Before Jennifer Morrison’s character Emma Swan broke the Evil Queen’s curse and saved the town of Storybrooke on ABC’s Once Upon a Time—a new episode airs tonight on ABC at 7 EST—she was just a lost orphan living alone. Her rough beginning inspired the producers to name her character after the swan from The Ugly Duckling, and, like every fairytale story we’ve heard since childhood, there are lessons to be learned from this fairytale-inspired character. “The point of that story was that the swan was always a swan, and was picked on for being different, not actually being ugly,” Morrison told InStyle.com at the 30th Annual Paleyfest in Los Angeles. “To me, that is Emma’s journey, constantly discovering who she should be.” This notion inspired the star to create the hashtag #TheUglyDucklings on Twitter and encourage her Once fan base to embrace the life lesson every time they Tweet at her. “[Emma is] constantly struggling in those moments and being reminded that she’s a swan,” Morrison added. “That’s her fairytale. That is the message to other people. Hopefully people connect with it.”
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— Nicola Jones