Pablo Schreiber's William Lewis, the serial rapist and murderer who kidnapped Detective Olivia Benson, returns to "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" Wednesday (Jan. 8), and keeps his record as one of the creepiest characters on a show infamous for creepy characters.
"He is just sort of the most manipulative psychopaths one would ever imagine," Schreiber tells Zap2it. "He is just very charming, and that is why he is very disturbing and comes off as a very normal person and could get by fine in society, and therefore the actions that he does, by the crimes he commits, are that much more unspeakable by how normal he seems."
In the upcoming episode, "Psycho/Therapist," Schreiber is on trial. It's been months since he broke into Benson's home, beat, drugged and kidnapped her and tortured her for four days while he murdered two men, and raped a woman. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) eventually freed herself and beat him to a pulp with a metal rod.
The scenes between the two of them were electric and raw. Last season ended with Benson held hostage and the season opener was a tense hour as Benson's colleagues searched for -- and Lewis -- tortured her. Now, he's representing himself at his trial.
"The season premiere was so brutal and pretty hard to do because of the places Mariska and I, as actors, had to go," he says. "The connection we had while doing it made it possible. She is one of the most giving and sharing actors I have met."
He praised her ability to mine the part for new angles after 15 years.
Between playing a serial rapist and a corrupt and sex-fueled prison guard, Pornstache on "Orange is the New Black," Schreiber is looking forward to lighter roles.
"There is no question the past two years has been a very interesting time for me as an actor, and I am so grateful for both of those roles and to get to walk on the dark side as an actor is a beautiful thing," he says. "I have really enjoyed it and thrown myself into it fully, but I am really ready to play some people a little bit healthier."
He's going to play a good guy on HBO's upcoming comedy, "The Brink."
And Schreiber's sociopathic Williams could very well return to "SVU", judging by the episode's final scene although the actor has other ideas.
"In my mind the saga of this guy has come full circle and is done," Schreiber says. "Maybe with some time off -- who knows?"
Photo/Video credit: NBC