Warning: This article may contain spoilers for Once Upon a Time.
Once Upon a Time fans are familiar with how Merida, played by Amy Manson, has become a target for the Dark Swan (Jennifer Morrison) and how Merida, desperate to save herself and her family from the once good Emma Swan, has pulled Belle (Emilie de Ravin) into the conflict. Coming up, it will also be revealed that Merida and Belle have a connection through their shared time spent in Camelot, but this is not where the secrets end for Amy Manson or for Merida.
Amy Manson’s Once Upon a Time Readings Evolved Another Role Into Brave‘s Merida
— Once Upon A Time (@OnceABC) November 2, 2015
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Amy Manson reveals that she hadn’t yet seen the film Brave prior to her Once Upon a Time auditions, and as the actress tells it, that wasn’t an issue as she wasn’t reading for the role of Merida at the time of the readings. The truth is that Manson was actually reading for a Once Upon a Time character named Evanna, Rumplestiltskin’s mother. “The scenes that I got really were similar to a few of the scenes in the animation Brave. I put my own spin on it and my own take, and labored on the pain of a mother-daughter relationship more so,” says the Once Upon a Time actress. “I sent those tapes away and then Eddy [Kitsis] and Adam [Horowitz] got back to me and said, ‘Can you do the scenes again, but with humor?’ Then I did those tapes and sent those back and then here I am.” One of the obstacles Amy had to overcome in becoming Merida was her inexperience with shooting a bow. Ms. Manson reveals that she had actually never used a bow in her life, prior to San Diego Comic-Con. As Manson arrived at the event, she was handed a bow with some arrows and shuffled off to practice with an experienced archer about one hour before the Once Upon a Time actress was scheduled to appear.
A Heartless Merida Finds Her Limits Being Tested On Once Upon a Time
— Amy Manson (@AmyMansonLondon) November 1, 2015
Merida is facing challenges that are especially difficult to overcome without her heart and being able to do what needs to be done without hurting anyone may prove more difficult that Merida thought, admitted Amy Manson to Access Hollywood. Amy says that her Once Upon a Time character is strong enough as a person, but she also acknowledges that the temptation to take an easier, darker path is always present. Without revealing any important Once Upon a Time plot points, Ms. Manson says she hopes Merida will make the right choices.
If she does choose a dark path, which may be an option, considering Merida is acting without her heart, Amy says her Once Upon a Time character will still find her way back to the good side.
“She’ll do whatever it takes to get her heart back in order to carry on with her mission to save her brothers from the other clans in DunBroch who have kidnapped them.”
Manson also revealed that coming episodes would explore Merida’s world and foretell the reasons Belle is so important to her plans. Elaborating on that key plot point, the Once Upon a Time actress says that there’s a very specific reason she has kidnapped Belle and forced her to work with her and even more surprising, Once Upon a Time fans will learn why Belle is so quick to help Merida.
After all is said and done, it turns out that Merida strikes up a friendship with Belle, though it takes a long journey away from Storybrooke and time alone to forge a bond.
“It takes a long time on the journey to DunBroch, and to actually find where the clans are keeping the brothers captive. But by the end of it, Merida and Belle strike a friendship, absolutely.”
Once Upon a Time airs on Sundays on ABC.
[Featured image courtesy of ABC/Once Upon a Time]