Clark Middleton plays Glen, Reddington’s go-to tracker, on The Blacklist. Middleton has been acting professionally since 1983, and is very much in demand in Hollywood these days. He brings a level of empathy and specificity to characters that has allowed him to book roles in a variety of genres and across a variety of mediums.
Here’s what you need to know about the actor:
1. He Has Had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Since He Was 4-Years-Old
Middleton has suffered from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since he was 4-years-old. As a child, he was hospitalized repeatedly.
A 1993 article in The Daily Gazette reveals that growing up, Middleton suffered untold pain during several relapses. He had ten joints replaced and underwent 14 surgeries as a young man. Middleton told the newspaper, “At first it distorted my hands. Then the cortisone I had to take made my cheeks fat. At 8, I lost movement in my neck. When I was 15, my hip snapped. After an operation, I had to be on crutches and later, after I broke my leg falling over my dog, on canes.” He added on:
I never thought of myself as a victim. I always felt like a hero, because I survived each bad time. I played Little League ball and touch football between each attack and at high school graduation I tossed out my canes.
The actor credits his father with pushing him. “My dad refused to let me quit. He constantly instilled in me that I could define my own reality by how I thought about myself and how I carried myself. He wouldn’t allow me to think of myself as a victim. He taught me a lot about determination and courage.”
2. He Is Known for His Work in ‘Birdman’ and ‘Snowpiercer’
Middleton played Sydney in Birdman and Painter in Snowpiercer.
He’s also held recurring roles on a number of well-known TV series like Twin Peaks, The Path, Fringe and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Middleton made his acting debut in 1983 with Geraldine Page. He studied directly under Uta Hagen and Herbert Berghof and has performed with the Public Theater, Circle Repertory Theater, and the Mark Taper Forum in LA.
3. He Writes and Directs Original Work for the Screen and Stage
Along with being an accomplished actor, Middleton writes and directs original work for the screen and stage.
In 1997, he wrote a one-man play called “Miracle Mile” about a man living with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The play was performed in NYC and other parts of the US.
4. He Has Worked with Directors like Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, and Richard Linklater
Middleton has worked with some phenomenal directors over the course of his career.
For Kill Bill: Vol. 2, he worked with Tarantino. In an interview with TVLine, the actor was asked how he came to work with Lynch on Twin Peaks.
He explained: “I had worked with Quentin Tarantino (in Kill Bill: Vol. 2) and also Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer), and Johanna Ray casts for them and also casts for David…. Or David may have known my work. But I’d always been a fan of the original show and I’d love to work with David, so I had asked my agent, “Can you inquire about that?” At one point it wasn’t happening, and then it was happening again…. But out of the blue we get a call. I sent a tape over, of me just chatting, and the next time I was in Los Angeles they sent over the script, and I had the offer. But I only saw my storyline, nothing else.”
Discussing the topic of directors, Middleton said that each director he’s worked with brings their own energy to a project. “It’s interesting, there is a mood in David’s work that is appealing to me as a fan, but you can’t act that. Uta Hagen used to say that ‘mood spelled backwards is doom’, so as an actor what I do is gauge whatever reality I’m creating to that filmmaker’s world.”
5. He Has Been Married Since 2006
Middleton is married to fellow actress Elissa Middleton, who has acted in a handful of short films including Emergency and My Milonga.
In an interview with Absolute Music Chat in April, Clark was asked how he met his gorgeous wife. He explained that 14 years ago, he was doing a short film, and Elissa cooked dinner for the cast and crew one night. “I was waiting to shoot my scene in a holding area across from the kitchen. She was chopping vegetables and, and I just kept thinking, ‘Wow! That woman is beautiful!!’ I could hear her talking to people and I thought, ‘Hmm, she also has a really great brain and she is wickedly funny.’ I was loving it. Just hanging back there watching her.” The two ended up becoming close friends before marrying in 2006.