LEAVING viewers gobsmacked with the past season, and dangling us half-way through a thrilling season two, James Spader of The Blacklist, says that the wait is going to be worthwhile. And after the mid-season break, he tells us that Raymond Reddington has plenty up his sleeve. “How Red responds to circumstances reveals certain aspects of him. It’s a very delicate balance when you have a character who’s very enigmatic. It’s what makes them compelling and what makes you curious,” shares Spader, adding that just when you think you know what he is up to, he’ll surprise you.
When asked whether we’ll find out this season if Red really is Liz’s father, he flatly declines. “No, you won’t. You’re going to get closer. Once we reach the inevitable end of the series, you’ll look back and you’ll realise that there were things along the way that you weren’t sure how to process and suddenly those things will connect,” he reveals, elaborating that the twists, turns, and playing with the audience makes it fun. “It’s like a like a puzzle, but, here we’re giving you pieces as we go along, and eventually you can put them together and they fit.”
While the character Spader plays is highly appealing but with plenty of evil weaved in, the actor isn’t quite sure what makes Red click. “Over the years, I’ve never been able to figure out what people might like or not like, but I think people respond to the dichotomy in any antihero,” he summises, quipping, “I know I would be enormously disappointed if we were to discover that Reddington was really a righteous guy and it’s all about redemption.”
On what actually drew him to the role of Reddington, the actor (who wears a trademark hat in the series, as per his own admission) says, “I was looking for a series that was dichotomous in tone—at times funny and other times not at all. Plus, a character that was serious and yet irreverent, so that there would be a lot to play.”
And Spader says he’d like the show to go on just as long as it is intriguing. “I don’t think I could survive on a show where it’s just an equation and you’re solving that equation every week. I just couldn’t,” he signs off.
Tuesdays at 10 pm on Star World Premiere
— Aakanksha Devi