'Once Upon a Time' Alum Joins USA's 'Queen of the South' (Exclusive)

Peter Gadiot will be a series regular on the drama based on the book and subsequent telenovela.
Courtesy of USA

USA Network's Queen of the South is adding to its cast.

The upcoming drama based on international best-seller La Reina Del Sur by Arturo Perez-Reverte and subsequent Telemundo series has cast Once Upon a Time in Wonderland's Peter Gadiot,The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Set to debut in 2016, the Fox 21 Television Studios and Universal Cable Productions drama centers on Teresa Mendoza (City of God's Alice Braga). When her drug-dealing boyfriend is unexpectedly murdered in Mexico, Teresa is forced to seek refuge in America, where she teams with an unlikely figure from her past to bring down the leader of the very drug trafficking ring that has her on the run. In the process, she learns the tools of the trade and strategically positions herself to become the leader of the cartel.

Gadiot will play the series regular role of James Valdez, a member of Camila's (Veronica Falcon) crime organization who has an in-depth and realistic understanding of how the narco world works. Despite his brutish ability to ferret out punishment to those who cross him, he surprises Teresa with his humanistic sense of moral justice, and becomes one of Teresa’s closest allies upon her arrival in America. 

M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller (The Final Girls) penned the script and exec produce alongside David Friendly (Little Miss Sunshine) and Pancho Mansfield (Damien). Charlotte Sieling directed the pilot. Gang Related's Scott Rosenbaum serves as showrunner.

Gadiot's credits include Spike's Tut, El Rey Network's Matador and My Spy Family. He's repped by Gersh, Industry Entertainment and Jonathan Arun.