Spader’s style on display
Roles have earned James Spader praise and fame, writes
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.’