The Blacklist's Hisham Tawfiq Talks Working with TV's 'Sexy Criminal' James Spader and Teases a 'Shady' New Nemesis for Season 3
Upcoming season of The Blacklist is promised to be unexpected by the show's stars
NBC’s hit series The Blacklist is known for it’s shocking twists, and star Hisham Tawfiq promises that season 3 will be no exception.
“When it comes to The Blacklist, there is always something unexpected, but when I read the script for the first episode, I was hitting the roof I was so excited,” Tawfiq tells PEOPLE. “This season is completely shocking, it takes a different approach, because the focus is on one shady character as opposed to new ones being introduced every episode.”
The actor – who plays Dembe Zuma, the bodyguard of James Spader‘s Raymond “Red” Reddington – is referring Mr. Solomon, a “delightfully evil” character played by X-Men: First Class and Twilight actor Edi Gathegi, who will make his first appearance in the season premiere.
“There’s a different dynamic with the cast on account of Red and Liz being on the run,” he says. “The focus is now on catching them and not on a bunch of different criminals. They sort of are the criminals in this season.”
Tawfiq, 38, says Spader’s Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of Red has garnered him the label of a “sexy criminal” among his fans.
“When I look on social media, he’s like a sex symbol, everyone just loves him,” he says. “He’s bad, but there’s absolutely no animosity towards him.”
The series regular says his on-screen, bodyguard relationship with Spader, 55, works so well because of their off-screen chemistry.
“[James] went out of his way to introduce himself to me and find out who I was personally, and we had a lot of chats. He’s a good guy” says Tawfiq. “He invested in getting to know me and that shows on screen. He’s such a perfectionist, it’s amazing watching him work.”
The Blacklist returns Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.