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AOL Chat:  Scott Foley

04.24.02

AOL Host: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AOL Live's chat with Scott Foley, one of the stars of ‘Felicity,’ which airs tonight and every Wednesday night at 9:00PM on The WB. Scott, great to have you here.

Scott Foley: Thank you guys for taking the time.

AOL Host: Tonight's episode is special for a couple of reasons. It's the graduation episode and it's also the first episode that you've directed. Tell us how that came about.

Scott Foley: I've been wanting to direct the show for a number of years, and the producers were understandably nervous about having a first-time director do that. So last season I directed a few promos for the show, a couple commercials. And they saw those, they liked them and gave me the opportunity to direct this year, and it was such a great experience.

AOL Host: Talk a little bit more about it. Was it tougher or easier than you thought?

Scott Foley: It was both, actually. You know, in some aspects it was harder working -- it's just so much more work, physical work, not actually mental preparation like acting, but physically it just takes so much more time. And it was easier because, you know, I had been on-set for the past four years and watched directors and knew my cast intimately enough that I knew how they worked with directors and what direction they responded to. So in that aspect, it was quite a bit easier.

AOL Host: What was the most surprising thing about the experience?

Scott Foley: The most surprising thing was how much I enjoyed it. I went in, you know, I was terribly nervous. Taking on an undertaking like that, it's such a big deal. And I was -- I couldn't believe, around these people that I'd been totally calm in myself around, how nervous I was. But it turned out to be great. You know, my -- one of the best things that happened while directing was sitting in the director's chair and hearing Keri Russell and Scott Speedman yell, “Foley, we got a question on this.” And they were so open, needing and wanting of my suggestions, it was great.

AOL Host: That's very cool.

Scott Foley: Yeah.

AOL Host: Was it a challenge to act and direct in the same episode?

Scott Foley: Surprisingly that was one of the hardest things, as well as directing myself. Because I love directing so much that to stop and go back in front of the camera was sort of taking away from, you know, the episode, taking away from my directing experience. And it's really hard to sit there opposite -- in a scene with someone and truly be honest and act with them when I'm supposed to be judging them at the same time and critiquing their performance and trying to make it better. The hardest thing was to separate the two different things, directing and acting.

AOL Host: It sounds like, from the way you're talking about it, this is definitely not going to be the last time you direct.

Scott Foley: I hope it's not. You know, I enjoyed doing it, but there's no way in hell I'd give up acting for directing. You know, I love acting too much to ever stop that, but I really enjoy directing. So hopefully I'm lucky enough to be able to do both in some capacity.

AOL Host: One of our members, HeidiJo, wants to know if it was tough at all getting the cast to listen to you as you directed them.

Scott Foley: That was one of my biggest fears, actually, Heidi. But I was surprised how well they responded to my direction. And at the end, you know, Scott Speedman came up to me and said, “Thank you so much. You're one of the best directors we had all year.” You know, I heard things like, “We only wish he'd done it sooner so we could do more episodes.” It was truly such an amazing experience with the cast.

AOL Host: As we all know, this is the countdown to goodbye for you and the show. Give us a little bit of an insight on what it was like to find out that this was going to be the show's last season. When did you guys find out, and were you expecting it at all?

Scott Foley: For the past couple of seasons, the show hasn't done as well as they would have hoped, so we were always on the edge of our seats. Are we going to get another season, are we not? We all felt this season had the possibility of being the last. And because of Felicity's graduating this year -- we'd begun the show with her graduating high school, and now with her graduating college, we had an idea this might be the end. And when they told us, they originally -- a season of a television show is 22 episodes, and we found out that we would only be doing 17 this year. So the episode you're going to see tonight, the graduation, was intended and it was written as the last episode of the series.

AOL Host: Oh, wow.

Scott Foley: Yeah. Then while in the middle of shooting this one, the network called. They said, you know what, do the last five. We'll give you the extra five. It was like, oh, kind of starting and stopping again with regard to shooting. So the last five are sort of a ‘Peggy Sue Got Married’ twist on them, like “what if?” episodes. Tonight's episode was written as the finale.

AOL Host: Have you shot those final five?

Scott Foley: They're all done. Yes, we've shot them.

AOL Host: How emotional was it for you and your fellow castmates when shooting finally wrapped forever?

Scott Foley: Oh, God. It was really hard. I didn't know how I was going to react. I knew it would be hard, but I didn't think it would be as tough as it was. I'm giving a little spoiler here, that the last episode takes place at a wedding. And there's a character giving a toast to the entire cast, and the last take, instead of giving a toast to the cast as characters, they gave a toast to each of us as actors. You know, they said, Scott Foley and Scott Speedman, and they said a little bit about each one of us. And they kept the cameras rolling after they said “cut,” and we just -- I broke down, as did I think everybody else in the cast. It was really hard.

AOL Host: We have a question from a member named Nickfreak1. He wants to know: What are you planning to do now that ‘Felicity’ is finished?

Scott Foley: Great question, Nick.

AOL Host: No vacation for you.

Scott Foley: No vacation for me. Let's see, I just finished shooting a pilot, a television show for Fox and NBC called ‘A.U.S.A.,’ which stands for assistant United States attorneys. I play a young lawyer working in the United States attorney’s office named Adam Sullivan. It's a half-hour comedy. Keep your fingers crossed. I hope to get it on the air next season.

AOL Host: Is it refreshing or different to be doing a comedy after four years of a drama?

Scott Foley: It is. ‘Felicity’ is a great show, but after 80, almost 90 episodes, having to say, you know, "I've been thinking," or "Can I talk to you for a second," or "What's wrong," gets to be -- it can be kind of a downer. Shooting a comedy, just the atmosphere on the set is so light, so much happier. Not that we didn't have a great time on the ‘Felicity’ set. We made the best of it. But it's different material that sort of lifts the atmosphere.

AOL Host: A comment and a question from a member named Nockybebe. She says: I love ‘Felicity.’ I'm hooked on it. Unfortunately, it's ending. How would you explain your time on ‘Felicity’? You spent four years on the show. How did it change you as an actor and as a person?

Scott Foley: God, I hope it changed me for the better. When I began the show, I was 24, 25 years old. And I have really grown up. I met my wife on the show. I don't know if you need to know this, but I quit smoking, I stopped drinking. You know, I was -- the show made me such a better person. And I will never forget it. I, like you, am going to miss it dearly.

AOL Host: We have a question from a member named Judyz, might be a bit of a spoiler. She says: I've been a loyal fan from the first episode. I was hoping the writers would have Noel and Felicity get together in the end. He was the only one who was tender with her. Can that happen? I don't know if you want to reveal that.

Scott Foley: I can say yes, that can happen. I don't know if it will. There's an interesting twist in the last five episodes that I think the Noel fans will enjoy.

AOL Host: You mentioned that you met your wife during the show. She's also coming back to guest star.

Scott Foley: Yes. She comes back for a final episode. Hannah comes back to spend some time with Noel and maybe give it another shot. It was so much fun working with her again. You know, we obviously met doing the show, and we worked a couple other times together. Actually one other time, aside from the show. And we just love it. It's a small part. She came back for a day, but we had such a great time working together. She and Keri Russell are great friends. It was a good experience all around.

AOL Host: Considering that you met on the show, did working together there on the same set have an extra-special significance or poignancy for you two?

Scott Foley: It definitely did. It signified the fact and really sealed the fact that the show was coming to an end. I think J.J. and Matt, the creators of the show, wanted to bring back important characters into the lives of these characters. And I think the fact that they brought back Hannah was really sort of -- let us all know, wow, you know, here it is, it's coming to a close.

AOL Host: An obvious question from a member named Largerthanlife that says: What do you think about your wife's work on ‘Alias’? You're not going to criticize it, I guess?

Scott Foley: No. I could not be more proud. I watched Jennifer -- she's always been a fantastic actor. I watched her grow this season on ