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Happily Ever After

Jennifer Morrison gears up for season three of Once Upon a Time.

Arlington Heights native Jennifer Morrison didn’t exactly relax during her hiatus from the hit ABC television series Once Upon a Time, which films in Vancouver and kicks off season three this fall. Quite the contrary: The actress starred in the film adaptation of Neil LaBute’s play Some Girl(s) with Adam Brody and Kristen Bell; wrapped the romantic comedy The List alongside Patrick Fugit (best known as the young lead who was smitten with Kate Hudson in Almost Famous); and filmed her next movie, Event 15, a thriller in which Morrison plays a soldier receiving treatment for PTSD who gets trapped in an elevator after a series of explosions hit the Capitol. “Being stuck in an elevator for any length of time is stressful,” says the 34-year-old Loyola University grad. “But these are three highly unstable people in a very high-stress situation. It was a concept I gravitated to immediately, and Matthew Thompson is a really wonderful director. I was very happy with how it all came together.”

And though Morrison is best known for her work in dramas like the TV series House and Broadway play The Miracle Worker, she enjoys cutting her chops in more feminine roles as well and is even on the hunt for a role in a period film. “I always try to look for something different than the thing before to keep it fresh and keep stretching,” says Morrison, who once spent 10 weeks in an intensive summer acting program at Steppenwolf Theatre and performed alongside ensemble members. “Ultimately, I’d rather mostly end up on stage, but right now, I feel like I have to take the opportunities as they come and hope that at some point, I’ll be able to set aside more time to do theater.” In fact, if anything becomes clear in our conversation, it’s that new roles don’t intimidate her. Case in point: One of her earliest appearances was on the cover of Sports Illustrated Kids, where she posed with Michael Jordan and imitated his signature dunk, wagging tongue and all.

“I was never embarrassed,” says Morrison. “I remember waiting to go into that audition and hearing them say, ‘Don’t be shy. Try it again.’ I went in and they said, ‘Stand on the chair and act like you’re dunking the ball like Jordan.’ So I jumped off the chair, slammed down the ball and stuck my tongue out. Everyone started laughing because all I was supposed to do was just stand there. I definitely wasn’t shy and that’s how I ended up getting the job.”

Morrison’s Hots
Coming home to her parents’ house for holidays; spending weekends at her homes in L.A. and New York while filming in Vancouver; “And I’m a sucker for Italian food. I wish I could eat it for every meal—any good pasta has my heart.”

Morrison’s Nots
“I love how beautiful snow is, but that in-between stage when it’s melting and slushy and there’s salt on the streets is pretty terrible.”