In the killer of all reveals, last week Days of our Lives in a did-not-see-that-coming moment – let it be known to viewers that none other than Ben Weston is the Necktie Killer! The once charming good guy has now quickly become quite creepy. And as any DAYS fans know, nobody does serial killer storylines like the NBC soap, which is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary come November.
Relishing the twist is actor Rob Scott Wilson, who gets to play the disturbed young man so deeply in love with Abigail (Kate Mansi), and betrayed by her at the same time, that he wants his rival Chad DiMera (Billy Flynn) out of the picture by any means necessary. For Ben, that is framing the guy for the murders of: Serena Mason (Melissa Archer), Paige Larson (True O’Brien), and the attempted murder of Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall). But there is much more to the story to come, and as DAYS promised the rest of Salem will learn the identify of the killer come the series anniversary week.
On-Air On-Soaps spoke to Rob to talk about the character turn, and how he was able to keep it a secret from his cast mates, and just how large the Salem body count will be! Wilson also gives some insight into: what’s driving Ben to commit murder, the key moments in the reveal scenes, previews what to come, and the terrific opportunity that has been afforded him by the DAYS brass to show the darker side of his acting chops. From his first big break as first male model on The Price is Right, to playing Pete Cortlandt on the online reboot of All My Children, “Killer Ben” is definitely a departure for Rob. However, he is more than up for the challenge of making this now very troubled bad boy, one role that soap fans will not soon forget!
So, Serena and Paige’s murders had occurred, and you did not know at that time that Ben was going to turn out to be the necktie serial killer?
ROB: Right. I didn’t know about that, but it opened up an awesome opportunity. I got exactly what I overall wanted – not in the form of killing pretty girls (laughs), but just in terms of this storyline. I have so much great stuff coming up, and it has been a blast.
Let’s talk about the big reveal scene that aired last week on Thursday’s episode of DAYS. Ben takes out a blue plastic container and in it are neckties … and what was in the plastic bag … flower petals?
ROB: That he was smelling? That was a big bag of weed! (Laughing) No! It’s the flowers from the DiMera garden that Ben planted next to the bodies!
For a second when I was watching it, I was like, “Wait! Maybe Ben was smoking weed as he prepares to go kill people!” (Laughs)
ROB: Awesome! (Laughs) Maybe we should tell our head writers; Josh Griffith and Dena Higley that! (Laughs)
What happened when you told people in the DAYS cast you were the serial killer?
ROB: I kept it to myself for awhile. I let Kate Mansi know a little bit of what was going on, because we worked together. I probably told her about a month and a half or two months down the road. It’s a game you play. It’s an actor’s power to have something like that. It was so funny. Everyone on set was wondering if they were going to get fired, or be killed! Everyone was walking around on egg shells in the studio, or hair and make-up, and it was nice to know I had this secret the whole time. I took a lot of pleasure in that. It was fun. (Laughs) I did not tell anyone.
What has been so interesting is that many DAYS fans have been commenting on social media and on my website, that there is no way that Ben is the killer. They believe Ben is a red-herring for the real killer, even with last week’s reveal. (Laughs)
ROB: Hopefully, in the next couple of months they will believe, and see that it is Ben. They will see plenty! It’s been crazy, and it’s been awesome all the people that have been reaching out to me. Usually, I see a lot of the same people on Twitter commenting, but now my Twitter feed has kind of blown up since the reveal. That has been fun to watch, because nobody expected it. But to what you are saying Michael, I did see that. A lot of people were saying, “No, way! It has to be someone else. It’s not Ben!”
Some fans are of the belief that the killer is really Dr. Daniel (Shawn Christian)! (Laughs)
ROB: Good! Let them think that! (Laughs)
Another big murder is coming shortly. I think for murdering the next victim, you are either going to be more loved, or more hated by the fans! Wouldn’t you say?
ROB: Oh, yeah. There is a lot more to this story. I think the fans are going to be very interested to see how it all plays out.
Will viewers learn more insight into what is causing Ben to be a serial killer? Obviously, he is so distraught over his girl, Abigail lying to him, and he knows that she slept with Chad. Thus, he wants to frame Chad for the crimes and get him out of their lives. But, is there even more of a back-story to Ben that would cause this most heinous of acts?
