Charles Michael Davis has an ungodly amount of au naturel swagger. Seriously. It isn't even fair to us normal people. For the 30-year-old actor, however, having swagger in spades comes in handy when the cameras start rolling. As vampire Marcel on the CW's supernatural drama "The Originals," Davis relies on his natural charm -- and we're incredibly thankful for it.
"They actually asked Phoebe [Tonkin], 'Is there anything you want to do this season that you haven't had a chance to do before?'" Davis told MTV News. "And she said, 'Yeah, I really want to work with Charles Michael Davis. He's really talented. He's easy on the eyes, and he's funny and he makes me laugh. I feel warm and fuzzy around him, and it would just make my life more complete.' Her words, not mine."
Uh-huh. But that's just the kind of guy Davis is: calm, oh-so-cool and collected... kind of like his TV counterpart Marcel. As the perfect foil to Klaus' hot-headed temper, Marcel likes to use a different approach to get what he wants. For the most part, Marcel keeps his cool under pressure, but that doesn't mean it's been easy, especially in Season 3.
After losing everything he started off the series with -- control over the city, his loyal band of followers and his home in general -- Marcel needed to get his swagger back. And that's why he started a vampires-only fight club, right in the heart of St. Anne’s Church.
"He's back at the karaoke bar where everyone remembers his name," Davis said. "He converted the church into a gym, and he's been recruiting new vampires. We tried to get an octagon, but I think that's trademarked, so we built a heptagon. So there's a lot of sparring going on, and he's feeling like himself again."
"It's funny because Daniel [Gillies] and I have trained in Muay Thai," he added. "It was one of the first things we talked about, as we sat down at dinner before we shot the pilot. He goes, 'I hear you're into Muay Thai. Wouldn't it be cool if Marcel and Elijah get into Muay Thai and they start a fight club and start sparring?' And I was like, 'Yeah, it would be cool. Good luck with that.' And here we are in a heptagon."
And while it may seem like the idea for Marcel's fight club spawned from a CW marketing meeting -- where the more shirtless dudes, the better -- Davis is just happy that now he can show off in front of the cast of "Arrow" at next year's Upfronts.
"We would always see the cast of 'Arrow' at events and go, 'Look at David [Ramsey], he's huge. Look at those shoulders!'" he said. "So this was a good way for them to put a gym on our set without having to actually build one."
Marcel's newfound combat skills will come in handy with a war between sire lines currently brewing.
Given that Marcel was sired from Klaus, we'd expect to find Marcel on Team Klaus, considering that if Klaus dies, he dies. And yet, when Elijah's first sire, Tristan, comes to town with a secret vampire society and a keen interest in Marcel, things get a bit complicated, especially when Aya enters the picture.
"She's a tough one, maybe a little crazy," Davis said. "She's pretty intense, which makes her very intriguing to Marcel. She's at least 1,000 years old, and he knows she has a lot of power. There’s something that piques his curiosity given the fact that everything's so mysterious with The Strix."
Tristan's secret society has its eyes on Marcel, who they see as a potential new recruit, so Aya invites him to their fancy gala, where things naturally get a bit murky. For Davis, however, it was nice to dress up for a change.
"It's nice to come to work and put a tux on -- and it's great to see Phoebe Tonkin in a beautiful red dress," he joked. "Marcel is trying to channel his inner James Bond in this one."
And that danger and unpredictability is precisely what Marcel likes about The Strix. Because once upon a time, he was that guy.
"One of the things we talked about early on this season was 'How do we get back to the Marcel from the pilot?' Of course, he was drunk on power. But the writers were very aware that Marcel needed his swagger back. Chris Grismer, who directed our pilot and has directed a few episodes since, said, 'Wait a minute. The last episode I directed, Marcel was saying, I'm the king, and now he's buying tea sets?' I miss that guy who was a little dangerous and unpredictable -- and he's coming back this season."