Blindspot’s Kurt Weller isn’t your ordinary FBI agent, and that’s because he’s played by an extraordinary actor. Sullivan Stapleton has been one of the most underrated performers on the scene for years. His ability to blend intensity with insight made him the perfect choice to lead the hot NBC drama, and at the recent New York Comic Con he gave Strike Back Examiner his thoughts on how Weller has unraveled over the early episodes.
Viewers got a major look into Weller’s past in the show’s third episode, when we learned about his childhood friendship with Taylor Shaw and how Jane Doe (Jaimie Alexander) was Taylor – who had been abducted, possibly by Weller’s own father. Understandably, that became a very crucial part of how the character developed.
“It’s a great start and it’s also a great insight as to who he is,” Sullivan explained. “How they’re connected and then maybe as to why he became a agent. It’s one of the better part of the stories that we’re unraveling and it’s the starting drive of the show and what it could become.”
But there’s more to Weller than just how he’s connected to Jane. The way in which he reacted to her, even before her identity was revealed, told a lot about the type of man he is – someone that audiences could truly get behind all on his own.
“There’s a lot of layers to Weller,” he continued, “but to find someone that has no idea of who they are – he does have a heart, so I think there is that and there’s why was she dropped in a bag in the center of New York, so I think there’s also trying to understand the test they put her through.
“It’s pretty hard, so I kind of like that he has enough of a heart and sort of enough caring that he trust her and takes her on board. The fact she passes all the tests and whatever so he knows she’s not a threat right now, and obviously finds out that she’s Taylor Shaw.”
Weller has a tremendous amount of emotional strength, which he’ll need among other qualities to get through the many questions in front of him in season one and the recently ordered season two.
“We don’t know where the tattoos came from. We don’t know who dropped her in Times Square. So I think that’s the strongest arc of the story,” Sullivan pointed out. “Could she be a threat? But then again, she’s Taylor Shaw, so there’s that link. But what happened to her? Where did she go?”
The significant success of Blindspot has been a change of pace for the actor, who’s been part of a cult favorite series in the vastly underrated Strike Back but is now experiencing what it means to have the number one new show on network television. “It made me excited and nervous at the same time,” he reflected, “to sit there and see your head going past on a bus, and you get into a taxi and there’s the trailer for the show.
“On Strike Back, we went and did that and then it aired. We were on the ground, we made it as we did and that was it,” he continued. “Whereas here, when you’re seeing all that…it made me a little nervous. To be part of a show that everyone seems to like is great.”
“I just want to work with good people, whether it be film or television. There’s great roles in both,” he added, “and the joy of doing a TV show is you can settle in New York for more than a few months, so that was definitely good.”
To that end, studio Left Bank Pictures is aspiring to make a Strike Back feature film, and Sullivan told us that he’d be willing to reprise his role as Section 20 operator Damien Scott if the picture came to fruition. “If we can work within the schedule, than definitely,” he said. “I feel that would be a great end. It would be a great film.”
Between the two TV series, his profile has risen dramatically over the last four years, and with good reason. Many good reasons, as a matter of fact. You’d be hard-pressed to find something Sullivan Stapleton can’t pull off convincingly. After four years busting heads as one of the two most tough characters on the small screen, now he’s showing off vulnerability and emotional depth in his new role.
He can crack a case in one scene and bring the audience to tears in another, and that’s what he’s always done over the course of his career. Sullivan is one of those actors that only come around once in a while. His leading-man appearance really hides how genuine, smart and funny he is, whatever role he’s handed.
For the time being, he’s enjoying having stepped into Weller’s FBI badge and own unique brand of coolness for Blindspot. “It was one of the best pilots that I’ve read,” he reflected. “It just seemed like it was a win-win situation. It was a great story, about a great guy and a great premise for what seemed like a great series.” Sounds like his instincts are as spot on as the rest of him.
Blindspot airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.