‘The Blacklist’: Why James Spader’s Reason for Doing the Show Backfired

The Blacklist

There are two things to know about The Blacklist star, James Spader. He’s notoriously private and sublimely professional. Where Spader lacks in personal life transparency, he makes up for on the set of NBC’s top-rated crime drama. The actor has good reason for taking on The Blacklist, but how did it come to backfire?

Here’s why James Spader took on ‘The Blacklist’

Brian Dennehy as Dominic Wilkinson, James Spader as Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington | Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

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The secret to NBC’s The Blacklist‘s continued success has largely to do with the cast. However, to snag someone like film icon, James Spader, it also took a stellar writing team.

“I was looking for something that I would be interested in doing for a stretch. And that means it can’t just be a comedy and that’s it, and it can’t just be a drama and that’s it, it can’t just be action,” Spader explained at the 2019 Tribecca Film Festival via TV Guide. “It’s gotta be a mix of all those things.”

The actor admitted starring in Boston Legal years prior somewhat spoiled him because the series had a mix of drama and comedy — two things that drew him to the show. As for The Blacklist, he had similar feelings.

“First of all, by the end of the pilot, I knew less than I knew before I started reading it,” he said. “I had way more questions at the end than I had at the beginning.”

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He continued: “No matter what the set of circumstances might be, that he might encounter, I could see that he could see the irreverence in whatever it was. And I thought that dichotomy can sustain me. If it holds my interest, it might hold an audience’s.”

While The Blacklist checked all of the boxes, Spader’s biggest reason for taking the role had more to do with logistics than anything else.

“I was living in Los Angeles, and I needed to move to New York, and the show was set in New York,” he said. Seven years later, this is still the case.

How did Spader’s choice eventually backfire?

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Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet


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