Raphael Sbarge has appeared in a number of television series ranging from “Dexter” to “Grey’s Anatomy”. Most recently he plays the role of Dr. Archibald Hopper on the ABC series “Once Upon a Time”. Media Mikes had a chance to speak with Raphael recently about his work on the series.
Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about your character on Once Upon a Time?
Raphael Sbarge: I play two roles. One is Dr. Archibald Hopper, therapist, and then Jiminy Cricket. It’s kind of an interesting pairing but it goes to the premise of the show. There are two worlds—a “real world” of Storybrooke, Maine, and then a Fantasy World (which, of course, we find out is equally real— but a curse was put on it, and everyone was sent/banished to the other world, with absolutely no memory of where they came from). The writer/creators of the show Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis had an idea to take characters we all know and love and integrate them into a show, giving them alter egos in another world. So: Jiminy Cricket, a character from “Pinocchio” who defines conscience, is thus made a ‘man of conscience’, and a therapist in Storybrooke. The concept is clever on their part, but for anyone who has yet to see the show, it’s not done in a cute or sugary way. It can be quite dark at times.
AL: How did the role initially come about?
RS: I auditioned for the part. As actors we are always out looking for the next job! Here I am a year later, having an amazing time, deep in a story that is so much richer, and well told than I ever imagined it could or would have been. The shows are shot with very high standards—almost like a feature. We never know what is coming down the river next. It’s quite exciting, actually.
AL: What do you like most about the role?
RS: There is not an actor in the world who wouldn’t be excited about playing two roles. All of us on “Once Upon a Time” are thrilled about that. They have also spent a fair amount of time this first season doing full episodes about each of the main players in the story. It gives the episodes a more depth and they can explore single characters in a way that is not done in TV very often. Then, because they really are so focused on creating a very visually rich fantasy world, it’s incredibly fun and exciting to see the set, costumes and the production values all come together to make it live. Honestly, it’s a blissful experience being a part of this show. It is unlike anything I have ever had an opportunity to do.
AL: Do you have any other upcoming projects we can be watching for?
RS: I am executive producing a new web series with Ed Begley Jr. and his wife, Rachelle, called “On Begley Street”. They are building the most sustainable home in North America, and it brings in their brand of quirky, silly fun, along with a lot of high-profile friends who will drop by. You can see our Kickstarter video at http://kck.st/obs2012. You can also go to www.onbegleystreet.com and sign up to receive updates and news about the premiere. I also voice one of the leads in the “Mass Effect 3” video game which will be out March 6th. This game was voted Most Anticipated Video Game of 2012 at the Video Game Awards. When I am not acting I do a lot of work on Green Wish which is a nonprofit I founded that raises money to help other local, green nonprofits. You can visit that site at www.greenwish.com