The CW’s new TV show Cult is intricately plotted, with an entire show-within-the-show built into its premise. Each episode reveals clues via a television program — also called Cult — that will hopefully lead Jeff, played by Matt Davis, to his missing brother.
When Wetpaint Entertainment visited the set last fall, we spoke to Matt Davis about the complex show, “creator” Steven Rae, and his co-stars, whom he wants to punch.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Now that you're up to six episodes, what has your character been up to in solving some certain mysteries?
Matt Davis:I've been all over the damn place. They've got me running like a man with my hair on fire. It's quite the crazy adventure. Actually, I'd love to tell you about it, but I can't.
Broad strokes, wide brush.
Well, the premise is my brother's gone missing to this cult, and it has something to do with this television show that's called Cult as well. So he's trying to figure out what the tie in is, and the more he discovers, the deeper he goes. And it's just that sort of twisting, turning, rabbit hole of bizarre deception and betrayals all along the way that he and Skye, Jessica Lucas, are constantly being brought into deeper and deeper. So those are the broad strokes of the specifics.
Are we seeing more mythology based stories?
Right now, I feel like each episode is more of a stand-alone that has its own sort of flavor and twist and turn. I haven't necessarily gotten into the mythology just yet, which may happen. It's fairly compartmentalized, and the actors are usually the last to know, and the first to talk about it. But, no, to answer your question directly, we had not gotten into the mythology yet.
Is he a believer or is he going to fluctuate between “this is the craziest thing I've ever heard”?
It's a bit of both. I think right away, he's skeptical, but so much happens so quickly that it's impossible for him to remain skeptical. So he quickly gives into the notion that this is true, and he's one of the few people who sees it and yet has to warn the others on how that it's true and risk looking crazy. So he's constantly aware of what he's going through is crazy and trying to talk to anyone outside who doesn't know, he looks like a madman. So he's quickly buys into the true believer-ness of it all.
Is Skye the only person that he can talk to about this?
Yeah. Everyone you meet is always a suspect. They do have allies along the way, but it's always that notion of how much can they trust them and earn each other's trust along the way, but primarily, yeah, it's just the two of them.
How much can you trust Skye? Are there moments where he's starting to question her, who she works for?
Yeah. That happens right away. There's a big scene in the second episode where it dawns on him that everything he knows about the show is through her, and she's been the one feeding him all this information. So, yeah, there's a scene where all that comes to a head, and he confronts her. And they have this scene where she finally admits to him why she's in it, and what she had a stake in this, and where she's really coming from. So, yeah, that happens right away.
Does the show within a show confuse you sometimes?
All the time. All the time I'm confused, and it gets kind of scary because I was literally walking my dog the other day, and I literally saw a man wearing a leather vest and a white shirt, looked like Billy Grimm, and I thought, “Oh, no. This can't be happening.” I'm looking at somebody I thought for a second was Billy Grimm. So the meta thing keeps going on and on. I would ultimately like to write a web series about the drama of us as a cast making this show and just to have like one more auxiliary storyline plugged in just to confuse everyone.
Well, now that you're almost halfway through the filming of the first season, do you have a feeling of where things are going, or are they constantly surprising you?
I have no idea where this is going. I have no idea. But that was true of Vampire Diaries too. I had no idea. It was just fun in the sense that you don't know, and that's kind of exciting. But then you also don't know, and then are put in situations where you have to talk to people and pretend as though you do know when you really don't know, you know?
What do you think about the rest of your cast members?
The rest of my cast are horrible, horrible people.
You just want to punch them?
I want to punch them. I want to strangle them, have sex with them, all of the above.
The creator of the Cult show is obviously a very enigmatic figure. Are we going to learn more about him after the pilot?
Yeah. That dials in right away. It's like, okay. Who is Steven Rae? Who is the creator? Why can't we get to him? What's the big mystery? And you learn — there's more to it, but I don't want to give that part away, but yeah, Steven Rae becomes an essential enigma behind trying to finding my brother.
Have you talked with Julie Plec about returning to the Vampire Diaries?
I have. I know if the schedule opens up, and it works for them, there's a possibility to do some crossover.