🔴 INTERVIEWS, Selected

 
Last updated: 6/13/2017
 
For Articles and Reviews about the show, Click Here: 🔴 “Vulnerabilities”
For News about the show (ratings, guest stars, renewal etc) Click Here: 🔴 “News”
 

Chronological Index

Page Down or …
⭕ 2017
⭕ 2016
⭕ 2015
⭕ 2014
⭕ 2013
⭕ Boston Legal to The Blacklist
⭕ Before Boston Legal
⭕ Go to End

 

My Favorite Interviews: Excerpts and Links

Playboy 2014
Rolling Stone 2014
Playboy 2005
LA Times 2004
Toronto Sun 2002
Japanese TV 1997
Playboy 1990

Angelfire: Early Spader Interviews, Collected (1985-2004): http://bit.ly/1LcgeAj
 

༺✦ ♤ ✦༻
 
GoldenSpiralMedia: The Blacklist Exposed Podcast [videos] http://bit.ly/1HcuYgM
// Recurring, for each episode

 
Below: Reverse Chronological

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Cinemablend: Where Will The Blacklist’s Suitcase End Up In Season 5? Here’s What The Creator Says http://bit.ly/2sXyw1D
// 6/10/2017

 

ChristianPost: The Blacklist’ Season 5: Will Samar Break Aram’s Heart? http://bit.ly/
// 6/2/2017, Amir Arison on playing Aram

 

BlacklistExposed: BLE86 – S4 – Susan Blommaert Interview (audio) http://bit.ly/2qnPDrD
// 5/26/2017, aka “Mr Kaplan”

 

TVGuide: The Blacklist’s Susan Blommaert: Mr. Kaplan Promised to “Protect Liz with Her Life” http://bit.ly/2qnYhGX
// 5/18/2017

 

EntertainmentWeekly: The Blacklist’s Megan Boone reacts to that parental revelation http://bit.ly/2qxJpbm
// 5/18/2017, Major Spoilers‼️

 

GulfNews: ‘Blacklist’ star James Spader reveals his biggest fears http://bit.ly/2qdQvSt // 5/13/2017, likely pieced together from other interviews …

 

GoldenSpiralMedia/Chicago ComicCon: BLE81 – Inside The Blacklist at C2E2 with Jon Bokenkamp & Cast http://goo.gl/Yh3Vbd [ audio] 1:10:15
// 4/26/2017, audio interview: Exec Producer Jon Bokenkamp and Actors Amir Arison (Aram Mojtabai) and Susan Blommaert (Mr Kaplan)

 

TVGuide, Liz Raftery: The Blacklist Creator on [SPOILER]’s Transition to a “Pretty Badass Villain” http://bit.ly/2oBf1IN
// 4/20/2017

“She’s so inside Reddington’s world,” Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp tells TVGuide.com. “She literally knows where the bodies are buried. She knows him incredibly intimately, and has a great motivation in terms of why she believes he needs to be stopped.”

TV Guide: There’s so much to unpack in this premiere, but let’s start with Red’s realization that Mr. Kaplan is still alive. He’s normally so careful, but he neglected to make sure she was dead after shooting her.
Jon Bokenkamp: That was a big moment, and I think something that Red has really been struggling with, in terms of killing Kaplan. I think it was almost less of a mistake [and more] that he couldn’t quite do it, that he turned away, couldn’t see his way to killing her, because he loves her. And that has obviously come back to bite him in a bad way. I talked to James about this, the idea that every time Reddington kills somebody – and he does it a lot – that it sort of takes a little piece of him. He hates it. He doesn’t like violence. He doesn’t like doing it. He’s a violent man, but it does sort of chew away at him and eat away at him, especially Kaplan and what happened there. That was incredibly difficult for him to stomach.

TVG: What is Red thinking after that phone conversation with her?
JB: I think Reddington’s terrified. Some of the people who are closest to Red are the people who feel comfortable pushing back against him. He has a very small group, whether it’s Dembe or Mr. Kaplan or Glen or Brimley. There’s a very small group of people who really push back and feel free to talk openly to Reddington, and Kaplan was one of those people. And I think he is absolutely horrified at the secrets that she holds. …

TVG: So it’s fair to say that he’s worried about more than being killed?
JB: I think that’s right. I think he’s worried about secrets getting out. He’s worried about being compromised by somebody who he held so close. Also, he’s somebody who is always thinking ahead, and I think Reddington, in perhaps a small way, is even worried about how the back blow from any of this might come back on Liz or the Task Force, how it might expose them. …

TVG: What impact does that showdown have on the task force?
JB: I do think that one of the unintended consequences of Kaplan targeting Reddington is potentially our task force. Everyone involved, everyone who has been part of the crimes. What the task force members start to consider as they become a little more introspective and realize that they have the potential of being brought down with Reddington is, how complicit are they in what Reddington has been doing? …

 

EntertainmentWeekly, Natalie Abrams: The Blacklist unveils a shocking amount of backstory http://bit.ly/2p23fLq
// 4/20/2017, Interview with Jon Bokenkamp; full interview contains major spoilers …

JB: Kaplan is one of the best big bads that we’ve had. I think she’s complex and is coming at Reddington from an emotional place. It’s not about business as usual, it’s not about taking over his empire; it is about dismantling him and pushing him out of Elizabeth Keen’s life. There is nobody better to do that than Mr. Kaplan. She has deep, intimate secrets, she knows about his relationship with the FBI, she knows who he is to Elizabeth Keen, so she really has an arsenal that can be crippling to him. We will see Reddington in a brutal fight in a way that we’ve really never done before on the show. The ramifications of this fight, this war, are going to be catastrophic; they really are.

 

TodayShow: James Spader: The Blacklist delves deep into Red’s past as it returns http://on.today.com/2o5blnd video (4:59 mins)
// 4/18/2017

 

NYT, Jim Rutenberg: How to Write TV in the Age of Trump: Showrunners Reveal All nyti.ms/2p6tC3A
// 4/12/2017, Showrunners of: House of Cards, Madam Secretary, Scandal and Veep

 

Three Guys with Beards: #049 | Daniel Knauf http://bit.ly/2pzY6aL
// 3/21/2017, audio interview

 

InternationalOpulence, Robin Jay: Meet The Blacklister – An exclusive Interview with Jon Bokencamp http://bit.ly/2nGUinO
// 3/14/2017, “An exclusive Interview with Jon Bokencamp, creator of NBC’s hit crime thriller ‘The Blacklist’ and the new spinoff series ‘The Blacklist Redemption’”

International Opulence: I can’t imagine anyone other than James Spader playing the part of Reddington. What direction was he given and how much did he embellish to create his character?
Jon Bokencamp: It was written very specific for a 50-something-year-old man who’s classy, elegant and refined. James brought a real sense of humor to the role. I know one of the things he did on ‘Boston Legal’ were the great courtroom filibusters – he’d just become hypnotizing. And that became something we would write toward. He can be quiet and captivating. Oftentimes, we’d write a whole scene and then decide he could do it with just a kiss. [[ What?! Where?! When?! ]] James said he saw in the script a lot of humor. I didn’t. He definitely brought it out and has an odd sense of humor that I think is in sync with the character. It’s James’ great sense of timing and an eerie weirdness that is fun to write to.

IO: What’s James like in person when he’s not acting? Does he have any similarities to his character in The Blacklist?
JB: It’s funny, John [Eisendrath] has said this before, at a certain point the character becomes the actor and the actor becomes the character. And you start writing toward that actor’s strengths and what they do well, and avoid what they are not so strong at. You see sort of a presence only they can bring to that character. In terms of what James is like, he’s incredibly professional. He’s dedicated to the script, which I think is rare in television. He’s somebody who’s not going out and ad-libbing and winging it. He’s incredibly protective of the character. Raymond has sort of an odd moral compass. He’s a ruthless man, he’s a criminal. But at the same time, he’s an antihero who has a very specific moral code and I think James is very good at calling us out when he thinks Reddington is doing something out of character.

IO: Is there a real ‘Black List’ in the real world?
JB: Well, the government has a kill list. That exists. A lot of things we use in The Blacklist are grounded in truth. I’m not a huge conspiracy theorist, but I’m also not terribly naïve. … I think that there is certainly money and power that have an influence, and I think Reddington’s perspective on the world and his cynicism and his wild delight for life are sort of a nice juxtaposition.

IO: Given the bruhaha in the news media about whether the Russians hacked the election, are you planning to write more Russian plots in future episodes?
JB: There are larger conversations that happen behind the scenes. Maybe I like to let my mind go wild.

IO: Do you do any actual collaborating with the FBI?
JB: Yes, we work with Brad Garett who’s a former FBI agent. There are certain times where he’ll tell us what’s more realistic.

IO: When you first started the series, did you intend from the onset for the audience to wonder whether Red may be Liz’s long-lost father?
JB: I think that was always part of the mystery. It wasn’t ‘was she his daughter’ so much as who is this man, which is the larger question. The Blacklist is very much a ‘chosen one’ story. “A man walks into the FBI one day and only speaks to Liz and knows things that are mysterious and uncomfortable and the question of ‘why her’ is really a series long question. We had chances to answer it, but I think that’s what makes the character of Red mysterious because just when we think we understand him, we don’t. I personally like the chameleon aspect.

[ Note: Emphases added. Very minor edits ]

 

EntertainmentWeekly: Did The Blacklist reveal Red’s real betrayer? http://bit.ly/2mkjj7C
// 2/23/2017, Interview with Jon Bokenkamp; The Blacklist returns on Thursday, April 20 with a two-hour episode.

EW: It looks like Dembe is to blame — at least that’s what you’re showing us. Should we trust that?

JB: … [Y]es, as we come back, Dembe is who our entire team is hunting.

EW: Is there more to what we’re seeing, though?

JB: Yeah. What’s fun is that we pick up weeks later. It’s almost real time. It takes eight weeks for Reddington, in the time that we’re down, to hunt Dembe before he gets his big lead that brings him back in episode 16. …

EW: How is this going to ultimately affect Red moving forward?

JB: He’s been dealing with a number of hits. … He’s watching his empire crumble and I think he’s having to step back and reassess what he’s doing, why he’s doing it, how long he can survive, how many hits his business can take. I think he is very reflective and stepping back and taking stock in what he’s become. … It’s not just Reddington — it’s our task force, it was Mr. Kaplan, it was Dembe, it was Liz and Cooper, and the whole team has been enabling him. So whatever blood has been spilled, to a certain extent, is on their hands as well. That’s something that, not only Reddington, but the entire task force is really struggling with as things are in such fractured place.

 

Observer, Anne Easton: EPs Couldn’t Kill Tom Keen, So They Made Him the Star of ‘The Blacklist: Redemption’ http://bit.ly/2lpZGKn
// 2/22/2017, Interview segments: Eisendrath, Bokenkamp, Eggold, Famke

John Eisendrath, who serves as an Executive Producer … , admitted during a gathering at the Television Critics Association to trying to orchestrate Keen’s demise. “It’s true that in the initial inception of The Blacklist, the character of Tom Keen was going to die, We considered it frequently, maybe more often than we should have, but the truth is, we never did it, in large part because [Tom Keen’s portrayer] Ryan [Eggold] was undeniable in his presence and his value to the show that the opposite happened – instead of writing him out and killing him, we just wrote more and more for him until it became clear that he was a character we could build a show around.” …

Eggold isn’t nervous about headlining the new series, as he says, “I don’t feel too much pressure or anything so much as I feel passionately about searching for what this show is. I can’t wait to figure out this dynamic and see where the characters go.”

Explaining the narrative of the series and how it’s different from it’s predecessor, Eisendrath reveals, “Ultimately we strayed a long way from a potential father/daughter story to a mother/son story. We really stretched ourselves for that. In in this case, we’re telling, ultimately, a story for the audience to enjoy about an odd, weird, uncertain dynamic between a parent and child. So it’s a much different story and though it will be weird and twisted and have lots of secrets, I think [it’s] much more relatable to viewers.” …

Describing her character, Scottie, actress Famke Janssen, says, “I think she’s a complex woman, with many different layers. She has this incredibly soft and broken side to her that’s so beautiful and relatable. But, at the same time, this is a woman who operates in an extremely tough environment and she has to be strong. And, she’s ruthless, and she’s unpredictable, and we never quite know where we stand with her.”

Summing up what viewers can expect from the series, Bokenkamp smiled as he said, “This show really is sexy and, yes, there is a sense of fun. We want it to be a big, explosive, wild ride.”

 

AbsoluteMusic, Paula Courtney: An In-depth Interview With Hisham Tawfiq ~ ‘Dembe’ on The Blacklist http://bit.ly/2kUwKtM
// 2/18/2017

 

NYT, Kathryn Shattuck: Famke Janssen Plays Another Lethal Woman in a ‘Blacklist’ Spinoff http://nyti.ms/2lUdvVe
// 2/17/2017

 

UInterview: Mozhan Marno Speaks On Her Character’s Betrayal On ‘The Blacklist http://bit.ly/2kj8cxq
// 1/6/2017

 

SpoilerTV: The Blacklist – Episode 4.09 – Lipet’s Seafood Company – Promo, Sneak Peeks, Promotional Photos, Interview & Press Release http://bit.ly/2kbLc38
// 1/5/2017, interview excerpt from EW

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is Red actually Liz’s father?

JON BOKENKAMP: I think it’s best to let the show and its characters answer that. Anything that’s meaningful is in the scripts and on the screen. Everything else is noise.

EW: Should we trust what Red told Kirk about being Liz’s father or was he just telling Kirk what he wanted to hear?

JB: Well, he did say he was her father and he sounded like he meant it. That said, he was also heavily drugged with god knows what. I’ll let you decide.

EW: Kirk says there’s nothing that could stop him from killing Red, and yet he actually stopped. What can you tease of what’s really going on and when we’ll find out what Red whispered?

JB: The truth is, we’re not going to find out what he said. That whisper was a secret between the two men who loved Katarina. Besides, if you really knew what Red said the show would probably be over.

 

Yahoo: ‘The Blacklist’ Postmortem: Mozhan Marnò Talks Samar’s Big Admission About Aram and Her Feelings About Liz’s Big News https://yhoo.it/2k1HWVQ
// 1/5/2017

 

AbsoluteMusicChat: Paula Courtney: Presenting Brandon Sonnier ~ Writer/Director (The Blacklist, Blues, The List, The Beat)
// 1/4/2017

 

Iloveredmorethanever: Live with Kelly Interview with Megan Boone http://bit.ly/2kbhOdd
// 1/3/2017
 

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Bloginetor: The Blacklist | 4×09 “Lipet’s Seafood Company” Promo +Promotional Photos + Press release+ Interview http://bit.ly/2k1OFiv
// 12/21/2016, EW interview excerpt plus analysis

 

RottenTomatoes: The Blacklist Interview Excerpts [videos] http://bit.ly/2k1EaM8
// 12/6/2016, many interview snippets

 

YouTube Build Series: Interview with Zee Hatley, Associate Producer on NBC’s The Blacklist http://bit.ly/2kvi04Z
// 11/15/2016

 

BrisbaneTimes [AU]: Gangster movies and a passion for books led James Spader to an acting career http://bit.ly/2jnGgnC
// 11/13/2016

“When I was a kid, and I first was watching James Cagney movies or Humphrey Bogart movies, those gangster movies, I thought they were great, you know? They were the characters I loved the most,” Spader says.

“[They are] people who live sort of in the fringes or extremities of our society, their lives are lived in the extreme, and that makes for a good drama,” Spader adds. “But it also allows people to visit those sort of extreme aspects of our societies, and it transports people to a different place and a different sort of sensibility.”

In the original outline for the series, Red Reddington was written as a far more serious – and sinister – figure than he ultimately became. The shift occurred, producers John Bokenkamp and John Eisendrath have said, mostly because of the wry nuances in Spader’s performance.

“I saw a great opportunity for humour, or irreverence,” Spader says. “I think that is a better way of putting it really, because it’s not a jokey show at all. Just a sort of irreverence, and a way to have fun with it, in the middle of the intensity. It’s nice to have some lightheartedness, it makes it more fun to play.”

“You’ve got a guy who’s spent a good portion of his life being faced with adversity, he’s capable of very, very bad things, but he’s got a very well developed heart, which you see in a lot of his dealings with a lot of people,” Spader says.

“He has a tremendous feeling … and when faced with a child, I think the child represents life, you know? The beginning of life. For a man who’s lived right on the brink of death, he’s so close to the end of his life throughout his whole life. He’s just one misstep away. To be faced all of a sudden with life, it’s incredibly moving.”

From the day he walked into government custody promising to help the FBI track down the most dangerous criminals in the world, James Spader’s character in The Blacklist, Raymond “Red” Reddington, has played a high stakes game.

As the series has evolved, and a larger mosaic to Reddington’s character has been revealed, a daughter-like figure (if not an actual daughter) is in the narrative – FBI profiler Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) – and a tender side to Reddington has been revealed.

For the most part, Spader confines the bigger conversation – about the show’s over-arching themes, its direction, and his character – to one long talk each year.

“After we finished shooting the pilot [producers] John Bokenkamp and John Eisendrath came over to my house and we sat and talked about the show as a whole, where it could go, and what the shape of it could be,” Spader says.

“That has continued; what we tend to do is, in the spring, during our vacation break, we tend to talk about the long term, the whole season and how that fits into a larger picture of the future,” he adds. “Then we talk about the specifics.”

The last season wrapped with Reddington in a very vulnerable place, seemingly betrayed by the person he trusted the most. “I think you saw a lot, frankly, for him, considering who he is, I think you saw a lot of [vulnerability],” says Spader.

“But he’s got to move forward,” he adds. “He’s got to find a way to move forward. He’s not a person to wallow. So, the season opens with everybody in trouble. The whole group. They’re all at odds and conflicted. It’s a mess. I think that’s a pretty good starting point.” …

Away from the set, Spader and his partner Leslie Stefanson live with Spader’s two sons with former wife Victoria, Elijah and Sebastian, and a younger son, Nathaneal. In his spare time – of which there is precious little – Spader says reading is his greatest passion.

“There’s not enough time in a lifetime to read even a fraction of the amount of stuff that you may want to read in your life. I devote a lot of time to that,” he says. “Besides eating and the hangout with the family and sleeping and making love, I can read for months. I just love it. I love it.”

Spader says reading, more than any other factor, drove him into his acting career. “It’s not about acting, really,” he says. “It’s really because I love stories, and I love other people’s lives and I love other things that I am not familiar with. I love the consumption of that.

“It all started with just playing make-believe as a kid, but your playing make-believe is also informed by your reading, what you read as a kid, the stories you’re hearing,” he says. “I didn’t watch a lot of television or go to the movies and stuff as a kid. It was all books.”

 

ParentHerald: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 Update: Mid-season Teasers Unveiled; Major Revelations Out In The Finale? http://bit.ly/2jnFVRZ
// 11/11/2016, quotes from source interviews plus analysis

 

EW, Natalie Abrams: The Blacklist: Red’s connection to Liz finally revealed? http://bit.ly/2jGlPTN
// 11/10/2016

Who survived the ultimate showdown between Red and Kirk in The Blacklist midseason finale?

