Reaper: Ray Wise Rocks!
Of all the things that get us excited about Reaper, the best may be the great Ray Wise. This avuncular smoothie brings just the right touch to his portrayal of The Devil – a touch of menace under a winning smile. We can really see him as Satan.
Want proof? Check out this promo video, featuring Ray as Satan recruiting new workers. It’s just the sort of thing you’d see on late-night TV, but instead of urging people to go to DeVry or learn to drive the big rigs, it’s Ray talking about exciting opportunities in soul reclamation.
And yes, the phone number works. Call it and see!
We’re not alone in our Wise worship – the Deseret Morning News talks to Ray and the people behind Reaper to figure out what makes his devil so damn appealing.
"It doesn't serve the Devil to be evil, to come at you with horns and a pitchfork," said creator/executive producer Michele Fazekas. "His purpose is to tempt, to cajole, to get you to do bad things. So if he's scaring you off, you're not going to listen to him. He is going to be solicitous. He's going to be your buddy to get you to do evil things."
"Ray Wise is a bad hombre, OK?" said executive producer Mark Gordon. "Don't let him fool you. (The Devil) is not such a great guy as he seems."
How did Ray come up with his take on the devil? "Oh, I guess 37 years of acting and about 400 movies that I've seen," Ray said. "(I'm) pretty much remembering every devil that's ever been done on the screen — big and small — then forgetting all about that and doing my devil, which is a combination of probably me and every other character I've ever played, from Caligula Caesar, the mad emperor of Rome, to Leland Palmer, to a variety of villainous and terrible people. But I play a lot of good people, too, and so I can inject some of that into the devil, too."
Key to Ray's devilish appeal is his killer grin, which seems to convey both humor and the promise of torment if you piss him off.
"I just think the Devil finds all of you very amusing," Ray says to explain the grin.