Credit: Peacock

“We said ‘bon voyage’ to Ben Weston!”

Get ready, Salem, because Alex Kiriakis is about to shake things up. And while the guy might look a bit like a certain reformed serial killer who only recently exited Days of Our Lives, the two have little in common (aside from those killer abs). We can now report that Robert Scott Wilson — whose Ben sailed off into the sunset with true love Ciara in mid-July — will begin appearing as Alex on Tuesday, July 26.

“He was not one of the people who wanted to leave,” headwriter Ron Carlivati told Soap Opera Digest during a recent podcast, referring to the slew of actors who recently opted not to renew or extend their contracts for various reasons. “So we had to kind of figure out what to do with Robert and yet still give Ben and Ciara the happily ever after.”

Thus, the Westons and their son Bo sailing around the world. “We said ‘bon voyage’ to Ben Weston,” Wilson told TVInsider during a video interview (the entirely of which can be watched below). As for playing Alex, “I”m having a really good time. He’s such a fun character!”

While Ben was something of a loner when Wilson first took on the part, Alex comes with a ready-made family filled to the brim with actors he’s excited to be working with on a more regular basis than he has in the past. Although he’d shared a few scenes with Wally Kurth’s Justin in the past — heaven knows Ben needed a lawyer on occasion! — this is a whole different scenario. “For him to be my dad? We just clicked on day one, between him, Judi Evans and my boy Zach, who plays Sonny. I saw him show up, I saw him do a great job. he had big shoes to fill, you know, Freddie had played that role for so long. And I thought Zach was great. But then as soon as day one, I worked with him and Wally, I said, ‘We’ve got something special.’ My nerves went away. I wasn’t worried about what I was going to do with it, I wasn’t worried about where they’re taking it, I wasn’t worried about what fans may love it, what fans may hate it.”

So what brings Justin’s wayward son to town? “He’s showing up in town to help [the family) business,” Wilson previews, adding that his new alter ego is something of a shark and quite ruthless.

As for why it was necessary to create this new character, Carlivati explains that it was the best option when Victoria Konefal (Ciara) exited. “Victoria didn’t want to be on contract,” he said, “and Rob did. So we decided to make [him] a new character, because then there wasn’t the baggage of ‘Why is Ben not still pining for Ciara?’ And people probably aren’t going to accept Ben with somebody new, so we created a new guy for [Wilson], which we’re kind of excited about. He has a new personality, and new relationships and all that stuff.”

What better way to celebrate Wilson’s new character than with a photo album highlighting the journey he took viewers on while playing Ben