Spader’s style on dis­play

Roles have earned James Spader praise and fame, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

CRE­AT­ING mem­o­rable char­ac­ters is both a bless­ing and curse for James Spader. Roles, in­clud­ing Alan Shore in Bos­ton Le­gal and The Prac­tice, or Dr Daniel Jack­son in Star­gate, have earned him praise and fame.

But when he takes on a new part, such as the mys­te­ri­ous and creepy Ray­mond Red­ding­ton in the new US drama The Black­list, Spader does his best to make peo­ple for­get his past work and see him as some­one new.

‘‘Peo­ple seem to have short mem­o­ries when it comes to pop cul­ture, but I think it does help if you’re able to, what­ever you come up with next, that it be a de­par­ture and that the world be very dif­fer­ent,’’ he says.

‘‘I think ob­vi­ously with the tele­vi­sion series, one has to be cog­nisant of that. I think that’s prob­a­bly why, if you’ve done some­thing for a pe­riod of time, it’s pru­dent to do other things be­fore you then jump into some­thing else again that you’re go­ing to do for a pe­riod of time.’’

The role in The Black­list is a ma­jor de­par­ture. His char­ac­ter is a su­per crim­i­nal who has eluded cap­ture for years.

One day, he de­cides to give him­self up to the FBI and of­fer his as­sis­tance in track­ing down other su­per crim­i­nals. His only stip­u­la­tion is that he work with rookie pro­filer El­iz­a­beth Keen (Megan Boone).

Spader ex­plains that it’s clear from the open­ing episode there’s a past be­tween the two of them to which the pro­filer isn’t privy.

Even de­voted Spader fans may have to look twice when he shows up in the opener. Spader has a nearly shaved head.

The lack of locks make him look dif­fer­ent than past char­ac­ters and fits the na­ture of his char­ac­ter. Spader ex­plains Red­ding­ton would have wanted to keep his life sim­ple dur­ing the 20 years he was on the run.

‘‘He’s mov­ing from place to place very quickly. I thought he should have a hair­cut that he can do him­self if he cares to or he can go to some bar­ber shop in a lit­tle town in Cam­bo­dia and they can cut his hair in 10 min­utes,’’ Spader says.

‘‘I just thought it was stream­lined. And his clothes are like that, too, in that he looks well dressed, but (in) trav­el­ling clothes. You know, he wears clothes that he can go from a bank to a cave and he’s dressed ac­cord­ingly.’

Seven, Prime7.

Mon­days, 8.30pm,

James Spader

The Black­list:

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