Unlike its star-studded counter-part, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
has cast actors who are mostly unknown in the US (though some are quite famous in the UK, as most of the cast is from there). I got to sit down with the cast and talk about the show, their characters and they told me how exciting it is to be not only on their show, but to be at Comic-Con promoting the show. I spoke with Sophie Lowe (who plays Alice), Peter Gadiot
(Cyrus), Michael Socha (Knave of Hearts) and Emma Rigby (The Red Queen / Queen of Hearts).
For most of the cast this was their first experience at Comic-Con and the excitement was palpable. The cast was not only excited to be in beautiful San Diego, but they were all genuinely excited to talk about the work they have been doing on Once Upon A Time in Wonderland
. Sophie Lowe
told us "Alice in Wonderland
was the only book my mum read when she was little. It was the only book she could have when she was little; she read it like a thousand times," adding "Now I am playing Alice! It's so great."
For the dashing Knave of Hearts, Michael Socha, he explained why he likes delving into his character so much: "I seldom play cool guys. [The Knave of Hearts] was written with a breakdown of: cool; sardonic; lonely; maybe a bit arrogant; heart-breaker; could be a drinker," he quipped, adding "the last main, big part I had was the opposite of that."
That last main, big part he speaks of is playing the lovable werewolf Tom McNair on the BBC drama Being Human, which just finished its final season in the UK, but has just begun to air the final season in the US on BBCAmerica.
Emma Rigby told us "For both [Michael and I], it's our first venture into American TV, so that was a huge part of it as well. I've always wanted to work in America!" Michael agreed, adding "I had already been cast in something in England... Then I got the job on the pilot [of Wonderland] and I decided to take a risk on the pilot. To go out and shoot this [show]. I didn't want to find in five years time to regret this opportunity, which has come to a series. I knocked that [other] job on the head and I think the other producers were a bit miffed about." Michael smiled and looked around as if to say "Look where we are!" and he nodded, confirming he has no regrets.
Peter Gadiot did not have any great stories of being cast, or reading Alice when he was a boy, but he still expressed so much joy in the role he plays. He says he is excited for the stories to unfurl and looks forward to where things will go from where he knows them to be at the moment. He is the only one to really give us some back story on his character: "I play Cyrus, who [Alice] meets when she's in Wonderland. I think they are kindred spirits who've gone through different things but that mean the same in terms of people maybe not believing them about being trapped in some way. We find freedom with each other." pausing thoughtfully, then adding "We fall in love and go on this great journey which we will hopefully see in the next few episodes."
We asked if there was a chance of crossing over into Once Upon a Time, or perhaps some of their cast crossing over to Wonderland. Peter couldn't say for sure, but said "It's been discussed, but I don't know to be honest. This is just my own conjecture. I think its more likely that some of their cast might pop up on our show. There is no back information to support that, I am just guessing. Either way, I wouldn't mind crossing over to their world!"
For now, Peter will not only stay on his own show, but his character Cyrus will stay in Wonderland. While the show takes place in the "real world" as well as Wonderland, we will only ever see Cyrus in Wonderland, though Peter hopes that might change. "Thus far they don't have Cyrus in the modern world. I want to dress like a chimney sweep in Victorian England!" he jokes, and then does his best Dick Van Dyke.
Spin-off shows usually have such big shoes to fill, and this show is certainly not without other obstacles, but for the sake of the cast, I hope it's a hit. I had a lot of fun talking to them, and it is really nice to find a cast that genuinely loves working with each other, and loves the characters they play. You can watch Once Upon a Time in Wonderland when it premieres October 10 on ABC.
Where my Wonderland fans at? Let me know if you will be tuning in (or if not, why?) by sounding off in the comments!
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(Image courtesy of ABC)