James Spader and his co-star Megan Boone have starred in NBC’s The Blacklist for eight seasons now, but this year things are looking a little different on set. There are new safety protocol, of course, but in particular, The Blacklist also had to repurpose three episodes that were supposed to originally be a part of Season 7 before quarantine kicked in. And as it turns out, quarantine was more productive for some of the cast and crew than others.
During a recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the late night host and James Spader talked about their respective quarantine experiences, as well as what it's been like working with what Spader calls “a skeleton crew” on set. The actor seems to indicate that despite the weirdness of things getting back, he’s more than happy to be there, particularly given what he spent time doing in quarantine compared to his colleagues.
In fact, he says some of the leading ladies on set, like Megan Boone herself were pretty enterprising. In his case, he got to spend a lot of time with his kid, but perhaps the activities they got up to were less impressive. His humorous tale?
I came back to work. My first day back at work, Christine Bean, our great costume designer on the show, she conceived and grew a whole human being during this eight months. I came in for my fitting and she was just like heading out the door to go have the baby. And when we left in March she wasn’t pregnant at all. I mean, what use of time is that?! And then my first day filming, Megan Boone, who’s on the show, I said, ‘So, how have you been, what did you do during the time off?’ She said, ‘I read all of Shakespeare’s tragedies.’ My youngest son, my 12-year-old, we’d go out and line up beer cans on the big rock out on the far end of the garden and shoot at them with BB guns.
I mean shooting cans with BB guns does sound like a pleasant pastime, provided there’s no, "You’ll shoot your eye out” sort of moment. (And hey, it sounds like there was parental supervision). Yet I do take James Spader’s point on Fallon’s show. His team of avid co-stars was at home and using the downtime to their advantage, while he was just hanging out. He also says he spent a lot of time eating and just doing whatever and was pleasantly surprised it didn't adversely affect his waistline. Hilarious. Regardless, the point is, we all spent quarantine differently given our differing personalities and we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves.
Later, Megan Boone herself saw Spader’s comments on The Tonight Show and jokingly responded that Shakespeare is her “sourdough,” a reference to all the bread baking that also went on during quarantine. (In fact, Superman himself, Henry Cavill, even got into that activity.)
Meanwhile, now that Season 8 has started, we know the show really did jump right in for the early set of new episodes. Unfortunately, its hiatus actually came fast and now we’re in a bit of a waiting pattern before the series returns in 2021. While we wait, keep an eye on what’s coming back to TV this winter with our full schedule.