"The script is the coloring book that you're given, and your job is to figure out how to color it in. And also when and where to color outside the lines."James Todd Spader (born February 7, 1960) is an acclaimed American actor. Famed for playing sex-crazed weirdos and preppy snobs, Spader has appeared in many films throughout his respected career, with roles such as Troubled, but Cute voyeur Graham in sex, lies, and videotape, Steff in Pretty in Pink, Edward Grey in Secretary, Daniel Jackson in Stargate, and drug dealer Rip in Less Than Zero. Today, he's best known among audiences for his role as Alan Shore in The Practice and then Boston Legal.He's currently the Magnificent Bastard lead of The Blacklist. Oh—and he's Ultron.
Spader's career provides examples of tropes such as:
- Badass Baritone: His deep voice screams badassery.
- Blind Without 'Em: He has such poor eyesight that in any film where he doesn't wear glasses—which is most of them—he can barely make out the face(s) of the other actor(s) in the scene with him..
- The Casanova: What most of his characters could be summed up as.
- Dramatic Pause: His role in Secretary is practically built on this trope.
- Guttural Growler: Many of his "introspective character moment" balcony scenes on Boston Legal could also double as a Ricola advert.
- Jerkass: In the 80s, his area of expertise was this role.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Hugely contrasting with his status as the quintessential arrogant yuppie of the 80s, Spader is noted by his co-stars as being hugely supportive and an all round nice guy.
- Money, Dear Boy:
"Acting, for me, is a passion, but it's also a job, and I've always approached it as such. I have a certain manual-labourist view of acting. There's no shame in taking a film because you need some fucking money."
- He unashamedly admitted to half his career being due to this trope, Stargate in particular.
- Though pointedly subverted in Lincoln according to him.
- Quizzical Tilt: Utilizes this trope a lot as Raymond Reddington, toned down as Ultron but still present. He almost never uses it in a manner where he's confused; to the contrary, he uses it instead to listen to whomever is talking and also during his speeches as both characters.
- Seems to be very fond of this trope. He also employed it frequently while playing Alan Shore.
- Talkative Loon: Can come across as this when an interviewer gets the ball rolling.
- Those Two Actors: With Robert Downey, Jr.. Can't forget about Andrew McCarthy, of course (three time costar).
- Pretty in Pink (1986)
- Mannequin (1987)
- Baby Boom (1987)
- Less Than Zero (1987)
- Wall Street (1987)
- sex, lies, and videotape (1989)
- Bad Influence (1990)
- Bob Roberts (1992)
- Dream Lover (1993)
- Wolf (1994)
- Stargate (1994)
- Crash (1996)
- Supernova (2000)
- The Watcher (2000)
- Secretary (2002)
- The Practice (2003-2004)
- Boston Legal (2004-2008)
- Shorts (2009)
- The Office (2011-2012)
- Lincoln (2012)
- The Blacklist (2013-)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)