The role of Tiana’s mom has officially been filled – but the actress actually met her on-screen daughter in an elevator weeks before she was cast!
Tiana’s mom will be played in at least one episode by Robin Givens, most recently seen in a recurring role on Riverdale. The CW show shoots in Vancouver, where ABC’s Once Upon a Time is in also in production. Mekia Cox, the Frog Princess herself, recounts her coincidental encounter with Givens at her Vancouver hotel:
I had come from the grocery store, and there was this woman waiting in the elevator, but I didn’t really see her. We got on the elevator and I turned and said, “Oh, hi! I know you!” She was like, “Oh?” I know I probably scared her. I was like, “I think you’re great.” “Oh, thank you,” and she looked at my grocery bags and was like, “That’s normally me.” I was like, “I need my own groceries, I can’t eat out every day.” We had a fun little moment with each other and that was that. Then I came to set and found out she was going to be playing my mother, so when I re-met her, she was like, “It’s nice to meet you,” and I was like, “Well, it’s re-meeting because I’m the girl from the elevator.” She was as excited as I was at that time. She’s the sweetest woman, she’s very down-to-earth and it’s really awesome getting to work with her and play her daughter.
Tiana’s mom, named Eudora, is reportedly a loving mother to Tiana and a benevolent noblewoman. The reason hasn’t been revealed, but Eudora has lost her former wealth and is now facing financial ruin. She is described as handling the transition with grace and inner moral strength.
Once Upon a Time returns Friday, October 6th.