'Once Upon a Time': Rose McGowan says young Cora 'knew she was meant for greater things'

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rose-mcgowan-once-upon-a-time.jpg Rose McGowan is coming to "Once Upon a Time" this Sunday, March 10, as the young Cora in Fairytale Land, the titular "Miller's Daughter." She tells Zap2it that it was a joy to work on the "OUAT" set and that she loved being part of an origin story.

First off, we tell McGowan that we've seen the episode and we must commend her on how much she looks and sounds like Barbara Hershey, who plays the older Cora. So, did Rose study Barbara's clips from the show?

"No. I watched like three or four clips and then I forgot all about it," says McGowan. "I realized that this is an origin story. I already look very similar to her, and in real life, I have a voice that's pretty deep, so it matches pretty well. So that took care of that."

"The rest of the story is very different in how she's ended up, so I have actually an open palette to play with. I approached it that way," she continues. "I wasn't try to imitate her in any way because the physical aspect was already taken care of."

"That's the cool thing about being an origin story and not a later story, you get to create what the person was before."

And what Cora was before is not that dissimilar to what we've seen of older Cora. She may not have been evil, but she was definitely always ambitious.

"I think she started out as somebody with a lot of burning intensity to be more than she is," McGowan observes. "She hated being looked down upon by the swells, so to speak. All the swanky people looking down on her while she's laying in the dirt did not work well for her. She knew she was meant for greater things."

At any cost, we wonder?

"She struggles with that, you see her struggle with it. What is worth what? What's better than love? Power." says McGowan. "Her primary drive is trying to prove her worth to people, people who look down on her, and then ultimately making those people pay."

In making those people pay, look for Cora to have her first meeting with (who else?) Rumpelstiltskin. They make quite the pair.

So, is this flashback the last we've seen of young Cora?

"I hope not," says Rose. "I had such a tremendously wonderful time, I'm completely open to coming back."

"The people -- Jennifer, Josh, Lana -- they're literally all the nicest people you'll ever meet," she continues. "It's scary to go into someone else's home, because when you work together on a show you become a big family unit. So when you walk in as a guest star, people can, and often do, behave very badly toward guest stars. But everybody was beyond great."

"Once Upon a Time" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Get all the latest "OUAT" news at the ABC website.
Photo/Video credit: ABC