James Spader’s bald move
SINGAPORE - Emmy Award-winning actor James Spader is perhaps best known for his eccentric roles in films such as Pretty In Pink, Less Than Zero, Sex, Lies And Videotape, Crash, Stargate, Secretary and Lincoln. His most famous television roles are those of the colourful attorney Alan Shore in The Practice and its spin-off Boston Legal, for which he won three Emmys and Robert California in the American version The Office. On Oct 6, he debuts in a new TV series, The Blacklist, as Raymond “Red” Reddington, a man wanted by the FBI who gives himself up – but one on condition: He only deals with rookie FBI profiler, Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone).
Q: Did you have a lot of time to prepare for the role?
A: I didn’t have very much time to prepare but that was fine. The script for the pilot was so mysterious and enigmatic that I was able … there was a lot of freedom in terms of what I was allowed to do. You don’t really learn a great deal about the man’s past just based on the pilot alone and frankly we’re shooting Episode 5 and we don’t really know a lot about him moving forward. Most of my prep was long conversations about the man and reading the papers and non-fiction books about the world of international crime to get a sense of the world he’s been in living in for a while.
He seemed to be somebody who’s so comfortable in the extremes. Besides just putting himself in dangerous and dire circumstances, he just seems to be very comfortable no matter what comes his way. But at the same token, he relishes it; he takes great delight in the perilous journey that his life has taken.
Q: So you play this criminal genius…
A: Well, he’s certainly a criminal. I don’t know if he’s a genius!
Q: Okay, but the thing is Raymond Reddington – like all your characters you’ve played – doesn’t seem all bad. Even Alan Shore in Boston Legal, or Edward Grey in Secretary, or Graham in Sex, Lies And Videotape. Do you look for such characters to play?