Megan Boone ex­plains the dark­ness of The Black­list – and the light­ness that is the real James Spader. By DEB­BIE SCHIPP

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - TV Guide - - Front Page -

The Black­list’s Megan Boone shares sea­son two se­crets and what it’s like to work with James Spader

AS FBI pro­filer El­iz­a­beth Keen, Megan Boone had a heck of a first sea­son on The Black­list.

On her first day on the job, she dis­cov­ered the world’s most wanted man Ray­mond “Red” Red­ding­ton (James Spader) had come in from the cold, and would join forces with the FBI – but would work only with her.

As the sea­son un­folded she dis­cov­ered her mar­riage was a lie, Red had mur­dered her adopted fa­ther and that no­body was quite what they seemed.

Now, as sea­son two of the hit show launches, Boone’s Liz Keen may be be­wil­dered and bruised, but she’s not beaten or bowed.

And she’s set to more than hold her own along­side Red – the enig­matic crim­i­nal who is as much her men­tor as her tor­men­tor on the show.

The 31-year-old ac­tress says the role of Liz is the gift that just keeps giv­ing. Much like the prodi­giously tal­ented Spader who, Boone says, con­tin­ues to sur­prise her ev­ery day on set.

Se­ries two opens with Liz still reel­ing from rev­e­la­tions her hus­band is a spy, rather than a mild-man­nered pri­mary school teacher, and the du­plic­ity of Red, who claims to want to pro­tect her, but con­sis­tently gives her half-truths.

She’s a lit­tle more para­noid, and a lit­tle harder. She’s liv­ing out of suit­cases. She’s more cau­tious. And pro­duc­ers warn, per­haps a lit­tle more like Red.

“Red and El­iz­a­beth’s re­la­tion­ship has changed ab­so­lutely,” Boone says.

“She’s wiser. It took her a while to get the big pic­ture with Red­ding­ton and now she’s not go­ing to ig­nore that. She has her own agenda.”

As for Spader’s character, Boone says ex­pect, early on, an un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally rat­tled Red­ding­ton – shaken from his cus­tom­ary cool of master pup­peteer pulling crim­i­nal strings.

“We in­tro­duce peo­ple that have that ef­fect on him and re­veal more about where he’s com­ing from,” she says.

“That’s what makes this show what it is. Those startling mo­ments are in­ter­est­ing. Red is so strong and im­pen­e­tra­ble and then some­thing shakes him to the core and he re­alises that is some­thing that’s re­ally im­por­tant to him.

“I have learned to ex­pect any­thing from th­ese scripts. The more and more we delve into the se­ries the more we re­alise it’s re­ally dark.

“And it gets darker and darker and stranger and weirder. I feel like we’re the show where all the stray dogs come to play.

TheBlack­list is in­deed dark, but Boone says be­tween takes, she has found a light­ness and ca­ma­raderie among the cast. Not least with Spader – who may play Red with mer­ci­less, enig­matic mas­tery, but trans­forms when the cam­eras stop rolling.

“I adore that man,” she says.

“He is in­tel­li­gent and funny and I could say a lot of things that peo­ple would prob­a­bly ex­pect be­cause watch­ing him you can tell how smart and ridicu­lously tal­ented he is, and what a charis­matic man he is.

“How­ever, I think it would sur­prise peo­ple to know he is also so adorable.

“There’s this lit­tle soft side in James where if you are fool­ing with him and you can in­trigue that lit­tle sweet soft side, you get the kin­d­est, cutest lit­tle laugh out of him … not a Red Red­ding­ton laugh … it’s dif­fer­ent, it’s a re­ally cute one.

“I get the big­gest kick out of that, out of get­ting him to bub­ble up with that laugh.”



On a mis­sion: Above, Megan Boone tries to un­cover the truth in TheBlack­list. Be­low, James Spader un­veils a softer side on set.

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