Interview by Zach Van Norman - @TheZachVan
Another iconic character on Once Upon A Time has been the horror icon, Dr. Frankenstein. Oncers know his Storybrooke alter ego as Dr. Whale, the surgeon, OBGYN, General Practitioner and all around mega doctor at Storybrooke Hospital. The man behind our Storybrooke McSteamy is well known actor, David Anders. Our Zach Van Norman had an opportunity to sit down with David and talk all things Once Upon a Time, as well as get a bit of info on his new show, iZombie.
Zach: Good afternoon, I’m Zach Van Norman from OnceUponAFans.com. We are your number one fansite for Once Upon a Time. Thank you again for your time, it’s good to see you.
DA - Of course, absolutely. It’s good to see you!
Zach Your character Dr. Whale was a little more involved in the first season, and as well in the second season, with the Frankenstein brother’s storyline with you and Chad Michael Collins being introduced. Did you know in the first season who Dr. Whale was going to end up being, fairytale wise, or was it a secret?
DA - Yeah, I knew. It’s kind of why I agreed to do it, because Dr. Whale was going to end up being Dr. Frankenstein. I didn’t really understand how Dr. Frankenstein would fit into the fairytale world, but I trusted in Eddy and Adam to take us into a fun direction. I didn’t know I was going to have to wait a year to get into the Dr. Frankenstein clothes, but it was well worth it when we got to put on the guyliner and the steampunk outfits in that black and white world. It was fun.
Zach - When you finally read that reveal in the script of your character’s backstory, how it involved his father and brother, what were your first initial thoughts?
DA - My initial thoughts were “That is cool, they are really fleshing this guy out.” We had these two big episodes of Frankenstein. I had waited so long to do it. I was just really excited to finally read it. God it was so long ago (laughs) it’s hard to remember.
Zach - Oh, yeah, definitely understand. Was there anything that surprised you about it?
DA - Um, No… but I did like the fact that in present day Storybrooke, Whale is kind of a womanizing, lecherous kind of dude. In his former life, his past life, he was very work driven, very work oriented. I liked the contrast there, in between the two dudes.
Zach - You had a great scene with Meghan Ory who plays Red Riding Hood/Ruby in the episode, “In The Name of the Brother” There is actually a “ship” for you guys that came about after that. What were your thoughts on it?
DA - Yeah, that was a cool little scene with Meghan. Ruby was Whale’s sounding board, you know what I mean. She really reinforced him and really was kind of his life coach. It was a nice scene at the end of the dock there. I love Meghan and we had a great time shooting that. I think that they wanted to go in that direction (A Dr. Whale/Ruby romance) but there was just so much going on in the show. Also Meghan had just got a show on CBS, so we couldn’t explore that.
Zach - That was kind of the perfect ship, Dr. Frankenstein and a Werewolf.
DA - Oh yeah! I like that, I liked (the ship name) Whale Wolf. I think some people were doing FrankenWolf but I liked Whale Wolf, Whale Wolf is good.
Zach - I like that. Gotta make sure we set that hashtag going… #WhaleWolf
DA - Yeah, Yeah definitely.
Zach - As far as filming with the green screen. It’s my understanding that on the playback screen you can see a very rough draft of what the finished product will be. Do you look at the monitor and then go play the scene or is it a different process?
DA - You know, Lana can really speak on that because she works on it a lot. I was lucky that most of my prop pieces in my laboratory, in Frankenstein’s laboratory were all functional. They were all actually built on the set. Then the big, gothic castle was painted in around it, but the set was right there. I could hold it, I could touch it. And the black and white I thought looked great with the CGI. It looked fantastic. But, yeah it’s a leap of faith when you know “Ok this wall is here” but it’s not. Of course you really can’t be watching the monitors while you’re acting.
Zach - Oh yeah, not like a weather man.
DA - (Laughs) Exactly. You just have to trust the process.
Zach - What has been your favorite moment in the series, either from your own storyline or someone else’s?
DA - I guess the moment of that first Frankenstein episode where Igor says “You did it! It’s Magic” and I’m holding the heart and say “Not magic…Science.” That was cool.
Zach - When you first read the finale script for Season One and saw that they were going to break the curse, what did you think of that? Was that a surprise to you?
DA - Yeah, I guess so, because you kind of think where do you go from here? So yeah, a little bit of a surprise. And then I liked that line that Whale had, coming back into Season Two where he was like, “So are the Nuns still nuns or can they date now?” (Laughs) Everyone is worried about what they are going to do and he’s just worried about getting laid.
Zach - I remember that scene from “Broken” It was great. What would you like to say to all your fans out there, who might not have an opportunity like this con to speak with you directly?
DA - You know, to all the “Fanders” out there, I love ya. I support you supporting me. I support you supporting the show. This show or any other show I’d happen to be a part of. Once Upon A Time fans have just been fantastic throughout this whole run. They’re devout as you well know and it is great we get to do things like this to return the love.
Zach - Congratulations on iZombie getting picked up by the CW. Do you think your character there has similarities to Whale or is he totally different?
DA - Well they are both played by David Anders. (laughing) Blaine is very business driven. He’s a brains dealer. It is kind of ironic though, Dr. Frankenstein was in the business of reanimating dead people and Blaine is himself a reanimated dead person. He’s a zombie.
Zach - Wow, so in a way you’re now playing the Frankenstein’s monster instead of the Doctor. Thank you again David for your time. Great talking to you.