Stephen Martines, Burn Notice

Jennifer Cooper, E!

Stephen Martines knows a thing or two about passionate fanbases.

First, he faced the wrath of Vampire Diaries fans as Frederick, a season one villain who lived to torture the Salvatore brothers, and now, he's the guy coming between fan-favorite couple Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) and Fiona (Gabrielle Anwar) on Burn Notice's seventh and final season. 

We chatted withe the USA Network star about what fans can expect from the remaining episodes of the final season, his favorite shows and his memorable encounter with a Vampire Diaries fan.

How much of a threat to Michael and Fiona's relationship is your character in the remaining episodes of the final season? 
Carlos has been in Fiona's life I'm guessing for some time now. There has been talk of Fiona moving on from Michael, but he was never present in the physical sense. It just happened to be this season he surfaced. And of course, I am incredibly thankful and blessed for this opportunity. Not only to play Carlos, but to be a part of such a great show at an extreme high point of the series. 

Carlos is a threat to Michael because of his fight for Fiona. He recognizes her having walked a more darker path with Michael. Carlos is dark himself, from the gang world and growing up in on the "streets."  However, by choice, he got out and made a life for himself. He wants the same for Fiona. I find that to be his greatest quality... Standing by her for all the right reasons. That poses a threat to any man. Especially Michael Westen. 

What can fans expect from the remaining episodes and the series finale? 
I wish there was more I could elaborate on, but unfortunately the finale has been very "hush hush." I'm saddened to see the show go. However, incredibly blessed to have been kept around this long. I cannot thank USA Network and NBCUniversal enough for believing in me and opening the door to what is now my favorite job to date. And I feel silly even calling it work...When you love what you do, you won't have to work a day in your life. 

Can you say if the series will end with closure of will fans be left guessing? 
The finale has been kept under very close wraps. Most of us are all guessing at the end. Cracking jokes as to who will live, who won't live; I guess all I can say is it will be worth it. Oh, and please let Carlos live! 

You played a pretty memorable villain on The Vampire Diaries, so have you had any fun encounters with fans of the show?
Yes, I would say Frederick was quite the villain. I thoroughly enjoyed playing him. So many places to go to emotionally when playing such a dark soul out for revenge, if you will. As far as fan encounters, yes, I did have a few, but one stands out for sure. I was traveling back from St. Louis, my hometown, and waiting to board the plane back to Los Angeles. This woman was staring as if she'd seen a ghost. I couldn't help but make eye contact because I wasn't sure what in the world she was doing. As we caught eyes, she pointed at me and waved her finger side to side then grabbed her neck, smiling. Once we boarded, she walked passed me and said "Frederick, please bite me." I never really understood the cult following until that moment. Or how much people are attracted to vampires. It was a funny moment for me and I'll never forget it.  

Finally, what's your favorite show and what do you think Carlos' favorite would be?
Honestly, I don't watch much TV. I'm a sports guy although ESPN repeats all day every day. As far as shows I'm aware of and have caught my eye due to writing, creativity and performances, I'd have to say Shameless, The Newsroom and Breaking Bad. The latter of the three will be a greatly missed show. Carlos' favorite? I would have to say Breaking Bad for sure! The edge of the show is right up his alley; same as Dexter would be in line with the darker side of Carlos. 

Burn Notice airs tonight at 9 p.m. on USA Network. 

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