When first presented to Scottish actor Paul Telfer, DAYS OF OUR LIVES’ Xander was described as a “charming psychopath.” However, Telfer relates the villain more to girl-crazy cartoon character Pepé Le Pew and also, “Wile E. Coyote because he’s always going after things that he thinks he wants like Nicole or being CEO of Titan Industries. He has this big, garish goal that he’s chafing for, but I always wonder: If he were to ever actually get any of these things, would he be satisfied?”
Telfer enjoys the fact that no matter what the mercenary character is up to, he definitely draws attention. “I’m like the cat among the pigeons, poking everybody in the ribs, pointing out their hypocrisy and generally causing trouble,” the actor laughed. And whether it’s flashing a Cheshire-cat grin or merely arching an eyebrow in an unexpected moment, Telfer is keeping everyone on their toes while prolonging what could’ve been just a short run for his alter ego. “If I can take a strong angle on the material that hopefully either surprises or amuses The Powers That Be, then [that can result in] a really fun role,” the actor mused. “I feel so lucky that that’s what happened with Xander because he’s changed and become more fun and enjoyable as opposed to being just a menacing character as we’ve gone along.”
During his last visit, the baddie was instrumental in bringing a presumed-dead Jack back to town. This time, he’s again traded in shock and awe by kidnapping Holly and helping Kristen keep Ted and Kate prisoner. But will this new effort help him pursue his own goals? Or is there another motive at play? “He could be romantic and a hero,” his portrayer suggested. “He could do nice things for the right person but not necessarily for the right reasons.”
With reporting by Michelle Moro Parkerton
This story originally appeared in our print magazine
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