James Spader on Why It's Fun to Be Bad in 'The Blacklist'
James Spader on Why It's Fun to Be Bad in 'The Blacklist'
Michelle Carlbert
Michelle Carlbert
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
NBC's new series The Blacklist premieres on Monday, September 23. James Spader plays criminal mastermind Raymond "Red" Reddington and seems to be enjoying playing the bad (or is he?) guy. 


Red Has a Strange and Enigmatic Life

Spader recently talked to the Huffington Post about his character and what drew him to play the role of Red. "He amused me," Spader said. "He has such a strange and enigmatic life and I like the fact that the show could surprise you and be sort of thrilling and yet at the same time, have a sense of humor and irreverence." 

Life is Dangerous for Red and Others, But Funny at the Same Time

Red may end up surrendering himself and going to federal prison, but that doesn't seem to have taken away his ability to have a good time. "I like that his view of the world is through that prism," Spader said. "Life is dangerous, but it's funny at the same time."

But can life really be dangerous for a guy who is a criminal and, for all intents and purposes, causes most of the danger himself? Spader answers that question with a sly grin. "Yes. You'll see," he promised. 

Word to the Wise: Don't Trust Anything Red Says

Since Red seems to be doing everything to amuse himself, it's probably not a good idea to trust anything that he says. Spader agrees with that assessment. "That's absolutely the truth. You can take that to the bank. You just don't know what he's saying - the sense of that truth of what he says. He's thoughtful and careful of what he says and how he says it, and to who he says it. With him you have to look very carefully between the lines. and sometimes around them and on the other side," he added with a laugh.

Is Red a Good Person Doing Bad Things or a Bad Person Doing Good Things?

Red isn't just a one dimensional kind of bad guy though, he's got a lot more layers than that, according to Spader. "Sometimes good people do terribly bad things. Sometimes bad people do terribly good things. And he's both of those at different times," Spader said of Red. 

It looks like Spader's portrayal of Red is going to be one of the more enigmatic performances in the new fall TV season. 

Are you excited to see The Blacklist when it premieres next week?

Want to add The Blacklist to your very own watch-list? Download BuddyTV Guide for free for your phone.

(Image courtesy of NBC)


News from our partners