During Thursday’s episode of The Blacklist, Kirk’s (Ulrich Thomsen) men sprung him from the hospital, taking Liz (Megan Boone) hostage in a bid to save Kirk’s life. However, Kirk discovers Liz is not his daughter, so Red (James Spader) offers his life in exchange for Liz’s.

Before Kirk could kill him, though, Red offers Dr. Shaw’s patient zero as a miracle cure for Kirk. But Kirk just wants to torture Red for answers, like how they were both Katarina’s marks, and she tricked Kirk into believing Masha was his daughter, when really Red is her father. Twist. Well, not really since we’ve all suspected as much since the beginning of the series. But was Red actually revealing the truth, or just telling Kirk what he wanted to hear?

Kirk, however, still wants to kill Red, saying there’s nothing Red could say to stop him — until Red whispers something that stops Kirk in his tracks. What did he say?! EW turned to executive producer Jon Bokenkamp to find out.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is Red actually Liz’s father?

JON BOKENKAMP: I think it’s best to let the show and its characters answer that. Anything that’s meaningful is in the scripts and on the screen. Everything else is noise.

EW: Should we trust what Red told Kirk about being Liz’s father or was he just telling Kirk what he wanted to hear?

JB: Well, he did say he was her father and he sounded like he meant it. That said, he was also heavily drugged with god knows what. I’ll let you decide.

EW: Kirk says there’s nothing that could stop him from killing Red, and yet he actually stopped. What can you tease of what’s really going on and when we’ll find out what Red whispered?

JB: The truth is, we’re not going to find out what he said. That whisper was a secret between the two men who loved Katarina. Besides, if you really knew what Red said the show would probably be over.

EW: Could Red actually be Katarina?

JB: That’s funny — I’ve heard that theory before and it’s a wild one. I’d love to have someone walk me through the logic of exactly how that would work. I’ve also heard that Liz is Tom’s sister, Liz is a robot, and Ressler is Tom’s brother. All great theories, by the way.

EW: Everyone has suspected that Red was Liz’s father since the beginning. Why did you decide to go this route?

JB: Ultimately this is a ‘chosen one’ story. Elizabeth Keen is clearly incredibly important to Red. Why? That’s what we’re slowly revealing over time, and trust me, the answers are all there. As you pointed out — the father theory is only one of many. For me, it was never so much about is he her father or is he not — but why is this young woman so important to Raymond Reddington?

EW: Red seemed to know inside info on Katarina and Kirk’s relationship. How would he know that?

JB: We’ve already established that Red had an affair with Katarina, and I think one can only assume she told him many intimate details about her actual husband, Alexander Kirk.

EW: Red says Kirk is gone. Is that really the last we’ve seen of him?

JB: I think it’s pretty certain this is the last we’ve seen of Kirk.

EW: Kaplan left the woodsman behind. What’s her next move? Is she against Red now?

JB: I think Mr. Kaplan is just lucky to get out of that cabin alive. She’s lucky to escape Red. She’s hitched a ride and off to god knows where.

EW: Have we seen the last of Kaplan?

JB: Ugh. I hope we haven’t seen he last of her. I love having Susan Blommaert on the show. That said, I also loved having Alan Alda on the show and we exploded his head with a neck bomb, so…

 

Etonline[.]com: Philiana Ng: My Favorite Scene: ‘Blacklist’ Creator on the Moment the NBC Crime Thriller Became More http://et.tv/2naR0eP
// 11/10/2016, the “Stroganoff scene”

 

AbsoluteMusicChat: Paula Courtney: My interview with Brandon Margolis, writer/producer on NBC’s The Blacklist TV series http://bit.ly/2jXKEvF
// 10/18/2016

 

TVGuide: The Blacklist EP Teases Mr. Kaplan’s Fate and an Impending “Conflict” for Liz and Tom http://bit.ly/2jnYhCs
// 10/12/2016

Mr. Kaplan (Susan Blommaert) just can’t seem to catch a break onThe Blacklist. … [W]hen we last saw Mr. Kaplan, she was being rather roughly dragged through the woods by a man on a very uncomfortable-looking makeshift stretcher. So, who is that man, and what does he want with Mr. Kaplan? Is her bad luck just beginning? TVGuide.com turned to Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp for answers. Here’s what he had to say about Mr. Kaplan’s new friend, the clues Liz has discovered about her past, and what’s next for Samar and Aram:

TVGuide.com: What can you tell us about the man we see dragging Mr. Kaplan through the woods?

Jon Bokenkamp: Boy, what can I tell you? We’re gonna go down the rabbit hole with Mr. Kaplan into a sort of unexpected world, I think. She has been left for dead and has been rescued. That could be good and that could be bad, and maybe full of a couple turns and twists. … What we don’t typically do is slow stuff way down. That is going to be a story that is a little bit of a slow burn for us. It’s not going to be completely answered in the next episode or even the one after that. … I think it’s going to be rather interesting.

TVGuide.comWhen will she and Red cross paths again?

Bokenkamp: That’s interesting. What’s unique about this, and we don’t often do this, but this is a story that’s sort of happening in a vacuum. Red has, for all intents and purposes, killed Mr. Kaplan. And yet she has managed to barely survive. So, we’re telling a story that’s sort of parallel to the lives of Red and Liz (Megan Boone) and Tom (Ryan Eggold) and Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) and the task force. We did that a little bit in the first season, where we saw this – we called him the Apple Eating Man, who was watching Tom and Liz. And we had a run of episodes where we didn’t know who these people were. Finally, in that case, those stories converged. Here, we may take a different route, or we may end up in a different place. But one of the things that’s unique about it, and I think sort of unusual, is that we’re just telling a little short story with Mr. Kaplan off on her own, really untethered to Red or Liz or what’s going on with Agnes or Alexander Kirk (Ulrich Thomsen). She’s sort of in her own bubble off in the wilderness, in her own little movie.

TVGuide.com: It sounds like it will be a while until those stories converge again. How is Mr. Kaplan feeling towards Red at the moment?

Bokenkamp: One thing about Mr. Kaplan – she knows how Red feels, and I think she knows it would probably not be wise to go say, “Hey, I’m alive and well.” Or, “alive.” I don’t know about “well.” So we’re not in a big rush to play scenes between Red and Mr. Kaplan, if we will. Her condition is super grave. She’s been shot in the face, is clinging to life at the moment. I think any stories with her at the moment are really just about survival and staying alive, and that’s about it. That’s all that’s on her plate right now.

TVGuide.com: Switching gears to Liz, she’s trying to figure out who’s telling her the truth about her past – Red or Alexander Kirk. Are the writers dropping “clues” along the way so that viewers could potentially figure this out on their own, or will we be going on the journey along with Liz?

Bokenkamp: I think the audience has all the information that Liz has. I don’t know there are clues so much as truths about who these men are to her. They’re both telling different sides of the story. Maybe through the lens of history some things are remembered slightly differently. But I think what’s interesting about Kirk is that he’s coming in with a story that he’s incredibly passionate about, and truths that he believes in his soul – even so much that they’re turning up in Liz’s mind as memories.

In our second episode, she’s remembering moments with her mother. She’s digging up items that clearly were not planted. These are 25-year-old items that were buried. She’s found her journal, and read truths that were not fake, that are grounded in the mythology of the show. Again, that’s one of the things that makes Kirk so dangerous to Reddington, is that he has real, concrete answers. … [H]opefully the audience will be able to understand that we’re playing fair with them and that the truths are being laid out as these episodes progress.

TVGuide.com: We saw Liz’s mother in her memories. Is there any chance Katarina is still alive?

Bokenkamp: Well, they never did find her body. That is true. She, as the story goes, walked off into the water and committed suicide at Cape May, and sort of washed away. But it is true that her body was never found. { … }

TVGuide.com: The last time we spoke, you said the writers were just starting to discuss how to launch the spin-off The Blacklist: Redemption. Is there anything more you can share about that?

Bokenkamp: That is something that we’re still kind of figuring out. We have a plan. … I don’t know what to say there. I don’t have anything quite yet without blowing stuff.

TVGuide.com: Is it fair to say that seeds have been planted in these first few episodes about the plot that will carry Tom over to Blacklist: Redemption?

Bokenkamp: I think seeds were planted even before that. The draw that is going to have to pull Tom away from this whole world is something that has sort of been woven into the show for some time. It goes back years for him. We have a really compelling story for who Tom is, how he came to be. …

TVGuide.com: A fan on Twitter asked if we’ll ever find out who sent Red the mysterious painting in Season 3.

Bokenkamp: That was a warning from, I believe, Alexander Kirk. … It was a sort of a warning shot from across the bow to Reddington, saying, “I know and I’m coming.” I wish there was some deeper mind-bending turn there.

TVGuide.com: Can we expect more from the Samar (Mozhan Marno) and Aram (Amir Arison) storyline?

Bokenkamp: Yes, very much so. Samar and Aram have a story that is playing out that I think we just hinted at at the end of last week’s episode. Aram has had a bit of a secret that he hasn’t been telling us, and that is certainly news to Samar and Ressler and everyone, that Aram is making dinner and having dates and having a life outside of the post office …

TVGuide.com: Will we see more of the FBI and Team Keen working together?

Bokenkamp: Yeah, for sure. They’re going to continue to work together. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be still some bad blood there. I think Samar specifically is really struggling with how to continue with this task force, when Liz sets the house on fire and expects everyone else to come put it out. … We are going to continue to have some significant ripple effects from the fact that Liz faked her death and betrayed the trust of the people who care the most for her. …

 

Yibada: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 spoilers: Liz, Red romance finally materializing as Tom leaves for a spinoff? http://bit.ly/2kjiw8r
// 10/5/2016

 

Sportsrageous: Blacklist Season 4 Spoilers: Megan Boone talks about how she had to lie to everyone http://bit.ly/2kCXVsF
// 10/5/2016

 

HuffPo: BUILD Series Exclusive: James Spader on Typecasting in Show Business http://huff.to/2jnWtt5
// 9/29/2016

“… [I]n every category you want to hire the person that you have something that you can look at that’s tangible that shows that that person can deliver what you’re asking of them. You’re going to typecast everybody. It is a resume. You’re going to hire a director who has directed something just like what you’re making (or what you’re paying for) so that you know that director can make that. You’re going to hire the actor who you know can do that because you’ve seen them do that. You’re going to hire the writer. Everybody. The cinematographer. The guy who you know does the sound effects, you know the special sound recording, he’s going to be the guy who just did the film that’s just like the one you’re about to make. Without question, I’d do the same thing. So would every one of you.”

“It just— it only makes sense. Yet, everybody who’s applying for the job, no, they want ‘something that they’ve never done before.’ They want to do something that is ‘brand new’ … ‘take a flyer on me I’m worth the 10 million, you know, really trust me, I know what I’m doing. I can do it really I can.’ So that’s the battle. It’s a formidable one but it’s a valiant one and one must be vigilant.'”

 

AbsoluteMusicChat: Paula Courtney: Q&A with The Blacklist’s Dave Metzger on Music, Writing & Breaking Down Episodes http://bit.ly/2k8tgq5
// 9/22/2016

 

YouTube: Opie&Jimmy: James Spader Interview https://youtu.be/Wna_AcHHQa4
// 9/22/2016

 

EntertainmentWeekly: The Blacklist’s Megan Boone on ‘stronger’ Liz Keen in season 4 http://bit.ly/2cL1nzN interview
// 9/22/2016

 

AOL: James Spader Discusses Season 4 Of NBC’s TheBlacklist | BUILD Series NYC http://aol.it/2dnJUiL 37 mins @NBCBlacklist
// 9/22/2016

 

TVGuide, Liz Raftery: Blacklist Boss Answers Your Burning Questions About Season 4 http://bit.ly/2cF2vow
// 9/20/2016, interview

The Season 3 finale of The Blacklist gave us one big answer that, in turn, opened up a Pandora’s box of countless other questions. The double-whammy bombshell in the season ender informed us that, not only is Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) alive, she’s the daughter of Alexander Kirk, a.k.a. former KGB agent Constantin Rostov (Ulrich Thomsen), who has a lengthy personal history with Red Reddington (James Spader).

TVGuide.com: Where/when do we pick up in Season 4?

Bokenkamp: We pick up literally right in the moment where Season 3 left off. … We dive right back into it headfirst.

How does the knowledge about Kirk being her father change Liz this season?

Bokenkamp: I think her first reaction is, ‘Where is my kid? What have you done with my child? Where is the man I was going to marry?’ I think she is incredibly suspicious. This guy has abducted her, taken her away from a life that she was trying to reboot. And he hasn’t entered her orbit in the most graceful of ways. So, I think she’s incredibly suspicious.

And yet, Kirk promises to offer and will offer some incredibly compelling truths that are hard to refute, and truths that I think Raymond Reddington is not happy to have exposed. … He’s going to open Liz’s eyes to her past … and I think it’s going to be really compelling.

… Should she — and the audience — accept that Kirk is her father as a definitive truth?

Bokenkamp: I think you should take it as seriously as Liz and everyone in the task force. In the [writers] room, we take it incredibly seriously. … [I]n our mythology in the past three years of the show, we have worked in the writers room incredibly hard to keep the stories clean, the mythology clean. … Kirk believes it. He has proof that he is Liz’s father. And in time, he will share that with her. I think the audience should take it incredibly seriously.

What is Liz and Red’s relationship this season?

Bokenkamp: I think it’s a real yin and yang, their relationship. Liz has faked her death to get away from Reddington, and to start her family and to try to have a fresh life, this idyllic life that she’s been grasping for since we met her in the pilot of this series. … I think it’s safe to say that they in some way are going to have to find a way to push forward and continue to go out and solve those cases, and work together.

Liz be able to regain the trust of her FBI colleagues? … Will any of the team members react in surprising ways?

Bokenkamp: I think their responses across the board are going to be surprising. The very people that you would think would be suspicious of this and think it would be a terrible idea may step forward and support Liz. And the people who you think might be the most caring and supportive may feel the deepest betrayed. So we have some really good stories.

Talk about Red’s mindset when we return. Obviously he must feel deeply betrayed by Liz as well.

Bokenkamp: … Immediately, the only thing that is going to matter to him is, 1) finding Elizabeth Keen and 2) finding her child. And, any reveals or news or information that Kirk has, it might be new to the audience but it’s going to be almost irrelevant to Reddington until he knows that Elizabeth Keen and her child are safe. That is at the forefront. It’s one of the things we love about the character, is that, even though he’s been so brutally betrayed, his love for her is so deep that he’s able to set all of that aside and go do what’s right by her and her child, and set this right. When we meet him at the top of Season 4, he will be on fire. I can assure you that.

How does he deal with Mr. Kaplan’s (Susan Blommaert) betrayal?

Bokenkamp: He is going to be confronted with what to do with Mr. Kaplan and how to move forward within the first two episodes. We’ll have a clearer idea of what Red has in mind by the end of Episode 2. … We’ve seen how Reddington deals with betrayal in the past, whether it was Newton Phillips in Season 1, who he suffocated with the plastic liner of an urn, or the Paul Rubens character who betrayed him and who ended up dead on an airport hangar floor. He’s not one to suffer fools or to stand down to people who betray him. As the character says, value loyalty above all else. And that loyalty has certainly been breached with Kaplan.

[T]he decision she’s made will have significant consequences. It is something [Red] will struggle with tremendously, and it is a story that we’re going to confront. …I wouldn’t want to be Mr. Kaplan at the moment. …

Can we expect any more back story for some of the smaller characters?

Bokenkamp: As the show has grown, I think one of the things that we’ve become better at is telling the stories of the other people that populate the show. … We’re going to continue to do that as we push forward, and we’ve got some really great stories, some that come out of Liz faking her death and … other stories that are completely independent. … There’s potentially some back stories coming up [but] not immediately. Not at least in the first few episodes.

Will we get to see more of Scottie (Famke Janssen) and Tom’s relationship this season, ahead of the spin-off?

Bokenkamp: …That is, quite honestly, something we’re still figuring out. … She’s not in any of the immediate episodes when we launch back, but that is definitely a possibility.

How will the show move towards Redemption in the first half of the season?

Bokenkamp: We’re fortunate in that the spin-off doesn’t happen until midseason. We do have this big story we’re saddled with at the moment that we’re telling that clearly involves Tom, and that he’s going to be an important part of. … [Tom’s] got a whole basket full of problems before his character can even consider going to a spin-off.

When we do land there, in probably February, I think it’s going to be a great, super rich emotional decision. In terms of how and when he leaves, those episodes have yet to be written … .

Will we still see him on The Blacklist?

Bokenkamp: We’re talking about it. It’s clearly possible to see him on The Blacklist, and vice-versa. There’s a potential that any of these characters could sort of drift into the spinoff to the extent that it feels organic. …

Anything else you can add about Season 4?

Bokenkamp: …[W]e’ve got a real rollercoaster coming, and it’s gonna be a blast.

 

BlacklistExposed: Podcast: ‘The Blacklist Exposed’ Chats with Megan Boone About Career, Super Powers & Season 4! 72mins http://bit.ly/2cOgjOZ
// 9/17/2016

 

CarterMatt: ‘The Blacklist’ exclusive: Amir Arison on Liz Keen reveal, Aram’s journey, and big premiere http://bit.ly/2d4i8F3
// 9/16/2013

Amir Arison is the emotional core of the Task Force in many ways, and his role has increased with every passing year. Arison … touches on where the show left off, what could be coming up, and also the joy he has taken in slowly unraveling this character.

CarterMatt – [E]very season almost has its own feel. Have you felt that way…?

Amir Arison – It’s true. Each season kind of has a certain through-line, or at least half a season or a quarter of a season, and then there’s some giant twist and it’s turned on its head.

[T]he first half of the season — was Liz on the run and what that meant for every character on the show. … [W]e still had a Blacklister every week [but] it didn’t feel as procedural. It felt more ‘Alias’ / ’24’-esque.

Then, Liz was caught and brought into the box and Aram had that enormous episode where he had to try and save her. The second half of season 2 had its own through-line, and then the last five [episodes] when Liz Keen ‘died,’ everything turned on its head. Doing those five episodes was unlike anything that I’ve done on the show.

Of course, as we’re heading into this season, the news is that Liz is very much alive. … But one character we didn’t see get that information is Aram, and that is something I can say we will see in the premiere: Aram receiving the news that Liz Keen is in fact alive. I can’t say what goes with that news, but it’s more than a few things. It’s a lot to process.

CarterMatt – I have to imagine that for Aram it’s difficult. He’s such an emotional heart of the group and he cares about her, … .”

Amir Arison – I agree [Aram] is more emotional than other Task Force members on the show, but everyone has a very unique response to her revival, if you will. I think our writers and producers do a phenomenal job with the responses being consistent with each character, but then also surprising us.

