On ABC’s new Once Upon A Time spin-off set in Wonderland, Alice will be dreaming of a Genie.
That genie, Cyrus, is played by U.K.-born actor Peter Gadiot, and we spoke with him recently at the ABC portion of the television press tour. Want to know more about this future TV favorite? Read on… our questions to Peter are posted in bold; his answers are not.
KSITETV’S CRAIG BYRNE: What can you tell us about Cyrus?
PETER GADIOT: Cyrus is a genie with a dark past and a mysterious background. He’s also an action hero. He’s a great fighter. You’ll see that he teaches Alice all of her famous ass-kicking skills. This isn’t official, but I like to see him very much in the vein of a buccaneer pirate, and also, a little bit of Indiana Jones, and that kind of thing.
Do you think he’s a good guy? You just mentioned a dark past…
You know… I do not know, but it’s open to conjecture. You know how these writers write. They like to flip things on their head; so I think that idea, that possibility, is very interesting.
Do you think he is as wonderful as Alice might think he is?
In terms of Alice, I don’t think there’s anything for her to worry about.
She, in essence, brings out the good in him; makes him realize he can be free. But the darkness I was referring to, is possibly more to how he became enslaved as a genie, and the pain he’s gone through, of being a servant with no freedom.
How do you think he would interact with the Knave of Hearts if they were to meet?
I think, ultimately, he is someone who is honorable, and he’s going to look out for Alice; and if [Cyrus] thinks that the Knave is a good, honest influence, he’ll embrace that. If he thinks the Knave is questionable, then he’ll treat him with caution.
Do you know what kind of interaction Cyrus might have with Jafar (Naveen Andrews)?
It’s going to be a thing like snakes and ladders, where he’ll have the upper hand on me for a while, and then I’m going to get the upper hand on him, and it’s a battle of two powerful people.
Had you been a fan of the original Once Upon A Time prior to getting this role?
You know what, I was aware of the show, but I hadn’t become a fan… but now, being a part of the “family” and seeing the cast, I am a fan now.
Are there any characters from the original show that you would like to interact with on the new one?
I’m a big fan of Robert Carlyle. I’d quite like his character to come on. I’d love to do some scenes with him.
How would you pitch Once Upon A Time In Wonderland to someone who’s never seen Once Upon A Time before?
I would say, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland is inspired by Alice In Wonderland, but it’s its own original spin with characters you recognize, but with a new twist, and also new characters… it’s an epic love story with action and adventure.
Once Upon A Time In Wonderland premieres Thursday, October 10 on ABC. Read some of our other interviews related to the show!