Inside The Interrogation Room with Edi Gathegi
Mr. Solomon! He is ruthless, evil, cunning and yet so easy to love.
It’s The Blacklist actor, Edi Gathegi, that brilliantly creates the love-to-hate affection between fans and the evil Mr. Solomon. Gathegi is an accomplished actor. Among his many movie roles, you may recognize him as Darwin in X Men: First Class and as Laurent in The Twilight Saga. He’s also brought his acting chops to television. Gathegi is currently starring as Mr. Solomon on NBC’s hit, The Blacklist, and had previous roles on the CBS series CSI-Miami and on the Fox series House.
Want to know more? Follow me Inside The Interrogation Room for the scoop on Edi Gathegi.
When were you first bitten by the acting bug?
When I was a sophomore in college.
What was your first “real” acting gig?
Technically, I was in a small community theater piece in Sacramento called Clinic Con Class. It was about the dangers of unprotected sex. I guess it
was Romeo and Juliet at the Summer Repertory Theater in Santa Rosa was my first semi professional gig. I got paid. My television and film career started when I got a job that shot in Mexico City called, The Fifth Patient, directed by Amir Mann. Here’s a fun fact! The editor of that film was a guy named Ryan Rothmaier who makes his directorial debut this year with an independent film called The Ravens Watch in which I play the character of Noah opposite the film’s lead played my best friend, Erin Cahill.
What was your favorite role in a series or movie?
My favorite role in a movie is Cheese in Gone Baby Gone or Marques in Criminal Activities. I’m really digging playing both roles I’m working on right now. Ronald Dacey for Crackle’s Start Up and Mr. Solomon for The Blacklist. Both are super fun and rewarding parts. In a comedy series I loved playing Darren Poynton in Family Tools for ABC.
Have you acted with any member of The Blacklist cast before you took on the role of Mr. Solomon?
I was in a small production of Macbeth in Los Angeles at the Elephant Theater with Harry Lennix playing the titular role. I played three ensemble characters and had an absolute blast. I was also in Megan Boone’s first film she did and I have been friends with her ever since. Mozhan Marnò and I graduated drama school together and would coach each other on important auditions. So joining The Blacklist was a homecoming in many ways. A great place to be.
How did the role of Solomon come to you?
The casting directors, Bonnie Finnegan and Steve Jacobs have been really good to me, they have gotten me a few offers in the past, so when my manager saw this breakdown she called them and the rest is history. Plus my agent also represents James Spader. I’m forever grateful.
Solomon is ruthless! Some argue that he is pure evil. What attracted you to the role?
I’ve played evil but never pure evil. I just wanted to see if I could do it. I’m scared…cause it’s kind of fun.
Is it difficult to play such a dark role? Is it fun to play such a dark character? Or is it a little of both?
Because he is so bad it’s just kind of fun. Honestly guys, what does this say about me.
How much of Solomon did you personally bring to the table? Was there a real life inspiration for how you approached the character?
It’s easy. Uh oh. Are you noticing a trend here?
Did you have any contact with the writers of the episodes you appeared in? What about the series creator, Jon Bokenkamp?
Jon is a great guy and a fantastic collaborator and show runner. We talk.
Solomon and Dembe first bonded over a severe beating delivered by a sock filled with pool balls. Can you please tell us about your experience filming that scene?
It was fun and weird.
The Cabal put Solomon in play because the Director was on “shaky ground”. In your opinion, what is it about Solomon that makes him such an overwhelming force?
He isn’t afraid to die. Fearless. And he’s willing to do what most would not.
How is Solomon able to intimidate even the most senior members of the cabal and even Reddington himself?
His fearlessness and his effectiveness. He’s an educated man with a ton of experience in various fields. He knows how to execute operations and enjoys it.
Solomon allegedly has a very “psychotic” backstory that has origins in Ethiopia. Without going into spoiler territory, can you tell us about his backstory and how it led him to become a CIA operative?
I know as much as you know. For now.
Out of the scenes you have filmed with The Blacklist, which is your favorite?
I loved having dinner with Dembe and there are some fun things coming up as well.
Do you have any future projects you can tell us about?
I am currently filming another series, Start Up, for CrackleTV and an independent film, The Ravens Watch.
What’s next for you after season three of The Blacklist is completed?
I hope more Blacklist!