One of the things that makes for a better viewing experience when taking in a show or a movie about hellish personalities is a character that’s both unmistakably so bad yet so painfully irresistible.  Think Michael Fassbender’s Azazeal on BBC’s Hex or Viggo Mortensen’s little known turn as the first fallen angel himself, Lucifer, on the big screen vehicle, The Prophecy.  There too, is Julian McMahon’s pre-Nip/Tuck stint as Cole Turner on Charmed and his namesake, Julian Sands as the self-serving male witch in the Warlock films.

Though not as devilishly handsome as the above, Ray Wise as the devil boss himself on The CW’s brand-new Reaper is arguably just as disarming with his trademark self-assured, wry smile and big, penetrating eyes.  The 60-year old acting veteran spoke about landing the pivotal role of hell’s main man on Reaper.

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skye2477 said: have to say, i was really really unsure about this show… but i caught last week’s epi and found it to be …

MuppetMazz said: Ray Wise is probably the #1 reason I was drawn to this show. Now there is so much more I appreciate but ma…

meimei42 said: Ray is made of awesome!

“I think that’s what won them over in the audition,” Wise said about his smile.  “I’ve heard him [his character] described as a cross between a game-show host and a used-car salesman because of the smile.”

And Wise gets to use that devilish grin a lot in his scenes with fellow Reaper star, Bret Harrison, whose character, Sam, is contractually bound to do the devil’s work as hell’s designated bounty hunter.

“I see him as a person, if we can call the devil a person, with a great sense of humor and a wry, amusing take on mankind,” Wise offered.  “But he can be ruthless.  The devil insists you uphold the contract.  And he throws in little acts of brutality now and then, just as a reminder.  [The devil’s] relationship with Sam is a complex one.  Sometimes, he’s a mentor.  Sometimes, he’s like a [father] or a good friend or his boss.”

But apart from Wise’s disarmingly dangerous smirk, the powers that be on Reaper saw in him the right balance and combination of creepiness and charm from his previous outings to convince them he was the right actor out of over a hundred other hopefuls for the role.  They were banking on the fact that he could easily translate that same charm into humor to be a funny yet frightening lord of evil.

“He’s been scary and charming in the past,” Tom Spezialy, one of Reaper‘s executive producers stated.  “We hoped he’d be as funny as he was scary.  When he came in and read, in the first few minutes we knew he was our guy.  We think of Ray as a scary Cary Grant with that smile.  You’re drawn to it, but you can’t quite trust it.”

“When [Ray] read the dialogue in the audition, it felt like it was written for him,” Tara Butters, another executive producer, added.

-Rosario Santiago, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: USA Today
(Image Courtesy of E! Online)


Staff Columnist, BuddyTV