"It's sort of overwhelming," Haig tells PEOPLE of stepping into the role of the iconic Disney princess

By Patrick Gomez
September 28, 2014 01:00 PM
Credit: R Chiang/Splash News Online

If the only person you can ever imagine playing Elsa from Disney’s animated smash Frozen is Idina Menzel, let it go.

When the fourth season of Once Upon a Time premieres Sunday on ABC, audiences will be introduced to a live-action Elsa played by Australian actress Georgina Haig.

“It’s sort of overwhelming,” Haig tells PEOPLE of tackling the now iconic role. “I have a lot of responsibility portraying this universally loved character, but I think everyone will be very excited. The series is staying very true to the essence of the characters.”

Here are five things to know about the 29-year-old actress:

1. She won the role while on her honeymoon!
“We were on Magnetic Island and I did the first audition on tape. Then we went into the rainforest and had no signal, so the producers had to wait [to see my callback],” says Haig, who married actor Josh Mapleston earlier this year. “And since we were on an island, Josh had to play [Elsa’s sister] Anna and tape it with me. He was really good. In fact, the producers told me that as well.”

2. She hadn’t seen the film.
“Wedding fever overtook me a little bit and I didn’t get to watch too many films in the lead-up,” she says. “But maybe that was a good thing because I could approach Elsa with a kind of freshness.”

3. But she’s watched it a ton now.
“I looked a lot at her movements. When Disney was creating Elsa, they based a lot of her movements on that of a ballerina, which was interesting for me to find out because I actually did ballet years ago. That definitely informed some of the ways I made her walk and move,” says Haig. “I think she is so identifiable and people relate to her because she feels very isolated because she is different. And all of those emotions and feelings you see from Elsa in the film are reflected in her journey on Once Upon a Time.”

4. The cold does bother her, anyway.
“Being Australian, I’m probably more used to sunshine and the beach,” she says. “I’ve never been skiing and I think I was already in my 20s when I saw snow for the first time. The show films in Canada so I think it will be quite a shock to my system when winter comes around.”

5. She doesn’t mind being the new girl on set.
“The whole cast is so lovely to work with and just lots of fun,” Haig says of joining the well-established cast, which includes new parents Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas. “As a guest star, you often feel like you don’t quite fit in and everyone is in this clique, but they are really great and have been really welcoming.”

Want more stories like this?

Sign up for our newsletter and other special offers:

Thank you for signing up!

Check Out Who ll Play Frozen Characters In Once Upon A Time