The Cast Of Once Upon A Time: What They Look Like From The First Episode And Now

It is not often that a show hits the airwaves and creates a fan base that is loyal and strong, regardless of any major changes the show makes. Once Upon A Time was one of those shows. Boasting characters from some of our favorite fairy tale stories, ABC went above and beyond for this television show. It had everything that every fairy tale needed while taking place in the modern world–princesses, witches, villains, warriors and magic. The twists and turns that this show created for the audience were shocking at times and cheer-worthy at others. It was a well-written, adult-centric way of indulging in the darker side of fairy tales.

After seven seasons, the show has been canceled. Some of the original cast members made it to the end of the show, while others departed the season before due to the upcoming changes. Regardless, this seven-year-old television show grew with its characters and helped them evolve through the series. Whether it was their own physical appearance that changed, or if it was a major wardrobe adjustment, there were a lot of changes from 2011 to now. Our favorite characters and their changes are listed below. Did your favorite Once Upon A Time character make the list?

15 Henry Mills Went From Little Boy To All Grown Up

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Henry Mills, initially played by Jared Gilmore, started off on the show as the pre-teen protagonist to the show. He had been adopted by the mayor of the town, whom was fiercely protective over him. He always tried to solve mysteries of the show. When season seven came around, the series took another direction. They were fast-forwarding the show multiple years. Jared Gilmore was replaced by Andrew West, a much older version of the character.

Now that Jared Gilmore is off Once Upon A Time, his IMDB page does not report that he is working on any new projects since filming 139 episodes of this show. Andrew West has gone on to film two movies since his time on OUAT. One is listed as completed, while the other is in pre-production, as per IMDB.

14 From Leather To Lace, Emma Swan Has Blossomed Before Our Eyes

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Emma Swan is one of the main characters in the Once Upon A Time series. Played by Jennifer Morrison, Emma puts her son, Henry ,up for adoption when she was younger, only to reconnect with him as they both grew older. She needed to return home to help Storybrooke return to normal. Emma had a knack for crime solving and even had a dark side of her own.

IMDB reports that Morrison is currently working on five different projects, many of which are expected to be released this year. Gone are her days as Emma Swan. She is now embracing roles such as a woman that wants to change a man in Alex & The List, a mother in Back Roads, and a detective in SuperFly. Jennifer continues to find success.

13 Regina Looks Fabulous As Mayor Or Bartender


Regina, played by Lana Parrilla, was the mayor of Storybrooke. Her alter egos included The Evil Queen and a barkeep named Roni. Regina tended to be a spiteful character, much like her fairytale alter ego. She had no time for people that were only trying to do good and found them to be weak. She held great disdain for Emma Swan. She always wanted to have the last word and to have all of the power. Regina had a difficult life.

According to her IMDB page, Lana Parrilla has not filmed anything since Once Upon A Time. With the end of the show recently being announced, there is still plenty of time for her to film other things. Prior to Once Upon A Time, she had been in shows like Miami Medical and Lost.

12 Mr. Gold Became Much More Clean Cut

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Mr. Gold and his alter ego, Rumpelstiltskin, were played by Robert Carlyle. Both Mr. Gold and Rumpelstiltskin were characters that pretended to be good, although they held a lot of dark magical power. Alongside Regina, Mr. Gold was one of the only characters that could remember his alter ego in Storybrooke. The make-up and wardrobe departments changed his appearance drastically between season one and the remaining seasons.

Post-Once Upon A Time, Carlyle has gone on to film one episode of a television show. According to his IMDB page, he will be playing Ogilvy in The War of The Worlds. So far, it has only listed one episode, but it may continue beyond that. Carlyle appeared in the most episodes of Once Upon A Time alongside co-star Lana Parrilla.

