A highly articulate, erudite and intelligent businessman and mastermind, "Red" Reddington, has allegedly been on the "10 Most Wanted List" of various U.S. law enforcement agencies for over 20 years. The legend is that Red is as elusive as he is clever, controlling a labyrinth of creative enterprises, coupled with uncanny ability to gather and finesse information at the drop of a hat. On the first day at FBI for a new female profiler fresh out of Quantico, Red offers to bandy wits with the FBI. Red promises to deliver various criminals and plots previously unknown to any branch of law enforcement... and all Red requests in return is to choose his muse. Written by
Did You Know?
Creator Jon Bokenkamp
loosely based Raymond Reddington character on the real-life Boston mafia boss, James 'Whitey' Bulger
. As explained at the 2013 Comic-Con panel, many news stories concerning Bulger's arrest and trial were prevalent at the time. Bokenkamp tossed around a few "what if?" scenarios and came up with the basic concept of the show, anchored by the nefarious "concierge of crime" we now know as Red. Although Spader came in very late to the concept (within approximately two weeks of the principal shooting of the pilot), he can be credited with largely contributing to the final "look" of Reddington: closely cropped hair, hat collection, Rx shades (for practicality - Spader really does need them to see), iconically tailored vest-tie-trousers-shirt ensemble, and the infamously expensive ($5,000?) all-weather navy blue coat. As for the acerbic humor & raconteur tendencies of Red? Spader claims these were already present in the pilot script, however one can't help but think that the writers expanded these qualities once they got to know Spader a bit better. See more
Referenced in Master of None: Old People