Meet the Undertow Cast – Raef Paris
When I was searching for faces of the UNDERTOW characters, I found it exceedingly difficult to match a real face to a fictional character. A character who had lived in my head for YEARS. Raef O’Reilly (Paris) was a HUGE player in UNDERTOW. He is an immortal killer who decides to protect Eila against his own family. I started pouring through hundreds of faces on Facebook, using friends of friends who went to Barnstable High School. It was time-consuming and I nearly lost hope . . . until I stumbled across Colby McWilliams. To this day, I cannot picture any other kid who could be as perfect a match for Raef.
Here is the 4-1-1 on Colby McWilliams, aka Raef O’Reilly (Paris)
Hometown: Hyannis, MA
High School: Barnstable (BHS)
Favorite Bands / Musical Groups: Dave Matthews Band, The Foo Fighters, Barefoot Truth
Hobbies: Playing guitar and Wrestling
Favorite quote (from anywhere): “Dream as you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean
How did you first find out about the fact that some random author (me – lol) wanted to use you as a cover model? Was it through Leslie or someone else? Leslie had messaged me through Facebook and had told me someone wanted to know if I’d be willing to be a cover model and told me I should contact you.
What made you say “yes” and did you think I was insane when we talked on the phone before the shoot? I said yes because I thought it would be an interesting opportunity and was flattered that someone thought I should be a cover model. When we talked on the phone I didn’t think you were crazy, but you were very passionate and I admired that. Lol
What was it like to be the physical embodiment of a fictional character? It’s very interesting to know I’m a fictional character! It feels great to know that there are people out there who really admire Raef as a character, and I feel like he’s really a part of myself.
What did you think of the shoot when you were there? Did you have any worries? At the shoot, I thought it was very cool. Green screens and cameras are always fun, and it was a great chance to make some new friends, as well as get to know some of my own friends a little better! I was actually a little worried about the shoot. I was just really hoping it would work out well and thankfully, we got a lot of great shots!
What has your family and friends thought about the whole thing? My friends and family thought it was really cool that I was doing the shoot, and they all couldn’t wait to read the book when it came out!
There are a whole bunch of women who think Raef is . . . uh . . . a smokin’ hot killer! Is it weird to be the face of a character that so many adult women adore? It can be a little awkward to think of adult women liking Raef that way, but I mean in the book he’s just so cool, it’s hard not to picture him that way! But just the thought brings a smile to my face. Lol – I think it’s very flattering!
Would you be willing to be shot again for the UNDERTOW series in the future if need be? Maybe sign books as the character, Raef Paris? I would definitely be willing to do another shoot! I thought it was a great experience and it’s awesome to know I’m the face of a character that so many people love! I would love to do book signings and anything any the fans needed!
Incredibly, one of the songs I listed to constantly while writing for Raef was the Foo Fighter’s “These Days.” I had no clue Colby liked them. Ironic, no?