Most people would be disappointed to learn their character was being killed off. For The Vampire Diaries' Matt Davis, it was a blessing in disguise.
"We were winding down Season 3 when [executive producer] Julie Plec let me know that this would be the end of the show for me," Davis tells TVGuide.com. "I called my agents right away and I said, 'I'll be a free agent soon enough. Get me back out on the market.' That was on a Friday and they called me on a Monday with an offer for this pilot Cult."
Cult Producers on show's confusing plot: We have faith the audience will follow along
On the new CW series, premiering Tuesday at 9/8c, Davis plays Jeff, a journalist who is prompted to investigate the rabid fans of a show called "Cult" when his brother goes missing. Jessica Lucas plays an inquisitive production assistant on the show named Skye whom he teams up with during his search. While the "outside" show that viewers at home are watching follows Jeff and Skye, the "inside" show with the crazy fans stars Robert Knepper as cult leader Billy Grimm and Alona Tal as the cop searching for him.
Yes, even the short version description of the show sounds confusing, and Davis readily admitted that.
"[Understanding the plot] was always a concern, and it definitely takes you through some twists and turns," Davis says. "While the pilot might be somewhat confusing, you get to a place pretty quickly where you can identify the bad guys. Once you get the concept, it takes you on path different than any other show that's been on the CW. The first six episodes [after the premiere] will begin to codify the plot, and then it spins out of control again."
Exclusive Video: Billy Grimm is the Pied Piper of Cult
While Davis enjoyed his time on Vampire Diaries, he was more than ready to move on for his sake and his character Alaric's.
"I had my creative differences along the way with the character, and while Julie Plec and I are dear, dear friends, she knew that," Davis says. "I'm very opinionated and when you're put in a position where you're getting the story lines that are not necessarily what's cranking at the back of your mind or digging at the potential of your character and you have to sit on your hands, that's frustrating. And being a secondary character is equally frustrating. So Julie saw a really great way to wrap up my character, which was in alignment with the end of my contract, and I couldn't have hoped for a better execution for winding down Vampire Diaries and segueing into Cult."
Although leaving a successful hit for a pretty out-there pilot is risky, Davis is confident in his decision regardless of the outcome: "The originality the suspense, the cast — it's just a wild, crazy ride. When I was done filming and able stand back from it all I could think was, 'That was the most insane show ever.'"
Cult premieres on Tuesday at 9/8c on The CW or you can watch it online here.