ROB: I think at the end of the day it’s a love story, as tragic as it all is. It’s done out of love, but unfortunately he is going insane. Ben is able to kind of keep everything under wraps and keep his cool. But in his private moments and when he is alone, that is when he can kind of revel in what has happened. He can then take deep breathes, and try to regain his composure, and to keep his game face on for the public.
When Ben threw the evidence out in the deep waters of Salem in a trash bag, does he believe at this point, he is home scot-free of his crimes?
ROB: I think he thinks he covered it. I got to tell you, I was so mad. I did watch the episode. I remember when we taped that scene. We did it one take. I remember when I tied it up and I threw it, I felt that there was air in the bag. I wanted to do it again and pop a hole in it, because I know these fans don’t miss a beat, and I think that’s great. I so respect them for that. But it was so funny, because there was air in the bag when I threw it. I remember tying it up and asking to do it again, but we couldn’t do it again, because that is how we roll! (Laughs)
Before he disposed of the evidence, Ben’s dad Clyde (James Read) came to see him. At that point, Ben handed the keys back to the house Clyde got for him and Abigail, because he was going to leave town, and wouldn’t be needing them. But once Clyde revealed that Chad is a wanted man for the murders, Ben did an about face!
ROB: It was a quick turn of events, right? Dad comes in and tells him there is an APB on Chad DiMera, and Ben was going to leave town. So now at this point, Ben does feel like he has some closure on it, and so he can stick around Salem. He is going to make Abigail happy, because she didn’t want to leave town to begin with.
This has to be such an internal struggle for the character of Ben. Deep down he knows the girl he loves is clearly in love with another man … Chad. No matter what she says, Ben knows she is for the most part constantly lying to him, and does not have the same feelings for him, she does for Chad. That has to hurt deeply.
ROB: Ben is constantly stuffing that fact deeper and deeper. And when somebody does that there is bound to be an explosion. That’s pretty much where he is at. He’s been pushing that down and pushing that down. But he’s a little psycho! He’s never had a real relationship and he’s never been in love. Ben has never had a family; he was always on the run. He has been a loner, and been alone for a long time. Ben does not know how to handle the whole situation with Abigail and Chad, and if that is taken away from him, or possibly taken away from him, he is going to wipe people out! (Laughs) It’s the only way … for him.
When Ben was going to kill Marlena, was he doing that just to set up Chad? After all, it’s Marlena! You can never really kill Marlena! (Laughs)
ROB: Everything Ben does is to set up Chad. He doesn’t want to hurt anybody. It’s just the casualties of war. He didn’t want to kill Serena. He didn’t want to kill Paige, and he didn’t want to try to kill Marlena (Deidre Hall). Unfortunately, in order for him to get his plan in gear … looking it across the board, these people are chess pieces that have to go down! It’s tragic.
What do you think would happen if Clyde finds out Ben has been murdering people? Do you think he would help his son?
ROB: I think Clyde knows that Ben has inherited a lot of bad stuff from him. But I think Clyde was taken off-guard. The first time he ever saw that side of Ben was in the reveal episode where Ben used the words, “kill him”, and there was a turning point where it showed Clyde looking at Ben for the first time in a different light. Clyde always thought of him as an innocent young kid, and he just wanted to maintain a relationship with his son. Clyde is a badass, but I think he now realizes there is something ticking inside of Ben. He noticed there is a lot more to Ben, perhaps then he thought.
Did you tell anyone in your family that you would be playing a serial killer on TV?
ROB: I did not tell anyone, except my mom. It has been so gratifying and emotional, and to have the opportunity to do material I have never done in the soap genre.
It must be so nice for you to not have to play for once … the hunky good-guy?
ROB: Oh, yeah. I am trying very hard to burying that, but at the end of the day I have to pay my bills. I have to take it as it comes. I am not ashamed of anything, or any project I ever worked on. However, I am just trying to grow my brand, career, and craft. This was a great opportunity to help me be able to do that. I am so very grateful to Albert Alaar, our executive producer, and I love what the writers have done. It’s not your grandmother’s Days of our Lives anymore. They realized things needed to change, and the boat has sailed, and they are taking initiative.
