Paul Telfer Paul Telfer is a Scottish actor who came to prominence in the United States with roles on shows like The Vampire Diaries, NCIS, and Days of our Lives, where he plays the role of Xander Kiriakis, for which he was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category 2020.
Born on October 30, 1979, in Paisley, Scotland, Telfer graduated with First Class honors in Film Studies from the University of Kent at Canterbury in 1999. He took on numerous other jobs -- salesman, teacher, painter -- before making it big in the acting world. Some of his early roles include the British series Hotel Babylon and the TV miniseries Hercules with Elizabeth Perkins and Sean Astin.
Telfer’s history with Days of our Lives is a complicated one. He was first asked to step in as a temporary replacement for James Scott in the role of E.J. DiMera, which didn’t happen because Scott, who had been sick, was able to film his scenes after all. The NBC soap came calling again in 2015 and cast him in the role of henchman Damon, which eventually led to the role of Xander Cook -- who ultimately was revealed to be Xander Kiriakis. The actor reportedly signed a contract with DAYS in April 2019.
Telfer, who has spent time living in New Zealand, is also a writer, having written and starred in the 2020 film Green Rush. He is married to Broadway actress Carmen Cusack.
The actor posed nude for the women's magazine Cosmopolitan in support of the testicular and prostate cancer charity Everyman, which is part of the Institute of Cancer Research. (Fun note: The Bold and the Beautiful star Adam Gregory [ex-Thomas Forrester] did the same in 2011.)
Telfer once shared that because his family moved around a lot, he was often the new kid and was sometimes made fun of for his accent. His father put him in karate to calm him down and give him some discipline, but it didn’t quite work out. “I just wanted to be Bruce Lee immediately and wasn't the best behaved kid in class,” he jokes, adding, “Years later as I was entering puberty, I got back into it with Tae Kwon Do --- and that time it worked. I took it very seriously and competed until I had issues with my knees in my early teens.” He now focuses on weightlifting to keep fit.
Telfer is well-known for being a whisky fan, naming peaty Scotches like Ardbeg and Lagavulin as his favorites. But he likes bourbons and American whiskey too, saying, “That Bulleit stuff is a great value tipple.”
BIRTHDAY: October 30, 1979
BIRTHPLACE: Paisley, Scotland
HEIGHT: 6’ 1”
SPOUSE: Carmen Cusack
SIBLINGS: One older sister