Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season 5 finale of The Blacklist. Read at your own risk!
Red’s dead — no, seriously.
The Blacklist ended its fifth season with a shocking twist: The fedora-wearing criminal mastermind (James Spader) we’ve been following for the past five seasons has only been posing as Raymond Reddington. The real one is dead, and has been for years — and Liz (Megan Boone) now knows the truth. If Spader’s not playing Red, who is he portraying? EW turned to executive producer Jon Bokenkamp to get the scoop.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did you know from the beginning that James Spader was not playing Raymond Reddington?
JON BOKENKAMP: Yeah, this is something that we’ve talked about from the inception of the show. It is part of the underlying mythology that we’ve slowly been unraveling. I think there are a number of episodes that we can go back and sort of map and chart how we got here. Hopefully that is proof of concept to the audience that this is not something we’re just winging, and that we’re on a very specific path, and this is a well-earned reveal.
Did Spader know? Did the cast?
Yes, James has known and it’s something we’ve talked extensively about. The cast did not know, as far as I know. I’m always the last to know, so I have really no idea who else knew. But the thing I want to point out is that it doesn’t change tuning in to watch Spader be Raymond Reddington. He’s lived as Raymond Reddington long enough to be this person, right? He has told great stories, he has had great experiences, he’s become a world-class criminal and probably become a far more interesting person than the real Raymond Reddington ever dreamed of becoming.
I remember talking with James, it was probably right after we shot the pilot, and we were talking about what the show would be, how it would look and feel, and who this character was. The thing that has always stuck with me is that when James read the pilot, he had said that he felt like, at the end of the episode, it’s almost like he knew less about the character than he knew when he started reading the episode. We wanted to somehow hold on to that concept, that Reddington should be somebody who, once you think you understand who he is, you realize you …read more
Source:: Entertainment Weekly