California School of the Arts

Jared Gilmore and growing up on the set of ABC’s ‘Once Upon a Time’

Jared Gilmore, an 18-year-old actor, was introduced to the film industry at a very young age. Ever since he was 10, he’s been filming for ABC’s television series “Once Upon a Time” as Henry Daniel Mills, a prominent character in the show’s seven seasons.

Gilmore was introduced to the entertainment industry with his sister, putting on shows in front of random strangers until a talent agent noticed them. A few years later, Gilmore’s sister quit, but he continued to pursue the career.

“Entering the film industry at a young age gave me a chance to mature and get a level of professionalism that is extremely helpful in our world,” Gilmore said, on an interview over the phone. “It’s an amazing experience being in the entertainment industry. I’m given a chance to influence people and help people in any way, shape, or form and it’s incredible.”

Jared Gilmore at age 11. Photo courtesy of IMDB

Gilmore is currently touring the nation at “Once Upon a Time” conventions in New Jersey, Burbank, and other locations. At the conventions, the fans get to interact with the actors on a personal level, in panels, meet and greets, and Q&As.

“I’d like to say I’m a part of the community. It’s super cool, and I think my favorite moment of all the conventions has been the panels. I absolutely love going on stage and talking to the fans on a personal level and answering random questions,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore has spent eight years on the show — a major part of his lifetime. To film over 140 episodes over the past decade required him to drop out of a regular public school.

“Because I was on a TV show for so long, I never got the chance to go to a real high school and experience that, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the show so I’d never want to give that up,” Gilmore said. “It’s kind of a double-edged sword because it’s pretty hard for me to function around people my own age now.”

Jared Gilmore at age 17. Photo courtesy of IMDB

On the show, Henry Mills is referred to as the ‘The Truest Believer’ and ‘The Author’ because of his pure heart and desire to create and finish stories in the OUAT universe. Gilmore explains how he relates to his character.

“It’s funny, at the beginning of the show I don’t think I ever really related to Henry,” Gilmore said. “As Jared, I’ve taken on some more of Henry’s attributes. Henry has the heart of the Truest Believer, he always believes and he never gives up hope and that’s something as Jared I needed to do. I’ve gotten that from Henry.”

In the seventh and final season of the show, his character is an adult and portrayed by Andrew J. West. There are a couple episodes with Gilmore portraying Henry and an interesting scene where the older and younger versions of Henry are able to converse.

“[West] did an absolutely fantastic job. The way he portrayed the older Henry was perfect,” Gilmore said. About the ending of the show, he said, “It’s bittersweet. It’s sad to see it come to an end, but at the same time, it gives me a chance to explore other routes in my career and do things I never really got to do when I was working on the show.”

His career is far from over, however. Although nothing is yet set in stone that he can reveal, he plans to pursue his passion for voice acting in video games and animated films.

“It’s one of those things where I believe you need to give the talent, whatever talent you may have. Sometimes your dreams can seem unreachable but one day, they’re just going to come by and slap you in the face and say ‘hey we’re here,’” Gilmore said. “There’s a lot of rejection. You have to be able to take those blows and get back up and do more auditions because eventually it will happen. You have to be believable and I think that’s something that is really important.”

The “Once Upon A Time” Official Convention Farewell Tour is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 9, 10 and 11 at the Marriott Los Angeles Burbank Airport Hotel, 2500 Hollywood Way, Burbank. For full event information, call (818) 409-0960 or visit