CarterMatt – You mentioned those five episodes where Liz had died, and what an interesting time that was for you as an actor.

Amir Arison – Well, there’s a production episode and a script element. They didn’t tell us anything, and I went script to script to script. I can say now, … I did see Megan [Boone] around. I had a feeling they weren’t killing off our main character, but at the same time as an actor I like to stay in the dark so I can play each episode as truthfully [as possible].

When I did get the [final Season 3] script, though, I will say that the final reveal of Alexander Kirk saying ‘hello Masha, I am your father’ was like ‘whoa, I did not see that coming at all.’ That throws off all kinds of theories and so forth, and I have to tell you that the season [4] premiere and episode 2 … so much happens. The premiere feels like a vintage ‘Blacklist’ premiere, but episode 2 feels like a finale. That’s how much happens. That’s how many bombs drop. It’s exciting. I can say unequivocally it’s an exciting season so far.

CarterMatt – One of the last things Red said to Cooper in a great scene last season was to ‘set [Aram] up with someone.’ Could we actually see that happen? It’s the Aram matchmaker game!

Amir Arison – How funny was that line? He compared him to a school-boy with an erection, something like that. I saw a draft of that line and I laughed out loud each time. Of course the way James [Spader] delivered it [added to it].

If you remember back to the finale, at around that same time Aram went on a blind date in a Ford commercial, and coincidentally ended up on a blind date with Samar! I don’t know if all the viewers saw that. Aram was trying to put himself out there.

I was telling some cast members what I think Aram’s backstory is. I think Aram, after Liz Keen’s death and after it looks like the Task Force is going to disband, I think Aram is going to have to lean in to other aspects of his life. I’ll just say that (laughs).

CarterMatt – How much more of Aram’s backstory have you been clued in on? Have the writers given you more, or do you just take what is given to you in the scripts?

Amir Arison – In terms of backstory, here and there there are little pockets of discussion, but in television you have to be ready for anything.

[E]arly on in season 2 when Aram talked about his background a little bit I did talk to [showrunner] Jon Bokenkamp about that and had some suggestions. We had a super-collaborative conversation about that.

The show is about Red and Liz, and we get little pieces of Samar’s background and Cooper’s background and Ressler’s background. We haven’t gotten so much of Aram, but stay tuned for season 4!

CarterMatt – You mentioned early on about some of the stuff you got to do before episode 10 of season 3, and I think in general that was Aram’s biggest year yet. Is that going to continue moving forward?

Amir Arison I love those storylines in the third season. They were unexpected and extremely exciting. This season, I can say from the first six episodes there is some stuff I’m getting to do on the show that I haven’t done before, and I am loving it.

 

EntertainmentWeekly: The Blacklist: Liz Keen’s history to be revealed! http://bit.ly/2cyrv06 interview Megan Boone interview
// 9/15/2016

“Through the investigation of Alexander Kirk, she finds a lot of her mother’s memorabilia and private journals,” [Megan] Boone says. “A lot is revealed to her about her mother, who she’s known nothing about her whole life, and through her mother, she learns actually a lot more about Reddington.”

As The Blacklist inches closer to revealing exactly who Reddington is to Liz, she will discover a shocking truth. “What comes to light is that it’s not really Reddington bringing all of this upon her, it’s her own history and where she comes from,” Boone teases. “Something you start to realize through season 4 is she was strapped with this from birth.”

In truth, Boone admits she doesn’t even know the real connection between Red and Liz. “I never really felt like it was useful to me to know anything about the relationship that Liz has with Red, or about Red’s history and why he takes such an interest in Liz, because Liz doesn’t really know,” she says. “I always wanted to maintain that mystery for myself. That being said, I don’t really know, maybe James Spader, Jon Bokenkamp, and John Eisendrath are really enjoying keeping it a secret from everyone.”

“It’s very complicated and it’s something that actually gets revealed — it’s a big reveal in episode 3 of season 4,” Boone says. “Like a lot of the people that crop up in our show, his agenda is not necessarily altruistic. He doesn’t have the best of intentions.”

 

CinemaBlend: Will Liz Appear On The Blacklist More Often In Season 4? Here’s What The Creator Says http://bit.ly/2cGCkgL
// 9/9/2016

“… The Blacklist should win some kind of award for how the creative team embraced actress Megan Boone’s pregnancy leave by spinning it into a jaw-dropping series of twists during a surprisingly intense and moving back end of Season 3… .”

Bokenkamp: “Over time, he will be unpacking truths that are undeniable about who Elizabeth Keen is, where she comes from, what her connection is to Kirk, to her mother and, ultimately, to Reddington.”

 

HollywoodOutsiders: In World Creators Tara Bennett and Paul Terry [Video] http://bit.ly/2kvaWFv
// 9/7/2016, on Elizabeth Keen’s Dossier

 

DigitalTrends: Who is Reddington? The Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp teases the truth http://bit.ly/2aDePVG
// 8/4/2016
Jon Bokenkamp called Digital Trends from Los Angeles to discuss the show’s brilliant visual and sound design, some of season 3’s biggest moments, and his plan for the show’s ultimate endgame.

DigitalTrends: One of the extras from the previous season’s Blu-ray set showed how you guys worked on the Super Bowl episode [season 2, episode 9, Luther Braxton (No. 21)], where we got to see that big storyboard wall. Are you still using it to break stories?

Jon Bokenkamp: Oh my God, yeah — and it’s only growing. It’s more of a bible now. Occasionally, if we bump up against something like, “Does Liz speak Russian?” — we have to go back to the bible to keep it straight and to be on point with exactly what the backstory is.

We’re very religious about being honest and true to the mythology of the show, the origins of it, and where we’re planning to go. So, yeah, we’re meticulous about the mythology and maintaining the bible that we’re adding to, and checking against it to make sure we’re not contradicting ourselves in the storytelling.

DigitalTrends: Do you personally choose some of the songs that run with the montages at the end of certain episodes? Do you have specific songs in mind, or do other people bring their choices to your attention?

Jon Bokenkamp: It’s a little of both. I have very strong feelings about some stuff — either stuff I’ve listened to for many years, or stuff I’ve found that I feel will fit. I work very closely with John Bissell, who’s constantly sending me these packets of songs. He’ll say, “Hey, here are 20 songs you haven’t heard before.” Every once in a while, I’ll walk around the Paramount lot listening to them.

DigitalTrends: One of the most critical episodes from season 3 was Cape May [episode 19], a James Spader showcase that should be winning awards left and right, as far as I’m concerned. Was that actually shot in Cape May in New Jersey?

Jon Bokenkamp: I’m not sure exactly where they shot it. That’s another example of production making us look better than we deserve to be. But it was all on location, with very few things shot on a stage. It was all Spader and Lotte Verbeek [who appears as Red’s foil in that ep, ID’ed only as “Mysterious Woman”] and Michael Watkins, who directed it. They brought it to life.

DigitalTrends: What I also liked was that there was no Blacklister in that episode at all, which shows you can do an episode without having that be a given part of the plotline.

Jon Bokenkamp: [W]e feel emboldened by that episode, and we feel it would be a welcome breath of fresh air every now and then to go in and tell these stories that are a little bit different, more serialized, and a little more unusual. We really enjoy mixing it up and letting the show find itself, and not be beholden to one specific sort of format.

DigitalTrends: Season 3 ended in such a great way, and we’re looking forward to whatever comes our way in season 4.— as well as the Blacklist: Redemption spinoff series that’s set for midseason. If you could assess season 4 in, say, two words, what would they be?

Jon Bokenkamp: I would say: rollercoaster. It’s going to be a very adrenalized emotional rollercoaster. In a way, these people who have worked so closely together and have kind of become a family are going to have to somehow find it within themselves to move forward. It’s going to be a blast.

DigitalTrends: Seeing Liz’s father at the end of season 3, and having Ulrich Thomsen playing him, is a great casting move. [Thomsen portrayed the ruthless local businessman Kai Proctor on Banshee.] Is it fair to say we’ll see a lot of him in season 4?

Jon Bokenkamp: We’ll see him a fair amount, yes. He’s a critical part of season 4. Ulrich is a great actor, has great chemistry, and brings a real presence to the show. I think fans are going to have a great time watching him bring this character to life, one who has a lot of mysteries surrounding him. He’s not only going to raise questions, but he’s also going to answer questions as we move forward. I think he’s going to be a great addition. We’re going to have a great run with Ulrich.

That’s one of the things we like about the show — trying to surprise ourselves. Once you feel like you know somebody, you realize you don’t know them at all. That’s certainly the benchmark with Red. He’s this sort of chameleon who’s always shifting and changing. We’re getting closer and closer to understanding him, and the Cape May episode was a good example of that. But he’s still somewhat of an enigma to us.

DigitalTrends: I totally agree. So I have one question about the ultimate reveal of the series: Are we going to find out everything is happening in Red’s snow globe?

Jon Bokenkamp: What I’ll say about the trajectory of the show and where it’s going — and where it’s been going since Day 1 — is that we do have a grasp on who these people are, how they’re interconnected, and what the agendas are. …

We’re fortunate to know where we’re going, and fortunate to have smart writers on staff who are keeping us in line with that. I don’t think we could tell as complex a story or as emotional a story if we were just winging it.

DigitalTrends: So, just to confirm what you’re saying — no matter what season winds up being the last season of The Blacklist, you already know where you’re going to end up?

No matter how long we’re on? I have in my heart — and James [Spader] shares it, and [executive producer] John Eisendrath, and the people in the writer’s room do too — that we have a story, and it’s one we’re sticking to.

[T]he truth of who Reddington is guides us in every single episode. It also makes writing the episodes incredibly difficult, but it is our guide.

 

YouTube: BlacklistExposed: Interview with Creator Jon Bokenkamp https://youtu.be/Utg-15AGAao
// 7/14/2016

 

YouTube: Scottie Thompson on #TheBlacklist and working with James Spader https://youtu.be/41lss_yYWIM
// 6/7/2016

 

EntertainmentWeekly: Spoiler Room: Scoop on Arrow, UnREAL, Blacklist and more
// 6/1/2016

When Red and Liz do eventually reunite on The Blacklist, how will he feel about her faking her death? — Sarah

Listen, Liz has pushed Red away many times before and he’s always waited patiently in the wings. So despite the fact that she’s gone to extreme lengths to get away from him, I don’t think he’ll be changing his tactics any time soon. “He’s not insensitive to the fact of what she’s going through in her life right now and he’s aware of her knowledge of his feelings about all of it, and he’s made that plain,” James Spader tells me. “I think he would have an understanding for what led to this.”
———————
 

EW: Spoiler Room: Scoop on Arrow, UnREAL, Blacklist and more http://bit.ly/2kvfThm
// 5/27/2016

 

TheBlacklistNBC, Susanne Patterson: “Inside The Interrogation Room” with The Blacklist Creator, Jon Bokenkamp http://bit.ly/1P5DP86 #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist
// 5/21/2016

● SP: The episode, “Cape May”, is Emmy worthy for Daniel Knauf and James Spader. The episode was simply epic. What did you think of this particular episode?

JB: We were psyched to have Knauf tackle “Cape May,” but the original idea for a Red only story was something that came about after a round of NBC notes. They wanted more Red. We all wanted to see him deal with what happened to Liz, but we had to figure out what that progression would be. Episodes, 318 and 320 fit together, but it was important to give Red and the fans a second to breathe.

● SP: Did the episode achieve it’s goal?

JB: Spader nailed it, and then by 320 we were ready to see Red on fire.

● SP: Was there a conscience [sic] decision to emphasize Arison’s acting abilities and build upon his character this season?

JB: This season we really clarified that he’s part of the heart and soul of the show. He can talk tech, and then turn around and deliver a line about the wedding playlist.

 

WSJ, Jason Evans (5/20/2016): ‘The Blacklist’ Creator Jon Bokenkamp Opens Up About the Twists of Season 3 http://on.wsj.com/298RLyI
// 5/20/2016, ‘Season 4 is going to expand that canvas,’ the showrunner says

You guys did a great job keeping the secret about Liz’s return. Who knew that Liz was still alive? Did you tell the cast?

No, we didn’t really tell anyone we didn’t have to, which is hard because our cast and crew are like a family. … The scene where Liz and Tom are reunited in Cuba was actually shot before Megan wrapped for the season, probably back in late February. It was scripted as a “dream sequence” in episode 3.18 (where Liz died)… We tried to be as quiet as possible about Megan coming back.

Was faking Liz’s death primarily done to facilitate Megan’s pregnancy or was it a storyline you wanted to pursue anyway?

To me, it felt totally organic for Liz to get pregnant unexpectedly. That’s life! Remember, this is a woman who wanted to be a mom, as early as the pilot. Now she has a child. It made sense to us that she would try to escape Red’s circle of influence, not just for herself, but for her newborn baby. …

The whole season felt like we were leading up to meeting Liz’s mom, Katerina. Instead we met her father. Will you say if this finally closes the book on any question as to whether Red is Liz’s dad?

I thought we answered that question back in season 1. (Note: In season 1, Red tells Liz he will never lie to her and then immediately says he is not her father, though many fans refused to believe him.)

… Can you talk about what kind of show it will be in season 4?

…There is almost always a case of the week that furthers the story in some way. I guess, personally, I’m more interested in the characters and how they’re changing than I am in telling an episodic story about bad guys. I think the character development of our ensemble is the greatest success in season 3. Ressler stepped up and ran the task force and keep this morality, Samar worked more closely with Reddington. Cooper started to arc darker and has his own marital problems, and Aram got out from behind the computer in a big way. I think seeing all of these characters develop was really wonderful. This is still Red and Liz’s story, but we’ve got a stable of incredible actors that I think we’ve finally just tapped into. Season 4 is going to expand that canvas.

 

WSJ, Jason Evans: ‘The Blacklist’ Creator Jon Bokenkamp Opens Up About the Twists of Season 3
// 5/20/2016

 

TVLine: The Blacklist’s Ryan Eggold Talks That Finale Surprise, Shares Spinoff Details http://bit.ly/29879Kg
// 5/19/2016

TVLINE | Were you told from the get-go that Liz’s death was faked, or was her death — and resurrection — something you only learned when reading the scripts?
The dissemination of information was very chaotic at first. [Laughs] I heard from Megan first. She came up to me and was like, “I’m dead.” And I said, “What?” and she said, “Yeah. I’m dead on the show.” And I basically said, “What? What are you talking about? We can’t do the show without you. There’s no way we’re going to kill you.” … Of course, we all thought there was some way to turn it around.

… And finally, [series creator] Jon [Bokenkamp] was like, “All right, look, she’s not dead, man.” [Laughs] And he told me the plan and why Tom was underreacting, because he’s orchestrating this plan. And I was like, “Huzzah!”

TVLINE | Had you suspected all along that she was going to come back, given Liz’s importance to the show?
… [T]he show revolves around her, and that’s what’s interesting about it. But it was interesting to remove the centerpiece from the show. You create this big, black hole, this void of where Liz was, and it pulls all the other characters closer to the center and stretches them in a way they wouldn’t have otherwise. … And then I got the script, and I’ve really been pleasantly surprised at every turn. …

TVLINE | Let’s talk about the spinoff a little bit. …
You know, this Tom Keen spinoff thing was a whisper I heard a long time ago … I mean, a long time ago. … And then about halfway through Season 3, it started to get very real. …

We’re going to get into this political bent. Scottie’s hiring spies like myself to influence governments, and [there are] empires rising and falling and the behind-the-scenes of that. I think that’s really timely, with Bernie Sanders and the concentration of wealth at the top, and corporations having all the power and influence on politics. If we get into a dramatized version of that world, where we are spies operating with those 1-percenters, that’s a really fun world that people want to see right now.

TVLINE | There’s already a huge difference between The Blacklist and The Blacklist: Redemption in that we already know Tom’s relationship to Scottie, and Liz and Red’s relationship is still very much a mystery. …
For me, I really liked that difference between The Blacklist and the new Redemption series — that on Day 1, we answer it. We say, “This is their relationship.” And now the question becomes, “What is the past?”

TVLINE | Aside from the spinoff, can we expect to see you in Season 4 of The Blacklist, given how this finale ends?
Yeah, Tom will definitely be in a number of the beginning episodes. …

 

EntertainmentWeekly: The Blacklist star Megan Boone on that Liz Keen surprise http://bit.ly/2412wEg
// 5/19/2016

What was your first reaction when you heard they’d be faking Liz’s death?

MEGAN BOONE: …It was the first time in my life I’ve had a huge secret for a really long time and had to keep it from my cast and so many people close to me.

Was the decision to fake Liz’s death solely because of your real-life pregnancy, or do you think Liz HAD TO get away from Red at this point?

MEGAN BOONE: It’s clear at this point that the answers Liz seeks about her mother, her past, and her connection to Red aren’t going to come from Red. … He is consistently evasive, so it’s timely that she try other avenues to get the answers she seeks as well as actively seeking out the life she wants. It’s a good point in the series for Liz to break away.

Liz was only free momentarily, and now she’s been captured by a man purporting to be her father. What’s going through her head in that final moment of discovery?

MEGAN BOONE: …Someone could come in and claim to be the messiah with rays of light coming out of their ears, and Liz would just want [her] infant back.

Liz has pushed Red away on several occasions, but she always let him back into her life. Why do you think that is?

MEGAN BOONE: … I think the most important thing that keeps her coming back is her allegiance to the people in her task force and their mission. …

Will that make her even more curious as to finding out who she really is, a.k.a. Masha Rostova?

MEGAN BOONE: Until now, she has been reactionary to overwhelming circumstances, rather than an active and resourceful woman in search of herself on her own terms. That’s why I’m very excited about her independence.

Red discovers the truth in the finale. Was there a part of her that was almost expecting or hoping he would?

MEGAN BOONE: I think Red will have a very different woman to deal with at this turning point in the series, and he will be forced to evolve and compensate for her newfound autonomy. A stronger Liz will suffer the consequences of extricating him from her life, rather than wish for him to rescue her again. That’s not to say he won’t, just that I think she’s become braver and not a damsel in distress. …

How do you think Liz and Red’s dynamic has evolved since the show began?

MEGAN BOONE: Once she became aware that his actions always sprang from self-interest, his interest in her became less and less flattering. Red’s veil of mystery and intimidation became threadbare, and that broken human being he shows glimpses of to the audience in private moments became visible to her.

That’s when she stopped being enamored of him and started to actually love him.

 

EntertainmentWeekly: TheBlacklist bosses on that shocking return http://bit.ly/1XHtSzK
// 5/19/2016

How hurt will Red be in the wake of learning that Liz faked her death?
BOKENKAMP: Red is devastated. On one hand, he understands the danger he’s brought to Liz by being part of her life the past three years — he knew the dangers — but on the other hand, he’s only cooperating with the FBI so he can be part of her life. Emotionally, Reddington is in a very tricky and precious place. There is nothing worse than blatant rejection.

