7News chats with MA native James Spader
BOSTON (WHDH) -- He's on one of the hottest new shows on TV - ‘Blacklist’ star James Spader talked with 7News about his ties to New England.
Spader's a hometown boy who grew up right here in Massachusetts.
Spader plays a most wanted fugitive with a mysterious past who finally turns himself in.
But 7News Ryan Schulteis uncovered Spader's real-life past - right here in Massachusetts.
The actor, who became famous from Pretty in Pink, was born in Boston.
He grew up in North Andover where his dad was a teacher. Spader would later attend Phillips Academy. Photos from a 1977 year book show a young Spader who already was showing a love for acting -but studying, not so much.
“I had a great time there. I was a terrible student but I really had a fantastic time, was really wonderful lots of friends and fun,” said Spader.
He spent his summers on the coast in south eastern Massachusetts.
It's also where he got his first job at a store working for Jack Cheney.
“One summer he applied for a job and I really took a liking to him and took him on for the summer,” said Cheney.
It was during those hot summer months "Jimmy" - as Cheney still calls him - really enjoyed one particular part of the job.
“I loved it when I had to had to stock the big huge walk in freezer go in there and stand there for a while,” said Spader.
Cheney still has Spader's newspaper picture hanging on the wall. He called Spader a hard worker and in fact they still see each other often.
“Many years ago, I had to have some head surgery and I had to be in the Boston hospital for 3 weeks and Jimmy was nice enough to give me a call most every week check on me see how I was doing. I consider him a very close friend,” said Cheney.
Spader who loves sailing, still spends a lot of time along the coast in M Massachusetts, escaping the bright lights of Hollywood.
“It’s exciting. It’s absolutely exciting to see someone that you sort of know a little bit on TV and screen and you've actually spoken to them. He’s very nice, that’s all I’m gonna tell you. He’s very, very nice. An ordinary person,” said Donna Tobin, Spader’s neighbor.
Like a lot of New Englanders, he likes a good bowl of clam chowder and he told us he's got a hometown favorite.
“I have a great place that this woman who I’ve become very close to over the years and happens to make award winning clam chowder. I miss it so much that very often in LA for a birthday or Christmas, I’ll have her Fedex me a couple of containers so I can get my fix,” Spader said.