Paul Telfer is bringing soaps’ favorite bad boy, Xander Kiriakis, back to Days Of Our Lives today. Is his return tied to Friday’s tag in which Chloe (Nadia Bjorlin) was calling out Holly’s name? Given Xander’s penchant for stirring up trouble, it’s possible!
Soap Hub chatted with Telfer to see what he has to say about why Xander’s coming back to town and if he’ll be at the Daytime Emmys this year to say hi to a favorite of his, Lifetime Achievement Award winner Judge Judy!
Can you set up the return that starts today? Is it connected to Holly?
I believe he comes back regarding some very generous charity proposal that he brings to the citizens of Salem (Laughs) No, that’s not what happens!
Ha! So if something’s wrong with Holly or if she’s missing…?
(Dryly) Well, of course, Xander would never be involved with something like that!
You are good at making Xander a ‘fun’ villain. What response do you get?
When I first started getting recognized the immediate response was “You’re a bad guy!” Then, they realize, I hope, Paul, myself, is actually quite friendly and enjoys being recognized as Xander!
It has shifted over the last year where they start smiling right away. It’s not even a “love to hate,” but they see me as a cheeky criminal.
Leo (Greg Rikaart) and Xander had quite a chess game going on. What was that like?
I’ve played stuff like that in the theater. [It] was really fun doing that whole storyline with Greg. We get the scripts in advance, but even if we get them two weeks in advance we don’t know the end of a storyline when we start it.
Greg is used to going with it. He was so fearless and so completely up for having fun with the whole situation.
What response did you get?
A lot of people were entertained and shocked in a fun way, but there were also people who were turned off by it. They’re entitled to their opinions, but it’s 2019.
If we’re supposed to be doing storylines that are scandalous and sensational, I’m glad that there’s still room to do new things. I’m British. We’re more laid back about some of these issues and depictions.
I got the vibe from Greg is he was as down to go as deep into it as we could. I think he got the sense straight away that I wasn’t scared or anything.
The weirder and more ambiguous we could make Xander’s potential decision, the more fun and exciting and goofy [it would be].
Viewers weren’t seeing Xander not being in control.
It was nice for Xander to have an opponent where he couldn’t use violence or the threat of violence to get what he wanted.
As fun as he is to play, I don’t like it where he menaces women. I like where he uses his intellect. If he’s going to be a bully, I prefer he goes up against someone his own size.
You’re a fan of Judge Judy’s. She’s getting the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys on Sunday, May 5.
I was invited but I can’t go. If I’d known, I might try to move things around. I just wish she’d run for President! I’m excited to see what she’s going to wear!
Days Of Our Lives airs weekdays on NBC. Check local listings for air times.