Can Liz trust Alexander Kirk?
BOKENKAMP: … Red’s said before that he’s not Liz’s father. This man shows up in her life and says he’s her father. Liz should take him at his word. She thought she shot her father. It raises a number of questions, which is going to be the joy of season 4.
EISENDRATH: We cannot unpack a story point like she thinks she shot her father and then introduce a new element that completely negates it, because that would damage our relationship with the audience and their trust in the story that we’re telling. … [W]e are responsible for next year and in years to come to incorporate it into the story that we’ve already told.
BOKENKAMP: Truth is, this is a big turn in the life of our series.
EISENDRATH: He says he’s her father, but is he going to hurt her, help her, be kind to her, or does he want to destroy her?
BOKENKAMP: What I do promise is that Alexander Kirk and his relationship to Liz will ultimately give us a far deeper understanding of Red’s relationship to Liz in season 4.

Does part of Liz regret not finding out who Red is to her?
EISENDRATH: If you felt that the devil might be your biological father, you might be loathe to really know the truth. You might accidentally on purpose not ask the questions, because you really don’t want to know that. Now, as we go forward, she probably will be more inclined and more ready to face some of the truths that subconsciously she was unwilling to face in the first few years.

So what does this meant for Tom then?
EISENDRATH: Jon and I have thought from the beginning with Liz and Tom that there was true love there. … Hopefully the audience can appreciate that they are a young couple who care a great deal about each other who have an have incredible amount pulling at them.
BOKENKAMP: … The only thing that we feel confident in is it won’t be Tom and Liz with a baby, changing diapers, and becoming a domestic drama of a perfect little family who are raising a child. That’s not what our audience is interested in, that’s not what the show is.

The show is about turns, and surprises, and identity, and secrets.

We intend to have a lot of fun with the complexity of the situation that they are confronted with.

 

Deadline: #The Blacklist Creator On Finale’s Shocking Twists, the Fallout & Season 4 http://bit.ly/25vqVYE

// 5/19/2016

DEADLINE: Alexander and Red have been feuding for years. What is their history? Does Red know Alexander is Liz’s father?

BOKENKAMP: Red’s knowledge about Liz and her family is a thread we’ve been pulling for some time. The secrets he keeps are important for a variety of reasons, but – for example – when Liz was forced to remember the fire, it helped them find the fulcrum. Red’s self-interest is fueled by his history, and Kirk is part of that history. I think you’re going to see we have a lot of story to tell about these two and their relationship.

DEADLINE: What is Kate’s fate?

BOKENKAMP: Mr. Kaplan’s betrayal is unlike any of the others we’ve seen in the past three seasons. You know, you see her stand up to Red, and I think she made him really look at the way he’s been trying to protect Liz. I also think it’s important to remember that this whole idea — Liz faking her death — this didn’t come from Liz’s or Tom’s; it was Kaplan who concocted this plan. …

DEADLINE: What about Liz, Tom and Agnes’ future?

BOKENKAMP: Right! Talk about a splintered family unit. Liz meets Kirk, and has no idea where her family is. She was trying to protect them from Red, but didn’t know what was waiting around the corner. Now they’re in the exact jeopardy she was trying to avoid. I feel like this child is going to need some serious therapy if she makes it to adulthood.

DEADLINE: Where does the show go from here — is the next arc Red tracking down Liz?

BOKENKAMP: The one person that Red cares about in this world is now missing and in the hands of his enemy. It’s gonna be really exciting to spin those in the room this year. As for Red, rest assured, he will be on fire.

DEADLINE: Would Red work for the FBI again if Liz returns or his blacklist as we know it is over?

BOKENKAMP: Well, Reddington certainly wouldn’t work for the FBI without Elizabeth, he said so much in tonight’s episode. He’s only there because of a secret agenda that Liz is central to. … The questions of who Red is to her, why he cares so deeply for her, what he wants from her — that’s all that ultimately really matters ….

DEADLINE: How will the shocking development change Red’s relationship with Liz, and how will it change Red?

BOKENKAMP: I think the decision Liz made to fake her death will have significant impacts, not only with Red, but with the entire team! … You think this was a roller coaster ride? Just wait.

 

WSJ, Jason Evans: ‘The Blacklist’ Season Finale: Amir Arison Hints at ‘More Than One Big Reveal’ http://on.wsj.com/1Tnxod4
// 5/19/2016, (just before S3 season finale)

 

EW: The Blacklist’s James Spader on that shocking twist — exclusive http://bit.ly/1NbIFzX #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist (4/14/2016)

EW: When did you first hear this is what the writers were going to do?
JAMES SPADER: Oh, boy. That was so long ago. Jon Bokenkamp, John Eisendrath, and myself are usually talking before a season ends. We’re talking about where this next season will at least start and sort of a roadmap for where it might go. The timing and source of great ideas cannot be predicted …

“As soon as [ the fact that Megan was pregnant ] became apparent, it was certainly going to dictate what the second half of the season was going to be and actually open up some great, some really wonderful storylines to work with it.”

EW: How will Red react in the wake of this? Does he want vengeance?
JAMES SPADER: He’s faced with a very complicated set of circumstances. Here’s a character who, to live his life for the past 20 years, he has found comfort in fate and I think it empowers him and gives him confidence when entering any set of circumstances, no matter how dire … During the fugitive period in the first half of this third season, he found himself in a unique set of circumstances for himself where suddenly he was responsible for somebody’s life, that he had not come to terms with the fact of the end of their life and how their life might play out.”

EW: What can you say of Halcyon, this new company that Mr. Solomon is working for, and what role it will play as the apparent big bad at the end of the season?
I think Reddington has always had a sense that this is the immediate adversary or obstacle, but there’s always a sense of a greater presence out there …”

EW: With Liz gone, what does Red’s dynamic look like with the team?
JAMES SPADER: That’s in question. And for the moment, it’s almost reflexive for him to live his life just one foot in front of the other and to take his life on a daily basis. And I don’t mean not looking forward or looking ahead, he’s always looking ahead, but I mean immediately — immediately upon her death I think he’s lost.”

 

AnyPossibility: Interview with a Writers’ Assistant: Dave Metzger http://bit.ly/1UXkmrV
Dave works on #TheBlacklist; he wrote “Drexel”
// 4/1/2016, for excerpts: http://wp.me/PDKwi-1vf#metzger under “Writers Room.” Lots of great info on tv writing and production & key insights on what it really takes to bring an episode of The Blacklist together

 

TheGuardian [UK]: James Spader: ‘I prefer to have nothing to do with the actual business of being an actor’ http://bit.ly/1nUqTFD
// 2/3/2016, “As far as honesty goes, it’s not clear Spader especially needs a refill. A smart and punctilious man, he is someone who came to fame in the 1980s but has survived beyond that decade very much by being himself. This isn’t someone neurotic about his appearance or his lifestyle. He smokes, likes a beer, likes pizza and jazz piano. He evidently hasn’t tried to halt the passage of time on his hairline, or fought particularly hard against middle age in the gym. He is strangely old world, a bit F Scott Fitzgerald: tweedy, but passionate. He exclaims that things are ‘lovely’ or ‘divine’.”

“The Blacklist is a pace-driven series that clearly has an episode formula, but which also leans heavily on Red’s idiosyncrasies to elevate it above a genre piece. Spader makes Red wisecracking, but also dark and deadly. Spader says he is often – ‘daily’ – in contact with the writers about the character.”

“‘If I’m choosing a project on content,’ he says, thoughtfully sucking a boiled sweet, ‘it’s through a prism of sexuality, in the oddest corners of someone’s life. I’m not someone so much interested in exploring a slice of life unless that is down the corridor, around the corner, up the alley and down the rabbit hole. That I like.’”

“‘I wanted to find something which was going to mix irreverence with drama,” says Spader, “and a character who would continue to surprise me. On a series where you do 22 episodes, that’s such an important thing.'”

“[W]hen he is cast in a part, you perceive it’s with an understanding of, and a nod to, his entire career, and all the baggage that an actor brings with them.”

“‘They’re going to get that,’ he says, welling up with enthusiasm. ‘I bring as much as I possibly can. Everywhere I go, I bring a lot of luggage. I think that’s what one should do. I’m paid well, and am demanding of the people I work with and therefore I feel I should bring a lot.’ He smiles: ‘And I do.'”

 

Entertainment [NZ ]: The Blacklist’s Megan Boone talks pregnancy and future possibilities http://bit.ly/1Kgjv1Q
// 2/2/2016, “When asked what she thinks is the ongoing appeal of the show, Boone says she’s often wondered if many viewers find it a cathartic experience. “This idea of some network of nefarious characters that affect our daily lives seems to strike a chord with people. Yes, the world of The Blacklist might be so heightened and fictitious that it’s almost a monster story, but people love the idea of a criminal network underbelly that’s terrorizing our society being uncovered and brought to justice”

“Boone also knows that a big part of the show’s appeal is the chemistry between Liz Keen and the machiavellian Raymond Reddington, played by James Spader.”

“We really work at it, but it helps that we’re both really genuine and mutually respectful people, as well as both kind of strange and a little bit weird. I think people like the fact that we’re like a couple of weirdos on a playdate.

“I think for any relationship to grow, it has to overcome obstacles and that’s pretty much what you see happening – Lizzie and Raymond always come back together stronger. They have a really strong bond that is inexplicable and ineffable – Liz certainly doesn’t understand it and Reddington doesn’t know how to express it.”

“One of the strengths of the show is the premise is so strong and lends itself to so many possibilities. I think it’s future will depend entirely on our multitude of creative minds and how they all fare in the long haul and if the audience maintains the way it has. I think, as an actor, the healthiest mindset to have is ‘I don’t know what the future holds and I’m okay with that’.

 

EW, Natalie Abrams: The Blacklist boss on Liz Keen’s big news http://bit.ly/1nZjd5F
// 1/21/2016
 

⬆ go to top
 
EW: Is there a Blacklist baby on the way? http://bit.ly/1N3FFzZ
// 11/26/2015

● “’We are still trying to figure it out,’ executive producer Jon Bokenkamp says. ‘It plays in a number of different ways, both story wise and physically, for Megan in trying to figure out what that would mean to the show.’

● “‘It’s really hard in a show that has — whether he’s her father or not — a parental core to it,’ Bokenkamp continues, referencing the dynamic between Liz and Red (James Spader). ‘In a show that has a father-daughter type relationship, it’s incredibly difficult to ignore the fact that our lead actress is pregnant. It’s still being figured out exactly what that means.’”

 

Tumblr, MsMookie: James Spader Q&A, London (fan interview) http://bit.ly/1Jm4qvb
// 11/24/2015, I enjoyed this

 

EntertainmentWeekly, Natalie Abrams: The Blacklist boss on Keen’s new predicament, team’s double loss http://bit.ly/1MvHMOP
// 11/19/2015

 

RadioTimes, Stephen Armstrong (Nov): Is James Spader the oddest man in showbusiness? http://bit.ly/1VqEsYu
// 11/6/2015, extended clips from earlier work

 

PhilStar [PHL]: James Spader: I work to earn a living http://bit.ly/1LyUVX1
// 10/16/2015

“James Spader stars as Raymond “Red” Reddington in Sony Picture Television’s action thriller The Blacklist …

“Spader’s extensive career includes award-winning performances in Steven Soderbergh’s Sex Lies and Videotape, David Cronenberg’s Crash and Steven Shainberg’s Secretary, plus his Emmy award-winning performance as Alan Shore in The Practice and Boston Legal, the only actor to win consecutive Emmys playing the same character in different series.”

Here are excerpts from an interview with Spader conducted by AXN.

How did you feel about the shocking end of Blacklist’s Season 2 and the high-adrenaline start of Season 3 that showed Red on the run with his FBI protégé Liz Keen?

“I don’t know if I have a boost of energy or not but Season 2 ended with Elizabeth Keen and Raymond Reddington on the run and real divisions in the task force. All the balls are in the air — where they fall will be the fun of it, I think. I’ve seen the first two episodes now and the divisions in the group are really my favorite part. I thought that the show had a vast array of paths that they could take when I first read it. I’m excited by that. It’s a thing to look for in a television series…at least for me… something that can sustain your curiosity and interest for over the long term, so I’ve been very happy.”

It feels like the third season is about the story of Red and Elizabeth in a more serialized way than before.

“In the first season, the network and the studio wanted to have a balance between a serialized show and a procedural show simply so that an audience could filter in more easily. If you’re building an audience, it’s just easier for people to access the show at different times in the season if it’s not too heavily serialized. It has become more and more serialized as it’s gone alone [sic].”

The Blacklist seems to mirror contemporary fears about government conspiracy. Is that deliberate?

“I think that elements of what’s happening today in the world are certainly something we draw from for the show. But it’s not at the core of the show. There are other shows that do that very successfully and we’re not in that competition. It’s a parallel universe that takes just enough things from real life to make the show have the appearance of being something that’s somewhat believable. But in terms of the sensibility about government and the intelligence community being purely contemporary, I beg to differ. I think it’s always been a little grey. It depends who your friends are.”

Do you think Red would be more of a villain if he were in an ‘80s show?

“Red’s a bad guy. I don’t have any illusions about that. Although he is nice to old ladies.” (Laughs).

Does that explain many of your career choices? You tend to choose those dark and more complex characters.

“Yeah, I like dichotomy certainly. I remember the first time when I read Secretary and I thought, ‘God, this is great.’ What a great idea to have this sweet love story in this incredibly masochistic, sadomasochistic relationship, you know? It was really the sweetest love story I thought and I love that.”

Is there any way in which you’re becoming more like him, or him more like you?

“I don’t really think about myself when I’m working in any way. I’m always just thinking about that guy I’m playing. I couldn’t really care less how it relates to me or doesn’t relate to me, you know? I have a very full and vital life outside of work so I don’t really need life fulfilment from work. I work to earn a living.” (Laughs).

Why do you try to inject humor?

“I was very lucky the last time I was on a TV show for any length of time — in Boston Legal. It was very hard to categorize the character that I played and even the tone of the show was constantly shifting. And so when I was looking for another show I was looking for something that had the possibility for a lot of different tones. I mean, I work on it all year. I like to have a mix of things.”

The show has a lot of younger viewers -— has it opened up a new audience for you?

“You know what? That started in The Office. All of a sudden the age of the people coming up to me in the street had dropped. When I’m doing movies that fluctuates, although in the past there haven’t been that many movies I’ve made that younger people could watch.” (Laughs). “The Lincoln film was shown in lots of schools so that gave me a very young crowd all of a sudden. If I’m going base it on who comes up to me in the street and I live in New York and I like walking, so everybody comes up to me in the street. There’s no age group, no economic strata. It’s seemingly completely democratic and inclusive.”

You have an incredibly distinctive voice. How important has that been in your career?

“I mean, I guess that’s turned out well for me. But for being a performer of any kind, your voice is one of your strongest tools. I haven’t had formal voice training but I do have a good ear and very, very good hearing. I got that from my mother. She had the most incredible hearing… I mean, so good we had to be cautious. Maybe there’s something to that, but I’ve tended to think less about that in terms of work and more in terms of my life with my seven-year-old.” (Laughs)

Note: This interview is sourced from AXN but I cannot find the source online. It does contain material that is new to me.

 

James Spader: “It does not interest me to play Mr. Everybody” http://bit.ly/1P262uQ
// 10/2/2015, Reblogged from Tumbler, spadersmainsqueeze (Translated from French to English)

Named best actor at Cannes in 1989, three times awarded the Emmy Awards, James Spader went of auteur cinema to mainstream series like “Blacklist”, never give up its taste for the bizarre.

When he pushes the door of the building where we go, you’d see his character from Blacklist, criminal “repentant” Raymond “Red” Reddington, enter the premises of the FBI. Even elegance, even smirk, even sunglasses, same hat. James Spader, awarded in 1989 for [ her ] his role in Sex, lies and video of Steven Soderbergh, is a singular actor, specialist in strange roles, the fetishist rugged body Crash (David Cronenberg, 1996) in sadomasochistic boss Secretary (Steven Shainberg, 2002) through the formidable advocate of the series Boston Legal (2004–2008). In Blacklist, it is worrying again, intriguing and fun, and at arm’s length has a thriller paced, entertaining but formatted. After a brief chat on his love of jazz – he spends his nights at the Village Vanguard in New York – there he moved into a large sofa, planted in the middle of a silent living room. Head tilted to the side, as if to listen – a tic shared by “Red” Reddington – he evokes his character, his vision of the game and his career choices.

Q: The music does help you focus, to get into the skin of your characters?

Spader: When I shoot a movie, choose the music can help, as this is to immerse yourself in faster, and for a short time in a story and a character. In a series, however, it does not really make sense. A character like Red is marked more deeply by my personality and my daily life. I have in my head a soundtrack that runs continuously, even when I listen to nothing. It is this music that accompanies Red.
“We must be able to relax, to be appeased, and simultaneously to be focused, tense to his role.”

Q: Do you live every day he has an impact on your game?

Spader: Not literally. Let’s say that I am and my surroundings more easily rubbed off on my characters on the length of a series. Take New York, where we turn, which is the setting for Blacklist. It is a sum of sounds, colors, smells, a kind of great mixture of the world. Red is a traveler, a man from the outside, and this city is a microcosm, a summary of its global playground.

Q: are therefore rather an instinctive actor, who leaves it all rub off on his game, a routine that needs a strict framework…

Spader: The game is based on a necessary dichotomy: one must be able to relax, to be appeased, and simultaneously to be focused, tense to its role. After so many years, has become natural relaxation. Play has become a reflex. I kept a routine, but I learned to make it fluid, to adapt to those around me, and all have their own habits. We must have the modesty to respect the process of each … so that everyone respects yours.

Q: Featured as an actor, you also need to be part of the creative process of the show?

Spader: It has become a constant in the series, but for us it is also a necessity because our writers work in Los Angeles and we turn to the other side of the country. We are in constant contact and we exchange a lot about the current scripts and the future of the series.

Q: You often say that your greatest wish was to become what we call in English a “character actor”. Meaning?

Spader: (It marks a long silence) I have always left room in my work, for my idiosyncrasy (sic.), My eccentricity, my peculiarities. Looking them in every role that I was offered. I’m interested in the other is its strangeness, its difference, which makes him an individual apart. It does not interest me to play these gentlemen Everybody at the heart of movies and series, these supposed heroes help the public to identify with. I want to embody unique characters …

Q: It is often said of you that you like the roles of weird guys…

Spader: What attracts us like we probably. My sensitivity goes to the strangeness. I seek in others and the world around me. Unless she comes to me!

Q: The role of Red Reddington was not written for you [the authors thought of Kiefer Sutherland, Ed], but it fits like a glove. Because you have changed so that you look like?

Spader: Without a doubt. This is what must make every good actor. He must get involved, to engage his character eventually belong to him. Whatever my role, I immerse myself in it. I refuse to take lightly. I need to imagine his movements, beyond the script.
“I make no difference between a Hollywood blockbuster, a series or a small independent film, a security role or appearance, a disaster or a masterpiece.”

Q: It is not too tiring to “become” your characters?

