James Spader: 5 Things to Know About 'The Office's' Potential New CEO
Here are five things about the Emmy-winning film and television actor you may not be aware of.
On Friday, news broke that James Spader is in talks to join NBC's veteran half-hour comedy The Office as Dunder-Mifflin's new boss.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the move would follow Spader's appearance on the Season 7 finale as one of several high-profile guest stars vying for Michael Scott's job as the Scranton boss, but that Spader may actually be replacing Kathy Bates as the CEO of Dunder Mifflin's parent company Sabre.
And while Spader is best known for roles on ABC's longrunning legal drama The Practice and its spinoff Boston Legal, here are five things you may not have been aware of:
1. His first major film role was opposite Brooke Shields in Endless Love: Though Spader appeared in a 1978 film titled Team-mates, it wasn't until 1981's Endless Love, about a high school student's love for a teenage girl, that gave the actor his first major feature film role. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli and adapted from a Scott Spencer novel by Judith Rascoe, Spader played Keith Butterfield in the romantic drama, Brooke Shields' older brother. The film wasn't well-received by critics, but it offered audiences the first real glimpse at Spader and Ian Ziering, who would go on to snag a lead role on TV's Beverly Hills, 90210. Spader's role in 1986's Pretty in Pink as Steff would put him on the map.
2. He narrated a TV documentary about China: Spader provided narration for the first episode of the Discovery TV documentary series Discovery Atlas, which centered on China. In "China Revealed," the episode focused on the developments of the People's Republic of Cina today and introduced viewers to some people who live there, including rice farmers, monks and an Olympic hopeful. Spader's Boston Legal co-star Candice Bergen also lended her voice to an episode on France. (Little known fact, Spader's voice is used in Acura commercials.)
3. Spader likes to take on dark, twisted roles: The actor has made a career out of taking atypical roles, many of them revolving around the ddark side of life. "Is that a fair representation of your work and in your judgment what does in say?," Charlie Rose asked Spader in an interview where the actor was touting Secretary after clips from his various movies were shown. "I'm not entirely sure. So many of those things I've forgotten about entirely. For me, my perceptions of what I've done is so different from what other people's are," Spader said. "Their perception of you on the whole is usually based on what the last thing they saw you in is. Through the years, I've split my career between playing a lot of bad guys, playing a lot of protagonists ... doing films that are mainstream pictures and doing ones that are less so." But with a resume boasting films like Sex, Lies and Videotape, Crash, Secretary and others, "it all looks like sex to me," Spader admitted.
4. Spader is the only actor to win straight Emmys for the same character on two shows: As Alan Shore, he won an Emmy Award in 2004 on ABC's The Practice. In 2005 (and in 2007), Spader won Emmys again for the same role on Boston Legal, co-starring William Shatner.
5. He made his Broadway debut in a David Mamet play: In 2009's Race, Spader plays a fast-talking lawyer opposite David Alan Grier, Kerry Washington and Richard Thomas, directed by Mamet, who also penned the project. In an interwith with Broadway.com, Spader said of finally making the jump to Broadway: "The timing was right. There’s never a right time to do a play financially. It’s almost like when people say to a young couple, 'Are you going to have children?' And they reply, 'Well, we’re waiting ‘til the time is right.' There is no right time."