Hypable attended the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland round tables at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 and talked to the cast about the brand new spinoff show.
In attendance were Executive Producer Zack Estrin, Sophie Lowe (Alice), Peter Gadiot (Cyrus), Michael Socha (Knave of Hearts), Emma Rigby (Queen of Hearts), and Naveen Andrews (Jafar).
We first talked with both Lowe and Gadiot, who each explained a little bit more about their characters. Lowe described Alice as the adult version of the Alice we know from many of the stories, stating that she’s a strong woman. Gadiot explained Cyrus as “someone who’s very good at fighting, also somewhat soulful, a bit of a mix between the love and the warrior.”
When speaking about the costumes, both Lowe and Gadiot raved about them, saying that they help them get into character. The costumes, Gadiot says, have a Medieval feel to them but are still quite modern and sexy.
Both described the show as a love story, but with other aspects as well. Gadiot stated, “It’s like an adventure love story with fantasy elements with a bit of a hint of darkness.”
Socha spoke next about why he was drawn to his character, saying, “It’s just a cool character. Sardonic lonely heart-breaker, that’s pretty much a deal seal for me.” Rigby, on the other hand, said, “And for me I think it’s every dream come true. I’ve always loved dressing up. And who wouldn’t want to play a queen?”
Rigby stated that she’s wanted to do something different from what Barbara Hershey did with her character as the Queen of Hearts, saying she wants to bring a comedic element to the role. “I also think this series is going to be so, so different. And it’s got a very different tone to the original series, and I think that will be really evident when we start shooting in 10 days’ time.”
When we asked if Rigby’s character had the same complexities as Regina has in Once Upon a Time, Rigby said the producers and writers spoke to her earlier and told her we would be seeing plenty of backstory from her that would show her history and motivations, which would be just as interesting as Regina’s.
Executive Producer Estrin was up next, speaking about why he chose Alice to focus on. “We have no idea what she was like as a woman,” he says, and that’s what drew him to the story in particular.
When we asked what was the most difficult thing about doing a spinoff show, Estrin said he didn’t particularly think of it as a spinoff, but rather as a cousin to Once Upon a Time that could stand on its own and wouldn’t need Once to establish the characters or story.
So, what does this mean for any crossover stories? Estrin says that there won’t be a lot of room just yet because the team wants it to be its own entity. However, he says, “A lamp can wash up on the shore anywhere. Even Storybrook, Maine. So there’s lots of possibilities for back and forth, other journeys, other adventures.”
Estrin continues by saying, “You know, a lot of people say it’s a similar story to Once, but I actually think it’s a little bit closer to Lost.”
Lastly, we got to talk to special guest Naveen Andrews. When asked about his recently announced character Jafar, Andrews said they wanted to go in a completely different direction from what we’ve seen of the character in the past. He was also adamant to say he won’t have a sidekick sitting on his shoulder.
In his final words, Andrews said, “I’m looking forward to having fun,” hoping that there would be plenty of lighter elements to the story and his character.