It’s been awhile since we saw Dr. Wes Maxfield.
But the shady professor will make his return on Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 13.
At the end of Vampire Diaries Season 5 Episode 12, of course, Aaron had been compelled to leave town by Damon... only to then be devoured by Damon.
Will Damon and Enzo be coming for Wes next? Or do they have another place for him and his research project?
Tonight’s episode finds Maxfield trying to continue his all-important research project with the help of a new benefactor (guest star Caitlin McHugh), but it’s possible he may hit a few stumbling blocks in the form of some Mystic Falls vampires.
In true Vampire Diaries fashion, all this is going on as the Caroline, Bonnie and Elena prepare to go to the "Bitter Ball" on campus.
I talked to Rick Cosnett, who already has another gig lined up in The Flash pilot, about whether he sees Wes as a villain, who he may be interacting with soon and how it’s been for him joining the TVD family.
TV Fanatic: Did you know Wes’s whole story from the start or have you been learning it episode by episode like we have?
Rick Cosnett: I was kind of aware of his overall journey but you learn these incredible plot points as you go along, which is quite fun.
TVF: In playing Wes, I’d probably call him a villain but do you seem that way?
RC: No, I think it’s very important not to judge the character you’re playing so that you can come from a really real place because you have to find out why they do the things they do and what motivates them. To that person, and to Wes, everything he does makes complete sense to him. He starts out at a good place with good intentions and then he totally loses perspective, you could say in that sense, where he becomes obsessed.
And people do that in life, too, like you could be a religious zealot or a fundamentalist or sometimes people even have sociopathic or psychopathic tendencies when they get really obsessed and they lose perspective. [Wes] also lacks empathy. He’s a bit of a narcissist in that sense where he can’t put himself in other people’s shoes so he does things that appear to be diabolical but you really have to come from a true place to not only make it believable but entertaining.
TVF: And you don’t seem to be playing the role with an over-the-top, diabolical, twirling of the mustache kind of performance.
RC: To me, that’s not scary at all. If someone is really quite polite and nice…it’s always the quiet ones you have to watch out for.
TVF: With everything Wes is doing, is he doing it all for Aaron? Talk about that relationship and what we’ll see moving forward.
RC: I think for Wes, it’s definitely a matter of humans versus vampires and it draws parallels to racism, really. Because he is human, Wes is actually quite responsive and normal towards human beings in that sense. It’s the same thing in racism sometimes people are lovely to people of their own race and it’s an ignorant thing and they look at another race as ‘other’ to themselves and treat them differently. Wes has a deep hatred of the vampires and wants to eradicate them.
With Aaron, because of the things that happened to Wes when he was younger and to Aaron and Aaron’s parents, which was revealed a couple of episodes ago, it brought him closer to Aaron because he’s the only family he has. Although they’ve had a rough relationship because Aaron is so rebellious, it’s sort of that love/hate relationship where he’s his guardian and he does feel responsible for him.
Aaron’s parents really took Wes in and loved him so much. He does have a moral compass when he’s around humans. But when it comes to vampires he sees them as monsters and he really goes the opposite way with them but Aaron is very special to him.
TVF: What’s the next step for Wes in his journey?
RC: Basically, let’s just say that Wes is a survivor and he takes very desperate measures and will do anything to get what he wants and to see his legacy and his plan come to fruition. It’s pretty cool what happens.
TVF: It’s a big cast and you’ve interacted with a lot of them but anyone that you’d like to have more scenes with in the future?
RC: I think Paul Wesley is a fantastic actor and there might be a little interaction between us soon. We’ll see. [laughs]
TVF: How has it been being part of the Vampire Diaries family?
RC: It’s been so fantastic. It really has. It’s a very well-oiled machine now by season five and everyone has been so great. The more I’ve gotten to know people, the more I find them just lovely and inviting. I love being on set and on the locations we’ve been doing. Even the set designers, the costumes, everyone is just wonderful. It’s been a great experience.
For me, as an actor, the show and this kind of exposure has been really great for my own craft and my own confidence just being on set and to really have fun and do the work, which is what I really get off on, is just being in the moment and from the time they say ‘Action’ to ‘Cut,’ that’s when it really happens.
The Vampire Diaries Season 5 Thursdays at 8/7 on The CW.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.