The story of Peter Pan and Captain Hook on which we all grew up had the latter as the clear-cut bad guy who went around tormenting young children. But ABC's Once Upon A Time has introduced a very different take-- one that not only introduced Hook (Colin O'Donoghue) as an almost impossibly charming (no pun intended) and more sensitive than we might imagined man but also as a man that though out for revenge was so for love and a sense of family that many might not have thought possible for such a traditionally mustache-twirly character. Hook even managed to set aside some of his personal quest to help Emma (Jennifer Morrison) attempt to rescue her son from Neverland-- a place that Hook knows better than almost anyone and therefore knows to fear. How will Hook continue to grow and evolve based on his decision to put aside his own mission and help someone else, let alone to confront some demons in Neverland? LA TV Insider Examiner sat down with O'Donoghue on set to find out!
"You saw towards the end of last season...he sort of said 'If I do get my revenge, what have I got to live for? What are we doing?' And I think he is beginning to realize that there's more to life than just trying to get revenge, you know, and I think there are certain elements that are helping him realize that and giving him something to sort of live for, I guess," O'Donoghue said.
"He's quite different; he's struggling with whether or not he should try to become this new person or not and that's difficult for him because I think there's a part of him that wants to try to do the right thing, but he's been living with this hatred and revenge for hundreds of years, so it's tough to let go of. That's a real struggle for him."
The simple fact that O'Donoghue believes Hook is struggling with right and wrong proves that he's a much more complicated man, and seeing Peter Pan (Robbie Kay) as an absolutely tortured and warped because of it soul interestingly offers an insight and dichotomy into Hook, too, that continues to expand the audience's perception of him. While O'Donoghue shared that he has never approached playing Hook as an "out and out villain," it has been his selfishness that defined him when we first met him, and now that is shifting.
"Selfishness made him do villainous things at times. And a lot of it could be hearsay-- a lot of the stories about Hook that people sort of-- I don't know yet, but the way I saw it was that, similar to The Princess Bride...there's this sort of myth behind him but nobody ever saw it happen," O'Donoghue said.
"I do think he'd happily kill you if he had to, but he might have a little bit of a cry about it after."
Once Upon A Time will give further insight into Hook's story this third season with a flashback episode that will show a side of Killian Jones that O'Donoghue thought would "surprise people." In it we will see a younger version of him that may not be expected-- but will it inform why he relates as much as he does to Emma (Jennifer Morrison)?
"I think the relationship that they have is sort of complicated because they both care deeply for Baelfire. Emma loves him, you know, and Hook was willing to give up everything to become his step-father-- that figure. And in the first episode you see that he has kept his sword. Remember that he would have had to have kept that sword for hundreds of years, and he says to her-- 'cause she said 'Obviously you guys were quite close'-- and he said 'I miss him, too'. And he was very, very genuine about that. They always saw an element of themselves in each other anyway, I think, from when they went up the beanstalk, but in particular this sort of thing you know is kind of, they're not that dissimilar," O'Donoghue said.
Once Upon A Time airs on ABC on Sunday nights at 8 p.m.
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