Fall TV Preview 2013: NBC’s The Blacklist [PHOTOS and VIDEO + Megan Boone Interview]
[WARNING: Spoilers forÂ The BlacklistÂ pilot]
NBC’s The Blacklist is one of the most anticipated premieres of this Fall TV season. And for good reason. We’ve seen the pilot and it’s a thrilling ride headed by James Spader, an actor that’s always amazing. He compels you to watch. And his newest character makes you want to do just that.
Pilot Synopsis: WHO IS â€œRED REDDINGTON?â€ â€“ SERIES PREMIERE â€“ Ex-government agent and one of the FBIâ€™s Most Wanted fugitives, Raymond â€œRedâ€ Reddington (James Spader) mysteriously turns himself in to the FBI and offers to give up everyone he has ever worked with including a long-thought-dead terrorist but under one condition â€“ heâ€™ll only talk to newly-minted female FBI profiler, Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) with whom he seemingly has no connection. For Liz, itâ€™s going to be one hell of a first day on the job and what follows is a twisting series of events as the race to stop a terrorist begins. Also starring are Diego Klattenhoff, Harry Lennix, and Ryan Eggold.
TV Goodness Fall Preview Ratings System
Watch Later on DVR
Undecided â€” Need to Watch Some More
Not Watching at All
As usual, there are some tough time slots in the Fall TV schedule. Mondays at 10/9c is one of them. Normally, I would watch this show live (or delayed live to skip over the commercials). This season, however, I’m going to have toÂ Watch Later on DVRÂ because this show goes up against ABC’sÂ CastleÂ and CBS’Â Hostages.
But what I will tell you is that The Blacklist will be one of the first Monday night shows I watch. It’s exciting. It keeps me guessing. James Spader is thoroughly and deliciously creepy. And I’m really loving Megan Boone — who plays the other lead of the show — Elizabeth Keen. Elizabeth’s journey is something I am curious about so consider me an instant Blacklister.
TV Goodness was part of a press call that featured Boone. Here’s what she had to say about her new series and her character:
On auditioning for Elizabeth Keen for the show’s executive producers
MEGAN BOONE:Â I probably gave one of the better auditions of my career because it was one of the more important ones to me. I think they continued their search, but always kind of kept me in the mix as they were looking because obviously, it’s a very important part of the show and they wanted to make the right decision. I kept going back in and back in and back in, kind of rediscovering or discovering new things about who she was in the rooms with them, because you know, you can’t ever really repeat the same thing you did last time.
The audition process actually drew me closer and closer and closer to the piece. By the time they decided to cast me, I was already really sort of in this world and it was an amazing collaboration at that point because I felt so involved and then read with Diego Klattenhoff and Ryan Eggold and then they brought in James Spader. It just kept getting better and better – the quality – and all of the little pieces came together to create that sort of magic in a bottle that you need to have a successful show.
On her Blacklist character
BOONE:Â Elizabeth Keen is a psychological profiler who is new to the FBI and it’s her first day at work when James Spader, Red Reddington, requests to speak with her and only her in order to provide detail for catching some of the world’s most dangerous criminals. She’s stressed into these situations and she’s not entirely prepared to be a field agent, however, it’s required of her now to go out and seek out these criminals in some of the most dangerous situations that she may encounter.
What you ultimately discover about her is that she’s very brave and capable despite her novice and there’s always that question of whether or not she can handle herself. Sometimes she does, but a lot of the times, the mistakes that she makes are the things that move the drama forward because there are just so many overwhelming circumstances that she has to face that ultimately, she falls short and makes mistakes, and people have to come — like Diego Klattenhoff’s character, Ressler, and Harry Lennix’s character, Harold Cooper — and they have to come in and just sort of team around her and at the same time, question her presence in their department.
It’s almost as if she has both an incredible force of support around her and almost no one to turn to. She’s in a very precarious situation throughout the initial part of being curious.
On the relationship between Elizabeth and Red
BOONE:Â I think that what Elizabeth wants from Red is to understand the connection and his interest in her, so my ultimate goal and agenda with him is to uncover that mystery. And his agenda is a mystery to me. I’ve kind of stayed in the dark about what it is he wants from me and I discover it through the scene work with James Spader.
It has been a really wonderful way to work because I’m always trying to read him through his performance. And my response to him has always sort of grown out of that ultimate overriding question of what it is he wants from me. If I knew any more than I do know now or any more than anyone knows about what he wants from me, then I think ultimately it would dull my performance a little bit, it would dull my experience creatively in the show and that’s what keeps it exciting for me.
I have to talk about the whole cast. These fine actors give viewers a huge reason to tune in. Where have you seen them before? Let’s break it down:
James Spader (Raymond “Red” Reddington)
The Character:Â Ex-government agent Reddington is one of the FBI’s Most Wanted fugitives, who has brokered shadowy deals for criminals across the globe. Known as “The Concierge of Crime,” Reddington has mysteriously surrendered to the FBI, offering to help catch high-profile terrorists – but on the condition that he only speaks with rookie profiler Elizabeth “Liz” Keen.
The Actor: Of course, Spader has been in some great movies like Pretty in Pink, Less Than Zero and sex, lies and videotape. But TV is where he’s made his home as of late in shows like The Practice, Boston Legal and The Office.
The Character:Â Rookie FBI agent Elizabeth Keen’s life is in turmoil after a master criminal turns himself in and only wants to talk to her. She has no idea why but is forced to figure things out on the job. Let’s just say she’s going to make mistakes but she will also have to find a way to rise to the occasion.
The Actress: I knew I had seen her before but I wasn’t sure where. She was in the horror flick My Bloody Valentine, the cult hit that starred Jensen Ackles. Her TV credits include playing a Junior Deputy District Attorney on the short-lived series Law & Order: LA.
The Character:Â FBI head Harry Cooper, who gets a bit thrown off his game when master criminal Red Reddington shows up on the FBI’s doorstep and turns himself in.
The Actor: I am so happy Harry Lennix is on this show. I know him best from season six of 24, the CW series Emily Owens M.D. and playing the badass Boyd Langton (Echo’s handler) on FOX’s Dollhouse. I have so much love for his Dollhouse stint. He. Was. Awesome.
Diego Klattenhoff (Donald Ressler)
The Character: FBI Agent Donald Ressler. He seems like a man that thinks he’s in control. Well, that control goes out the door the second Reddington enters the situation.
The Actor: Klattenhoff is all over movies (Pacific Rim) and on TV (Mercy, Men in Trees). But he’s on my radar because of two projects: 1. SupernaturalÂ — he played bad guy Duane Tanner in the season two episode “Croatoan.” 2. Homeland — he has been starring on that show as Mike Faber, best friend to Brody and someone even closer and more intimate to Brody’s wife, Jessica. I’m a little torn here. Because I love Mike and Jessica but now that Klattenhoff is on The Blacklist that probably leaves very little time for him to appear on Homeland.
The Character: Tom Keen, the loving and easygoing (but secretive) husband to Elizabeth Keen
The Actor: He was teacher Ryan Matthews on the CW’s 90210 reboot. That show didn’t really know how to utilize him so I’m happy he’s on The Blacklist.
The pilot for NBC’sÂ The BlacklistÂ airs tonight at 10/9c. Definitely check it out. The events will have you coming back for more next week.
Opening Scene of The Blacklist
Photo Credit for following Images:Â David Giesbrecht/NBC
Interview edited for space and content.
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