James Spader on Raymond “Red” Reddington, and why he personally avoids watching TV
IN ITs fourth season, crime thriller series The Blacklist finds James Spader’s lead character of Raymond “Red” Reddington in grimly contemplative moods, when he’s not sleuthing it with the FBI. Off the sets, meanwhile, Spader apparently can’t be bothered with watching television.
How has The Blacklist managed to keep cutting through all the noise?
James Spader: The show is an odd mix of things, not only in its content, but even in the people that populate and inhabit the show, and not just the characters, but the people who make the show.
The show’s a strange animal, and in a strange way, it’s unique in its conception and the way it’s made. We’ve got writers in Los Angeles, and we’re in New York, and we’re sort of a country apart We don’t even live our lives at the same hours of the day.
The show is populated by this strange combination of characters. It is an oddity, and therefore it stands alone. Tonally, the show is strange. At times, it’s startling and very intensive, and yet it can also be irreverent and in other times, calm and volatile.
The character Reddington that I play, he’s a weird strange mix of things and, I think that permeates the show in general.
Do you enjoy the character arc of Reddington?
JS: Reddington is deceiving a little bit, because it looks like he may be in control of things when, very often, he’s actually very calm and perfectly comfortable surrounded by chaos.
He’s really faced with the sort of collateral effect that his life has had, even though he has felt, for a long time, that he’s been responsible for himself, and has lived to a great degree a solitary life far away from people that he might have known at other times.
It’s become clear to him, the effect that his life has had on others, often to the detriment of other people’s lives. He’s sort of coming to terms during the last couple of years. He’s having to reckon with himself a little bit, and that’s always a very conflicted process, to say the least.
You mentioned that you don’t watch a lot of TV, and that don’t have a TV in your house. Interesting paradox, don’t you think?
JS: Yes, I still don’t have a TV in my house, but I’m moving fairly soon, so who knows? I spend an awful lot of time, a lot of hours out of the day and a lot of days out of the week and a lot of weeks out of the year, living within fictional television and fictional drama. Therefore, when I’m not working, I don’t tend to be drawn towards that. When I’m not at work, I don’t devote much of my time to television.
The Blacklist Season 4 airs on Star World & Star World HD at 9pm every Friday
— Team Indulge