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Once Upon a Time's Captain Hook Speaks! Colin O'Donoghue Talks Playing a Disney Villain in Season 2

Colin O'Donoghue, Once Upon a Time ABC/JACK ROWAND

Hook's got a brand new look!

When Once Upon a Time revealed they would be introducing Captain Hook, we'll admit that Irish actor Colin O'Donoghue wasn't what we were expecting. No, we're not complaining, it's just that growing up, our Captain Hook wasn't attractive or charming. So yeah, you can add OUAT's new take on the classic villain to our list of why growing up doesn't suck. (Take that, Peter Pan!)

We chatted with the new series regular about taking on the iconic Disney role, his character's rock star style, and Hook's "interesting dynamic" with Emma (Jennifer Morrison)...

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Fans were surprised (and thrilled) when it was announced that O'Donoghue was being upped to series regular, even before Hook's debut on the show. When we joked that Irish actors usually don't have luck on this show, alluding to Jamie Dornan (Sheriff Graham/Hunstman), who was killed off in season one), O'Donoghue said with a laugh, "No, they don't really! Not really!"

After his first appearance on the ABC hit, it was pretty obvious why Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis decided to keep Hook around full-time. "I decided to go in a little bit of a different way with the character. I kind of wanted him to be charming and in a sense manipulative as opposed to outwardly evil," O'Donoghue explained of his take on the classic Disney villain. "I thought it would be good if he was sort of able to use his charm and I guess sexuality to get whatever he wants. If it doesn't work out then he can just kill them."

O'Donoghue admits he was nervous to take on the role, but not because he was taking on the infamous character. "I was nervous because I knew that they had sort of already introduced the character at Comic-Con this year. I knew there was a huge response to that," he said. "I didn't feel any pressure because of who I was playing because the character was so different; It's in a completely different context, but I knew there was an expectation."

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While most actors who've played the infamous captain, including Dustin Hoffman and Jason Isaacs, have donned wigs for the role, Once Upon a Time decided to switch it up, with O'Donoghue telling us, "There were conversations about having the long hair, but I wouldn't have minded either way." As for this Hook's affinity for eyeliner? "I've learned a little bit," O'Donoghue said of the product. "I've learned I'm pretty good at not blinking when they put it in! [Laughs.]"

Of course, Hook isn't truly Hook without his key accessory, something O'Donoghue reveals took a bit of time getting used to. "It's really a hook, so it took a little bit of time to get used to not having use of my left hand," he explained. "You know, doing anything kind of physical, it's very difficult to do sort of one-handed. You get used to it."

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Since Once Upon a Time is a show that takes pride in constantly surprising its viewers, O'Donoghue was pretty hesitant to drop any spoilers, but did tell us that he's yet to film a Hook-centric flashback.  "I suppose not at the minute, but I'm sure you'll find out more about him. That's about all I can say," O'Donoghue cryptically teased.

And yes, he promises that fans will learn why Hook stayed in Fairy-Tale Land when Smee ended up in Storybrooke. "I know, but I'm not going to tell you! People will find out," he assured us. 

Hook will be spending some quality time with Emma in Sunday's all-new episode when the two go on a quest together. "They have a very interesting dynamic between the two of them because Emma is obviously a strong character, strong-willed, and Hook is Captain Hook, you know?" he teased. "So they have an interesting kind of back and forth. That's all I'm going to say at the minute!" 

Once Upon a Time airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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