The Blacklist marks James Spader’s return to TV, pairing him up with Megan Boone, whose credits include My Bloody Valentine 3D and Blue Bloods, along with a starring role on Law & Order: LA. Spader plays Raymond “Red” Reddington, one of the FBI’s most wanted criminals, who mysteriously decides to turn himself in one day. Reddington offers his cooperation to the FBI, revealing “the blacklist”, which contains information on all sorts of other criminals he can help them bring in. His one big condition? He’ll only work alongside young FBI agent Elizabeth Keen (Boone). Elizabeth has no knowledge of any connection between her and Reddington, making his request all the more perplexing.
I sat down with Boone to talk about her high profile role on The Blacklist, acting alongside Spader and the go-to theory on why Reddington cares about Elizabeth so much. Plus, I ask Boone about what it was like to work with with Jean-Claude Van Damme in the upcoming movie Welcome to the Jungle.
IGN: Even if Red didn’t walk into her life, this show would still be picking up with Elizabeth on the craziest day ever for her, just in terms of life changes.
Boone: Exactly. Her whole life gets turned on it ear, and she is really put to task and put to the test. I think she comes out on top, but with a lot of questions about what’s true and what’s not.
IGN: Which is a natural thing. How do you think she is rolling with the punches? This was her first day on the job, she and her husband are looking into adopting a baby, and then she has all of this thrust at her. What do you think is going through her head?
Boone: I think she’s just on her toes and being thrown for such a loop that she doesn’t really have time to think. I think she’s just responding. How she responds is what tells you the most about her character and the most about who she is. Like any human being, when you go through the worst of times, that’s when you learn who you are and what you’re made of.
IGN: There's an interesting scene in the pilot where she’s asked to profile herself. Do you think that’s stuff that she’s thought about before, or is she kind of put in the moment there, where she has to go, “Okay, let me think about this”?
Boone: I think that she’s put right on the spot. I think that she is coming up with those answers about who she is right as she’s saying them. I think it’s a challenge, from a new employer who she might find intimidating, to be honest and open with them. You know, “Tell us the truth, be like an open book. We’ll trust you and work with you, but we need you right now, because we need to have Red open up to us, and he’ll only speak to you.”
IGN: What she says, some of it’s pretty harsh as far as the fact that she thinks people see her as a bitch. Do you think that is going to make her reevaluate things moving forward?
Boone: Well, as you can see from the pilot, she doesn’t actually do anything that’s bitchy to anyone around her during this really, really difficult time. I think that it goes to show how much she respects the people that are in her presence. She’s with the best of the best FBI agents, she’s very comfortable with her husband and respects him a lot, and they have a lovely relationship. So it says less about her character that she’s not a bitch and more about how she feels about the other characters around her and how important it is to her to make a good impression. I think she comes from a place where people thought she was a bitch, and maybe she learned from that experience and is trying to be a better person.
IGN: To even decide in the first place to be an FBI agent is obviously a huge decision. What do you think it is about her that made her pursue this line of work?
Boone: I think she’s scared of the criminal inside her and around her, and I think she’s a brave person who faces her fears. I think that she’s had exposure to criminal behavior her entire life. So she just wanted to learn as much as she could about it so that she could be as equipped as possible to manage this fear. It’s her greatest fear. That’s what’s cool about the fact that she’s being forced to come face-to-face, toe-to-toe, with the greatest criminal on the face of the Earth.
IGN: Speaking of that, what’s it like for you to go toe-to-toe with Mr. Spader?
Boone: Toe-to-toe with James Spader! First of all, it’s a privilege and an honor, and I feel really grateful that I was given the opportunity to work with such an incredible actor. He’s amazing in his ability to toe a line of being kind and accommodating as a coworker, and being that enigma and that mysterious person that James Spader, to people, can be. He plays these very off-kilter kind of roles, especially in his series work. All of his characters have been a little bit unique. Reddington, the character that he’s playing now, is very, very enigmatic. So he was able to both bring me in as a coworker and make me feel comfortable, and maintain a sense of mystery that was important for us to play the scenes. So he’s just the constant professional.
IGN: So have your writers told you what the deal is and why Red is so fixated on her?
Boone: I have asked them to not give me any information until my character learns that information. So the relationship between Elizabeth and Red, what is going on in her relationship with her family life, all of these mysteries that you come out of the pilot with, are still mysteries to me as well. It helps me as an actor to not know the things that my character doesn’t know. So I’m discovering it as the audience is discovering it, and I think that’s why they’re going to be more interested in going along on the ride with Elizabeth Keen, because they’ll feel like they’re kind of in it together.
IGN: Of course, a lot of people are going to initially say, “He’s got to be her father!”
Boone: What I think about that is that we as a creative group are going to have to justify the oddly paternal feelings that he has for her. But as you know, in life, you can develop paternal and maternal feelings for anyone in your life, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be a daughter or a son. So there are definitely some paternal feelings in the pilot that we’re going to have to justify later. It may be that, and it may be something else. We don’t know.
Source : ign[dot]com