Diego Klattenhoff of The Blacklist recalls the day he decided he wanted to be an actor.
"I didn't grow up telling stories in my parents' basement. I grew up in Nova Scotia with real problems and real jobs to do, worked on a farm, shoveled s--- and did hay, we worked in the woods cutting pulp, my father's a potter," Klattenhoff recalls. "To be an actor wasn't something that seemed realistic. I started late, I was about 19.
"But I remember watching Boogie Nights. I went to the theatre in New Glasgow. There were eight people in the theatre and some of them got up and left. I was there with one of my brothers.
"And I don't know, for some reason I was like, 'This is such a great movie, I want to be an actor, I have to be part of this here world. The world of porn and drugs.' So here I am today."
As of yet there hasn't been much porn and drugs for Klattenhoff's character, FBI Agent Donald Ressler, on The Blacklist, which airs Mondays on NBC and Global. But hey, the season still is young.
The Blacklist, which has been both a critical and ratings success thus far in its rookie season, focuses on career criminal Raymond "Red" Reddington, played by James Spader. As The Blacklist began, Red turned himself in to the FBI with the offer to help track down bad guys, as long as he deals exclusively with an agent named Elizabeth Keene, played by Megan Boone. This baffles Agent Keen, who doesn't think she has any connection to Red, and Klattenhoff's Agent Ressler understandably doesn't trust either of them.
"The creators told me it wasn't going to be some two-dimensional cop who's just bitter, I think there's a lot more to the character," Klattenhoff says. "I don't think any character on this show is two-dimensional, there are so many levels and motivations to everyone. I'm interested to see what they have in store for me."
Fans of high-quality TV will recognize Klattenhoff for his role as "Uncle Mike" Faber on Homeland. Given the seriousness of his recent roles, I have to ask: Can Klattenhoff smile?
"I can, but I like to keep it to myself," Klattenhoff says.
"It's all part of what fits in at what time, and I've been really fortunate to beg my way into Homeland, telling my guys, 'I have to get on this show, it's incredible,' and they got me in. And then along came The Blacklist.
"I would love to go off and do a movie with Judd Apatow or do another Mean Girls, but to me it's whatever the story is. It's just that right now things are a little bit darker for me. I can't sing, and I sure as s--- can't dance."
Of course, Diego Klattenhoff always could go back to his roots with Boogie Nights and get into porn. That surely would get him on some different lists, in addition to The Blacklist.