This February I had the incredible privilege of making my network television debut in NBC’s The Blacklist, starring James Spader. In the episode titled “Anna-Gracia Duerte”, I played a white supremacist named Walter. The ring leader of my racist social club, Coogan Hudnutt (yes, that is his name….well done, writers), has aroused the suspicion of the FBI and Reddington has come to investigate. His tactics, as per usual, are somewhat “unconventional.”
Myself, a cohort named Donnie-Wayne (again, well done writers!) and several other barflies are there to greet Reddington when he comes in. Dembe has not been allowed inside the bar due to our less-than-inclusive perspectives, so Red is on his own. It doesn’t take long for him to crack Donnie-Wayne as to where he can find Coogan. I, as Walter, however, fervently disagree with this capitulation and make it know both verbally and physically by brandishing my gun. This loss of temperament gets us all into a bad situation very quickly with Reddington and, in seconds, the whole joint is shot up.
In addition to this being my network television premiere, there were also a couple other firsts:
1) my exchange of dialogue with Mr. Spader marks my first time working with an actor of his caliber. It was an honor to work with someone whose body of work I’ve admired for so long and he was a consummate professional. I’ll continue to be a fan of his for a long time to come.
2) first time I’ve ever worked with a squib. Industry insiders will know exactly what that means, but for those that do not, a squib is a small explosive device rigged into an actors clothing. When gunshots occur in the scene, the squibb explodes outward from the clothing to create the on-screen illusion of bullet penetration. While Reddingon definitely shot the place up, though, you might notice that none of the characters in the white supremacist bar are classified as “dead” on some Blacklist villains lists on fan sites. Looks like Reddington decided to just send us all to the E.R. with major gunshot wounds instead of killing us. How nice, right?
Everyone on the crew and in the cast were exemplary and did such a wonderful job. It was a pleasure to be a part the project and I hope to keep this momentum moving forward this spring and summer!