In my 42 years and counting on this wonderful planet, I have realized there are many things I do not know for sure; my multiplication table being one of them, but at this stage in my life, who cares? I also don’t know if there’s a god or not (I am still on the NOT side of things), and I still wonder how the fuck airplanes stay in the sky.
But if there is one thing in my life that I know for sure, it’s that I have an unwavering love for James Spader.
*photos courtesy of Pinterest
Some in my life, might say it’s a bit of a creepy, unhealthy love for a middle-aged, pudgy, bald man with a peculiar sense of style and film choices. I argue that is the reason I love him. Not the pudgy bald part, but the peculiar film choices. Over the last couple of decades, I have followed this man through his bizarre movie roles and his crazy antics on television, and I find myself constantly amused, surprised and entertained by him. I also realize I am a strange bird when it comes to being a fan of ‘movie stars’, as my fondness for character actors and strange men such as Sam Rockwell, Michael Madsen, Michael Shannon and Tom Sizemore, may not be the norm. My husband says I have weird taste in men. (I am not going to tell him how that sounds). Don’t get me wrong, I love George Clooney like the rest of you, but Michael Madsen or Sam Rockwell in a movie? It could be so horrible my eyes and ears are bleeding, and I would watch, riveted. At least for their scenes.
That being said, James Spader could be filmed doing a creepy love scene with puppets and I would PVR that sucker! All you young ladies can gush about “Fifty Shades of Grey” all you want, but the ORIGINAL Grey was James in “Secretary”; if you don’t believe me, Google it. You might find Maggie Gyllenhall on all fours with something in her mouth. I don’t think I have followed an actor’s career like I have with Mr. Spader, and his is a storied, quirky one; some say it’s bordered on perverse, and I’m ok with that. There is no other actor that can make you feel so many emotions at once, with a click of his tongue against the roof of his mouth, while he murmurs a perfectly executed diatribe about death in the African savannah or some sexual innuendo with a fifteen-year-old babysitter from his youth.
Boston Legal had me from episode one and it never let me down. James Spader never let us down. It didn’t matter WHAT was written for an episode, but Alan Shore was the perfect amount of scuzzy arrogance and uber-intelligent wit, and because of this, his receding hair line and Dad Bod still oozed sex appeal. Face it, women are suckers for strong, confident and funny men. And James Spader is funny. He is also jarring, puzzling, charming, and I’m pretty sure, according to many other actors, very intimidating.
It is all of these things that, no matter how he looks with age, he is enigmatic and often, downright sexy in any role he plays. The man can make you love his character, not despite their flaws, but because of them. We love “The Blacklist”s Raymond Reddington because he can recite an English Lit poem while hunting down elusive adversaries, and can convince his soon-to-be victim of his affection for them, shoot them in cold blood while he looks them in the eye, and have us not only justifying his actions, but accepting them…well….because, after all, who couldn’t love Raymond Reddington?
From “Pretty In Pink” where we found ourselves enjoying Steff’s nastiness contrasting against Blane’s nice guy, to “Avengers: Age of Ultron” where we see a computer generated, over-the-top villain be brought to life, JAmes Spader has the power to not just fill a role successfully, but make us feel that no one else in Hollywood could portray that role. Every single role he has inhabited has felt like it was written just for him. Even his supporting role as William Bilbo in “Lincoln” seemed particularly fitting. It wasn’t. He just knew exactly how to portray that character, even in a limited fashion.
In this day and age, where we have so much to choose from in the entertainment world, and an overwhelming amount of talent flooding the gates of Hollywood, it’s nice to know we can still rely on some familiar faces who aren’t just eye candy for the Leading Men award categories. It doesn’t matter to me whether James Spader receives an Emmy or not, or if he garners the big roles in franchise movies; what matters to me is that he continues to hone his craft in the manner that we have become accustomed to. It matters to me that he still doesn’t take it all too seriously and he just continues to act, period.
With or without puppets.