And he seemed liked such a nice guy. When we first met Ryan Eggold’s Tom Keen on The
Blacklist, he was the gentle school teacher, married to FBI profiler Elizabeth Keen, (Megan Boone) deeply in love, planning a family.
Then she discovered he was a double agent, they tried to kill each other in their apartment, he escaped, then came back for more. He ended up in a pool of blood with three gunshots to his stomach courtesy of Liz, and was thought dead.
Liz had instead locked him up to learn his secrets. When that turned bad, Liz freed him and he disappeared for a while.
Now he’s back, desperate, and we still can’t work out where he’s at with Liz.
As Eggold says: “it’s a very strange kind of love”.
Was it hard to play ‘nice’ Tom Keen knowing the dark side was coming?
No, if anything it took the pressure off. Because I knew it was a lie, you could lay it on a little thicker.
What did you have to learn to play an assassin?
I learned a little krav maga — an Israeli form of self-defence that they teach the military — it’s very ‘how do I quickly and efficiently neutralise a threat?’ It’s quick and strong.
Is it hard to play those full-on physical fights with Megan?
Nope. It’s fun. For both of us. The first time, we were so happy to shatter the ‘hey babe’ scenes — and also to physically shatter our apartment. They were taking the set down the next week so we had licence just to fully wreck it. We trashed the set. And she gives as good as she gets.
Were you surprised Tom resurfaced this season?
I get the same emotional rollercoaster as the audience does when we get the scripts. ‘You’re locked up … you’re coming back’. Now you’re learning Tom’s back story — who is he? Who made him? Why is he the way he is?
Do you see a ‘happily ever after’ for any of The Blacklist characters?
There could be. There is a cool love story there for Tom and Liz, albeit a very dysfunctional one — in that if there are real feelings there what does that mean? I mean, she shot him in the stomach; he hit her in the face. We’ve all been in a relationship that intellectually we know isn’t good for us or can harm us, but somehow there is that pull to this person. He is drawn to her. She’s one of the few people that he has a connection to.
If you weren’t an actor would you have been more likely to be a teacher or a double agent?
I would love to say double agent ... but when I think of the soldiers that fight for us and the danger they put themselves in, I don’t think I could do it. It would be fun to be James Bond, but I just want to play with the gadgets, like a watch that turns into an elevator — or like the guy that has the hat with the knives in the brim. THE BLACKLIST, CHANNEL 7, MONDAY, 9.40PM