11 From Pirate To Police Officer, Hook Still Looks Good

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Captain Hook was played by Irish actor Colin O’Donoghue, as per IMDB. Captain Hook became Emma Swan’s love interest and slowly transitioned from full-time villain to a bad boy with a good heart. He even ended up marrying Emma Swan before the massive change occurred in the television series. It was a wedding that all of the fans had been rooting for. When all of the characters were given additional alter egos, his was Rogers. He transitioned from pirate to police officer.

Since Once Upon A Time, O’Donoghue has gone on to film one movie. This movie is entitled What Still Remains. He will be playing Peter, a traveler whose intentions are unclear, as per IMDB. With the talent he showed in Once Upon A Time, it is likely we will see him in many productions to come.

10 Snow White Started To Embody Her Storybrooke Alter Ego

Snow White, also known as Mary Margaret, was one of the strongest characters in Once Upon A Time. Played by Ginnifer Goodwin, Snow and Mary Margaret were tough, independent woman that was able to defend themselves and wanted to help others. She often gave others the benefit of the doubt, despite having a terribly evil stepmother. Her bow and arrow skills could not be matched by anyone.

Since filming Once Upon A Time, Goodwin has gone on to only film one made for TV movie, entitled Steps, as per her IMDB. Goodwin leant her voice to the main character of Judy Hopps in Zootopia while she was filming Once Upon A Time. We can only hope that Goodwin will continue to work with Disney-like films and television show.

9 Prince Charming Has Still Got It

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Prince Charming, also known as David Nolan, was played by Josh Dallas during Once Upon A Time. He started off as a character with a bit of amnesia but ended up reuniting with Snow/Mary Margaret, as she was his one true love. It was also later revealed that he was the father of Emma Swan. He was a crucial part of the Once Upon A Time series.

Since filming Once Upon A Time, Dallas has gone on to start filming a made for TV movie, much like his television wife. This movie is called Manifest and he plays Ben Stone, as per his IMDB website. Much like Ginnifer Goodwin, he also was a voice to one of Zootopia’s characters. This may be an acting match made in heaven.

8 Belle Went From Damsel To Mother

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Much like the Belle that we all watched in the movies, the Belle in Once Upon A Time had been held captive by Rumpelstiltskin. In Storybrooke, she had been locked in an asylum. Played by Emilie de Ravin, an Australian actress, Belle took control of her life once she was able to control her fears. She even had a child on the show. She chose to see the good in Rumple and married him.

Post-Once Upon A Time, Emilie has not gone on to film any other movies or shows. She had acted in films and television shows before Once Upon A Time, including the hit series Lost, according to IMDB. We expect to see Emilie go on to star in several other shows and films, as she was stunning as Belle French.

7 Zelena Traded In Her Green Skin For Green Outfits

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Zelena was the Evil Queen’s sister through the series. We were first introduced to her as one of the Wicked Witches from the Wizard of Oz fame. She had bright green skin to go along with her fiery red hair. Played by Rebecca Mader, as reported to IMDB, Zelena/Kelly West made changes to her evil side as the series progressed. She became the lovable evil sister that seemed to be misunderstood.

Like many of her co-stars, Mader has not had a moment to breathe since the end of Once Upon A Time. She has been able to work on one made for TV film, which is called Like Family. However, prior to being on OUAT, Mader had a role in Lost among many other television shows and films.

6 Ruby Started Becoming Way More Elegant

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Ruby, who was also known as Red, started off working in Granny’s dinner. Played by Meghan Ory, Ruby was hiding a major secret. She would turn into the wolf that all of the fairytale characters feared. That’s right, just like the wolf that Little Red Riding Hood feared. It was an interesting turn on this classic character.

Meghan Ory was only in Once Upon A Time until 2016, as per her IMDB site. After filming forty-six episodes of the series, Ory went on to have a role in the television show Chesapeake Shores. In this show, she played Abby over the span of a year. She also had a guest role in NCIS. This Canadian actress will likely continue to find roles and will grow as she has on the Hallmark network.

