The character of the Author on Once Upon a Time is a very powerful role. He was discussed throughout most of season four, but wasn’t introduced until after the mid-season premiere. In the short time he’s been on, we’ve learned that his magical pen is much mightier than any hero or villain. As many may have seen from the finale, titled “Operation Mongoose,” previews, the author turns Storybrooke upside down with the new book, “Heroes and Villains.” I chatted with Patrick Fischler, who plays the Author on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, to discuss his character, as well as what fans can expect in the two-hour season finale.
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The Author has written some not so nice things, including what Snow White and Prince Charming did to ensure their daughter’s goodness. Why do you think that is? What was the motivation the behind it?
Fischler: I think he just wanted the story to be a little more exciting. Not for any evil reasons did he do it. I believe he truly did it for a more exciting story. And in the finale, we’ll learn a little bit about him and his backstory. The finale sort of opens with his backstory, so we get some insight into that. He was really, truly looking for a better tale in his mind.
We don’t know much about the Author. But we do know he holds a lot of power in his pen. Why do you think he was chosen by the sorcerer?
Fischler: [In the finale, we’ll] find out how he was chosen [and] why he was chosen. It’s pretty quick. It is a huge episode next week. It will be answered in his backstory.
The Author was talked about for most of the season before being ‘found.’ Do you think the character was introduced at the right time?
Fischler: I think so. I always think when you drag something out it makes it a little more exciting. Eddie [Kitsis] and Adam [Horowitz] are so smart with how they lay this stuff out. With the Frozen stuff in the first half of the season, but my character being talked about a little bit, once we got Queens of Darkness in there with everyone really, really wanting their happy ending, it was the perfect time to introduce him finally. It was the perfect time to mess with everything.
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Would you consider the Author a villain or a hero?
Fischler: I think everybody is a little bit of everything. I think those are just names. They are just words. I think what we’ve learned this season, and from the show in general, I think the villains on the show have always had a reason for why they act like they do. Cruella was kind of the first villain the show’s had that was basically just a full-on villain. She was evil when she was young; she was born evil. But for the most part, everyone else has a little bit. To protect their loved ones, they’ll do whatever it takes sometimes. I think, the Author is neither a hero nor a villain, he’s just a really interesting character.
Some may say he’s a such a villain; he’s so bad. [But] of course, I play him and I don’t think any of that.
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The Author had a history with Cruella. Do you think this had any effect on him?
Fischler: Absolutely. I think, sort of her mom telling him to get out there and live life and then he took a chance on Cruella, and their relationship. I think being betrayed by her gave him a real push to come out of his shell a little bit. Whether that’s good or bad. I think it absolutely had a huge effect on him.
I think he really, really cared about her. And still in my mind, I couldn’t have loved working with Victoria [Smurfit] more. She is a complete doll, and so amazingly talented. The two of them have to have a spin-off or something.
Perhaps, he can write Cruella back in!
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What do you think the Author’s happy ending involves? And will fans get to see it?
Fischler: We will find out next week. We will find out what he wants, for sure. So stay tuned.
Who is your favorite character besides the Author on Once Upon a Time?
Fischler: Rumple. I adore Robert Carlyle. He’s just a complete dream. As an actor, as a man, as everything. He’s such a great guy. We got to work together a lot this season. I truly loved hanging out with him. I loved acting opposite him. He’s just fantastic.
That character is incredible.
Fischler: Yea. He’s made what could potentially be an unlikable character, so likable. Because he’s so charming and everybody loves Bobby. He’s a fantastic guy.
Thinking about some of your other television roles, such as Mad Men and Lost, how does Once Upon a Time compare?
Fischler: This has been a really amazing experience. It’s rare that you have [as] much fun as this. It’s such a fun world to live in. The cast is absolutely wonderful and welcoming and talented. I just had such a blast. You know, I was away from my daughter and wife, which is always hard. But when a job is kind of a dream, which it was, it was great. Lost was a blast, Mad Men was fantastic. So this falls right in there. It’s been great.
Each season, Once Upon a Time wraps everything up, but we get a sort of preview of the upcoming season’s villain or spell. What can we expect from the two-hour finale this season?
Fischler: It’s roller coaster of a ride. It definitely ends on a note that is going to open a new door for the show. [But I] don’t want to give away too much.
Enjoy next week. It’s a fun one. I think the audience is going to have a really good time. It’s a great opportunity for all the actors on the show to play the opposite. There’s a bunch of surprises too.
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The Once Upon a Time two-hour season four finale airs Sunday, May 10 at 8pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)