On the hit show, The Blacklist, Megan Boone plays Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Keen, an FBI agent with an unexplained past and an equally unexplained relationship with reformed criminal mastermind Raymond Reddington (James Spader), who may or may not be her father. (“That question,” grins Boone, in between takes on the show’s New York set, “will get answered one day”.)
As the show enters its third season, the 32-year-old actor talks about why fans only ever want a hug, what she’ll never do again, and why she reckons she just might be the George Costanza of The Blacklist.
This season, the tables have turned for Liz. She’s been labelled a murderer and a terrorist, and now she’s on the run with Red who, ironically, has turned into the one person she can actually trust. There’s a lot at stake now, because she’s not just on the run from the law, she’s on the run from her former partners in the FBI, so her dynamic and relationship with them has altered drastically. There are some really interesting moral dilemmas this season. We start off with a little bit of drama on our drama, believe it or not.
James Spader is not your average bear. How is it actually working with him? He’s very unique. I’ve never met anyone like him; he possesses traits, as a human being, that I didn’t know existed on the spectrum of human personality traits (laughs). But it is a profound work relationship, because there is a bond that is very unique. You don’t really have a relationship like this with anyone in life, because it’s so intense. The work we do together is very heightened —— it requires a lot of trust. It also requires a diligence in maintaining the right offscreen relationship to make sure it still works onscreen.
This has been your first major role on a massive hit show. What’s surprised you most about the whole experience? I have grown to have a palpable intolerance of chauvinism, and it is rampant in this industry. The only way you get exposed to it on a show like mine is there’s a rotating roster of TV directors and none of them are women. They all want to work with James and they all want to talk to James and then I’m sitting over in a corner just, ‘Tell me where to stand, tell me what you want me to do’. I’ve had directors actually take my arm and just move me where they want me to go, and I’m like, ‘Go do that to James, see how that works out’. I am up to here with it, and I am never doing it again.
You’ve been to Comic-Con where the fans are intense. Comic-Con is actually better than something like New York Fashion Week because not everybody thinks they’re cool. I’d rather be (at Comic-Con) than be in New York during Fashion Week. You’ll never see me at a fashion show — I want to encourage girls to eat (laughs). Anyway, I’m not a celebrity — there’s a Kardashian doing that somewhere for a living. Fans of The Blacklist mostly want a hug from me (laughs).
But, like a celebrity, it all pretty much revolves around Liz on the show. It does! At this point, I’m pretty much like George Costanza on Seinfeld — Liz making everything all about her again. It’s embarrassing.
THE BLACKLIST, CHANNEL 7, WEDNESDAY, 8.30PM
Megan Boone would take the
Comic-Con scene over New
York Fashion Week any day.