5 Robin Hood Became A Completely New Person

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Robin Hood started off as a guest appearance and was played by actor Tom Ellis for an episode or two. This version of Robin Hood boasted curly hair and a full beard. A season later, Robin Hood’s initial actor was replaced by Sean Maguire as a recurring character. He became the love interest for Regina/The Evil Queen, making him a pivotal character for the show. The Evil Queen did not know he was her true love, as she never followed the advice to match up with the man with the tattoo.

According to Sean Maguire’s IMDB page, he has gone on to act in additional productions since Once Upon A Time. He starred in a short film entitled Are We Good Parents as the character Bill. He also is going to be in the film HeadShop as Grant.

4 Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother Really Made A Difference

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Cinderella underwent a lot of changes through the different seasons of Once Upon A Time. During the initial seasons of the series, Cinderella was played by Jessy Schram. Schram is a blonde actress that resembled the Disney version of Cinderella. Later on, she was replaced by Dania Ramirez, a Dominican actress that offered a new spin on Cinderella, especially as adult Henry’s wife, as per IMDB.

Since Once Upon A Time, Schram has gone on to play a number of different roles. She has been in multiple made for television movies, including Royal New Year’s Eve and The Birthday Wish, as per her IMDB. Ramirez has not starred in anything since Once Upon A Time, but she did have a role in Devious Maids, as reported to IMDB.

3 The Huntsman Sheriff Combination Went On To Great Fame

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The Huntsman, also known as Sheriff Graham Humbert per IMDB, is played by Jamie Dornan. This character is one of the original sheriffs in Storybrook. Just like the original tales, The Huntsman is hired by The Evil Queen to kill her stepdaughter, Snow White. Instead of killing Snow White, he tries to trick the Evil Queen, getting his heart ripped out. Even without his heart, he tends to lean towards the good side.

Jamie Dornan has come a long way since his days on Once Upon A Time. Dornan has gone on to star as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, which is known for its scandalous nature. Dornan’s IMDB page says he has five films that are currently in various stages of production. He is currently one of IMDB’s top 500 actors.

2 The Mad Hatter Lives In His Own World

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The Mad Hatter, played by Sebastian Stan as per IMDB, was an intense character. While he only appeared in six episodes, he made a lasting impact with his top hat. He had started off looking for his daughter, ending with him finding her perfectly content with another family. His heart was broken. He gets trapped in Wonderland by Regina/The Evil Queen, she stole his hat after he helped her travel into other dimensions. He is supposed to create a new hat in order to be free, but fails in doing so.

Today, Sebastian Stan has been making increased appearances in various movies of The Avengers series. He plays Bucky Barnes, also known as The Winter Soldier according to IMDB. This character is Captain America’s brother that was presumed to be dead. Instead, he was turned into a villain.

1 Gideon Is No Longer A Little Baby

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Gideon had quite a history on the show. He was the child of Belle and Rumpelstiltskin, appearing only as a baby for several seasons of the show. He was often wrapped in a blanket so he could not be seen. Belle fawned over him. When the show made the jump forward, Gideon was played by Giles Matthey. He was able to make the character sinister and older than he had been before, so there was more of a dialogue.

Giles is currently in post-production for the film Ambition, in which he plays Dave, as per IMDB. Prior to his appearance on Once Upon A Time, Matthey appeared in a few films and television shows, including NCIS, True Blood, and 24: Live Another Day. His career seems to be taking off now.

References: Deadline, Insider, Insider, TV Fanatic, TV Line, EWJared Gilmore IMDB, Andrew West IMDB, Jennifer Morrison IMDB, Alex & The List, Lana Parrilla IMDB, Robert Carlyle IMDB, Colin O’Donoghue IMDB, What Still Remains, Ginnifer Goodwin IMDB, Josh Dallas IMDB, Emilie De Ravin IMDB, Rachel Mader IMDB, Meghan Ory IMDB, Sean Maguire IMDB, Jessy Schram IMDB, Dania Ramirez IMDB, Giles Matthey IMDB, Deadline, Insider, Insider, TV Fanatic, IMDB, IMDB

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