James Spader seriously risked his career in the ’90s with the things he kept in his car


We love James Spader. He is the best at offbeat. The charismatic actor made a career out of playing eccentric characters, and according to his friends, he’s just as eccentric off screen. What makes Spader so eccentric? In what sounds like a plot line from one of his many TV shows, Spader apparently carried medieval weapons in the trunk of his car during the ’80s.

From Brat Pack to The Blacklist Looking Back at Spader’s Career

Spader was an unmarried high school dropout who wanted to be an actor on the big screen before he met Robert California and Red Reddington. Spader was his first major role. Endless love, Which was also Tom Cruise’s feature film debut, hit the screens in 1981. Five years later, the then 25-year-old Spader cemented his place as a teen idol with an appearance in John’s Hughes classic Pretty in PinkAt the end the decade, Brat Pack-adjacent stars were looking for more serious roles. 

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In 1989, he took on a pivotal role in Steven Soderbergh’s Videotapes, Lies, and Sex. His breakthrough performance won him the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival—an award Spader wasn’t on hand to receive after he reportedly got bored and left the festival early. According to a 1990 report, it was typical Spader behavior. Playboy magazine profile. Later, Spader was revealed to have kept which weapons in his trunk. 

Spader’s Not-So-Secret Weapons

Spader stars today on the The Blacklist His antics at the 1985 horror movie set could have led to him being placed on a different kind of blacklist. As Eric Stoltz explains itIt all happened while filming The New KidsFlorida “Jimmy was at his wildest,”The actor said Playboy. “We’d take road trips to the Keys or up the coast, and he’d insist on having weapons in the trunk. He’d drive like a maniac-fast, with the music blaring—and I was always living in fear that we’d be pulled over and some officer would find his crossbow, his lance, his 12-inch knife, his whip.”

Stolz goes on to tell a story so improbable it could have occurred in one of Spader’s TV shows. “One morning, Jimmy was running around with a crossbow, trying to get the arrows to stick to a palm tree in the motel courtyard,” Stoltz says. “He was wearing a fringed leather jacket and underwear, with a cigarette and shades. The leading actress had brought her mother with her, and when the mother walked out of her room to get the morning paper, she saw Jimmy and almost had a heart attack.”

“Jimmy’s a very peaceful man,”Stolz shared his thoughts with the magazine. “He’s the sweetest, nicest man in the world. He’s just a tad eccentric.” Fortunately, Spader’s managed to stay on our screens ever since—hopefully, his trunk contents are just a little less intense now.