This storyline that features you, Billy Flynn, and Kate Mansi has become so compelling, and interesting with the change in head writers and with the killer twist. DAYS is now playing that Abigail and Chad are the star-crossed lovers, and Ben is the interloper. How has it been working with Billy and Kate through this?
ROB: I am glad everyone has taken a liking to the story. I enjoy working with each of them. And whether they have been in the industry or brand new to it, I will learn something from everybody. I know Billy Flynn didn’t have much experience coming into Days of our Lives, but I think he is doing a great job. I love Billy, and I love talking to him.
Would you say Ben’s reign of terror will continue, and the body count will rise?
ROB: Yeah! The body count will rise, I would say so. Everything is rooted in love as psychotic as that sounds. Ben thinks he is doing the right thing. He doesn’t even know what he is doing. These are blackouts. He thinks this is all Chad DiMera’s fault. So it doesn’t matter if one person dies or fifty! In his mind, all these people are dying because of Chad. That’s a twisted, twisted layer to a person. Once you tap into that part of your psyche, it worked for me as an actor. It is truly a great experience to go through as an actor, and weird at the same time.
So to clarify … is Ben aware that he is committing murder?
ROB: I think he does it, but he is upset that it happened. There is something that will happen in the near future that shakes Ben to the core. That’s the full change for him. When that happens, then he will be aware of everything that is happening in real time, rather than playing this game where he is thinking he is doing something right, when it’s not. There are two different Ben’s. There is Ben the guy that everybody knows who is the bartender and the nice guy who is with Abigail, and then there is “Benjamin” who is that second personality, and so that his old life, new life, and his alter ego. I feel like Benjamin blacks out and wipes people out, and does crazy stuff. (Laughs) Then there is Ben, who is the nice guy who takes the hand of the little princess of Salem. Right now, I have so much love for Ben Weston. That’s why I am so happy the producers entrusted me with this part, and being able to show the differences, which will air around November. When I first read all of this I was like, “They either want to see me fail … or they trust me.” They told me they completely trust me, and I am so grateful for that. We have all grown a lot as a team on this show, which has been great.
When you were informed that Ben was going to turn out to be necktie serial killer? How did that conversation go down?
ROB: Albert called me up and sat me down, and Josh Griffith chatted with me, too. The first thing I thought was, “This is terrific!” Then the second thing I thought was “Wow. This could be my exit. I don’t know.” Me as Rob, knowing if something like this was happening in my own real love life (like Abigail and Chad sleeping together), I would be snapping everywhere! So, when the change finally happened, I was like, “Thank God! Let me play this guy honestly, and stop treating him like a child.” I realized I am going to take the ball and run with it.
And there’s even another wrinkle to the story! Abigail is pregnant, and the audience thinks Chad is the baby daddy.
ROB: Yes, and that is another layer to this story. Ben knows there is a chance that the baby could be Chad’s, because of what Clyde did. Clyde switched the DNA in the office and he had his guy go in there, and assure that the results would read that it was Ben’s baby. The audience, nor Ben, (although Ben has an inkling that it could be Chad’s because they had the affair) knows for sure who the father is. That whole situation is trouble!
It has been reported you have also been doing some film projects. You have become quite the in demand young man, Rob Wilson!
ROB: I finished a film with Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe, DAYS) called “I Know Where Lizzie is” which I believe will air on Lifetime. In addition, I am working on another film which features a great cast including: Daryl Hannah, Eric Roberts, and Mischa Barton. The working title was called “Father”, but I think they are now calling it “Papa”. Oddly enough, I play the role of Ben in that one as well! This will be a motion picture that will be released in the theatres. So a lot is going on, and there is so much more to see of what happens with Ben on DAYS, too!
What did you think about “Killer Ben”? Are you enjoying Rob Scott Wilson’s performance in the storyline? Who do you think will end up on the murdered list via the Necktie Killer when all is said and done? Share your thoughts below! But first, watch a little video ditty from DAYS that appeared on the series facebook page shortly after the reveal aired featuring Rob!
Can you believe it was Ben?!
Posted by Days of our Lives on Thursday, September 24, 2015