As part of our partnership with People Convention, we were able to attend The Happy Ending Convention: Chapter II, that is dedicated to the show Once Upon a Time, and we gave you our report, but that is not all. We also had the chance to meet with several actors such as Andrew J West and Jared Gilmore. Today we share our interview with Sean Maguire who plays Robin Hood, who feels grown in his role and above all, a very doting father.
A lot of children grew up with Robin Hood, a hero popularized by Disney. What effect did that have for interpreting such an iconic character?
It’s a great honor. It was wonderful. It was adorable to see children come up to me and say “Oh! It’s you, Robin Hood!” It’s like being told, “Oh but you are Batman or James Bond!”. So yeah, it was incredible and it’s something I am very proud to have on my resume.
Talking about James Bond, you played his creator, Ian Fleming, on the show Timeless. Same question as before, what feeling did you have?
The same. It’s one of those roles where I said yes without thinking and I just said “Of course I want to do it.” Since I am no longer on Once Upon a Time, I want to spend time with my children because I am a dad (Sean has two boys, born in 2015 and 2017), and on top of that, I’ve worked since I was 5 years old so I wanted to take some time off to stay at home, write with my partner, raise my children… but when the proposal came, I immediately said that I wanted to do it and it was fun, a lot of fun!
To take it back to Once Upon a Time, how did you imagine Robin Hood’s past?
If we read his mythology, we discover that his name is Robin of Locksley, that he had a certain education and if we dig, we can conclude that he comes from a rich and noble family. He was without a doubt spoiled rotten and arrogant but maybe something happened and it made him realize that that was no way of living and he didn’t want to live like that anymore – if we believe that character is real. So something really important must’ve happened for him to disown all his worldly possessions and say to himself “I want to help my neighbor, I want to be good and useful.” and it’s that what touches people.
If he was still alive, what storyline would you have liked to see developed for him?
I would’ve liked to see him do what we never got the opportunity to see: steal from the rich and give to the poor! Overall, I would’ve liked to see more adventures. For example, see him break into a castle to rescue someone, steal from the rich and give it to those who need it. I would’ve liked to see him act in the way that Robin Hood is famous for!
The fans were upset by his death in season 5. How do you explain his popularity?
It’s a difficult question for me to answer without seeming arrogant or rude. First of all, I’m very grateful for the response of the audience. The credit goes to the writers of course for writing this version of Robin Hood that touched the public. I also think that Regina (Lana Parrilla) is one of the main reasons, as she is one of the most popular characters on the show. Some people may have been unhappy with the choice but others wanted Regina to have a beautiful love story and Robin Hood is as iconic as the Evil Queen in mythology so maybe he was someone who could suit her, that they could form this couple and complement each other.
So do you think, like many, that Robin and Regina are soulmates? And regardless of the final choice of the writers, do you think they are destined to be together?
So these are two different questions. I think that yes, they are soulmates. On the show, how it was written and how we played it, these two characters truly loved each other but to know if they are destined to be with each other is something else. And I could never tell the writers what they should write as the ending of the story between Regina and Robin.
Did you enjoy playing a darker Robin Hood last year?
Yes! I liked exploring another side of him. It was difficult to get into a Robin Hood that was so opposed from the original character in such a short time but it was interesting to revisit a
character in a different way. I think the original Robin has some affinity with him. I loved playing the original version of the character, I loved what he was fighting for because it resonated in
my own life, in the sense that I’m now trying to be the best me possible and to change the world in my own way.
You are also a singer…
You were also a singer. Would you have liked to be in the musical episode?
To be honest, no, I wouldn’t have loved to participate in it!
In my opinion, singing, is singing, and acting, is acting. I saw the song Colin (O’Donoghue, plays Captain Hook) sang because we are friends and someone showed me the video of his performance. I found it great because Colin is a singer and a very talented musician. But I wouldn’t have done it, because I don’t want to sing on television!
In that case, would you be tempted by other parts of the job, such as performing, producing or writing?
Yes, I write. I have already written several things that are under development. That is what mainly occupies most of my time. I love acting and I will continue my acting career, but at the
moment, I don’t want to be away from my children because filming is often far away from home. While I write, I go to my best friend – who is my writing partner – who lives just around the corner. I really appreciate the creative aspect of writing because when you are an actor, you have to wait for the phone to ring with offers and then you say yes or no, then we have to go far, sometimes for a long time. But suddenly I wouldn’t be able to prepare breakfast for my children, or get to tuck them in at night. So it is necessary that what one proposes to me allows me to see my little boys every morning and in this moment, there is nothing that suits me.
Even if they would offer you a lead role?
Yes, they have already offered me that! It just didn’t suit what I wanted to do. I will come back if the right project is proposed to me but I will do it under certain conditions. I don’t want to be away from my children so my family would have to come with me, if I like the role, it has to be something I haven’t done before. There is a void to fill to get me back! I act professionally since I was 5 years old and there hasn’t passed a year where I didn’t work, so sometimes you have to put your family first, especially your children. I don’t want to miss their first years because
once they pass, we can’t go back. Acting is important to me but not more important than my children.
We can see you soon in the movie HeadShop. Can you tell us more?
Yes, of course! It’s a comedy-drama that comes out this year, I think. I just saw a trailer of 5 minutes and the result looks very fun. I play the villain of the story so it’s a big contrast with
Robin Hood! (He laughs) My character is a bit creepy. I can’t wait for the movie to come out.
In 2017 you participated in a video against domestic violence for the site BulliesKeepOut.com, along with Michael Raymond-James (Neal/Baelfire) who is the ambassador. Can you tell us more?
It’s a little organization founded by a lovely woman, Dana Jacoviello, who seeks to fight against brutal, toxic or harassing people. Michael, like me, is a loving and devoted father, and the idea that a child would take his own life because of harassment is unbearable. So if we can do something like send a message of strength to those young people who are experiencing this kind of discrimination, then we will do everything in our power to help.
As mentioned in this interview, Sean will soon be on the poster of the film HeadShop next to d’Evan Ross (Hunger Games) and Michael Jai White (Batman: The Dark Night). Now that Once Upon a Time over is, you can find all the projets of the actors from the show in our special folder.