10 Things You Didn’t Know About Once Upon a Time’s Colin O’Donoghue (Captain Hook)

Actor Colin O’Donoghue starred as Captain Hook in ABC’s Once Upon A Time for six seasons, joining the cast in season two.

Over the course of Hook’s time in series, he evolved from a selfish, bloodthirsty villain to a trusted ally of the main characters.

Since O’Donoghue was playing a character and not representing himself, less is known about the actor compared to Hook.

Read on for ten things about Colin O’Donoghue that you may not have known. Unless you are a #CaptainSwan shipper of course.

He’s Irish

When playing Hook, O’Donoghue used a different accent than the one he has in real life. This may come a surprise to those who are familiar with how the character sounds.

While Killian Jones’ background is ambiguous, O’Donoghue’s is very clear as he hails from a town called Drogheda, located in County Louth, Ireland.

He’s Been Married For A Long Time

On Once Upon A Time, Hook is seen having various romances throughout the series and a reputation as a womaniser is implied.

Some of Hook’s flames include Emma Swan, the Savior (Jennifer Morrison) and Milah (Rachel Shelley), the former wife of Rumplestiltskin.

In real life, O’Donoghue has been married to his wife Helen since 2009, two years before he even joined Once Upon A Time.

He Replaced A ‘Game Of Thrones’ Star In A Role

As reported by Deadline in July 2019, O’Donoghue was cast as Lt. Gordon Cooper in The Right Stuff for National Geographic. The cast also includes Patrick J. Adams, Jake McDorman and Patrick Fischler.

However, O’Donoghue was not the original person cast as Cooper.

A month earlier, former Game of Thrones star Joe Dempsie (Gendry) was reported to have been cast in the role. However, Dempsie was forced to leave the series to visa-related problems.

He Was A Younger Than Average Captain Hook

O’Donoghue was cast in the role of Hook in August 2012, making him aged 31 at the time. This is considerably younger than other live-action actors who have played the role.

Jason Isaacs, who starred in a 2003 feature film of Peter Pan, was almost a decade older, at 40 years old.

Meanwhile, Dustin Hoffman, who played the title role in Hook, was in his mid-fifties.

Not Always A Major Character

When O’Donoghue was cast as Hook, the character was to be a recurring guest throughout the second season. Alongside Cora (Barbara Hershey), he was one of the main antagonists to the heroes in the Enchanted Forest.

However, prior to O’Donoghue even appearing onscreen, the actor was promoted to series regular from October 2012.

He would retain this status for the rest of the series’ run.

He’s Worked With Anthony Hopkins

Before joining Once Upon A Time, O’Donoghue starred in the 2011 film The Rite. He played the role of Michael Kovak, a novice priest.

Also among the cast was acclaimed actor, Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Hopkins is perhaps best-known for his role as Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs and also portrayed Robert Ford in the first two seasons of Westworld.

He’s Three Years Older Than Andrew J. West

At the end of season six and into season seven, Walking Dead alum Andrew J. West joined the cast of Once Upon A Time, initially in a mystery role.

West was later revealed to be playing an older Henry Mills (previously Jared S. Gilmore), a character centuries younger than Hook, no matter which realm.

In real life, however, West is only three years younger than O’Donoghue.

Only Non Original To Remain For Season 7

Ahead of seven season of Once Upon A Time, it was announced that multiple cast members would be leaving the series.

This included Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White), Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan), Josh Dallas (Prince Charming) and Jared S. Gilmore (Henry Mills), all of whom had been with the series since the pilot.

Longtime stars Emilie de Ravin (Belle) and Rebecca Mader (Zelena).

Only three series regulars from season six continued into season seven: O’Donoghue, Lana Parrilla (Regina Mills) and Robert Carlyle (Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin).

Of the trio, O’Donoghue was the only one who had not debuted in the pilot episode.

Had A Reunion On Once

In Hook’s early episodes, he and Cora are actively in competition with the heroic characters in the Enchanted Forest: Emma, Snow/Mary Margaret, Mulan (Jamie Chung) and Princess Aurora (Sarah Bolger).

O’Donoghue and Bolger, who is also Irish, had previously worked together on the historical fiction series The Tudors, three years earlier.

Reunited With Ginnifer Goodwin (in a way)

In the series finale of Once Upon A Time, multiple former cast members returned, including Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas and Jennifer Morrison.

However, after the series wrapped, O’Donoghue would go on to work with Goodwin again… only they shared no scenes.

Each were cast in Dolly Parton’s Netflix anthology series Heartstrings.

O’Donoghue appeared as outlaw JJ Sneed in the episode of the same name while Goodwin played lawyer Genevieve Carson in the following episode, “These Old Bones.”

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