For Ginnifer Goodwin, joining the cast of Once Upon A Time has resulted in more happy endings than she could have dreamed of. Not only is the fantastic fantasy series one of ABC's biggest hits, but the show's popularity has allowed Goodwin to use her celebrity status to bring attention to worthy causes. Like she did on February 5 by helping Listerine kick off their 21 Day Challenge!
To help Americans develop better oral hygiene, and improve access to dental care for children in need, Listerine donated $21,000 after Goodwin's "swish," and will continue to donate every time someone signs up for the challenge on Facebook!
ETonline caught up with Goodwin to talk about this mighty cause and this even mightier season of Once Upon A Time (particularly what you can expect from the introduction of Snow White's mother)!
ETonline: How'd you come to partner with Listerine?
Ginnifer Goodwin: I made some friends at Listerine and they taught me a little bit about oral care. That half of adults suffer from oral disease, that the number one chronic disease among children is oral disease, that we're only taking care of 25% of our mouths when brushing alone and there are more germs in your mouth than there are people on the planet.
ETonline: Well that's a terrifying statistic.
Goodwin: Oh yeah, I immediately had the heebie jeebies when they told me that. So then they offered to donate $21,000 to Oral Health America for my first swish of the Listerine 21 Day Challenge. The thinking is it takes 21 days to form a habit and implementing that into a morning and evening routine, one can assume it will become a lifetime commitment. It's quick, easy, and inexpensive -- plus you prevent so many problems. I really couldn't turn down such a generous offer.
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ETonline: What does it mean to you to have reached a place professionally where you're able to raise so much money simply by rinsing your mouth with Listerine?
Goodwin: It's incredibly humbling, and I'm glad you're bringing it up because it's important for me to remember. A lot of times, I think that what I do for a living has no integrity. Once Upon A Time has changed that to a certain extent because the reaction we get from children out in the world is so fulfilling, I can not even articulate it. There's nothing like being greeted as Snow White by a hyperventilating child versus Ginnifer Goodwin. It makes me feel like Santa Claus. But often times, I feel like I'm so blessed, it's not fair. That what I'm doing is not contributing to the good of the world. That acting is self-centered and elitist in many way, so to be able to participate in something that gives back is so important to me. That's where I really get my rocks off. I like partnering with companies that have really accessible, really easy changes we can all make that create a difference.
ETonline: When you initially signed on to Once Upon A Time, did you, in any way, anticipate it could be as successful, creatively fulfilling and resonant with fans as it has been?
Goodwin: I never dreamed our numbers would be what they are. I knew the show would be special and I knew it was risky, so I knew it would be creatively fulfilling. And I knew I would be a geeky fan of it and that even if it only had a tiny niche audience, I would be jealous watching the show if I wasn't on it. So I knew I had to be a part of it so I wasn't green with envy every Sunday.
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ETonline: Is that what fuels which projects you sign on for?
Goodwin: Sometimes. There's always a different reason. Sometimes I make very selfish choices; like I did Once Upon A Time for my inner 8-year-old and my hypothetical future child. I've done some movies because I would regret them if I didn't, but other projects I've done because they've scared me or if I felt I needed to do a big romantic comedy to help me professionally. Then I'll take a teeny movie when I need to work on myself and become a better actor.
ETonline: I've really loved this season ... except maybe for the pink sweater-set Snow was stuck in for so many weeks.
Goodwin: Oh my god! Thank you so much for hating it with me! I truly kept joking, except I was serious, that I desperately wanted to have an actual bonfire where I burned that freaking costume. Even the costume department despised it in the end. Thank God my character had some off-camera makeover.
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ETonline: Now that she and Charming have their memories back, what's the next hurdle in their relationship?
Goodwin: Thus far, based on what we've filmed, it’s the first time they're realizing that an obstacle could be self-created as opposed to it coming from an external source because he wants to go back and she wants to stay. They're struggling right now with whether or not this particular obstacle is surmountable. Selfishly I hope that Snow White and Prince Charming end up living happily ever after -- I'm not quite sure what our version of Snow White stands for if she's not going to get that.
ETonline: Snow's mother also becomes a major player in the show, via flashbacks, over the coming weeks. What excites you about that storyline?
Goodwin: Snow White has some mother issues, and they have affected her self-definition. I think it's going to be very exciting for the audience to see what has impacted Snow White in her past and that will effect how we feel about Snow White's relationship with her own daughter. And, totally unrelated to actual storylines, I'm excited for the incredible guest stars we have coming up. Like Lesley Nichol from Downton Abbey! Mrs. Pattmore joined our cast!!!! I freaked the fudge out all over her.
ETonline: You better hope your shows stay in adjacent timeslots. I worry about you should OUAT and Downton overlap on Sunday nights.
Goodwin: Yeah, no. I won't ever let that happen. I will throw myself on the grave of Walt Disney and beg for that to never happen.
For more info on Listerine's 21 Day Challenge, click here! Once Upon A Time airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on ABC.