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James Spader's OCD issues make him fixate on character details

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Apr 01, 2014 | 10:52am EDT

Actor James Spader accepts he's often difficult to work with, because his "strong obsessive-compulsive issues" make him very particular on film and TV sets. The former Boston Legal star, who is now enjoying success on U.S. TV thriller The Blacklist, admits he relies on "a certain routine" and that can prove difficult as he's preparing for a scene. He tells Rolling Stone magazine, "It's very hard for me... It makes you very addictive in behaviour, because routine and ritual become entrenched. But in work, it manifests in obsessive attention to detail, and fixation. It serves my work very well - things don't slip by. But I'm not very easygoing." His Boston Legal co-star William Shatner recalls one of Spader's "idiosyncrasies": "Our craft service (catering) table was located near the stage entrance, so he had to avoid walking by and watching people licking their fingers or spreading butter on a bagel. He'd react with horror." And The Blacklist screenwriter Jon Bokencamp quickly became aware of the actor's issues when they started working together. He tells the magazine, "On his birthday, we were on the phone for two and a half hours, and on Thanksgiving, when I was in Colorado, I was out pacing on the phone for two hours. This stuff (character details) keeps him up at night. He can dig his heels in. The conversations can be frustrating."

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