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The Blacklist - Season Pilot

Harry Lennix is pulling double duty this September. The 24 and Dollhouse alum is one of the stars of NBC’s highly anticipated new drama series The Blacklist, and he’s also starring in a new star-studded film called Mr. Sophistication, which is out today. BFTV connected with Harry recently to chat with him about both projects, and how he became the veteran character actor we’ve come to know and enjoy.

On The Blacklist, Harry plays FBI Assistant Director Harold Cooper, the boss of newbie agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone, from Law & Order: Los Angeles), who has a past with the master criminal that Keen has to work with. “I was excited to be asked to be a part of it,” he told us. “First of all, it’s got a masterful actor in James Spader. Secondly, the dialogue and the storyline is intriguing. I was very exciting about it. It’s a cut above most of the material that we get.”

While he couldn’t reveal too much about the show NBC is banking on as its next big drama hit, Harry did give us one hint that’s already got us curious. “To a large extent, we’re finding out who these characters are and what they’re going to be doing,” he said, before he revealed, “The longest-standing relationship on the show [is] between James’s character and my character. I think that’s rife with potential and possibility, and I’m excited as everybody else.”

He thinks the relationships are what’s going to separate The Blacklist from your garden-variety crime show. “You’re interested in the characters,” he continued. “There’s a great combination between procedural drama and interpersonal relationships and I think it’s uniquely positioned in that way.”

Here’s the trailer for The Blacklist.

Harry is a TV veteran, who’s best known to audiences for roles like Islamic-American activist Walid Al-Rezani in the sixth season of 24 and former cop Boyd Langton in Dollhouse. He’s also appeared on shows like ER, House and Emily Owens M.D. But none of these are his favorite small-screen part. “My favorite show was Commander in Chief,” he said, naming the ABC political drama for which he earned an Image Award nomination in 2006. “I played the Chief of Staff. I had a blast doing it. In a lot of ways, I wish that show was still on. I think it was ahead of its time in a lot of ways, and I don’t think it was given its just due.”

Playing authority figures like an FBI Assistant Director or the White House Chief of Staff is something Harry is familiar with both in television and film; he also appeared as a general in Zack Snyder’s blockbuster Man of Steel earlier this year. Why does he think he keeps ending up in power? “I’m a tall fellow. I have a deep voice. I appear authoritative,” he theorized.

“Although in reality, in fairness to my career, I’ve played a number of parts. If you look at my work in feature films over the years, I’ve been in Spike Lee movies, [and] in my own film, I play a comedian who ruined his own career. I think that just the more popular films and TV series have me in more or less authoritative roles.”

1 of 2Next pagePhoto Credits: NBC

David Meunier

Justified‘s Kentucky is full of memorable characters. Beyond the show’s phenomenal leads is an ensemble rich in talent. One of those excellent supporting actors is David Meunier, who’s become a mainstay as Boyd Crowder’s cousin and right-hand man, Johnny Crowder. BFTV recently checked in with David to learn more about the man behind Johnny and see what’s ahead for him in season four of Justified.

“Every day I go to work on Justified, I tell myself I’m glad I stuck with [acting],” said David, who first got involved in the craft while in college. “I think one of the things that really got me into it initially, I had all kinds of ideas of what I wanted to do, [and] acting would be the one thing that would allow me to do all of those things.”

Prior to assuming the role of Johnny Crowder, he did many different things – playing a soldier in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, making an uncredited appearance in the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie in 2007, and landing a string of guest appearances on TV shows ranging from Monk to Criminal Minds.

Justified, however, has given David the best chance to stretch his acting muscles. He’s appeared in more than two dozen episodes of the FX original series, and unlike your average supporting character, audiences have seen Johnny change as his allegiances have shifted while he continues to hold on to any piece of Harlan County’s criminal enterprise that he can – even at great cost to himself.

“The character that I play has been really fun, and the evolution of Johnny,” David explained. “Season one I was running around as Bo Crowder’s right hand man, and that didn’t end very well. [Then] I’m getting more involved with my cousin, and now we’re in season four and I decide to make my own move independent of my cousin. There’s so many layers to Johnny [and] that’s always interesting to me. I’m always trying to weave more in there.”

Johnny was recently seen offering up Boyd to Dixie Mafia boss Wynn Duffy (guest star Jere Burns), which would seem to be an unwise move on his part. But considering that Johnny was already put into a wheelchair by Boyd, how much worse could things really get for him? “The ultimate price, I guess, could be paid. I could end up like Devil and get a bullet in my head. That’s the worst case scenario,” said David, who added that “They haven’t really told me how this is going to play out.”

1 of 2Next pagePhoto Credits: PR Photos

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