Is it just me, or have we been suddenly surrounded by a plethora of crime-loving Evil Queens? In the coming months Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron and Lana Parilla will all compete for the title of top Evil Queen as they try to thwart their own very different Snow Whites.
Deconstructed fairy tales are nothing new. We’ve seen it done with the books of Gregory Maguire (Mirror, Mirror and Confessions of an Ugly Step Sister), John Connolly’s Book of Lost Things and J.A. Kazimer’s Curses! A F***ked Up Fairy Tale. The movie Shrek changed an ugly ogre into a cute hero and the TV show Grimm feautres a cop who figures out fairy tale monsters are real.
But the current Evil Queen takeover is in full force. It’s a veritable smorgasbord of apple poisoning evilness. Let’s start with my favorite TV show of late…
Regina from Once Upon a Time
This Evil Queen has elected herself mayor and spends her days making life generally miserable for almost everyone Storybrooke, Maine. She cares for her apple tree, foils true love whenever possible, and managed to kill the handsome huntsman by squeezing his heart to dust by episode seven.
Regina controls the town and she used a powerful curse in fairy tale land to move all of the storybook characters out and into present day Maine. They have no memory of this transition or their previous lives and loves.
This Evil Queen does have her problems. Her adopted son seems to know she is the evil queen and want to spend more time with his biological mom and there is another villain (Rumplestiltskin) in this sleepy little town and he’s probably exponentially more evil than she is even with the heart crushing.
Rumor has it that we will finally learn why Lena Parilla’s Evil Queen hates Ginnifer Goodwin’s Snow White so much this April when Barbara Hershey (scary Black Swan mom) makes an appearance as the Evil Queen Mother.
You can watch episodes of Once Upon a Time here.
Julia Roberts Tries Her Wand at Evil in Mirror, Mirror
Coming up March 30th, the movie Mirror, Mirror features Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen. As fabulous as Julia Roberts is, she is comes in just behind Minnie Mouse when I think of actresses I’d pick to play evil. This light-hearted approach to the story is aimed for general audiences, which makes the casting decision easier to understand.
Julia Robert’s Queen is buried in yards of billowy fabric, complete with Elizabethan ruff and looks quite comical, unlike most of her Evil Queen brethren (sistren?) who prefer the sleek look. Like most Queens, Roberts’ character tends to outsource her evil and will do anything to stay in power.
Charlize Theron in Snow White and the Huntsman
We have to wait until June 1 to see Charlize Theron in the movie Snow White and the Huntsman as she plays Queen Ravenna. We already got a taste of Theron’s brand of evil on a very fun episode of Top Chef where the contestants had to make dishes fit for an Evil Queen and it definitely left me hungry for more.
This movie is darker than Mirror, Mirror and Charlize seems to take the prize for most evil from what we know so far. Her version of the Queen not only wears iron claws over her long finger nails and tell us the usual Evil Queen stuff about how she draws strength from despair, but she also seems to be able to kill people by breathing on them. Most evil Queens just want Snow White’s heart. This Queen plans to eat it.
I can’t help but think that in some magic cartoon castle Walt Disney’s Evil Queen and her mirror are plotting revenge on all of these usurpers. Just to prove that she is really the fairest one of all.
Deborah Lacy is an avid mystery reader who lives in California.
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