'Tell Me a Story': Why Paul Wesley Returned for Lead Role in Season 2 (Exclusive)

Paul Wesley did not plan on returning to CBS All Access' Tell Me A Story for a second season, but his character, Tucker Reed pulled him back into the modern fairytale. The actor revealed in an interview with PopCulture.com he was intrigued by the new story's take on the Sleeping Beauty fairytale — which he leads alongside Season 1 alum Danielle Campbell and new cast member, Odette Annable — and the depths of his on-screen persona's journey.

"I still don't really know who "Sleeping Beauty" is [this season], what I do know is that I'm a guy who has insomnia," Wesley told PopCulture.com during a visit to the set of the psychological thriller Nov. 19. "He's a guy who is super tormented. I like that it's the opposite of Season 1's Eddie. When we met him he was a mess from the start."

Wesley adds that though his character is "polished in the beginning" and looks like he's a decent perfect guy, as the story slowly progresses and tensions arise, audiences will learn "he's not" what he seems at all.

The 37-year-old New Jersey native later highlights how it was not planned for him to return for the new season, but the intriguing character sealed the deal. "It wasn't in the works, it's not like that was always part of the plan," he told PopCulture.com during the show's premiere screening red carpet in Nashville, Tennessee on Nov. 20. "I wasn't signed on for Season Two, it was just kind of naturally, organically, we were just talking and this character came about and I said, 'I would love to play that character,' and they were kind enough to offer it to me."

The new season of the anthology series will tackle classic fairytales Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. The season also moves the story from New York City to Nashville, which Wesley said makes the project seem like a completely different show.

The most challenging part of working on Season 2, however, has been stepping into the shoes of a "bad guy."

"Different city, different casts for the most part, except for Danielle and I, and completely different dynamics," Wesley teased of the upcoming episodes. "It was challenging, you know, every time you play a 'bad guy' you have to really find a way to empathize with them."

Wesley plays Tucker Reed, an aspiring writer who is engaged to Maddie Pruitt (Annable) — the middle daughter of the family that ties all three fairytales together. He carries a dark and catastrophic secret that reveals itself early on in the season.

"He's a guy who had a lot of trauma in his childhood, and I think, as a result of that, he's dealing with it just, in a really unhealthy way," Wesley added during the red carpet. "I think we all deal with things, but it's about how we deal with them. And Tucker is the extreme example of how not to deal with things."

Aside from his acting, Wesley has been making a name for himself as a director since the end of the beloved series The Vampire Diaries, which he starred in as vampire Stefan Salvatore.


During the set visit, the actor said he would be interested in directing for the CBS All Access series in the future, though he did not pursue it in Season 2. "I just wanted to focus on this part. I just felt like I needed to, you know, this role is demanding," he said. "I wanted to give [Tucker] his space and when you're directing... it's so much work and it's tough to wear both hats."

Tell Me a Story Season 2 premieres Dec. 5 on CBS All Access. New episodes will stream weekly on Thursdays.