Dou­ble trou­ble

There’s more than one in­ter­na­tional man of mys­tery on Seven’s hit se­ries The Black­list. Guy Davis speaks with Ryan Eg­gold, whose nice- guy char­ac­ter may be hiding a deep, dark se­cret.

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When Seven’s new US se­ries The Black­list pre­miered, au­di­ences prob­a­bly imag­ined there were two main mys­ter­ies that would be unravelled over the course of the show.

One was the “black­list” of the ti­tle, a ros­ter of big- league crim­i­nals that mas­ter crook Ray­mond “Red” Red­ding­ton ( James Spader) was will­ing to en­trap and turn over to the au­thor­i­ties.

The other was the con­nec­tion be­tween Red and rookie FBI agent El­iz­a­beth Keen ( Me­gan Boone), the only per­son Red would co- op­er­ate with.

But by the end of its first episode The Black­list had added another rid­dle to the mix by re­veal­ing some­thing se­cret about

IEg­gold: “I can say that if Tom is some­thing more than he claims to be, and I gen­uinely

don’t know be­cause the writ­ers very in­tel­li­gently keep me in the dark, then he

is def­i­nitely tied into Red’s black­list.”

in­di­cated some­thing far dif­fer­ent … and sin­is­ter.

The ever- enig­matic Red is cer­tainly hint­ing there’s more to Tom than meets the eye. For his part, Tom claims Keen’s hus­band Tom, played by Ryan Eg­gold.

Tom seemed to be a nice, easy­go­ing school­teacher.

But the dis­cov­ery of a box con­tain­ing piles of cash, a loaded gun and a bunch of pass­ports with myr­iad in­ter­na­tional iden­ti­ties but all bear­ing Tom’s pho­to­graph ig­no­rance and in­no­cence, in­sist­ing he’s be­ing set up. Who is Liz to be­lieve?

It def­i­nitely adds another layer of in­trigue to the se­ries, but it does make in­ter­view­ing Eg­gold a lit­tle frus­trat­ing. Af­ter all, there are a lot view­ers will want to know about his char­ac­ter but there is prob­a­bly not much he’s will­ing or able to dis­close.

“Frus­trat­ing is the only word for it,” Eg­gold said with a laugh.

“I’ll do in­ter­views and peo­ple will ask me, ‘ Who is Tom?’, and I have to tell them I don’t know. But I do say there’s a lot more to go.

“We’re still very much on the sur­face of things in th­ese first episodes when it comes to who th­ese char­ac­ters are, what mo­ti­vates them and where the story is go­ing. It’s only go­ing to get deeper and more tan­gled.”

Eg­gold, whose TV cred­its in­clude En­tourage and the 90210 re­make, had no idea just how tan­gled Tom’s sto­ry­lines were go­ing to get when he first read for the role.

“I had th­ese pages that set up Tom as this sweet guy, a sup­port­ive hus­band, a fourth­grade teacher, and I thought, ‘ OK, I get it’,” he re­called.

“I didn’t read the full script un­til our first readthrough and then I was so blown away and pleas­antly sur­prised by the level of depth, colour and po­ten­tial that was there.”

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