James Spader’s 5 Best Dark and Sexy Non-Blacklist Performances
If you’re not familiar with the super-sexy James Spader of the ‘80s and ‘90s, it’s time to get acquainted, y’all! Funnily enough, many of the 53-year-old actor’s early roles were playing sexual deviants and yuppie jerks. He is also considered a member of the notorious ‘80s Brat Pack, and that decade is rife with James Spader at his finest. We took a look at his filmography, and picked out five of his best.
Side note: James clearly only gets better with age. We have no doubt his highly-anticipated turn as Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron and his OTT performance as Red Reddington in The Blacklist will top this list.
First things first: James’s role as cocky attorney Alan Shore won him three Emmy awards, so it’s definitely one of his finest performances. Boston Legal, a spin-off of The Practice, earned a large cult following around the world. At the core of the show’s solid cast and exceptional writing is the dynamic relationship between William Shatner’s crazy Denny Crane and James’s character Alan, a womanizer with an insatiable sex appetite. What more do you need to know?
This is the movie where James proved he still had a whole lot of dark and sexy left in him. This 2002 indie film revolves around the S&M relationship between Maggie Gyllenhaal’s secretary character and her boss, played by James. An odd pairing, we know, but Maggie and James have some seriously sexy chemistry going on. All we can say is, Fifty Shades of Grey ain’t got nothin’ on Secretary.
MORE: James Spader: 5 Things to Know About The Blacklist Actor
If it’s weird sexual fetishes you’re after, you’ll find that and more in this controversial and artsy 1996 David Cronenberg film. James plays an intense character who finds that he is sexually aroused by car crashes after he gets into a pretty serious one. Sounds pretty demented, right? When it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, there were a number of audience walk-outs, so it’s definitely one to watch if you’re feeling brave!
Sex, Lies, and Videotape
Two years after Less Than Zero, in 1989, James starred in his indie film by the now legendary director Steven Soderbergh. James plays Graham, a Bohemian drifter with a sexual dysfunction that can only be overcome when he watches video tapes of women talking about their sexual fantasies on camera all by his lonesome. According to Wikipedia, this film “was added to the United States Library of Congress' National Film Registry as being deemed ‘culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.’” That means it’s legit.
Less Than Zero
This iconic late ‘80s film is based on the super-dark Bret Easton Ellis novel of the same name, and includes that decade’s biggest heartthrobs: Andrew McCarthy, Robert Downey Jr., and our man James Spader. James, who was only 27 at the time, plays a skeezy yuppie drug dealer-cum-pimp named Rip — that detail alone should make you want to see it.
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James’s new show, The Blacklist, airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.