'Blindspot': Sullivan Stapleton on Weller Facing His Demons and Final Season Goodbyes (Exclusive)
By Philiana Ng
Warning: This story contains spoilers from Thursday's episode of Blindspot.
After five seasons away, Blindspot star Sullivan Stapleton is back home in Australia. But Stapleton acknowledged the trying times the world is currently facing amid the coronavirus pandemic and continued fight against racial injustice and police brutality.
"There's a lot [going on]," Stapleton told ET by phone earlier this week. "I'm glad to see that things are changing. I wish they had changed a long time ago. And I hope with what's going on that people actually start to learn and listen and do things that need to be done... I hope we get to a better place and do what needs to be done."
While the 42-year-old actor has been in quarantine Down Under as the final season of Blindspot has unfurled, he's been keeping his mind active by watching lighter fare -- or as he puts it, "shows that make me laugh."
"Being quarantined in isolation I was watching shows that made me happier, like Schitt's Creek," Stapleton said, before expressing gratitude for his time on Blindspot. "I'm very thankful for my five years on the show. ... I hope that it brings [fans] some joy. It's much needed right now."
And Thursday's episode, titled "Brain Games," is a major hour for Stapleton's Kurt Weller, who is kidnapped by Ivy Sands and injected with a hallucinogenic with the hopes he'll give up the whereabouts for a wounded Jane, Tasha, Rich Dotcom and Patterson. He attempts to withstand some of its effects, only giving up one minor detail about a bunker.
"That was kind of a funny way to go to work every day. You get up, you're bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, you go to work, you're strapped into a chair and start crying or hallucinating or just going through the gambit of the motions of interrogation and the toll it takes on you," Stapleton recalled. "We weren't always chasing criminals and getting into fights and stunts and explosions. They could take the characters this way. To be able to go through those emotions and really work on the craft, I was very thankful for that."
During his hallucinations, Weller faces ghosts from his past -- Jane's former handler and ex-fiancé, Oscar (Francois Arnaud), and his dad, Bill Weller (Jay O. Sanders), who confessed to killing Taylor Shaw.
"He's a fantastic actor. He's awesome," Stapleton said of reuniting with Sanders one last time. "Again, some really hard stuff I'm working with, but doing that with Jay, it was just great. To bring him back for this episode, to me, I was so thankful for -- getting to see him and wrap things up. He's a really good man."
"These writers, they just take it to all sorts of places," he continued. "[Francois] coming back in that way, it was nice to sort of [revisit the past]. But it was a funny way to go to work every day."
Stapleton expressed optimism that Weller's finally closing the doors on past demons -- at least "starting to."
"He's got a big heart and he's trying to clear all of their names, keep the team together," he said. "I suppose it's possible he lost sleep trying to keep them together, but also the most important thing is his wife [Jane] and his child [Bethany]. The fact that he finds that out there's a risk of losing Bethany, I think they did a good [job] shedding light on just how vulnerable he is."
Over the course of the series, Weller and Jane have endured numerous life-and-death situations. So when it's all said and done, will the couple finally be able to wipe their hands clean of their vagabond life?
"I think that's everyone's hopes," Stapleton said. "Who knows how things go? Who knows? Hopefully, we don't lose any more [team members] in the show."
Looking back on his time, the actor was introspective when speaking about his Blindspot experience.
"It was nice to wrap things up for us, to know where it was going. It was always exciting getting scripts each week and seeing where they took us, and that's good writing," Stapleton said. "It's an accomplishment to wrap things up. It was a good way to go out, and it was nice to be able to come home to Australia, I've got to say. To get to call New York City my office for five years and enjoy that city and explore that city... it's been nice."
"I am so thankful to be offered the opportunity to work in New York City and chase criminals through the streets in New York... I can't be more grateful," he added. "Getting to work with such a great cast and great crew, the writing team, the directors, I'm like, 'Oh yeah, I miss that.' I'm going to miss that for sure. It was such a good family to be part of. For an Aussie boy, it was such a good opportunity to be part of, I really will miss that. But saying that, it's really nice to be home, especially at the moment. But I'm looking forward to what the next chapter brings -- both to me and to the world."