NYCC Press Room: Paul Wesely Gets Darker than Ripper Stefan in ‘Tell Me a Story’

Paul Wesley says he doesn’t typically get the chance to play the dark character. He seems to be forgetting his Ripper Stefan days on The Vampire Diaries. And if he’s not forgetting about those days, his character on Tell Me a Story is going to be pretty dark.

Eddie, the character Paul plays, was not a character that he was actively trying to get. He read the script for fun because he and Kevin Williamson are “buddies”. He texted Kevin to tell him how much he liked the script and a month later Kevin asked him if he had any interest in playing the druggy. Paul said yes.

“It’s nice to be the f*ck up one. It’s nice to be the one making mistakes for once,” Paul says of playing his character. He notes playing the hero in his last show, though not mentioning The Vampire Diaries by name. It’s clear that he’s ready to play something different.

Tell Me a Story modernizes three classic fairy tales: The Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Grettle and Little Red Riding Hood. Paul plays one of the three little pigs. Paul says all the piggies want an easy way out. His character wants an easy escape or a quick fix, like a quick fix of narcotics to make himself feel better.

Paul’s character isn’t the only dark one on this show, he says James Wolk’s character has some morally questionable actions. James is also used to playing the good guy and liked getting to play a darker character for a change. Paul notes that James has a great arc.

James fell in love with the script after his agents sent it to him. He plays Jordan, a nice kind man but after tragedy strikes, he’s a completely different person.

“I don’t always get to play the dark screwed up guy and I love the idea that I get to play that in this show,” says James.

Paul and James share the same fairy tale but James says all the stories interweave and there are separate big bads for each one.

“I don’t think the show is quite that cut and dry, whether there are heroes or villains. Everyone is constantly inverting throughout. I think the audience will be surprised who they are rooting for,” says James.

I was interested in Tell Me Story because I’ve loved so much Kevin’s work. I was definitely even more hooked once I heard Paul had signed on. I’m looking forward to seeing James’ character too. Not just from hearing him talk about his character and the show, but the trailer has an interesting story arc for his story.

Paul doesn’t have the “hero hair” we’re used to in the trailer, but even with his ragged look, he’s still looking good.

Check out the full my interview from the roundtable at New York Comic Con with Paul and James:

Check out the trailer and be sure to stream Tell Me a Story, premiering Halloween on CBS All Access.

Mandy Carr

Editor and Founder, Primetime Addiction

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