Spader: It is. But I’m not stuck in their skin all day. When I leave the plateau, I become me … But I need to pay attention to every detail. I have some OCD. This can be a good thing for an actor (laughs). It helps me stay focused.

Q: You are made ​​known to you in a copyright film, Sex, Lies and Videotape, before playing in a series of major chains and the latest blockbusters as The Avengers. You want to reach all audiences?

I do not have that kind of thinking. I make no difference between a Hollywood blockbuster, a series or a small independent film, a security role or appearance, a disaster or a masterpiece. All I want is a role I have [ not ] ever played before. TakeAvengers, for example. It’s been nearly forty years I’m doing this job, I’m 55, I was on stage, in movies, on TV, but I had never lent my voice to a character of synthesis.The film is what it is, but Ultron is a surprising role, complex, with a violent perspective on the world, but which for him makes sense.

Q: Precisely for this film, you first use your voice. What importance does it have in your game?

Spader: Capital. Is a tuning fork. If I can put it correctly, then fine. Otherwise I have to redo the scene. This is not so aware that this is a note I hear a vibration and a tempo with me. It must also accept that I sometimes lose my train of melody. We were talking about music while ago. As in jazz, you sometimes accept setbacks and tempos confusing. We must trust the guidance of the conductor, the director here.

Blacklist is a very rhythmic series, full of action and intrigue, but Red Reddington is a man of few words, full of phlegm, in short just the opposite…

From the beginning of the shoot, I insisted that it is still slightly offset with what is happening around him. It has its own pace and it will not change. He lives his life and does not fit like other characters in the events. He reacted, but never as the common man. Thus, in a dangerous situation, it will perhaps laugh.

Q: You have to play against the foot. [ fool? ]

Spader: If Red is threatening someone, I will ensure that it is threatening … without adopting a threatening attitude, just by smiling, gracious and friendly

Ed: [ He takes a honeyed voice and a disturbing smile, Ed ]

Q: This also makes him a comic character…

Spader: Its strangeness and its ability to surprise are indeed comical features. It’s one of the things that attracted me to this role, and that makes Red an endearing character and, in a sense, friendly.

Q: Do you like the Red “villain” of the story, or as an antihero?

Spader: The boundary between the two is blurred. Some days it looks like a hero ready to do anything to get his way, including the worst. Other days, he behaves like a bastard capable of doing good. A great anti–heroes such as …

Q: Jack Bauer?

Spader: Jack Bauer? I do not know. No, rather Popeye Doyle, played by Gene Hackman in French Connection. He is an honest man who will have to do terrible things. Raymond Reddington, you never know which way to turn. We do not know if in the end it has to do good or just settle accounts. Only one thing is sure, it is not cynical. He loves life, precisely because he killed and that he knows in danger of permanent death. We see this in his intimate moments, when he removes his mask, he wiped his smirk, and it pays, in silence, the painful choice he had to make in the past.

I have at home a wonderful photo of Louis Armstrong. It was taken without his knowledge, backstage before a concert. There is not representation, it does not play. He sits alone with his trumpet, and it has the serious, concentrated. This is the only picture of him I know where he is not smiling, which he does not look happy. This is what I seek, that moment when one perceives the dichotomy of a character.
[ This is the entire article ]

 

News[.]com [AU] TheBlacklist actor @MeganBoone attacks TV’s ‘rampant’ male chauvinism http://bit.ly/1MWoxOq loved this interview
// 10/6/2015, “ON the hit show, The Blacklist, Megan Boone plays Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Keen, an FBI agent with an unexplained past and an equally unexplained relationship with reformed criminal mastermind Raymond Reddington (James Spader), who may or may not be her father. (“That question,” grins Boone, in between takes on the show’s New York set, “will get answered one day.”)

Q: “James Spader is not your average bear. How is it actually working with him?

“He’s very unique. I’ve never met anyone like him; he possesses traits, as a human being that I didn’t know existed on the spectrum of human personality traits (laughs).

“But it is a profound work relationship, because there is a bond that is very unique. You don’t really have a relationship like this with anyone in life, because it’s so intense. The work we do together is very heightened — it requires a lot of trust. It also requires a diligence in maintaining the right off-screen relationship to make sure it still works on- screen.”

This has been your first major role on a massive hit show. What’s surprised you most about the whole experience?

“I have grown to have a palpable intolerance of chauvinism, and it is rampant in this industry. The only way you get exposed to it on a show like mine is there’s a rotating roster of TV directors and none of them are women. They all want to work with James and they all want to talk to James and then I’m sitting over in a corner just, ‘Tell me where to stand, tell me what you want me to do.’ I’ve had directors actually take my arm and just move me where they want me to go, and I’m like, ‘Go do that to James, see how that works out.’ I am up to here with it, and I am never doing it again.”

 

YahooNews: The Blacklist: Liz is on the Lam and 10 More Things to Know About Season 3 http://yhoo.it/1O8j6in
// 9/30/2015

Tumblr, toutcequej’aime:: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 3 Spoilers And Cast: Red Failed Liz? Upcoming Run To Center On Protagonist’s Struggle tmblr.co/ZV8-Am1oT5g-C
// 6/30/2015, sourced from IBTimes, Hollywood Reporter, Gospel Herald, Venture Capital Post
● IBTimes expects new Cabal-linked villain
● “…show’s structure is likely to undergo some change and may no longer follow the procedural format” according to IBTimes
● Jon Bokenkamp: ‘Red will continue to struggle with the sense that he failed Liz,’ IB Times continued.
● Bokenkamp “told The Hollywood Reporter, ’[This storyline] opens and takes us into a new chapter where she is no longer just an FBI agent – they have a real journey that they’re about to go on. They’re entering the third season as fugitives.’”
● “With Liz being a fugitive, it makes it very complicated if she and Tom will ever have their happy ending,” Gospel Herald reported.
● “The Venture Capital Post has stated that Liz Boone’s character is planning on taking center stage in season 3, as opposed to Red, played by James Spader, who always manages to steal the show in a very subtle way.”

 

FirstPost: James Spader: “I’m drawn to conflicted characters” http://bit.ly/1T6M3M9 #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist
// 6/4/2015, “What makes Spader’s portrayal of Raymond “Red” Reddington so popular is his ability to bring in doses of black humor in the most edge-of-your-seat moments. He has a straight face in any given situation, even as he plays a wanted criminal who surrenders to the FBI for immunity. It almost seems as if he maintains the mysteriously calm, yet bordering psychotic persona in all his characters.

“‘I read it [The Blacklist] and I was intrigued by the character, and the story, and the possibilities for the direction that the series could go,’ said Spader, also adding ‘The character’s sense of humor, I thought, was such an interesting juxtaposition to what the realities of his life were. The realities are very often dangerous, and quite dramatic and extreme. I saw the possibility for a sense of humor within that life. I responded to that immediately and have done everything I can to try and explore that as much as we can on the show.’

“Perhaps it’s his personal interest in the stories that are being told that makes Spader so involved in his characters. ‘The writers, John Bokenkamp, John Eisendrath, and myself have been collaborating very closely about every aspect of this character and how he fits within the life of the show since the very beginning, since the very first episode,’ he said.

“But make no mistake, for Spader, the edgier the better. One of the most striking things about The Blacklist as a show is your frustration with Reddington and his motivations. He’s a tough character to crack, and that adds to the charm of watching a thriller. This seems to be a deliberate move on Spader’s part: to not be a hero, but to never meander into villain territory as well. He admits to finding fascination in the grey.

“‘I’ve found that there has always been a long historical precedent in both film, and in television, and in literature of the anti-hero,’ said Spader. ‘It’s always been those characters that I’ve been the most drawn to, characters who are very conflicted, and not just conflicted but also very often very dichotomous or – as you say – they sort of live in the grey area.'”

 

GlobalTV (5/12): James Spader on Season 2 of The Blacklist and the finale http://bit.ly/1HhywbJ
// 5/12/2015, Q: “Looking back over Season 2, in what ways would you say that the relationship between Liz and Reddington has changed?

James Spader: In terms of that relationship, it has its hills and valleys and I think it has to continue to be that way. It’s a very, very complicated relationship between the two of them. As much as she doesn’t know the true nature of their relationship, I think it’s quite equitable for Reddington as well because I think he’s trying to grasp a hold of what the true nature of their relationship is now. Forget the past, regardless of what that the past represents. What is the nature of their relationship now and what are even the possibilities of a relationship with her. I think he’s enormously conflicted that he’s there. He certainly has a protective instinct but by the same token he does bring an awful lot of crisis and strife to her life. And I think he probably wrestles with that quite a lot.

Q:Do you think the revelation that Red was responsible for placing Tom into Liz’s life was a turning point for them?

James Spader: That’s a perfect example of where Reddington, with the finest of intent to be able to have some kind of arm’s reach to her life and her safety and well-being, introduced Tom into her life in a capacity that he soon discovered turned into something very different. But those good intentions blew up into something very different.”

 

HollywoodReporter: The Blacklist Creator on “Devastating” Finale Death, Liz and Tom’s Romantic Shocker http://bit.ly/1Fo1BEg
// 5/14/2015, “Executive producer Jon Bokenkamp tells The Hollywood Reporter that the episode’s conclusion had been in the works for the duration of the show’s run. ‘The image of Liz’s wanted poster going up next to Reddington’s wanted poster is something we’ve talked about for a long time and one of those signpost moments in the series that we knew we wanted to hit,’ he says.

“With the episode’s ‘devastating’ turn of events, Bokenkamp says that Liz’s ‘line of good and bad has become blurred,’ as the finale ‘hardens her in ways and makes her more jaded and careful and really more like Reddington in a lot of ways.'”

 

YahooScreen: James Spader Interview http://bit.ly/1cQ3OOU trx by Tumblr: asundayinaugust
// 5/13/2015, “Things are at a crisis point. Not only in a very real, sort of life and death way but also in terms of Elizabeth Keen’s exposure because of [Reddington], his history and her history. That has really come into play and has reached a sort of crisis point. A lot of what he’s been headed towards for some time, even previous to the beginning of the series, has now become a matter at hand.

“The last few episodes of the season are all heavily connected with one another, and they come to a dramatic conclusion in the finale that throws all the pieces that they may feel familiar with up in the air. Where they land will be determined by season 3.

“Season 3 could conceivably start the same day as the end of season 2. Things are moving very, very quickly and all of the cast members at the end of this season are really poised with great purpose into where they’re headed into season 3. And yet where they’ll land is very much in question.

“I really think it’s safe to say that you don’t really know what the nature of the relationships are going to be, and also what the future holds for each and every one of the individual cast members; and really what the status of the group as a whole will be. That is completely thrown into disarray.

“I really liked how the show opened up in season 2. And from a selfish point of view, just in terms of Reddington, there was a moment in season 1 where it looked like they could easily turn into sort of a team, which seemed too easy to me and also just didn’t seem interesting at all. And I like the fact that all of the characters really are very disparate. They sort of collide during the course of the season but then, in that collision, bounce off of one another and rebound into an entirely different place with one another. I like that.

“For me the show is what I had hoped for when I first read the pilot. It has a broad landscape in every aspect – in terms of tone, storyline, the development of characters, and the development of the relationship between different characters. And also in terms of what you learn – how the characters evolve and what you learn about them. Not only where they are right now and where they’re headed but also about their past. I like that “varied geography.” I like the fact that the show can be funny at the same time where it’s not at all. In the most dire of circumstances the tone can shift to irreverence. I like that. And we’ve been able to sustain that and I’m glad for that.”

 

NYT, Dave Itzkoff: Interview: James Spader Prepares for ‘Avengers: Age of #Ultron’http://nyti.ms/1OHYOYC #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist
// 4/22/2015
● “some essential part of him remains inscrutable & comfortably weird”
● “Mr. Spader speaks in perfectly formed sentences, a baritone voice, an automatic pace & an unpredictable volume”
● “You really can find yourself not being able to see the forest for the trees,” he said.
● “And then,” he added, his voice rising without warning or provocation, “at times not being able to see the trees for the forest”
● “My trajectory has not been an unbroken line. It’s always been piecemeal”
● “Colleagues say that he has always projected a mixture of confidence and eccentricity, naïveté and shrewdness”
● “Spader shed his reputation as a pretty boy & played intricate characters w unconventional erotic tastes” ⇈ ⇊
● “As to why he was so often cast in those roles, ‘I don’t know what the hell it says about me'”
● “There are times where you feel somewhat in control of the beast. I’m not really sure one entirely is”
● “never consider[s] whether [a film] possesses ‘a broader appeal, beyond my perverted sensibility'”
● Spader “latched onto … network pilot, which offered tantalizing* questions about his character & an FBI profiler played by Megan Boone” (*❗) ⇈ ⇊
● ⋙ Not sure when I last heard the word “tantalizing” used to describe a F/D relationship …
● Whedon: Ultron possesses “all the logic of artificial intelligence, but can’t control how his conclusions make him feel”
● Ultron is “an eight-foot robot wreaking havoc in his wake” – Spader
● Whedon: “James can do that it’s-coming-out-of-the-subwoofer voice, & then he can do the most hilarious hissy fit”
● “Downey said he took a certain delight that … Spader was now about to join him in ‘the ranks of the overexposed'”
● “I’m trying to serve my own curiosity & imagination first” – on picking roles
● “whatever perception his performances create, ‘I don’t concern myself with that very much — I just do the work'”

 

NBCTodayShow: James Spader opens up about The Blacklist w Al Roker (video) http://on.today.com/1ueTmIy pic.twitter.com/RzWacYC573
// 2/5/2015

 

SciFiVision (1/18): Interview: Megan Boone & Jon Bokenkamp Talk The Blacklist http://bit.ly/1zQZLp7
//1/18/2015 QUESTION: Speaking of Red, James Spader has created such a unique character. Is he fun to work with both as an actor and also from the production side, knowing that you can do so many things with him?
JON BOKENKAMP: Yes, look, James always has great ideas. He’s incredibly intuitive. He has a great sense of the character. And he’s an incredible collaborator.

Megan you have far more experience with on set and in the day-to-day grind of that. I look at him more from a story perspective but, maybe you can speak to that.

MEGAN BOONE: Well, James is definitely the master of the ship over here and this is not his first rodeo, as they say down South where I’m from.

That’s just an example, particularly of how different he and I are and why this is working so well. He’s from Boston and I’m from rural Central Florida. His parents were professors and mine dealt in real estate. We come from different sides of the earth, not literally, but figuratively, and it’s just interesting to put the two of us together and see what happens.

He’s has 30 years’ experience in the business, one successful television show, and this is essentially my first go at it. So it’s been invaluable having him here to help acclimate me to this new environment and this new task at hand.

And I feel that we’ve been extraordinarily successful beyond my wildest dreams. And I definitely think that it’s his wisdom and experience that has helped me to rise to that occasion….

Yes, but on the surface, certainly our relationship is sort of mentor/mentee dynamic. But I think that once you get into this – the complexity of the dynamic starts to get much richer.

And I think James and I are really starting to just work as peers and work together and influence one another. I would hate to think that I come to work and don’t have an effect on the people around me in any way just because this is my first show. And I think I do.

So it’s become a very important relationship. And so certainly in my life – and I would hope in both of our lives.

QUESTION: Have you always had an ending in mind or has that changed since the first season and the (unintelligible) areas?

JON BOKENKAMP: Well yes, there is certainly an ending in mind. And one that we’re constantly writing to and around. At times it makes it quite difficult because it sort of restrains us in the stories that we’re telling in some ways.

But I think it’s also working that way – whether that’s the end we arrive at or not. Whether anybody lets us do what I have in mind and what we talk about so often in the writer’s room, it does shape the show and it helps – it’s like building a house….

QUESTION: With Liz and Tom, how they left things, is Liz still conflicted about what’s going on and what her feelings are with him, because she let him go?

MEGAN BOONE: Strangely enough I think Jon and I might have different opinions on this one. I want to hear Jon’s.

JON BOKENKAMP: Well you go first.

MEGAN BOONE: …I think that it’s an oversimplification to say that she’s in love with him, as has been implicated by some of the other characters like Red and Ressler. I think she’s got really strong feelings for him, but it’s a very complicated dynamic at this point.

I think once a relationship goes past the line and becomes abusive or sadistic in any way, there’s just no going back to pure true love. There just isn’t. It already has violence in it. It already has mistrust. So I always felt like it was just an oversimplification to say oh, she still loves him, you know?

What do you think Jon?

JON BOKENKAMP: Oh you’re madly in love with him. No, I think – look, I work with a bunch of writers who are strange and dark and have very complex lives. And I think Megan’s right. I think it’s probably an oversimplification to say that yes, she’s in love with Tom.

I feel this way about the show in general, I think everything is much more complex than it appears on the show because I think whether it’s the suburban housewife dropping her kids off at school, or it’s the guy showing up to punch the clock to work at the steel factory, I don’t think any of those people are really quite what they appear to be on the surface….

And that feelings and emotions sometimes people who do things that is not in their best interest. And sometimes logic does not prevail. And so I think the best answer I could give to that is that I think it’s incredibly complex, and that I would say that the story of the two of them, whether it’s a love story or not, is not over.

MEGAN BOONE: …I think that we have – that’s what makes me excited about being on this show is that we have writers who believe that about the mom dropping the kid off at the carpool line, that there’s always this very much more layered psyche than you would first, initially assume to be there. So it’s just exciting.

And also the fact that he has a bunch of freaks and weirdoes writing for him is cool….

MEGAN BOONE: … what makes me excited about being on this show is that we have writers who believe that about the mom dropping the kid off at the carpool line, that there’s always this very much more layered psyche than you would first, initially assume to be there. So it’s just exciting.

And also the fact that he has a bunch of freaks and weirdoes writing for him is cool…

There was a moment early in the season where Elizabeth had to admit to herself that she really relies on Red now to be there for her. What kind of development are we going to see in this still ambiguous father-daughter relationship between the two?

MEGAN BOONE: I think that’s a Jon question.

JON BOKENKAMP: How do I answer that? I think that is the tightrope that Liz is walking. Red clearly has an agenda of his own. He almost always does. And there are clearly things he’s withholding from her.

We don’t know if that’s for good or bad reasons, and I think the extent to which she trusts him, the extent to which she becomes like him, is the territory that we’re in right now.

And that’s I think the larger question and the thing that Liz is probably struggling with is what is the best way to handle this situation? What is the best way to confront this person or solve this crime? Is it the buy-the-book way which she was taught at Quantico, or is there another side of the coin that perhaps is just as good, if not better?

So I think the dynamic there is the reflection in herself that she might – and so the reflection of him in herself she might see. And whether that’s good or bad I think is again, a very messy, complex journey that’s she’s on….

But I do think the fine line that Liz is walking and the guidance that Red is trying to give her – and whether that’s good or bad advice that he’s giving – is the crux of where we are right now….

