Once Upon a Time's Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin

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I have to confess. My favorite character on ABC's new series Once Upon a Time is not one of the series good guys: Snow White/Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin), Prince Charming (Josh Dallas), Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison), or Jiminy Cricket (Raphael Sbarge). It's not even the deliciously evil Evil Queen (Lana Parilla). I've got a thing for Rumpelstiltskin. 

Every once in awhile an actor catches my eye whose talent just blows me away. The ability to play the epitome of evil, the most guileless of men and, particularly the many shades of gray in between, makes me pause and take immediate notice. He may not be the hottest (either in popularity or appearance), but there’s just something.

When I decided to cover the new ABC series Once Upon a Time, it was for two reasons. First, I’m a sucker for the genre; dark fantasy sci-fi is one my favorite vices. Second, there is the House connection with Jennifer Morrison taking one of the lead roles in the series.

But I found myself intrigued by Rumpelstiltskin and drawn to his modern-day alter ego Mr. Gold. He only has a couple of scenes in each of the first two episodes, but there's just something, well, magnetic. I should, of course, mention that this dual role is played by the equally intriguing Mr. Robert Carlyle.

The soft-spoken Scottish actor has a wonderful role in Once Upon a Time. With secret motivations that lurk beneath his deranged Enchanted Forest persona and within the overtly sinister demeanor of Storybrooke counterpart, very few actors could pull it off with such style and grace. Far from simply evil, there is much more to both Rumpelstiltskin and Mr. Gold.

In the series’ second episode, which aired last night, we learn about the origins of The Evil Queen’s (Lana Parrilla) curse—the one that froze in time the inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest, while making happy endings completely elusive for the storybook characters now transported to Storybrooke. Turns out that she required a consult with the gleefully demonic Rumpelstiltskin, who warns her about using the curse. He should know; after all, he’s the one who gave it to her in the first place! And it's a dire warning. Yet, he tells her how to execute it, at least for a price. On the other hand, this is the same Rumpelstiltskin who gave Snow White and the Prince the information to ultimately save them all.



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