Once Upon a Time In Wonderland's Peter Gadiot On Playing a Genie and Directing Music Videos

by Abby Schreiber / photographed by Jacqueline Di Milia
Peter wears a shirt by Levi's Made & Crafted, shorts and socks by Club Monaco and boots by Prada. 

"I still don't know how Twitter works," admits Peter Gadiot. "I haven't really gotten into the flow of it." The British actor, whose natural inclination is to keep a "minimal web presence," finally succumbed this summer to sharing 140-character updates to drum up buzz for the premiere of his new TV show, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. The show, an Alice in Wonderland-themed spin-off of ABC's popular Once Upon a Time series, features the 27-year-old actor in the role of Cyrus, a mysterious genie who had a love affair with Alice (played by Australian actress Sophie Lowe).

With a background in theater work, having trained at the Drama Centre London, the actor says it's been an adjustment working on the small screen. "Trust me, I've been trying to get into questions like, 'What is a genie's reality? How is the time passing for him in between masters? Does a genie get hungry?'" he says. "But TV [writers] aren't interested in that, really. They're interested in general overtones and the story."

But even if playing to the camera is new for Gadiot, he's a natural. Earlier this year, he was tapped by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola to appear opposite French actress Léa Seydoux in a short film the duo directed for Prada's new Candy fragrance. The très soigné clip shows the actor playing a dashing Frenchman (with a very convincing French accent) caught in a love triangle.

While it's a safe bet that the photogenic Gadiot will be getting a lot more screen time, the actor is also itching to take a page from Anderson and Coppola and direct. "I want to direct a music video -- put that in your magazine!" he says. "I saw a really great music video that was shot in Bolivia. It followed a boy as he was walking and he was joined by a dog and a weird dancing policeman-slash-clown along the way. It was just gorgeous."

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland airs Thursdays at 8 p.m.

Stylist: Sean Knight / Photographer's assistant: Benjamin Turner

Subscribe to Get More