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Blacklist Cast Talks Constant Plot Twists, Keen and Ressler’s Chemistry

Megan Boone and James Spader
Megan Boone (Agent Keen) and James Spader (Red Reddington) attend an evening with "The Blacklist" at Florence Gould Hall on April 2, 2014 in New York City.

It’s never too late to get Blacklisted! Each week on NBC’s The Blacklist, master con artist Red Reddington (James Spader) assists the FBI in finding the world’s most vile criminals, while digging into the tormented personal life of Agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone). 

The expertly executed drama mixes the perfect blend of overarching backstory with weekly takedowns, making for a delicious hour of badass fight scenes, emotional warfare, and satisfying twists. The formula has made the procedural a hit. It even managed to give NBC an overall win with the most viewers and highest rating on Monday, March 31 — against the formidable likes of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars aired and CBS’s buzzed-about How I Met Your Mother series finale

On Wednesday, April 2, the cast, which boasts big name Spader and Homeland alum Diego Klattenhoff, spoke with Us Weekly at the Television Academy Presents an Evening With The Blacklist in NYC about their show’s success. 

“Coming off Homeland, to go through the scripts and the experience of a Homeland, you can recognize a great script and great characters,” Klattenhoff, who plays hardworking Agent Ressler, told Us. (The actor, 35, played Major Mike Faber on Showtime’s Homeland.) “It’s such a crap shoot along the way. It’s not like we got lucky, we just had the right people making the right choices. It’s been terrific.”

Diego Klattenhoff and Ryan Eggold
Diego Klattenhoff (Agent Ressler) and Ryan Eggold (Tom Keen) attend an evening with “The Blacklist” at Florence Gould Hall on April 2, 2014 in New York City.

Now that Agent Keen has learned that her husband Tom (Ryan Eggold) is a spy who has planted himself in her life for an unknown reason, many fans are rooting for her to get together with Ressler. 

Related: PHOTOS: Best TV couples ever

“Anything that the audience reacts to on The Blacklist, they can ultimately believe that they will be satisfied,” Boone, 30, teased of her character’s possible future with her FBI partner. “The way the show evolves is that the writers are writing three episodes from now when the episode they’re watching airs. They can see the audiences response and say, ‘Three episodes from now they want to see this happen,’ and they can tie it in.”

As much as they root for Agent Keen, fans also have gravitated toward her husband Tom’s transformation from innocent schoolteacher to cutthroat spy. 

“It’s a lot of fun to play against the expectations for the character and play with the subtext,” Eggold, 29, told Us. “Now, we’re getting into this cat and mouse chase, so you get to play with saying one thing and meaning another and finding those lines in between. The great thing about this show is I don’t think they will ever be like, ‘That’s him. He’s done.’ The writers have so much web to spin. There’s a lot of evolution.”

Related: PHOTOS: Ryan Eggold's and other star's favorite tech gadgets

No one has more of an evolution than the elusive leading man Red Reddington. Seasoned film and TV veteran Spader, 54, has enjoyed playing the complex con. 

“We do learn more about his past as the show develops,” he revealed. “As you’re going into the end of this season, you start to learn more about him. And I think it relates to what I love about playing about him is that I still at this point, even after finishing 22 episodes of the show, I’m still so hungry to find out more, and I still don’t know a lot.”

The Blacklist airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC. 

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