, because I know that after 5minutes I would be myself, just like on twitter.
Favorite episode & hopes for next part of Season 3/Season 4?
Lusiana: I have many for different reasons, if I really have to choose only one, it's "Welcome to Storybrooke". I watch Once Upon A Time like I was reading a book, I take whatever comes without expectations of my own and deep adoration for the author. Whatever comes, I am here to watch it!
Dieuwertje: Choosing a favourite episode is tough! There are many great ones! One of my favourite ones is Episode 10 of season 2, The Cricket Game. Simply because that was the very first (and for now the only) time that I was genuinely scared a bit by Lana Parrilla's performance as the Evil Queen. When she is tied to that pole during the execution and speaks her last words. There is so much hatred then in those words, and she flashes such a wicked smile before she is taken away after the execution is stopped...gods that gave me the chills.
As for future episodes: I am pretty spoiler free at the moment, but of course I have picked up on some things. What I really really hope to see though is the establishment of OutlawQueen, and a reunion of Regina and Henry and Emma with her parents, because that final scene in 3x11 just broke my heart :’;).
Xiluva: Even though my favourite season was not the second season, my favorite episode is in the 2 season. I loved "The Evil Queen" a lot because it was when they were filming this episode that I met Lana so every time I watch this episode I have memories back to that time. I already knew from others that Lana was sweet, but it was different when I saw it.
I also loved "Save Henry" - season 3, episode 9, because it really loved to see that side of Regina. I already knew that she loved Henry of course, but that episode, where we can see Henry as a baby, it’s just adorable.
Finally on season one, I cannot leave out "The Stable Boy" episode 18 because it was on that episode that we knew about the past of Regina, how she became evil. And knowing that "good side", the love that she had (has) for Daniel, made me cry and I´m not that kind of person that cries while watch movies and TV shows, but on that episode, I really cried...just an outstanding episode and performance of Lana.
Who do you think will die?
Lusiana: Brutal question. I have avoided thinking about it.
Xiluva: That´s a complicated question….I just hope it´s not Regina.
Dieuwertje: I really don't know! I have stayed pretty spoiler free. In previous seasons I read most spoilers and then often already figured out what was going to happen before the eps aired. But it is much more fun not to know what is coming. So then...by process of 'logic elimination' I would guess it is time for either Neal, Hook, or maaaaaaybe Gold to say goodbye(Am I the only one now in whose mind Andrea Boccelli’s Time to say goodbye just started playing?). But I honestly don't really have a strong feeling about it at the moment.
Sum up the fandom in 3 words?
FEATHERS OF HOPE
Follow Feather of Hope on Twitter at @ERFeatherOfHope
Check out the website at www.featherofhope.org