“The Blacklist” stars James Spader (who is hardly recognizable from his “Stargate” days) as Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington, a high-priority fugitive of the FBI who decides to defect and offer up a list of criminals (hence, the name of the show) in exchange for his own freedom and immunity from persecution. According to TV by the Numbers, the series had a strong start in its first season with over 12 million people tuning in for the series premiere. Viewership has been dwindling since, with only 2.7 million people (via Show Buzz Daily) showing up for the Season 9 finale.
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With ratings like that, it’s no surprise that the show hasn’t been renewed for Season 10 yet, but the loyal fans who want more still have their fingers crossed. Granted, the most recent season has seen the show floundering ever since the show jumped the shark and killed off one of its most significant major characters. Perhaps in an attempt to keep fans engaged, the writers tried to sneak in a bit of fun during the season finale that aired back in May. But according to viewers on social media, the moment missed the mark — big time.
Halfway through the first part of the Season 9 finale, Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) and Red are hiding from assailants who have them cornered in a cabin. While Dembe tends to one of Red’s wounds, the two men have a brief heart-to-heart about their friendship. Suddenly, Red sees a duck call resting on a shelf. He picks it up, briefly reminisces on his childhood, and then puts it in his mouth moments before he and Dembe burst forth from their hiding spot, guns blazing. But the whole scene becomes very anticlimactic a beat later after they realize that the FBI has shown up to save the day.
One popular thread on Reddit focused pretty intently on the duck whistle scandal. The original poster u/kafkadreams6667 was confounded as to why the writers had even put that scene in there in the first place. Others readily agreed with them, especially u/NailiciS, who was voted to the top of the thread for pointing out that although the writers may have been aiming for humor, the juxtaposition with what felt like an impending death scene made the attempt at levity fall flat. Near the end of the thread, though, u/waterdog1968 dropped a wisdom bomb that made it all make sense. “The phrase that came to my mind was ‘sitting ducks.’ I think Red thought they bought the farm this time,” they posited, adding that “I did laugh, once I ‘got it.'” Indeed, it was an apt metaphor for what was happening in the scene at the time. Unfortunately, the execution left a little something to be desired as far as most fans were concerned.
For people who’ve never done it, it can be easy to think of acting as being paid to pretend, but there’s really a lot more to it — in fact, it can often be an all-consuming craft, and like anything that requires extreme effort, it’s very possible to take things too far. It’s a lesson that’s been learned the hard way by generations of stars who dedicated everything they had to roles that demanded intense emotional and/or physical investment, and ended up taking things a step (or two) too far. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a look at some actors who took a deep dive into their roles and were never the same after filming wrapped. These critically acclaimed, often award-winning performances are a delight to watch, but the experience of preparing for and recovering from them changed the actors forever.