James Spader is one of the most prolific actors in the entertainment industry.  In the nearly 30 years that he has spent in show business, he has managed to win three Emmy Awards, with the most recent two for his portrayal of Alan Shore on Boston’s Legal.  However, his acting prowess is not only evident to critics and viewers, but to industry heads and his costars as well.

“His acting chops are unmatched,” actress Mare Winningham, who recently guest-starred in Boston Legal, said, “and when you are in a scene with him and he is in the courtroom and he has a mouthful, it is showstopping.  Even as a person in the scene, I was excited to be there.  Watching him work was really a pleasure.”

Boston Legal executive producer Bill D’Elia also had good things to say about James Spader, saying that the actor may like taking long breaks from work, but he remains “very focused, very serious, very analytical [and] very thoughtful.”

“There are plenty of actors in television who will read the scene the day before,” D’Elia says. “[James Spader] can’t wait for the next script to come out. And if he hits a bump, he will call me or call [Boston Legal creator] David [E. Kelley] or one of the writers and ask.  It can be annoying, but you know at the very core it is about doing the very best work we can do.  It is a very dedicated work ethic.”

Boston Legal is not the first television project that has Spader working with D’Elia and Kelley.  He previously starred in the show’s parent series, The Practice, for which D’Elia directed and Kelley wrote.  Apart from these two shows, however, Spader does not have much notable television credits to his name, although he has appeared in numerous popular films, including Pretty in Pink, Sex, Lies and Videotape, Secretary and Wolf.

Having worked in both television and film, Spader is well aware of the difference between the two industries.

“In television, the make-believe is relentless; it doesn’t let up easily,” he said.  “A friend of mine from Oakland sent me a quote from David Mamet: ‘Shooting a film is like running a marathon, and shooting a television show is like running until you die.’”

-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

Source: The Oklahoman
(Image Courtesy of ABC)


Staff Columnist, BuddyTV