Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Umm... Once Upon A Time's Rumpelstiltskin?

Now to be known simply as Rumpel.

Okay. I'm not really going to try and make a case that Robert Carlyle is hot. Or even lukewarm. He's over fifty and a little...hard worn, shall we say? But he is one of my favorite favorite actors. From Trainspotting to The Full Monty to 28 Weeks Later and even the weird 24-between-seasons-movie, he's always fantastic.

Robert Carlyle in 28 Weeks Later Sexy sexy, amiright?! Robert Carlyle in 28 Weeks Later
His turn as Rumpelstiltskin on Once Upon A Time is no exception. He steals pretty much every scene he's in. And this past Sunday, he got to take a break from his twisted creepster and turn on the angst as we finally learned his backstory.

Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin Rumpelstiltskin: The Before in Once Upon A Time ABC
Rumpelstiltskin was a single father to a little American boy, "a desperate soul," shamed by his decision to flee from an important battle in Fantastyland. He's the town coward and as he says, "I'm lame, friendless, the only thing I've got is my boy. And they're going to take him away from me." He's a pathetic, self-loathing guy who still gives alms to the poor. And he gets totally screwed over because he didn't keep his own damn alms.

Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin in ABC Once Upon A Time
Once Upon A Time is pretty cool in its complexity. He's a coward who doesn't want his son to fight. But his son is willing. His first act of bravery, perhaps in his life, is to murder a sorcerer for his power. It's that temptation of power that finally causes him to grow a pair. He thinks he's acting to protect his son. But is that really his only motive? Or is he simply sick of being a loser?

Either way, it doesn't work out how he hopes. He's like Jafar; getting the power and the curse of oddly shimmering skin that goes along with it. Poor Rumpel.

Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin in Once Upon A Time ABC
It's great storytelling to have such murky characters. And once Rumpel was full out evil - he WAS indeed frightening. He has sort of an old-world Emperor Palpatine thing going on.

Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin Rumpelstiltskin: The After Once Upon A Time ABC
I like this show more and more each week. It's structured a lot like LOST - moving the modern day story forward while flashing back on a different character each week. So far, so good. But what do you do when season two rolls around and you're out of characters? Introduce The Others?

I doubt we'll see anymore of pre-evil Rumpel so his angsty days are probably behind him. But he remains a fun villain and a great character. So huzzah, Robert Carlyle! Somehow you made, "I do hope you're not going to break my little bell" one of the best lines of the night.


  1. He's the only reason I watch Once Upon a Time and he's totally bringing some angst back with the Belle episode.

  2. Yes! I loved the Belle episode. It's officially one of my favorites. I'm posting about it later this week :) I hope he eventually gets a happy ending.

  3. So do I. He is good beneath that thick skin and haughty(or hotty) demeanor.