22 OctRaphael Sbarge answers questions about ‘Once Upon a Time’ and ‘Mass Effect’
Actor Raphael Sbarge answers questions from fans about Once Upon a Time and Mass Effect.
Hey! Hey, it’s Raphael Sbarge, and I was going to answer some questions.
I have a question from Helena, wondering: What part of … what’s my favorite part of working on Once Upon a Time?
I think the favorite part is where I get to wander into the imagination of these writers, where they have begun to explore how Jiminy Cricket came to be. There’s an episode – 105 – which. I’m sure I’ll find myself talking about later on, that explores that in great detail.
And it’s thrilling to be part of such an incredible production team. The production values, the way it’s shot and, sort of, the traveling-through-time aspect that we do on the show. It’s sort of a dream job, in that regard; to be able to have not just one, but two parts, and then be able to sort of do it in period, in character and then in present time. It’s … God. It’s just a delight for me.
The next question is, what’s it like portraying Jiminy Cricket?
You know, it’s a little daunting. Only because it’s such a huge Disney icon. At least, initially. I know the rest of the cast, having their particular icons, also – you know, Snow White, Rumpelstilskin, etc. – there’s a real … I don’t know. They’re big shoes to step into. That said, what they’re trying to do is humanize these characters and reinvent them and breathe new life into them. So it sort of falls into the “Wow, what an extraordinary honor to be playing Jiminy Cricket.” With a character whose sort of motto is, “Let your conscience be your guide” – it’s pretty neat.
Lyriel – if I’m pronouncing it right — Lyriel … that’s a wonderful spelling: What’s it like connecting the fairy tale wisdom of Jiminy Cricket to modern and nuanced psychology for Archie?
I love the question … I’m trying to figure out how I would answer it. You know, what they’ve done is this: They’ve given us two characters. One character that I play is Archie, who is this young boy’s psychologist, his therapist. And then they also have made me Jiminy Cricket. There’s a close parallel, obviously, to Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket, and, you know, if your therapist is your conscience and someone that helps you kind of find your way through getting to your truth – they’ve sort of masterfully blended those two concepts together.
It’s a very interesting question. I mean in a certain sense, what they’ve done is design it so that the two characters really are married together, and the strengths of both – we lead with them. That’s clearly what they’ve done throughout the show; they’re trying to sort of take what are sort of the basic essences of the characters, and try and re-imagine them in modern time. I have been in some therapy in my life, and I can say that I am truly grateful for the therapists I’ve known, who have helped me out of some tight spots.
What I like about Archie is that he’s not just sort of a guy who’s by the book; he’s sort of a guy who clearly has lived a bit, taken a few punches and then tried to kind of come out and find some wisdom from it. So he’s not just sort of a know-it-all therapist. Clearly, obviously, Jiminy Cricket, to Pinocchio, also is there to help guide him and to keep him strong, and making the right decisions. Anyway, I love the characters, and I love the opportunity to be playing Jiminy Cricket.
OK, Melissa: As an actor, do you enjoy Kaidan’s character over the arc of Mass Effect?
Absolutely. The thing that I love about Kaidan – and I’ve done quite a few video games – but the thing that I love about him so much, is what a complex guy he is, and that he’s not just sort of a bad-ass freedom fighter out there in the universe, fighting geth and trying to just shoot and kill whatever comes out. You sense – and clearly, obviously now, I’m seeing a theme – this is a guy who’s got a conscience, and this is a man who is really intent on doing the right thing and has also – and again, this is the writing – has a very tender side to him. Has a sensitivity, despite the fact that he’s got a tremendous strength and a power, and he’s loyal. He’s strong. And he has clearly a soft side and a heart.
His relationship with Shepard, the female Shepard – the writing is just wonderful. Some of the best writing for Kaidan, for all three of the games, is coming up in Mass Effect 3, which is steamy. And thrilling to do. And, I mean, it’s sort of an actor’s dream to be able to have, in this case, a character that’s as rich as this is.
I mean, so many video games have just a lot of screaming in them. And this game is really much more nuanced. Much more like a film character or like a television character, where you get to kind of really bring depth, dimension and some heart to him. So, yeah, it’s been wonderful exploring him. Yesterday we were doing the last scene from Mass Effect for Kaidan, and we all got a little misty about it.
Anyway, I’ll pick up some more questions next time I call back.