The Blacklist is one of the most exciting new shows airing this fall, and one of the main reasons for that is star James Spader. On the NBC series, James plays Raymond Reddington, a wanted fugitive who turns himself into the FBI: on more conditions than we have time for right now. While we don’t know a lot about the criminal he plays, we’ve rounded up five interesting facts for you about the man behind the mystery.
1. He prefers the name “Jimmy”
James Spader often pays some pretty cold, calculating, sleazy characters, so imagining that he would prefer the name Jimmy is strangely amusing to us. But it’s true, should you run into the actor in a dark alley, make sure you use his nickname. Or else.
2. He doesn’t really like television
Though Jimmy has played some long-running characters on shows like The Practice, Boston Legal, The Office, and now The Blacklist, he admitted in a recent interview that he doesn’t really watch TV. “I’ve never been a big TV watcher,” he explains about going into the job. But despite that fact, he really enjoys not knowing what’s going to happen next on his own show, since scripts roll in one at a time.
3. He had to shave his head for the role of Red
Before stepping into the FBI offices, James was rolling with some long locks. But when he was getting into character, he decided that Reddington should be largely bald, so he shaved his head! “He’s someone who has to travel lightly and move swiftly, and it seemed eminently practical for him,” the actor explains of his reasoning.
4. He’s been acting for longer than his co-star has been alive
Co-star Megan Boone, who plays FBI profiler and Red’s sometimes partner Elizabeth Keene, is a mere 30 years old. Jimmy, on the other hand, has been appearing on television and in movies since 1978 (35 years). He got his first big movie break in Endless Love, starring as Brooke Shields’s brother in the 1981 film.
5. He won’t watch his own movies
James is often quoted as saying that although he enjoys working on all the movies he’s been in — and there are many — he won’t watch them. That’s fine, Jimmy, we’ve got you covered!
Are you a James Spader fan? Do you love The Blacklist? Tell us!
Sources: Collidor.com, NY Times.com