You wouldn’t want to meet this steely-eyed villainess in a dark alley. But in the light of day, you’re more likely to find actress Lana Parrilla chowing down on a decked-out burger than plotting world domination
By Karina Palmitesta
Parrilla plays the Evil Queen (alter ego Mayor Regina Mills) on ABC’s hit show Once Upon a Time, which weaves classic fairytale archetypes with a modern-day plotline. As a TV veteran, Parrilla has some big-name credits under her belt, including Lost, NYPD Blue, Six Feet Under and 24. But she can’t get enough of shooting Once Upon a Time on location in picturesque Steveston, a 20-minute drive from downtown Vancouver. “Steveston is the cutest little town,” she says.
When she’s not corseted into a full gothic get-up, Parrilla goes for upscale European designers and heads to sleek boutiques on shopping trips around Vancouver. High-fashion Misch in South Granville is a favourite haunt, as well as Gravitypope in Kitsilano. When she’s downtown, Parrilla hits up Leone or Holt Renfrew.
Don’t let the swanky shopping list fool you: when she’s worked up an appetite, Parrilla opts for comfort foods over canapés and white tablecloths. She raves about the fish and chips in Steveston, and says that nothing beats the pork sandwich at Meat & Bread. But her real passion is a no-nonsense, straight-up burger.
“I love burgers. It’s one of my favourite meals,” she says. “I can eat one at least three or four times a week.” Parrilla satisfies her cravings at Moderne Burger in Kitsilano. “Everything there is just top of the line,” she says. “Everything is super healthy and fresh. It’s the best burger in town.”
When asked about possibly shooting the show in LA instead of here, Parrilla responds: “We need to be in Vancouver, with its lush forests and scenery. It’s so much a part of our enchanted forest and fairytale land that I can’t imagine us shooting anywhere else.”