Storybrooke will be welcoming a new villain to town during the Season 4 winter finale of “Once Upon a Time.” Although the residents are currently still dealing with the Snow Queen (Elizabeth Mitchell) and her bizarre plans for Emma (Jennifer Morrison), an infamous Disney villainess will be appearing before the 2014 season comes to an end: Cruella de Vil.
Cruella de Vil initially appeared in Dodie Smith’s 1956 novel, “The Hundred and One Dalmatians.” In 1961, the black-and-white-haired woman who wanted Dalmatian puppy fur to make a coat became a well-known villainess, when Walt Disney adapted the tale into the animated adventure movie, “101 Dalmatians.”
Voiced by Betty Lou Gersen in 1961 and portrayed by Glenn Close in the 1996 live-action film, the latest actress to reportedly take on Cruella de Vil is “Dracula” star Victoria Smurfit. Entertainment Weekly broke Smurfit’s casting on Tuesday, simply stating that she’d be playing an “iconic character” -- and the 39-year-old actress confirmed her character on Twitter later that night.
“Super excited about playing Cruella for such an iconic show as @OnceABC,” the actress posted. She later deleted the tweet, but TV Line was able to capture it.
Details about Smurfit’s alleged role are being kept under wraps, but TV Line notes that a fan revealed that she had seen a Dalmatian puppy on the “Once Upon a Time” set on Monday. The fan, who posted the sighting on a Tumblr page called “Captain Cronut,” explained that actress Emilie de Ravin, who plays Belle, was shooting a scene with the dog.
It’s also important to note that the ABC series appears to have been setting up the “101 Dalmatians” story since the start of the show in 2011. Fans will remember that “Once Upon a Time” already introduced Pongo, the Dalmatian in the animated Disney classic whose puppies with Perdita get dognapped. In Storybrooke, Pongo belongs to Jiminy Cricket/Archie Hopper (Raphael Sbarge). Since Jiminy/Archie does not have a love interest, it’s possible that his “Anita” could be on the way as well.
Victoria Smurfit’s Cruella de Vil won’t be the only villain terrorizing Storybrooke when the second half of Season 4 picks up in 2015. “True Blood” alum Kristin Bauer van Straten will be reprising her role as “Sleeping Beauty's” Maleficent.