‘Once Upon A Time’: Why Robert Carlyle Won

Posted Monday, December 26th, 2011 02:12 pm GMT -4 by

For a long time, I saw the debates, nerd-rages and petitions circulating about ‘Stargate Universe’ being cancelled before the series should have. Personally, I’m still working through the first few ‘Stargate’ series (I prefer to watch everything in order) so I haven’t seen it, but I feel the pain of losing a show too soon. Shows such as ‘Firefly’, ‘Happy Town’ (did anyone outside of myself ever watch it?) ‘Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles’ and ‘Pushing Daisies’ are still shows I’m sad to see go. But there was one actor from that show that actually won in the cancelling of ‘SGU’, and that actor is Robert Carlyle. Since ‘SGU’, Carlyle is now seen on ABC’s ‘Once Upon a Time’ as Rumplestiltskin in Story Time, or Mr. Gold in Real Time.

Once Upon a Time: Robert Carlyle as RumplestiltskinI think Robert Carlyle won because Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold is probably the most interesting character on ‘Once Upon a Time’. Rumplestiltskin was obviously taken out of his original story, although with smart nods to it (such as the episode titled “That Still Small Voice” he is weaving thread of gold) but he’s a likeable bad guy. I give a lot to the writing, and a lot to Carlyle himself. It is hard to cheer on the “bad guy” but when it comes to Rumplestiltskin, I find myself wanting more and more of his character. What is more amazing to me is how creepy Rumplestiltskin could really be, and really is, and Carlyle has made him a character that still leaves you wanting more.

Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold thinks, acts and reacts in a way different to most people. He wants a favor instead of money. He remembers the Storybook life, before Storybrooke. He knows everything that is going on, past, present and future, and is cunning enough to use it to his advantage without letting others on that he is using them to his advantage. While his outer appearance is shocking at first, his smile almost makes you trust him. He even gets the Evil Queen to fall for his tricks, and she’s one of the most manipulating people in the story!

Once Upon a Time: Robert Carlyle as Mr. GoldSo why is it that I think Robert Carlyle won? People will know who he is. No one can be such a likeable bad guy on a network television show and no one notice. Between his charm, his plotting and his manipulation, he is the person that everyone will want more of. ’28 Weeks Later’ is one of the few sequels that I enjoyed, and on his IMDB.com page it was one of the few things that I had recognized. I want to see more of Carlyle, because I want to see what other characters he can bring to life. I want to see more of Rumplestiltskin, because I want to see what mischief he can cause in Story Time. I want to see a lot more of Mr. Gold, because I don’t think he’s even gotten started in Real Time.

Were you a fan of ‘Stargate Universe’? What did you think of the transition Robert Carlyle made? Do you enjoy the Rumplestiltskin character? What character or actor do you want to see more of? Did you have a favorite show get cancelled, and want to see more of the actors in other shows?

  • Anonymous

    Wow. I have like the exact opposite reaction. Rumplestiltskin is the very definition of scenery chewing. I get that the show is frothy and soapy, but even so every time he’s onscreen, I think “Reign it in!”

    • PedanticPatty

      Well, he does rule….

      Sorry. Queens (and Kings) reign. Horses and behaviour are reined in.

  • Michael F.

    I’d like to see a third season of Stargate Universe. That show was amazing. I didn’t start watching it until several months after my return from overseas.

  • Mike

    I’m a fan of Stargate Universe and while I’m sad to see it go, I have to agree that Mr. Carlyle hit it out of the park as Rumplestilskin.  He’s definitely the most interesting character on Once upon a time, just like he was on SGU as Dr. Nicholas Rush.  The only difference is now, Mr. Carlyle is Prime time.  

  • Anonymous

    wow – just about everything you said about his new role, pretty much applied to his role on SGU.  It annoys me that you can write this article without having seen SGU.

  • Friday

    Carlyle hit a home run as the titular character in the TV mini-series “Hitler” as well.  The man is simply an outstanding actor.  Now skip to SGU, Episode 1.  You won’t be sorry.  

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  • Liverbird

    Robert Carlyle is a very famous actor in the UK. He has been in loads of worldwide hit movies… Angelas Ashes…Trainspotting… The Full Monty..he is even a Bond Villain. How can 28 weeks later be the only movie you have heard of that he is in? Its the typical small minded American view of the world.

  • patisb

    SGU was fantastic. I saw it first then went back and tried t watch the earlier versions. I couldn’t stand the characters. They lacked the complexity of SGU. I just saw a brief bit of Once Upon a TIme. Unfortunately I can’t watch much since I am getting kids ready for bed during that time. I’ll pick it up on Netflix if I can. I have loved Robert Carlye for over 20 years. He is just an incredible actor. I am happy to see him in something again. I was missing him!

    • I couldn’t said it better I did the same as you and the other characters were nothing but. Cheese compared to SGU if I had the money I’d pay to have a third season.

  • i luv luv luv luv ROBERT CARLYLE!! he is the best person they could pick 4 mr. gold/ rumplestiltskin and he makes it look so easy. And he’s pretty cool too. if i cud date anyone it wud be him. =)

  • Eliana-Robinson.RW

    I thoroughly enjoyed your article.
    I agree that the ever talented Robert Carlyle dase a splendid
    job of bringing the character of Rumpelstiltskin to life. I’ve only just
    recently invested in Robert’s work but have come to realize that a lot of the
    things I enjoyed when I was younger were works done by Robert. Going back and
    looking at them all again I confess that Rumpelstiltskin is my most favorite of
    his work. The slight but recognizable traits and differences in voice and
    manner between Mr. Gold and Rumpelstiltskin shows a great love of character and
    investment in the craft of bring the character to life, often enough I see
    actors who are very good but don’t really invest in their characters and as a consequence
    something falls short in the show/movie. With Robert’s work in all I’ve seen of
    his but especially in OUAT he really takes the time to become the characters
    and make them real. I’ve never seen Stargate Universe but have heard interesting
    things about it. Many shows get cancelled but not all of its actors go on to
    such fantastic new projects, this was a lucky chance for Robert and for many of
    the cast of Firefly who went on to do great shows like ‘Castle’ and ‘Chuck’ it’s
    great to see good things still growing from the downfalls. Being limited due to
    illness TV is often my magical mirror to the outside world and often it’s a necessity
    for me, like oxygen. When actors take the time to really portray their characters
    and tell a good story it makes a monumental difference to many lives. The world
    is built on stories and the written word, life is lived through stories and
    every one is different. Incredible actors like Robert Carlyle make a rather dull life much more entertaining. It’s great to see shows
    like this. I hope to see more of it for years to come. While I agree Robert Carlyle won when he got the role, I think
    the biggest winners were his fans. Rumpelstiltskin is such a vibrant and addictive ‘bad guy’ the kind that
    really warrants the term ‘love to hate’ some actors are just born to certain
    roles and I think that this version of Rumpelstiltskin was meant to be played
    by Robert Carlyle for I
    feel no one else could play it better than him.

    Again a wonderful article, very
    well crafted.
    - Eliana Robinson