Teacher by day, murderous assassin by night?!
The Blacklist's Tom (Ryan Eggold), Liz's (Megan Boone) supportive (yet possibly shady) husband, is a mystery. So a mystery in fact that Eggold tells us even he was surprised by the big twist with his character at the end of the NBC breakout hit's premiere episode.
"When I auditioned I just went in and read these nice Tom scenes from the pilot where it was like, you know, 'Hey honey I got your coffee, and stuff, and I was like, 'Oh, this is just another guy," he recalls. "And then I actually read the whole thing and was like, 'Oh my God!'"
And "Oh my God!" is a bit of an understatement when it comes to the ongoing mystery of just who the hell Tom is...and who he might be working for. During our chat with Eggold, he teases Tom and Red's (James Spader) highly anticipated encounter and "lovely" scenes ahead for Tom and Liz...
Last week's episode was originally "going to give an answer" regarding what the hell is going on with Tom, but Eggold says the writers "realized that it was too soon." (Also cut? Liz explaining how she and Tom first met.)
"There were originally a more concrete decision and then they decided to leave it open and le I go deeper, so we're going to continue exploring it." An exploration that sadly "goes on the backburner for the next four episodes or so," Eggold says. "Then we're really going to get into it."
So does Eggold know Tom's big secret? "It has changed considerably from the original plan of where they want to take it, so there's no saying it won't change again in a couple episodes…But I do know where they want to take it now, and if it goes this road, it's going to be super, super awesome."
Also awesome? Finally getting to share a scene with Spader, Eggold says.
"I just did my first scene with James. It was awesome. I've been waiting, obviously, like any actor would be, since day one to work with him because he's a master," he tells us. "We finally got to shoot a scene together and he is super generous as an actor and came into my room and talked about the scene and his thoughts. We're lucky to have James. He's very in command with the writers in terms of where his show is going and what's happening. It was fun. "
Given that Red has been trying to get Liz to turn on Tom from episode one, it's safe to say this is one showdown fans will not want to miss. "I'll say this about the scene—It's a short scene, but it was one of the harder scenes I've done for the show, if not the hardest, only because both James and I are kind of playing two people at once, and playing two things at once, two possibilities at once. So there's a very fine line to walk and to find. It was a lot of fun."
Until then, Eggold says fans can expect to see Tom and Liz's relationship take a turn for the better now that she's learned Red was trying to get her to turn on her husband.
"Even though Red is still saying otherwise, Tom is, for the most part, kind of acquitted in the episode that just aired, and though it actually leaves room for Tom and Liz to repair their relationship for the first time," Eggold previews. "There's some lovely stuff coming up in the next episode where they smile for the first time again."
The Blacklist airs tonight at 10 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)