Jennifer Morrison is probably best known to SYFY WIRE readers for her role as Emma Swan in six seasons of Once Upon a Time. She left the Disney fairytale show last season and has just directed her first feature film, Sun Dogs.
At Emerald City Comic Con, there was one question that was on everyone's mind: Will Emma return in the series finale? Morrison was noncommittal, but hopeful. "I'm trying to make it work." At the very least, you know that the writers have a plan to write her back in.
When series producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis were first casting the show, they were having trouble finding someone to play Emma. They were both fans of How I Met Your Mother, a sitcom in which Morrison had a season-long arc. As soon as they realized that Morrison's character wasn't the eponymous mother, they called her agents and sent her the script. "I read it and loved it," Morrison says. She then had to work fast to prepare for the role, which she did by researching real stories of kids who have been put up for adoption and grew up in the system. "I tried to do it as real as I could. I focused on a dark, gritty place. Everyone else was studying fairy tales and Disney stuff!" Morrison remembers.
Morrison loved playing Emma because of the overall journey the character went on. "I got to play a character that was having 'growth spurts.' She was fallible; she could make mistakes and try again. I loved playing her because she was human in that way." Morrison enjoyed playing Dark Swan, the evil version of her character in Season 5, but she wouldn't say it was more fun. "I spent four years playing her as a hero, so it was fun playing her as Dark Swan. But it was good to return to the comfort of Emma."
One of the defining characteristics of Emma's character is her red leather jacket. Several girls in the audience were wearing similar jackets. "It definitely wasn't warm enough for the weather in Vancouver," Morrison laughs when asked about the jacket. Production decided she should be wearing red as a pop of color, to make her stand out in a town destroyed by a curse. Morrison also wanted something that felt "like armor." It took them a long time to find the jacket, but Morrison said it was "horrible." They used it for the pilot, but after the show was picked up, they managed to find jackets that fit her better. "At some point there were 40 red leather jackets," Morrison comments. Her favorite was a burnt-ish red jacket that was the only one they had. At one point it went missing. "They kept trying to convince me that this one jacket was THE jacket," Morrison says. "But it didn't feel the same!" She started to think she was crazy, until wardrobe called her one day and told her they found THE jacket. Vindicated!