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Why Hook feels bad even though he's lost his heart

December 13, 2014   |   Written by Zap2it

Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) remains heartless — literally — as “Once Upon a Time” enters its Season 4 fall finale, “Heroes and Villains.” Rumpelstiltskin (Robert Carlyle) is still in control of Emma Swan’s boyfriend as he tries to free himself from the Dark One’s dagger, which doesn’t bode well for the great Captain.

But unlike previous situations where characters’ hearts have been stolen, Hook actually feels bad about the terrible things he is doing. This seems to go against the previously established rules of “Once Upon a Time,” but O’Donoghue says the divergence does make sense in the show’s world.

“Helga [Ungurait], who is one of the producers on the show, sort of maps out what you can and what you can’t do when you lose your heart,” O’Donoghue explains to Zap2it over coffee in Vancouver, where “Once” films. “The way that we see it is Rumpel also wants to torture Hook, Rumpel wants Hook to feel for Emma. That’s the way we rationalized it, because in the past when other people have had their hearts stolen they’ve been told to do something and then they go do it.”

The Dec. 14 episode of “Once Upon a Time” will feature the introductions of three villains known as the Queens of Darkness: Maleficent (Kristin Bauer van Straten), Ursula (Merrin Dugney) and Cruella de Vil (Victoria Smurfit). The new arc will continue the discussion of whether villains can get happy endings, which was a huge part of both Regina (Lana Parilla) and Rumpelstiltskin’s stories in the first half of Season 4.

When Hook was first introduced in Season 2 he was technically a villain, but as the show has progressed he has become more of a hero. Fans certainly seem to hope that Emma (Jennifer Morrison) and Hook can live happily ever after (their ‘ship name is “Captain Swan,” after all). But O’Donoghue isn’t sure which category his character falls in, which could be problematic for the pair if only heroes are rewarded by the mysterious Author and villains end up unhappy.

“It’s kind of a gray area. Probably the second season you would have definitely said he’s a villain. I mean, he’s a pirate,” he explains. “Hook has at times tried to do the right thing, at other times he’s done really the wrong thing, or done the wrong thing because he felt in some way [it was right] — or he had no choice. And sometimes, in older Hook, his heart was just so dark from just a constant quest for revenge. When some people just go so deep into things, it’s kind of a gray area for them. Definitely now he’s trying to be a good person.”

O’Donoghue says Hook’s current goal is just to “do right by Emma” — even with his heart in Rumpel’s possession. “He loves her, and he’s willing to do whatever to prove to her that he’s worthy of her,” the actor says. “Hook has always been guided by a misguided sense of what’s right because all the nasty things he did in the past were to get revenge for the death of somebody he loved. He was blinded by that. That’s not excusing a lot of the things he did. Once he decided that he’s doing something, that’s it, he’s in, 100 percent.”

“Once Upon a Time’s” Season 4 fall finale airs Sunday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Who Is Colin?

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Colin O’Donoghue is an Irish actor/musician. He was born in Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland on January 26th, 1981. He is best known for his role as Captain Hook in Once Upon a Time and his role as Michael Kovak in the Rite.

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