Mekia Cox Discusses Playing Tiana on ‘Once Upon A Time’
For its rebooted seventh season ABC’s fairy tale drama Once Upon A Time has added some new characters to its fantasy story. Among them is The Princess and the Frog’s Tiana, played by Mekia Cox. The actress discussed how the role was a dream come true with Shadow and Act.
Cox grew up in Orlando and even started working as a dancer at Disney World when she was seven. She had long dreamed of being a Disney princess, however, there was a pretty big obstacle in her way.
“I had heard that when you were sixteen you could work at Disney as a Disney Princess and so was excited to do that,” she said. “Then I remembered, ‘Wait a second. I can’t work as a Disney Princess because there is no Disney Princess for me to be.'”
As usual for Once Upon A Time, Cox actually portrays two versions of the same person, Tiana in the fantasy world and Sabine in the real world. To keep her fairy tale character a secret, the producers only told her about Sabine.
“I was auditioning for Sabine. I had no idea I was auditioning for Princess Tiana. It was only afterward that they let me know it was for Princess Tiana and I was like ‘Oh, that’s really kind of cool,’” said Cox. “Eventually, we were told that I booked the role and I was extremely excited and turned back into my 7-year-old self.”
Cox does not underestimate the impact that her character will have in the fantasy TV landscape.
“You know, I think what can be interesting about these fairy tale characters is they can really be whatever you want them to be. I think that’s what they’re trying to show you,” she said. “I was happy that there is actually now a black princess that I can play, but it’s not like The Princess and The Frog originated as a black princess. She happened to turn into that in 2009 with Disney.”
“I really love that they’ve also shaped this character in a little bit of a different way and given her a different backstory. It’s great and it has needed to happen for a while now,” Cox continued.
Once Upon A Time airs Fridays at 8 pm on ABC.
Source: Shadow and Act