Rebecca Mader was not expected to return for Once Upon a Time‘s revamped Season 7, and now she has made it official. The actress, who plays Zelena, on the ABC fantasy drama, confirmed the news in a message on Instagram in which she thanked fans.
“A lot of you have been asking if I will be joining everyone in Season 7, so I wanted to let you know personally that unfortunately I am not,” Mader wrote. “This wasn’t my choice but a creative decision of the shows that I totally respect and understand.”
As we previously reported, the show had decided to bring back original cast members Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle and Colin O’Donoghue, with a focus on the three characters in the new season. Producers also had initially been in talks with Jennifer Morrison, who decided not to return.
You can read Mader’s entire Instagram message below.
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To my Darling Pretties, First of all I would like to start by congratulating Adam, Eddie, Lana, Bobby and Colin on the pick up of Once Upon A Time! I am truly happy for you all and most importantly for the fans that will get to keep tuning in each week to see where they will take us. A lot of you have been asking if I will be joining everyone in Season 7, so I wanted to let you know personally that unfortunately I am not. This wasn't my choice but a creative decision of the shows that I totally respect and understand. The most important thing is that you all know how much you mean to me. I am told frequently both online and in person that by being a part of such a special show I have in some way changed someone's life. This is hugely meaningful to me. I am here to let you know that I am the one who has been changed. Not just by playing such a well written multi-dimensional character but by the fandom itself. I have heard your stories, your pain, your struggles, your achievements and I have truly felt you. I have learned. I have grown. I am a better person because of you, the fans and everyone that blessed me with this opportunity to play such an iconic role. Congrats all and thank you! I look forward to the next. I invite you to come with me on this journey. I am forever changed. And I'm wicked. And Wicked Always Wins. Forever yours, Bex 💚