Harry Lennix on ‘The Blacklist’ and his dream role on TV
Harry Lennix has been essaying the role of Harold Cooper on “The Blacklist” for over five seasons now and the actor believes that he has made the character his own by bringing in “personal and emotional” elements to it.
“The Blacklist” follows the story of a wanted man, Raymond “Red” Reddington, who surrenders before the FBI and helps in capturing some of the most notorious criminals.
The show, currently in its fifth season, airs on Star World and Star World HD in India. It is being headlined by James Spader and Megan Boone.
Lennix plays Cooper, the assistant director of the FBI Counterterrorism Division, who uses Reddington to take down the bad guys on the show.
The actor, 53, said Cooper is all business in the first season but his part has undergone a lot of change over time.
“I got the chance to bring in more personal and emotional aspects of him. I think that is also pretty natural as the taskforce know each other a lot better now. We have been working with Red (Spader) for five years.
“I think over the course of time, they got to know each other as characters and interestingly as much off screen as well as people,” Lennix told PTI in a telephonic interview from New York.
Asked whether Cooper is the only one in the series to possess a clear moral compass, Lennix disagreed.
“I don’t think so. All people have a moral compass. Even Red. His morality is different. Cooper operates according to strict morality.
“Red’s morality lies outside of the rule of law and Cooper’s is based on the rule of law. So Liz (Boone) lives quite in between,” Lennix said.
The actor called Spader an “excellent co-worker”.
“He is a great leader on the show. I think he sets the term for a serious approach to the work but not overly serious. We have a good time on the show without being goofy.
We like to work and we appreciate it.”
Apart from “The Blacklist”, Lennix is also known for his role in the “Matrix” series and in DC Universe’s “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”.
When asked about his character General Swanwick’s absence from the “Justice League” movie, the actor said, “I wish I could have done it but my character was written out from the script at the last minute.
“Maybe, there will be another opportunity to go back and join the universe. It was fun doing the ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and ‘Man of Steel’… I hope I get to work with Zack Snyder again.”
The actor also spoke about the TV industry which, he believes, is going through its best period.
“Television has really come of age. I think the best stuff is really being done. I didn’t really have a whole lot of success before ‘The Blacklist’ on television. So I am very grateful to it.
“I was mostly working in films and on stage. I come to television from time to time. But this is the longest job I had on TV. So it has been great for me on TV,” said Lennix.
Asked what other role he would like to play, apart from “The Blacklist”, the actor expressed a desire to star in “The Walking Dead”.
“It might be cool to do ‘The Walking Dead’. I would love to play some sort of law enforcement on it,” he said.
The actor also hopes to visit India if a good opportunity comes his way.
“I have never visited India but I would love to,” he said.