But like with Tom knowing Red, we learned at the end of our fall cliffhanger that Tom and Red know each other and that there’s some sort of relationship that Liz doesn’t know about, which to me I think is a huge answer. That is confirmation of something that we’ve been wondering about – or maybe not wondering about. But it certainly is a big, new clue. And it’s interesting to me how that yet raises another question….
 

⬆ go to top
 
Yahoo: The Blacklist: Interview Excerpts – James Spader http://yhoo.it/1sjniM3  
//  11/7/2014, Rough transcript of interview with James Spader on Season 2 and the mid season finale: ‘The stakes are higher right from the jump. Everybody, every character on the show is facing greater adversity and is in disarray and the show’s opened up… There’s a resolution of sorts but any resolution on our show opens up another door and the resolution is always going to be painful and bittersweet.”It started out where people were asking me wanting to know the true relationship between Elizabeth Keen and Raymond Reddington… People are still curious about that, which is good to sustain. I think it’s the burden is on us to sustain that. But I think the thing that I like is that no matter what the past is the nature of the relationship now[!] has become as compelling, and it should be.”I think that the journey is more important than the destination and in this case the destination is backwards, going into the past, what those characters are going through in the relationships and the nature of those relationships.’

 

CapitolFile: Megan Boone Opens Up About ‘TheBlacklist,’ Dating, and Twitter http://bit.ly/11EenzD
// 11/17/2014 (date approx)Q: How does the process work? I noticed last season that current events were woven in and references added to the dialogue to make it very timely.

A: I really think that social media has changed the medium of television in a huge way. We are in the golden age of television. The interesting thing about network TV is that we are developing and shooting episodes at a much faster rate [than cable or streaming], so that means our air date and our wrap date are very close. When we get a response from our fans, we’re able to almost instantly respond to that within our story. Within a couple of episodes, fans will see something play out that they wished for, or something that they noticed will be somehow woven into the story.”  //  undated; Nov 2014

 

IAmRogue: Peter Stormare Talks ‘Autumn Blood,’ ‘The Big Lebowski 2’ and ‘The Blacklist’ http://bit.ly/13oWEMW
// 10/22/2014  “There is a great revolution that has been happening on TV …”

“They have six or seven different scenarios, and I don’t know what direction they will go in. I do not envy the writers because they are really kicked from both sides all the time. They try to come up with the best solution, and sometimes they have to do rewrites over night. TV is a gruesome business. But there is a great revolution that has happened on TV. A lot of talent is moving in…”

 

NYDailyNews: James Spader suggests his ‘Blacklist’ character Reddington’s true motives will soon be revealed http://nydn.us/1FamLD1   //  9/22/2014

“‘Red felt that the relationship between Elizabeth and her husband had reached a point where he was concerned for her safety and well-being,’ Spader says. ‘He felt it was necessary to make contact with her.’

Widespread speculation has Red being her real father, though he denied it when she asked. Spader has said in the past that resolving their relationship that way might be ‘too easy.’

He’s now backpedaling a bit. ‘It is very very hard to predict the road map of a television series,’ he said last week. ‘Because it does not have a finite lifespan. Our show could last two years or seven.’
‘Once you’ve started taking all the back roads, they become much more interesting than even the destination. So it may be that the easiest and the simplest result is the right one. And even if it was predictable right from the start, there should be a satisfaction because the route was satisfying.

‘But given what our show is, I don’t think anything is as simple as it may appear.'”

 

EntertainmentWeekly: TV James Spader talks ‘The Blacklist’ season premiere, loving the strange http://bit.ly/1rdlZxm

 
News[.]com [AU]: The Blacklist’s Megan Boone spills on James Spader and season two http://bit.ly/1VCUCwK
“As for Spader’s character, Boone says expect, early on, an uncharacteristically-rattled Reddington — shaken from his customary cool of master puppeteer pulling criminal strings.”
// 9/25/2014
“‘I have learned to expect anything from these scripts. The more and more we delve into the series the more we realise it’s really dark … And it gets darker and darker and stranger and weirder. I feel like we’re the show where all the stray dogs come to play.’

The Blacklist is indeed dark, but Boone says between takes, she has found a lightness and camaraderie among the cast. Not least with Spader — who may play Red with merciless, enigmatic mastery, but transforms when the cameras stop rolling.
“I adore that man,” she says.
“He is intelligent and funny and I could say a lot of things that people would probably expect because watching him you can tell how smart and ridiculously talented he is, and what a charismatic man he is.
“However, I think it would surprise people to know he is also so adorable.
“There’s this little soft side in James where if you are fooling with him and you can intrigue that little sweet soft side, you get the kindest, cutest little laugh out of him … not a Red Reddington laugh … it’s different, it’s a really cute one.
“I get the biggest kick out of that, out of getting him to bubble up with that laugh.”

 

BuddyTV: ‘The Blacklist’ Interview: EP John Eisendrath on Liz’s Journey, Red’s Burn Scars and Tom’s Disappearance http://bit.ly/1tHMUXO
// 9/16/2014

 

JimmyFallon: ‘The Blacklist’s’ James Spader: ‘The stakes are higher’ in Season 2 http://tinyurl.com/ovpqoj5
// 9/20/2014

 

RoomInTheCastle: Megan Boone and James Spader on acting
// 9/19/2015

RoomInTheCastle: Megan Boone & James Spader on acting.

RoomInTheCastle: Megan Boone & James Spader on acting.

 
NBCNewYork/TalkStoop (9/2/2014): James Spader on Acting Advice and New Show http://bit.ly/12nIdYx “the camera looks through your eyes”  //➔ transcript http://bit.ly/1zlb232 at BlacklistDeclassified.net  with Cat Greenleaf

CG: I love watching your face during this show, so nuanced. ❗

JS: I mean, that’s a trick, you understand [the extreme close-up]

CG: Okay, no, it’s not a trick, your still making things –

JS: Oh no, there’s things going on. There’s definitely things going on. I was very lucky. Someone once, when I was very, very young, just starting out as an actor (said) “a camera doesn’t just see your face. It looks through your eyes and into your head. And that’s true, I think. The camera cannot, though, decipher what you’re thinking. It can only see THAT you’re thinking.
And an audience projects an awful lot. So part of the trick of working as an actor is to be comfortable enough to just live and think and breathe in front of a camera and the camera takes care of a lot of the rest of it.

CG: Do you have an idea of what you want the audience to be thinking, while they’re watching your face?

JS: No, if you don’t make any attempt to show the audience anything, then the audience wants to look further and further and further and further… And I think that’s what that character does – he doesn’t show a great deal, but he draws you to look further in….

CG: …Watch The Blacklist. It’s on –
JS: Have you seen it?

CG: Yes! That’s how I know about your face –
JS: Did you like it?

CG: Yes, I liked it very much.

 

The Playboy Interview: James Spader (Sep 2014) http://bit.ly/1sKfatM

[Intro roles] “…petulant-preppy good looks, laser intelligence, breathtaking condescension and air of polymorphous perversity” – Playboy

[Growing up] “We watched great films from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, like The Third Man and Humphrey Bogart movies. Charles Laughton in Hobson’s Choice, Bogart—those were the actors I liked best.”

“[A] television show is your life. It swallows you whole and chews you up but refuses to spit you out. And on a brand-new television show, the writers don’t know how the fuck to write it yet. The actors don’t know how the fuck to play it yet. The editors don’t know how to edit it yet. Composers don’t know how to compose it yet. The crew doesn’t know how to shoot it yet. I work very hard on the show, and I’m lucky because it’s a wonderful character who’s great fun to play. I work closely with the people I make the show with. It’s a lot of time spent when all of us might rather be spending time with our families or doing something else.”

“When viewers respond well to a character, there’s a natural tendency for them to say, ‘I want to know more. I want to know everything.” But I say, “’Well, you can’t. It would ruin the character for you. You just must trust me in terms of that.'”

“I’m ritualistic and habitual. I have an addictive personality. I love cooking, which I’ve done since I was a kid. That’s very methodical. It requires focus and yet allows for extrapolation or improvisation and spontaneity. It’s also calming for me. I don’t sleep particularly well. If I wake up at night, everything inside turns on instantly and won’t stop. There’s a compulsion to address things. I just can’t let them fester or get pushed under the rug. I have to tie it up tightly in a box, throw it right out the fucking window into a river and let it sink to the bottom.

“I’m not a believer that good work comes out of antagonism, fear and punishment, but I think it can come out of discourse and argument, so long as you’re open, communicative, honest and able to listen to what others’ needs are.”

[On his love of vinyl] “I like the whole process. I like to get the record out. I like the way a turntable looks. I like to watch it work as the record plays. I like to read the liner notes when I listen to a record. I don’t understand what else people do if they’re listening to a record.”

“I like to travel, walk through a city and go to museums and galleries.

“I think the greatest works are always based on that prism of sexuality and relations. It’s been that way for me my whole career and has probably informed my choices more than anything else.”

[On his female co-stars] “Look, we’ve certainly heard stories about people who fucking hated each other and came up with a wonderful film. But it seems to me that you have to fall in love with the person, because film looks right into your head. It’s wrenching, because you have to fall in love with that person but also accept it for what it is and turn it on and off. That’s a very important part of what is a sometimes schizophrenic job…. I think you can fuck things up, because anticipation and unrequited feelings are very powerful. Ultimately, in acting you’re always pretending you’re angry or a bad guy or that something is down the hall that isn’t actually there. But to look another human being in the eye and pretend you’re in love with them, that’s a very different thing.”

“…You’d be surprised at some of the people who have walked up and told me they’re great fans of Secretary. I’m always intrigued whether that’s a practice in their life or not. To me, Secretary is a very funny, sweet, lovely love story — very touching in a way.”

“‘Be of love a little more careful than of everything’ wrote e.e. cummings. Pay attention. Take great care, especially in things that are taken for granted.”

“I like the saying ‘May you live in interesting times,’ because I think things are great when we accept chaos in life. That goes against my being obsessive-compulsive and ritualistic, but I don’t mind adversity. The fight is okay with me. My life is wonderful. It’s a grand time, you know?”  //  8/18/2014, Sep 2014 issue

 

Collider[.]com: THE BLACKLIST Comic-Con Panel Recap: James Spader, Jon Bokempkamp and John Eisendrath Talk Season 2 http://bit.ly/15q9gUR

// 7/26/2014 (calc’d), “[We] will learn more but, as Spader puts it, ‘the more you know, the less you know.’ Spader says the cracks that were beginning to show at the end of Season 1 have a lot to do with his past. Reddington is able to shift gears and find his way in chaos, so it’s more interesting to put him up against ‘as much adversity as possible.'”

“Bokenkamp and Eisendrath avoid addressing if we’ll find out if Elizabeth Keen is Red’s daughter by not commenting too much on it. ‘That question is central to the conceit of the show’, says Bokenkamp. ‘We will continue to ask that question.’ Spader says that the relationship [of Red and Lizzie] is not the most significant question to be answered, ‘the most compelling thing is the nature of that relationship now.’ Spader is interested in how Keen is compelled to help Reddington even though it’s counterintuitive for her. ‘The journey has to be good, because it’s terrible at the top of Everest.'”

“Eisendrath says Reddington is not a psychopath. “He has a big heart and is enthusiastic about life.” There are parts of him we can all relate to. Spader says the episodic elements of the show are entertaining, but the serialized aspects are what really hook the audience.❗ He travels the world and people all over the world ask him about the mythology and the bigger story.”

“What is it like to play both good and bad? Spader answers, ‘when I was growing up I loved watching old movies and there was a great period in the 1930’s and 40s where so many of the great actors were antiheroes and I just loved them. I devoured that. I grew up on a boarding school campus and every week we would watch a movie in the AV room. But I also happened to grow up in the 60’s and 70’s which was another golden age of antiheroes. I love it. But a big part of that is irreverence and sense of humor.'”

“[A]re you worried the show encourages criminals to kill other criminals? ‘Ive never given that a thought,’ says Spader. ‘But some Sony and NBC executives might like to know that.'”

“Does Red think he’s a bad guy? Spader answers, ‘from everything I have learned about him, I find him to be very clear about who he is. He takes full responsibility. He knows his capacity for both good and bad.’ He added, ‘he will never be fully righteous or redeemed. We can be very clear about the dichotomy that exists within him.’”

“Does anything scare Red? ‘A lot of things scare Red,’ says Eisendrath. ‘It’s just how he deals with it. In this season you will find surprising and interesting ways that he deals with fear.’”

 

Seriable: The Blacklist To Last Seven Seasons? James Spader On Red’s ‘Unclear’ Path http://bit.ly/1wbxhc9
// 7/23/2014,

Original #1 on Blacklist was Tom, until decided he was “not worthy.”

“We’ve talked a lot about [what the future holds for Red and what his backstory is] right from the beginning. We talked about it around the time of the pilot, and when it looked like we would be lucky enough to move forward into series, those conversations have been happening fast and furiously.

“But at the same token, without knowing what the inevitable lifespan of the series will be – one that has to be fluid to a certain degree, and there has to be a certain amount of flexibility because you don’t know how long you’re going to have to tell your story, or how many misdirects there may be, or how circuitous your route is going to be – to get to your endgame is unclear going from the first season into the second season.”

 
ENSTARZ: The Blacklist NBC: Liz & Red’s Relationship Is A ‘Love Story’, Megan Boone Explains http://bit.ly/19zZGRv @NBCBlacklist
// 6/26/2014, “I think The Blacklist is a love story…I think that at the core of it, the thing that people talk about the most are the relationships that Lizzy has, that she has with Red, that she has with Tom and Ressler, even,” Boone told the Gold Derby. “For some reason, I think that because she’s so alone and so ambiguous as a human being there’s something in the audience that wants her to find a place and find a person that she can rely on. So I think ultimately the payoff, and the only payoff you could see is that she ends up finding that person.”

When asked if she thinks that person will be Red, Boone was quick to answer in the affirmative. However, it is important to remember that Boone is equating love with trust, not necessarily with romance.

 
WSJ, Jason Evans: Megan Boone on James Spader and ‘The Blacklist’ Season Finale http://on.wsj.com/1o80Udo
// 5/11/2014 “How much is James Spader like Red?
Megan Boone: “You can’t create that charisma that James brings to Red. That’s who James is. He’s highly intelligent just like Red. I don’t think an actor can play a role without bringing elements of themselves to it. One of first things he said to me once the pilot got picked up was, “We are these characters now. What we bring to it is now going to be a major force in forming the show.”

 

RollingStone, Andrew Goldman: James Spader: The Strangest Man on TV http://rol.st/XJRtDS Why the gloriously bizarre James Spader is the most intense guy in any room
// 4/21/2014

● “‘It can never, ever, ever get weird enough for me,’ he likes to say. Indeed, his work reflects him, and at first glance, the Spader who strides through the doors of New York’s 8th Street Stumptown cafe might actually be The Blacklist’s criminal mastermind, Raymond ‘Red” Reddington. Spader wears a Reddington-esque forest-green felt fedora that matches his forest-green scarf, which matches the lenses of his sunglasses.”

● “We drop by his Greenwich Village carriage house, which he shares with his girlfriend of more than a decade, actress Leslie Stefanson. The couple have a five-year-old son, Nathanael, who, in addition to two sons in their twenties from his previous marriage, will be Spader’s final offspring. ‘I believe in a negative population growth,’ he says. ‘The other two were with another mother, so we have three boys that will replace all three of us.'”

● “‘I’m obsessive-compulsive,’ he admits later. ‘I have very, very strong obsessive-compulsive issues. I’m very particular.’ There are rituals common to obsessive-compulsives Spader must do – step-on-a-crack-break-Mother’s-back-type stuff – but it’s even more pervasive than that. ‘I rely on a certain routine,’ he says. ‘It’s very hard for me, you know? It makes you very addictive in behavior, because routine and ritual become entrenched. But in work, it manifests in obsessive attention to detail, and fixation. It serves my work very well: Things don’t slip by. But I’m not very easygoing.'”

● “Spader shares the patrician bearing that comes through in many of his roles. It’s not his fault; all he knew growing up were the kinds of prep schools favored by Boston Brahmins. He grew up in faculty housing at the Brooks School, a prep school where his father taught English (his mother was a teacher nearby), and then went to high school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. There, he thrived doing stage plays so much that he decided it was a waste to continue attending, and dropped out when he was 17 to seek his fortune in New York, where, while waiting to be discovered in the theater, he did odd jobs, like shoveling horse manure out of the Upper West Side’s Claremont Stables and sleeping through yoga classes he was ostensibly teaching. ‘The lights were turned down, the heat was turned up,’ he explains.”

● “[He] spent much of the Eighties trailing slime through Brat Pack vehicles, like the scummy coke dealer Rip in Less Than Zero. So convincingly despicable was Spader in his audition for Steff, Pretty in Pink’s rich, sneering high schooler with those linen suits and the dangling cigarette, that the film’s casting director had to overcome a visceral dislike of Spader to even get in the mind frame to hire him.”

● “The late Eighties and the Nineties ushered in a period of leading-man roles – but kinky-weirdo ones. There was the bedroom-eyes voyeur with a camera in Sex, Lies, and Videotape; the guy who did it to – yes, actually put it in! – Rosanna Arquette’s leg wound in Crash; and the insatiable cunnilingus enthusiast of White Palace who spent much of the movie with his head buried in Susan Sarandon’s lap. It wasn’t an accident, says Spader, an admitted ‘early . . . voracious . . . masturbator’ who acknowledges, cryptically, that he’d always had an experimental sexual side. ‘You know, I had two older sisters, and everybody seemed to be naked all the time, my parents and my sisters,’ he says. ‘Our household was very comfortable with sexuality. There was just a lot of girls around. And guys. I played doctor with both.'”

● “A watershed moment came with 2002’s Secretary, in which Spader played E. Edward Grey, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s sadomasochistic boss, who also, it should be noted, was obsessive-compulsive.”

● “His portrayal of charming sleazeball lawyer Alan Shore on The Practice and its spinoff, Boston Legal, saw him beating out the likes of James Gandolfini for two consecutive Best Actor Emmys”

● “But it is The Blacklist and its antihero Reddington that allows Spader to incorporate all of his best gifts – the kink, the unfathomable darkness, the suggested violence and the ability to deadpan his way through the campy bons mots in the script. ‘Janice, my sincerest apologies,’ Reddington chirps to a woman he’s just stuffed into her own closet, a moment after shooting her husband’s knee. ‘I’ll take a rain check on the stroganoff. It smells delicious!'”

● “These days, Bokencamp and fellow executive producer John Eisendrath spend a good chunk of their time ministering to Spader, a tradition that will continue for at least another year, since NBC picked up the show for a second season. Bokencamp knew nothing of his star’s obsessive qualities. ‘Oh, God, no,’ he says. ‘But we learned very quickly.’ Spader says they speak to each other seven days a week. No topic is too small. ‘I haven’t talked to him today yet,’ says Bokencamp, ‘but last weekend, on his birthday, we were on the phone for two and a half hours, and on Thanksgiving, when I was in Colorado, I was out pacing on the phone for two hours. This stuff keeps him up at night. He can dig his heels in. The conversations can be frustrating.'”

