James was born in Boston, and grew up there. He says he grew up doing lots of things, such as going to Fenway Park, and the Museum of Fine Arts. However, he does not consider Boston to be his hometown.
In 2005, James was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama for his role on Boston Legal.
James has been nominated for four Emmy Awards. In 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008, he was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role on Boston Legal. He won in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
In 2006, 2007 and 2008, James was nominated, along with his Boston Legal cast mates, for a SAG Award in the category of Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series. For those same three years, he also received a nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series.
James read the audio version of Strange Highways written by Dean R. Koontz.
James has the reputation of being offbeat and fiercely private.
James has poor eyesight but is unable to wear contact lenses. When he has to play a role in which he is not able to wear his glasses, he is not able to see anything that is not very close to his face.
James is an excellent chef and cooking is one of his passions.
James refuses to watch any films in which he has appeared.
James has appeared in two unsuccessful television series pilots. They were Diner in 1983 and Starcrossed in 1985.
James is 5' 10" tall. He has dirty blond hair and blue eyes.
James' nickname is Jimmy, though many people still call him James. However, he prefers to be called Jimmy.
James was mentioned in the Welcome to the Hellmouth episode of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
In 2004, James was named number 44 out of 137 on Entertainment Weekly's Must List.
James would rather spend time with his wife and children, so he only works if he needs the money.
James: (speaking after the end of Boston Legal) Before I did the show, I was working in films and on a film I've always been really lazy as an actor and really much preferred to do other things and... don't ask me what! I used to do a film and then I would take off a period of time. Generally, a film would take, you know, two to three to four months to shoot and I would then take off two to three to four months afterwards to do other things and actually spend time with the family. Well, what the hell do you do if you have been doing a TV show for six years? I mean, the TV show has ended, I can't take six years out!
James: I've had a lazy career. Sometimes one film a year, sometimes none. I'm walking around in the street and doing this other thing, living, that I'm much more interested in. I just do some acting on the side.
James: I played cops and robbers and pirates and all the rest when I was a kid, but I didn't want to grow up and be an actor and play cops and robbers and pirates. I wanted to grow up and be that, be cops and robbers and pirates.
James: It's not that I dislike being interviewed. I don't have a problem sitting and talking. I'm just not comfortable talking about myself. It's a dilemma. I'm a bad interview. I don't take pride in it. I don't like the spotlight.
James: The first perk of theater is the girls.
James: Love is the one emotion actors allow themselves to believe.
James: I lost interest in firearms because we had a dog that was scared to death of the sound of a rifle shot.
James: I don't think movies or television have any basis in reality at all. It's all just pretend. That's what's fun about it.
James: Acting is easy and fun. You earn a lot of money, and you bang out with girls. The profession is given tremendous significance within our society, but it's not really worthy of it.
James Spader: The most interesting heroes have a bit of villainy to them, and the most interesting villains have a certain bit of heroism in them, ... I think [Shore] intends to do the right thing, but his view of the world is very different so, to get to the right place, he sometimes takes a path that goes through a very dark forest.
James Spader: If I don't need the money, I don't work.
James Spader: (on why David E. Kelley has made 'the balcony epilogue' a Boston Legal tradition) There were a few episodes in the middle of the season where I think it was his favorite thing to write. It was almost as if he was writing the show to get to that. When he was first discovering those scenes, he really fell in love with that.
James Spader: I don't want to share anything. I think there probably are performers who want to share their private stuff with the world, and therefore, they don't mind letting it play out in public. I don't want to heal. I don't want to share.