February 7th was James Spader’s 56th birthday. Let’s celebrate with some facts about this wonderful actor who brought Ultron to life,brought us the world of Stargate and is currently playing the magnificent bastard Raymond “Red” Reddington on NBC’s The Blacklist.


#1 He thought the Stargate script was “awful”.

James did an interview in 1994 for Entertainment Weekly. In that interview he says he felt the script for the movie was awful but felt that the adventure of shooting in the Arizona desert will make for a great adventure on the screen.

In that same interview, he discusses how he doesn’t do movies that he would want to watch.

So was Stargate any different? Nope.

The full interview is available online.


#2 James was Josh Whedon’s first choice to play Ultron.

There wasn’t a massive casting call for the role of Ultron, since Josh Whedon made it clear that James was his first pick. Lorraine Cink discussed his thoughts on the casting in Episode 31 of The Watcher series from Marvel’s official YouTube channel.

Here is the text of Whedon’s comments courtesy of ScreenRant.

James Spader was asked about this in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

So it’s not insulting when Joss Whedon says: “I wrote this thinking of you?”

I said to Joss, “Why do you want me to do this?” He said he wanted to be able to have someone who could be irreverent and childish – not childlike, but childish. And be able to have humor and childishness married with a sort of credible gravitas. I don’t know what the hell he thought. But in any case, that’s what I packed in my luggage. [Laughs.]


#3 Keifer Sutherland was offered the role of Red,but the producers ended up going with James, casting him only three days before shooting began.

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We haven’t had a Wikipedia joke in a while. So for this one, here is what the WikiThatBlackListedMeBecauseIKeptMakingNeccessaryCorrectionsToGronk’sPage has to say.

Eisendrath said the casting process was difficult.[17] In February 2013, NBC offered Kiefer Sutherland the lead role of Raymond Reddington.[21] After considering other actors for the role,(Showrunner/Executive Producer) Eisendrath and (Producer) Bokenkamp called James Spader to see if he would be interested in it.[17] Feeling confident in Spader’s understanding of the character, they cast him three days before filming began.[17]

A February 7th 2013 report from zap2it stated that Keifer had been offered the role for the Pilot..

In a July 28th intervier with

I found the picture of Keifer with the Red hat on a Reddit post and I agree with the commentators who said that the show would not have been the same if James hadn’t been cast. I’ve only seen a little bit of the first season but I can say for sure he owns that part. With that, we end another week of trivia. I will see you all next Wednesday, for another edition of Midweek Trivia.

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