● “The shit hit the fan when Spader got a two-part script in which the secret FBI black site where Reddington meets his handlers is invaded by assassins aiming to kill him. ‘I called up the writers, and I said, “You understand the collateral damage of this, correct?'” Spader says grimly. “‘You understand this is a game-changer. You’re burning down this house! This means there’s a terrible security issue for Reddington. How do I go back there? How do I trust anyone moving forward?'”

● “Spader seems genuinely worked up, like a fictional character’s safety is literally a life-and-death issue. He’s collecting a paycheck, so why on Earth would he care so much? ‘Because I have to perform it,’ he says, as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world.”

 

NewsCom [AU]: Not even James Spader understands the character he plays in The Blacklist http://bit.ly/1qoWpGN         //  3/7/2014

Here, Spader says no reveal “right up until the last episode of the show”

“[Red] is comfortable and confident in the dark corners of life that most of us would never be comfortable with…. His confidence in those areas allows for humour and irreverence even in the most extreme of circumstances.”

Spader likes his personal life to be not for public consumption, and is similarly determined to preserve the enigma and mystery of Reddington.

“I have asked the writers really not to tell me too much too soon,” he says.

“I only want to know what I have to know to be able to perform that week’s episode.

“One of the things that we guard most carefully … is that his secrets remain intact. Once you’ve answered those questions about who he is and where he’s coming from and really what he’s up to, I think you’ve pulled the curtain aside much too far.

“Hopefully Red will remain enigmatic, and what he is really truly up to is something we’re going to hold close to our vest right up until the last episode of the show.”

Despite Red’s almost casual — and certainly clinical — methods of dispatching enemies and threats (the body count in 2014’s return episode reached almost double-figures as he ‘cleaned up his house’), there are lines Red won’t cross — even if Spader himself is still discovering them.

“You’re seeing somebody in extreme circumstances that would be completely unfamiliar to you, and that person (Red) is thriving in that context,” he says.

“He seems willing to step over any threshold. He’s perfectly comfortable with not knowing what the outcome is going to be. And there is something about it that amuses him. I find that’s fun to play and very endearing.

“He leads a very thrilling life that takes him to the very, very end of the limb. But he also doesn’t mind sitting out there on the end of the limb for an hour or so. Really, he’ll stay there as long as necessary.

“He finds peace and serenity in the oddest of places, in the most dire circumstances.”

 

TheTVAddict: THE BLACKLIST Scoop: EPs Jon Bokenkamp and John Eisendrath and Star Parminder Nagra Tease What’s Next http://bit.ly/1wRn9pX

//   1/20/2014, “John and I and then with James as well, about where would Red draw the line? What is his view about good and evil, right and wrong? And I think he’s very determined that the characters is not a psychopath. He’s not someone who has no sense of right and wrong. I think in viewing him with a sense of right and wrong really protects his character from just becoming evil. And I think he’s very aware of that and that is another thing I think that perspective is something I think he has helped to bring.”

 

Variety: ‘#TheBlacklist’ Producers Pay Close Attention to Social Media http://bit.ly/1vVlaSN but not James Spader :-( @NBCBlacklist // 4/3/2014

“But what is Red’s motivation for turning over the ‘Blacklist’? Is he a good guy or a bad guy?
“Fox gave a few scenarios. ‘Is he doing this out of some selfish motivation? Self-preservation? Or is he on the slow path to redemption?’
– ‘Boy, that would be disappointing,’ Spader interjected. [ oh, please! ]
– ‘I hope that’s a question we can keep alive for a long time,’ Fox said.
– ‘I think the bad guys are good,’ Tawfiq said.”
Trust Dembe. Dembe is the Keystone” [and not the KXL kind]

 

AP/TelevisionAcademy: An Evening with the Blacklist [text] http://bit.ly/1IO8h0m http://bit.ly/1w4Uv4t
// 4/2/2014, “The nature of our relationship on the show is not completely dissimilar to the nature of our relationship in life too,” said Spader. “We’re on this strange trip together and to a certain degree both of us have to cling to one another,” he added. “The character I play in this is very isolated besides his security team he’s on his own a lot, you know? He has a lot of associates but not many intimate in his life and she’s very important to him.”

Megan Boone: “James and I are really finding a rhythm in our working relationship. We have a respect for one another. Obviously I respect him and I worked very hard to rise to the occasion to work with him and I feel like he’s gained a respect for me through that and it’s been a very fulfilling work relationship. It dawned on me recently that I probably won’t ever have another actor in my life that I work with as much as I work with James barring any future television show. But I mean this is going to be if the show continues its success one of the longest and deepest working relationships I’ll ever have. So in that regard it’s very important to me and he’s very important to me.”

The show is one of the only sure hits of the 2013-’14 TV season in the U.S. It’s also got a huge international following, airing in countries like Canada, the UK, Italy, China, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Poland and Germany.

“I had a feeling that it was going to do well overseas just because the world that it inhabits is international. It’s very, it’s a context that is also familiar to others and our casting can reflect that,” said Spader.

Today: Go behind the scenes of crime drama ‘The Blacklist’ http://on.today.com/1oevNg8 James Spader, Megan Boone interview
// 1/14/2014

 

WSJ: ‘The Blacklist’ Creator Reveals Some of the Show’s Secrets http://on.wsj.com/1w9aWeW
// 1/13/2014
 

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HuffPo: James Spader, Megan Boone Talk ‘The Blacklist’ http://huff.to/1xS3zpH

// 10/26/2013 “‘Oh,’ laughs Spader on hearing this assessment, ‘there’s a LOT of confusion and doubt! We don’t know WHAT we’re doing yet! But we’re getting it done. By Monday night at 10 o’clock’ — Eastern time, he means — ‘we’re getting it done!'”

“‘I might have been looking for him,’ Spader muses when asked how he came to play Reddington. ‘I wanted someone who was irreverent, and, even at the most difficult times, saw the irony in the world around him. And he’s really not afraid of the unknown. I don’t think he’s afraid of much.'”

 

Today: James Spader strikes gold again on ‘The Blacklist’ http://on.today.com/ZAflf5
// 10/14/2013, “It’s a lot of fun for me because it means I get to have a lot of secrets from the other characters and the audience,” Boone told TODAY. “She’s very purposefully ambiguous. I do love her heart. She is so madly in love with her husband and devastated by the cruel world she is being introduced to. It’s a tumultuous journey for her. In her case, it’s a story of a young woman coming into her own.”

Although Red was introduced as a super villain, he now is possibly on the road to redemption.

“He does start out as someone who appears to be, by all reckonings, evil and dark and self-serving,” Eisendrath said. “Over time, our job is to develop him into a much more dimensional character who is all those things but also explains to the audience how he became the person we met in the pilot.”

“One of the things going forward that we’re going to find out is what matters to Red and what his vulnerabilities are,” executive producer Jon Bokenkamp added in the interview. “[Elizabeth] appears to be one of the few things thus far that he truly cares about.”

“I think you will discover that your feelings about who he is and what he’s up to will change directions and change directions again,” [Spader] said. “That’s one of the great surprises of the show. Just when you feel you might be getting comfortable, you haven’t. Just when you think you can get cozy with him, he does something to make you realize he’s not someone to be cozy with.”

“Anybody in the real world that would be a paradigm for Raymond Reddington, we wouldn’t know anything about him,” Spader said and laughed. “I look at things and I read things that relate to the world that he must operate in. And I read the paper every day. He lives in that world out there. He operates in that world out there. And he moves swiftly and frequently throughout that world. And it allows for your imagination to run wild.”

 

DailyActor: Q & A: James Spader Talks ‘The Blacklist’, Creating a Character and Playing Ultron in ‘The Avengers 2′ http://bit.ly/1wJ3jye
// 10/17/2013, by Lance Carter, “People love to watch him work (including me). His acting choices and use of his voice are so unique, it’s just a blast to watch him.” ❗

Q: … Are we ever going to get into the details of what sort of nitty-gritty bad, horrible things he’s done in the past?
A: Yes, I think that’s going to be sort of eked out slowly over the course of the episodes. A sort of overall history lesson…. I think it’ll be over the lifespan of the show that you start to discover more and more about him.

Q: Reddington is very technologically savvy. He’s very plugged in. How plugged in are you? Are you hip technologically?
A. You’ll actually discover in subsequent episodes that Red is actually not very technologically savvy. I think he’s actually – he is sometimes wishful about the old days of what spying and espionage and criminal activity might’ve been like as opposed to what it’s more like today which is much more technologically driven. But he obviously has to have people who supply that for him because he certainly has to contend with that part of his world. Myself, I’m completely technologically ignorant. I don’t know how to type either.

Q; There’s some speculation that Red is actually Elizabeth’s father. What are your thoughts on that?
A: I don’t really have any thoughts on that because I don’t think he is but I don’t know for sure. You know, I think that’s something that, first of all, I wouldn’t divulge what the nature of their relationship was to you in any case no matter what it was because I think that’s something that the only way one earns that information is to watch the show.
But I think – I know that that’s been something that’s been posed to me in the past and it’s always seemed – I’ve always been surprised when faced with that as a possibility as an outcome because it seems so – too easy. But, you know what? Maybe the thing – maybe it’s a very circuitous route back to the simplest answer of all. So we’ll have to wait and see.

Q. Can you explain what, “The Blacklist,” is for those who missed the pilot and what does it mean for Red?
A: The blacklist is just a name that Reddington gives to – a sort of freeform and very fluid list of targets but there is no list. It’s just – it’s in his head. And the targets can sometimes be quite spontaneous based on what’s ever going to serve his greater agendas. And I think sometimes the targets are … more calculated and I think at other times they’re not. Sometimes they serve an immediate purpose.

Q: You’ve had a lot of success on television. How much input do you have or do you want to have on the scripts?
A: I seem to be having just enough and I couldn’t take on any more, that’s for sure. Our schedule is too oppressive to be able to take on any more. But just enough to be able to do the scenes and try and feel like we’re making them right.

 

TVWatchTower: James Spader Talks What Drew Him to the Master Criminal Role of Red Reddington http://bit.ly/1wGQlhr
// 10/8/2013, long interview

 

TheIndependent: James Spader: ‘I like going to the dark places’ http://ind.pn/1vQV6Dm
// 9/29/2013, “I can see why people have made the Silence of the Lambs comparisons,” says Spader. ‘The imagery in the pilot episode with a dangerous and enigmatic guy contained in a box and a younger FBI woman… But the parallel stops immediately because Red isn’t a psychopath and the relationship is based on something real and intimate.’”

“Having received rave reviews for his turn as eccentric political operative WN Bilbo in Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln, Spader wasn’t actively searching for a television role ‘but it sort of grabbed me.’ And, while it’s early days in what could prove a gruelling schedule (he jokes about allowing himself “the illusion there’s an escape hatch”), there’s no doubting that playing the enigmatic Red, a man of crooked wit and stylish substance, appears to be good for Spader. In recent years he has appeared distinctly pudgy, as though he had not simply accepted his middle-aged spread but positively embraced it. By contrast, the man sitting opposite me wearing a sharp pinstripe suit and crisp white shirt, grey hair closely cropped, looks trim and healthy. He’ll never again have the angular beauty of his youth – which won him a series of roles in teen flicks in the 1980s and made him Hollywood’s favourite preppy bad guy – but he is undeniably charismatic.”

“He claims not to know how he became a poster boy for sexual dysfunction – playing an impotent voyeur in Sex, Lies and Videotape, a man who has sex with amputees in Crash and a sadist in love with a masochist in Secretary. ‘It must be something about me I guess… Nobody knows what happens behind closed doors, do they?’ he says. ‘I like the dark places, that’s what I’m curious about.'”

“‘I mean acting is something that I’ve always done but when I was a child it was called make-believe and it only became acting when it had a discipline.’ He laughs. ‘Really, when I first came out into the world I thought it might be exciting to be a pirate or a detective or something but I guess I realised that if you make-believe for a profession then you can do that as well as other things.'”

 

HollywoodReporter: The James Spader-starring drama premieres … http://bit.ly/1tb32gV
// 9/19/2013

“…he’s as Zen as can be and shows no signs of being a physical threat. Mentally, however, he’s clearly dangerous.

“As Spader devours the script and steals every scene, basking in the power he has – more than the FBI thinks he has – the audience isn’t sure what his motives are. The connection to Keene doesn’t seem too difficult to figure out, though guesses in that direction may end up bearing no fruit. But the pilot suggests that Red isn’t going to be some white hat masquerading as a criminal. He certainly seems to have dealt with a number of unsavory types, and the pilot makes it clear that he’s well-connected to the underbelly of international power brokers and terrorists. So, what’s his game?”

 

YouTube: Comic-Con: Blacklist panel http://bit.ly/1q8xSF  (Summer 2013)
[Transcript] James Spader: “Secrets are a great thing. Secrets are such a part of everyone’s life. And that’s allowed to live in this show, how you reckon with secrets, in your own life and others, and the secrets that you know about others, and secrets you hold very dear that someone in the first time meeting them, they somehow are intuitive about things you hold very close to your heart and I think that’s a very interesting aspect of both Red and Elizabeth, from both sides. I think intuitively, she responds to something in him – and the same thing happened with Megan and I and I was glad for that.”
 

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HollywoodReporter: ‘Lincoln’ Star James Spader on Why He’d Rather Watch the GOP Presidential Debates Than ‘The Office’ http://bit.ly/1yT8Xxa
// 11/26/2012
THR: I know this film was shot during the GOP primary season. Did that impact it at all?
Spader: Well, considering how much irreverence and comic relief this character was bringing to the film, it only helped that the primaries were so tremendously entertaining. That was actually some of my favorite TV watching that I think I ever witnessed, the Republican primary debates. I loved those; I wish they never ended.
THR: Herman Cain could have a TV show.
Spader: Just everybody. Really, the entire cast. The entire field, one was just as entertaining as the next.
THR: So was waiting for Lincoln the impetus to do The Office?
Spader: I was very excited to do both of them, but the timing was perfect. I had just done a play for a year in New York, so I was flat broke by the time they offered me Lincoln. And it was a labor of love on Lincoln, and it was so far in advance, I didn’t know how I was going to pay my bills, but The Office came in at just about the same point, and that answered that question for me.

 

Vulture: James Spader on His Eccentric Lincoln Character http://vult.re/1IDrIJj
//11/21/2012
Vulture: How much research did you do for the part?
Spader: “…Regardless of whether it’s based on fact or fancy, the most important part of my job description, besides showing up and staying in the light, is a real dedication to the intents of that screenplay. The script is the coloring book that you’re given, and your job is to figure out how to color it in. And also when and where to color outside the lines.”

Vulture: So where and how did you color outside the lines?
Spader: The lines were blurry. W.N. Bilbo was one of the only characters in the film that they did not have any pictures of….
he was a bit of a dandy. But in the screenplay he was depicted as being very bawdy and colorful, and he certainly has the most irreverent language in the film. So, I thought it would be great to try and put all those pieces together — and I imagined him as a dandy in decay. So, he’d have all these expensive clothes but they’d be a little disheveled….

His appearance reflects a tremendous lust for life. He was a very colorful guy. He had been a very successful attorney prior to the war. And I love the dichotomy that he was a Southerner, from Nashville, Tennessee, who’d known Jefferson Davis. He was even arrested in New York State on suspicion of being a Confederate spy, and he had to prevail upon Lincoln and Seward to get him out and advocate on his behalf. So there were already these dichotomies within him. All we really did was add another, with him being a colorful dresser but with food stains and crazy hair and whatnot. I think he had more changes of costume in the film than anyone except maybe Mary Todd Lincoln!

 

MovieLine: WATCH: James Spader Lobbies For ‘Lincoln And Name-Checks His Favorite President http://bit.ly/1yDn8SY
// 11/20/2012, Obama

 

NBCBayArea: James Spader Crafts a Quirky Take on “Lincoln” Lobbyist
// 11/14/2012, greatly admired Spielberg’s enthusiasm and indefatigability
“I find that every actor – every good actor that I have ever worked with – is immersing themselves to different degrees. And in the moment that the camera is rolling, they’re making an attempt to immerse themselves to the greatest degree. And some are more successful at that than others. And some are able to pick it up and put it down, and some aren’t. I do not suffer from any form of schizophrenia. I have many other mental incapacities and many other issues and idiosyncrasies, but I am not schizophrenic in any way shape or form.

“And therefore, I absolutely, do not believe that I was at any point talking to Abraham Lincoln. But in every scene I had with Daniel, I felt that we were all – and not just Daniel, everybody in the film – being the truest that they could be to that time and place, and those people set within those circumstances. But it may just be in the prism through which I see the world, including my work life, I’m still aware of the fact that I’m making a film.”

 

Broadway[.]com: “Race” Star James Spader on Truth, Justice and the Mamet Way http://bit.ly/1oX7wG5
// 1/19/2010  “I think that David Mamet is very happy with the notion that every character in this play—and therefore the actors playing those characters—believe with all their heart that they’re telling the truth. That’s what he wants this play to be about; he wants it to be about truth and lies. It’s one of the things that makes for the excitement in the play—and there’s something terribly tragic about these four characters—all of them absolutely believe that they’re doing the right thing. But what you believe is the truth may turn out to be a lie. I think where the play lives and breathes is that idea.”

 

OnlineAthens (2006): James Spader surprised to find himself on TV, but loving it http://bit.ly/1vCP4Z7
 
 
BostonGlobe (2005): Delayed Gratification http://bit.ly/ZAcgvF
“With his sexuality, arrogance, and boyish charm, Boston’s own James Spader built a successful, if quirky, film career. Then TV’s David E. Kelley called with a proposition. What happened next surprised even Spader”

 

 
imageimageimageimageimageimageclick to enlarge ♤ Playboy interview (2005): James Spader – a candid conversation with Boston Legal’s press-shy star – about pushing sexual boundaries, his bizarre characters and why journalists annoy him. http://bit.ly/1pwfG8u
Notes: Here’s another link, but it’s tricky. http://bit.ly/1MlazoA There are 7 pages & you have to select each page separately. Each is a pdf. … [ So – I took the liberty to post screenshots of the article here. Click to enlarge – contact is LizzieB90@yahoo.com 8/30/2015 ]
 

 

LATimes: Does he make you a little…uneasy? James Spader loves to play compelling creeps. Now he’s feeling comfortable in your living room. http://lat.ms/1wxRA3k
// 10/3/2004, sculpture garden

“The day before James Spader won an Emmy for his portrayal of Alan Shore, the morally dubious lawyer on ‘The Practice,’ the actor was at the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA, admiring the statues — especially the female forms. ‘Look at the beautiful curve of her back, right at the base of her spine,’ he said, noticing a dancer at the top of Robert Graham’s ‘Dance Columns.’ ‘It’s the most perfect curve in nature.’ Then Spader felt a breeze and started ambling in the other direction. ‘I just want to walk into it,’ he explained. ‘Oh, my God, that is nice.’

The sculpture garden, a favorite hideaway of Spader’s, brought out in him a charming mix of formality and earthiness. When Gaston Lachaise’s bronze powerhouse ‘Standing Woman’ caught his eye, the memories rushed out. ‘My sons, when they were growing up, always enjoyed her rather ample’ — here he used a word not proper for this newspaper but that means ‘derriere’ — ‘and her rather ample breasts,’ he said. The boys, Sebastian, now 15, and Ellijah, 12, would come here with their scooters. ‘So you come around,’ Spader explained, ‘and lo and behold, you have that beautiful’ — that word again — ‘over there. You can hardly resist scootering by and giving her a poke. She has nice calves too. She’s ample everywhere. She’s spectacular.’

“‘When we first went to the network about James, they shrieked in horror,’ Kelley said. ‘James Spader is not a network face. … But once we began to focus on him, he was the only choice. What James does so well is there’s a nucleus to this character that is humane and decent. He manages to let that nucleus shine through even when he’s committing egregious, contemptible acts. You don’t know if you like him or not, but you can’t wait to see him next.’

“Yet for all the unpredictability that comes across on screen, Spader’s Boston Legal co-stars described him as meticulous, exact and particular on set.

“‘He’s always looking for the truth of the moment, and he gets fidgety when it’s not there,’ said William Shatner, who won a guest-actor Emmy for his portrayal of Crane on The Practice. ‘He becomes as recalcitrant as a donkey until he can find the right way to deliver a line. He never says a word that doesn’t seem to come from the organic character. That’s because James himself is a little weird. But we love him for it.’

“Confronted with the praise of his colleagues, Spader took a deep breath and looked skeptical. ‘Maybe this thing they are describing is just obsessive-compulsive. It just seems to be what the job is, to just try and get the right intention of whatever … you’re saying. Who is to say if whether what you end up tumbling toward is the right place when you’re standing on your feet in the middle of it?'”

“And that, according to Camryn Manheim, who starred on ‘The Practice’ for eight years, can be intimidating. ‘After you saw ‘Secretary,’ wouldn’t you be scared to go on a date with him?’ Manheim said, laughing.

“‘I was scared of him,’ she added. ‘He’s weird and strange and eccentric, and I mean a lot of that in the very best way. He plays all of these sexually charged characters. He looks at you too hard, like he’s got your number. But behind all of that, he’s a very simple man who is very thoughtful and insightful about the world and humanity.’

 

James Spader at 2004 Emmies, Best Actor acceptance speech for The Practice http://bit.ly/1x5zh7P “I want to thank my sons Sebastian & Elijah & their wonderful mother, Victoria, & I want to thank my girl, Leslie.” //➔ so sweet!
// 9/17/2004
 


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TorontoSun: Spader prefers the extremes http://bit.ly/1LwTiqU
// 9/20/2002

TORONTO (2002) – James Spader’s handlers have asked that any piece about Mr. Spader not include biographical material about the actor.

Mr. Spader does not want to read a story about how he dropped out of school at 17 to move to New York in the hopes of becoming an actor.

Sure, he’s been acting up a storm in such little-seen — and some rather watchable — reels as The Watcher, Curtain Call, Critical Care and 2 Days in the Valley. But, really, where has he been? After Sex, Lies and Videotape finally peeled him away from the Pretty In Pink teeny-bopper casting calls, Spader was poised on the verge of superstardom.

Critics called him everything from the next Cary Grant to the heir apparent to Jack Nicholson’s throne of creepiness. A few standout roles in movies such as Crash, Wolf and Stargate kept Spader in the Hollywood Rolodex, but now that he’s getting big time attention for his latest role as an uptight, sexually repressed psychiatrist in the Sundance winner Secretary, Spader’s recent absence from the A-list comes into stark focus.

“It’s nice to fall in love on film. I mean it, because as an actor, you’re always seeking out roles that will take you to extremes. I mean, if you’re going to play make-believe, why not play make-believe in extreme situations?” he says.

“The more extreme it is, the more it pulls you out of your pedestrian life. I always think it’s more fun to do something fantastic than something highly realistic.”

Falling in love could be seen as something incredibly ordinary — little more than a reason to buy Hallmark greeting cards on Valentine’s Day, a high-minded spiritual fantasy to justify physiological lust.

But not to Spader.

“I’m a very romantic person and I think we’ve been taught to believe that love is something ordinary — that everyone can find it, but I think real love is the rarest thing in the world. I have fallen in love, and I’m lucky for it,” says Spader, looking somewhat more earnest behind his designer specs.

One imagines Spader is talking about his long-term relationship with his wife, the mother of his two children, Victoria Kheel — but he doesn’t go out of his way to expound on the revelation and after the early warning about personal questions, I don’t ask.

Besides, he’s on a bit of a roll with the love stuff.

“I think in life, people have this confusion about love. We all want to fall in love so badly that we are almost willing to lie to ourselves, to force ourselves into believing that we are in love when we aren’t. It’s too bad, because in so doing, we cheapen it. I don’t think we recognize the depth of the emotion at all. It’s entirely transformative, and we — like you say — think of it as a blurb on a Hallmark card.”

One could argue that all human emotion is within our control. Behavioural therapists insist we can stop ourselves from feeling powerless in the face of addictions — that with enough discipline and training, we can control our response.

Spader couldn’t disagree more — when it comes to love, at any rate.

“When you’re in love, you can’t control it. It’s when you can’t take charge of what you feel, when you are completely powerless in the face of the emotion. When it happens, it happens in spite of you.”

All this talk of love has been prompted by Spader’s role in Secretary — the part of a kooky shrink who moves through the steno pool with serial sexaholic aplomb, pulling each one into a creepy S&M game of lust and suppression. When he feels too much for his latest conquest, the good doctor tries to reform himself — with mixed results.

It’s an interesting role, and one that Spader sunk his bicuspids into because the more extreme the role, the more it pushes an actor toward self-knowledge — at least that’s the theory. Spader says he’s finally grown to accept the idea that life is an never-ending series of surprises.

“I’m 42, and I have no idea who I am. At one point, I thought I knew who I was. But it really just stretches into delusion — and you realize it’s all bulls–t and you just have to give yourself a break. Fortunately, I’ve learned not to put a great deal of pressure on myself, so I don’t really think about it anymore,” he says.

“I think I spend an awful lot of time simply trying to make it from the bedroom, to the bathroom, to the dining room in a single day that I don’t really have time to think of the other big questions,” he says, wiping his eyes.

“I still do think of them. I do, and acting is a great way of taking you to another place. It’s a way of being transported to a world that you’re not familiar with. I also love to travel, and that’s one of the things you can do with a job as an actor. I’m also fairly selfish when it comes to doing things that feed my curiosity.”

A great day, as far as Spader is concerned, would consist of seeing friends — and staying in bed. “I’m just a bit obsessive compulsive … and a bit angsty,” he says. “But anything you can do in bed, I enjoy immensely,” he says.

© The Vancouver Sun (British Columbia, Canada), September 20, 2002 Friday Final Edition(Thank you, Susan!)
(Angelfire http://bit.ly/1LwTiqU)
 

Kamera (2002): An Interview with Maggie Gyllenhaal http://bit.ly/1D6yh3l

 

Esquire: James Spader: What I’ve Learned http://bit.ly/1sqlS2q

// 12/15/2000

 
 
James Spader Interview (Nov 1997): Speaking of Sexuality YouTube: http://youtu.be/RBC9riuwYgc Uploaded by mrsnapebrandon (2013).

This rare interview for the Japanese national TV was done in November 1997, when the 10th Tokyo International Fim Festival was being held. Mr. Spader was there to support and promote his movie 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY. He talks about not only his character in the film but also his family and his sexuality.”
 
~~ Partial Transcript (by me) ~~
 
Interviewer: In Japan, you are number one – the most wanted, irresistible man.

James Spader : I am? I’d better not leave the hotel. [ Laughter ]

interviewer: What is [sic] sexuality means to you?

James Spader : It means everything to me –

Interviewer: – Everything?

James Spader: Well, yeah, I think so. It informs everything in our lives. I don’t think that’s sort of something you can put down and put away. When you get up in the morning, it decides what you’re going to wear, how you put yourself together, how you’re going to put your hair. It decides how you sit, how you carry yourself. It dictates what you laugh at, what you’re interested in. it dictates what you look at and how you look at someone and how you talk to someone. It dictates how you relate to another person. All of those things that make up our desires and needs, dictates every aspect of our lives – I find.

By the same token, I’m 37 years old. And every day I realize how little I know about the world and myself and everything around me. It seems that when I look around me, that’s what I see. Maybe, – but I’m seeing it through my eyes. But it seems that that is something – our innate desire to be loved. It’s not something that you can just put away into a little box and save it over here and just take it out when we’d like to. Our innate desire to be amused – is something we can’t just put into a little box and put away. And in the same way, our innate sexuality is not something we can put into a box and put away somewhere until we want to use it. It’s always there! It’s always part of our lives. It’s always part of everything we do.

Interviewer: Why do you play peculiar characters?

James Spader : I think I’m just drawn to the peculiarities of life. I’m interested in that. I’m interested in perversity. I am curious about that. I’m curious about taboos. I’m curious about secrets. And so those are what I tend to look for [ in a role ].

When I take a part in a movie, I do a tremendous amount of preparation, a tremendous amount of thought, a tremendous amount of prep discussion. And then I put those things aside and I don’t concentrate on it. I just concentrate on the screenplay. And I find that, for me, I step into and out of a role fairly easily. I’m not someone who carries it around with me all the time. I step into it, immerse myself in it, and then step out. That’s how I do it. …

I’m able to play good guys and bad guys, and characters. and leads.

Interviewer: What is your priority in life?

James Spader : I think to continue to be curious.

 

DetourMag (Sep 1996): James Spader Interview by Dennis Hensley: Ace of Spader http://bit.ly/18p22ly via Angelfire

 

InterviewMag (1993): “How James Spader’s Image has Changed” http://bit.ly/1FMjDxz

“[Spader]’s all concentration…, speaking with precision, specificity, and a rolling hyperbole. This nice sense of irony is hardly unexpected, nor is Spader’s intelligence – that was manifest even when he played mostly cashmere sleaze. Unexpected is the sweetness that lights up his references to his young family or to his sisters and parents, entrenched Yankee academics who were free enough to let an only son quit prep school before graduating… It’s his look of the angel you don’t quite trust, an aura that made his high school drama teacher predict awful frustration if Spader acted: ‘Because you’re so wrong for all the roles you’re good at’,…

“Spader still looks toward the secret side of human nature – where all the really rich roles lie. ‘…I think the character I played years and years ago, in ‘Pretty in Pink’, was probably the most decrepit character I’ve ever played.'”

“‘I find the furthest I can distance myself from myself in my work, the more I excel. The roles that I find a horrible stretch are those that I have to display the ordinary parts of my being, as opposed to the secret and weird, shadowy places in me.'”
“‘…But True Colors paid for the restoration of my late grandfather’s house, so I’m glad I did it.'”

“‘I would be a fool not to play Iago…. How would it be if Iago … was just wonderfully charming? He might be that much more dangerous. Iago is a very filmic character, I think – a lot of secrets there. I love playing bad guys….[I] realized, ‘Ah, I’m only around when the shit is flying.'”

“‘I think the camera can pick up what you want it to pick up, and then it picks up you wanting it to pick that up….'”

“‘There was one point, years and years ago, when I was going thru a very difficult time acting. It was an extremely confused time in my life. One of the wrestles I was having was trying to reconcile a condition I had twenty-four hours a day – being anxious and stunned – with being able to work.'”

[On co-star Diane Keaton “allow[ing] the camera to see things that are part of everyone”: “‘…Now, you can be excessive with that, too, and end up giving a performance that’s nothing but tics and quirks and blinks and shakes. But it was a very useful lesson. I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to hang your dirty laundry out in front of the camera every so often. Screw it! Take off your clothes and ’em see your underwear.'”

SHELIA BENSON: You’ve used the word ‘secrets’ more than once. Are they important?

JAMES SPADER: To figure out a character, I try to look for something that’s not in the screenplay a little secret they carry around with them. Sometimes it’s allowed to show itself, sometimes – it isn’t, yet it’s always there. In ‘Less Than Zero’, Robert Downey Jr. and I both decided that our two guys had been lovers at one point. It wasn’t referred to at all, but that was the one choice made in that film that I ended up being pleased with, because it informed everything that happened. There’s a certain understanding between two people who’ve been lovers that’s not there in two people who haven’t.

SHELIA BENSON: [Quoting Peggy Ashcroft]: ‘What I think matters most is family, friends, and work – in that order.’ Does that resonate for you?

JAMES SPADER: Yes. [From earlier:] The other day [my 2 1/2yo son and I] took a walk in the hills, on the fire trail. I was walking along, kicking a stone, and I turned around and there was a little two-and-a-half-foot guy, kicking a little stone along beside me….

JAMES SPADER: …I’ve got a family [now]. Reading a few books, going for a sail, going for a walk, listening to music, and watching some movies – these are fancies, you know. Family is all there is for me. I don’t have anything else.

 

Angelfire: James Spader Interview http://bit.ly/1G5lVK7 [omg] © Playboy magazine, April 1990 by Jerry Lazar

“Spader won’t even meet me for lunch at a restaurant; meals, it seems, are meant for pleasure; and interviews are business.” …

“Later, I would talk to people who would tell me stories about a completely different Spader-one who talks openly, perhaps even excessively. Among his close-knit group of friends, he is known as an eccentric raconteur, a habitue of strip joints, a collector of off-beat weapons and a fan of loud music.” …

“Spader even had doubts about sex, lies and videotape – the low-budget feature written and directed by first-timer Steven Soderbergh – but he loved the idea of playing Graham. Before going on location in Baton Rouge, he gleefully told friends he was off to play an impotent guy who masturbates watching tapes. “‘The thing I was most surprised by was the entertainment factor of the film,’ he says. ‘I knew while we were making it that we were presenting the material in a fairly honest and intelligent fashion. I felt the performances were fine. And I felt that the personality of the film was provocative and curious. But the film’s humor was very hard to gauge while we were doing it. If it didn’t work, I thought the film would be extremely self-indulgent and a huge bore. I think the humor DOES work and that’s why people have responded to it.’ The movie was more than a hit; it won the Golden Palm at Cannes and Spader was named best actor. However, he wasn’t there to receive the award. He had arrived in Cannes, gotten bored and left.” …

“Gerald Harrington knows all about James Spader, the sensitive artist. But Harrington knows the other James Spader as well, the young rowdy who regularly led a gang of friends to the Seventh Veil, a Hollywood strip joint frequented by sailors, psychos and stag-party celebrants. ‘Once, this stripper is up on our table, inches away from Jimmy,’ says Harrington, ‘and she’s got her back to him and legs wide apart. She bends down and looks back at him through her legs and says, ‘Hey, aren’t you the guy in Pretty in Pink?’ ”

“Actor Eric Stoltz is also part of Spader’s group of friends. ‘Jimmy used to play the role of older brother to a lot of us,’ he says. ‘One time, he took me and another friend to dinner and decided to teach us the finer points of making love to a woman, using elaborate hand and mouth gestures. Halfway through his symposium, we looked around and realized half the restaurant was watching us – watching Jimmy making moves with his tongue. It was one of those mortifying moments when time just stops.’ Stoltz has worked with Spader as well. During the filming of The New Kids in Florida, he was awe-struck by him. ‘Jimmy was at his wildest. We’d take road trips to the Keys or up the coast, and he’d insist on having weapons in the trunk. He’d drive like a maniac-fast, with the music blaring – and I was always living in fear that we’d be pulled over and some officer would find his crossbow, his lance, his twelve-inch knife, his whip…'”

“‘At the motel,’ Stoltz continues, ‘our rooms were across the courtyard from each other, and he drew a huge target on my window with soap. I woke up in the middle of the night to these pinging sounds. Jimmy had bought a new BB gun and he was making indentations in the glass. It’s a little frightening when one of your best friends does that.'”

“‘One morning, Jimmy was running around with a crossbow, trying to get the arrows to stick to a palm tree in the motel courtyard. He was wearing a fringed leather jacket and underwear, with a cigarette and shades. The leading actress had brought her mother with her, and when the mother walked out of her room to get the morning paper, she saw Jimmy and almost had a heart attack.'” …

“‘Jimmy’s a very peaceful man,’ says Stoltz. ‘He’s the sweetest, nicest man in the world. He’s just a tad eccentric.'” …

“‘One of my biggest hobbies was going to concerts,” says Spader. He also owns hundreds of albums, which he insists are superior in sound quality to CD’s.”

“Harrington scoffs at this. ‘He plays these weird old blues records or reggae albums that were recorded with the most primitive equipment. No matter what you play them on, they sound terrible. They sound like they were recorded underwater through a megaphone.'”

“‘He’s completely anal about his tape selection in the car,’ says Harrington. ‘He has an aluminum briefcase and he’ll put a hundred and ten cassettes – ‘OK, we’re going to drive north, so these are good tapes for the North. ‘He plans the music like some people plan the menu for an estate dinner. And he won’t let me get one song in. He plays things that he knows I won’t like so he can try to convince me how good they are.'”

“When Spader was sent the script for sex, lies and videotape, he was on one of those infamous road trips. ‘Our negotiations took place from pay phones at gas stations,’ he says. The US map on Graham’s wall is marked with Spader’s favorite routes.

“A night out usually involves ‘great, huge, decadent dinners at the Ivy or Dan Tana’s,’ according to actress Jennifer Jason Leigh. ‘They last five hours and you leave feeling sick. Jimmy’s great at hanging out – not always having to be on the move. He can sit five hours and just talk, and I admire that.'” …

“Spader’s parents are retired teachers. His two older sisters became teachers. He grew up on a prep school campus. Unsurprisingly, Spader found classrooms boring and when he went to Phillip’s Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, he left his mark not as a student but as an actor.”

“Charles Schueler, now a Cablevision executive in Boston, remembers Spader’s ‘devastating’ abilities as a mimic: ‘Andover was crawling with children of prestigious and status-conscious people, but Jimmy would hang around with the janitor in the gymnasium or the middle-aged, wise-cracking switchboard operator. To this day, he can re-create these personna – not in a cruel or malicious way but in a way that is just hilarious in its accuracy.'” …

“‘Jimmy left Andover and moved to New York,’ remembers Timothy Regan, who now studies film production at Boston University, ‘we asked one of the theater teachers, ‘Will he make it? ‘And the teacher closed his eyes, shook his head and said, ‘No, not a chance,’ ‘Who was that teacher, I ask Spader, and where is he now?'”

“‘Exactly,’ Spader replies.”

 

ChicagoTribune, Gene Siskel: Zooming In On James Spader`s Top Secret Debut http://trib.in/1z1JYHZ “James Spader has come a long way in the last decade, and his career is just taking off”
//  6/5/1988

 

AngelFire: James Spader Interviews and articles (1985 – 2004) http://bit.ly/1LcgeAj I love these old interviews #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist
 

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