The Blacklist’s James Spader: What Did He Do Before His Big Break?
Many film and TV stars come from humble beginnings, but we were very surprised when we learned how The Blackliststar James Spader (Raymond “Red” Reddington) made a living before breaking into acting. Though the award-winning actor has made a name for himself playing a number of sleazy, professional types, his pre-Hollywood gig was decidedly more blue-collar.
So what did he do before he was discovered? That’s exactly what Wetpaint asked Viggle users who tuned in for the latest episode of The Blacklist. Nearly half thought James’s role before acting was as a grease monkey — 47 percent chose “auto mechanic” as his first profession.
Well, while James might have gotten dirty during his salad days, it wasn’t while working on cars. He was employed as a janitor at a rehearsal studio in Times Square when he landed his first feature film role in 1981’s Endless Love. (Brooke Shields played his sister.) 41 percent of Viggle users guessed right, while the remaining 12 percent thought James was a cafeteria worker. Can you imagine him with a hairnet and rubber gloves? Please.
After a series of afterschool special-style TV movies (our favorite is entitled Cocaine: One Man's Seduction), James landed the role of sleazeball Steff in Pretty in Pink. However, his biggest break came when he was cast in Steven Soderbergh’s 1989 cult classic, Sex, Lies, and Videotape. The role earned James a Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival and solidified his status as a formidable leading man.
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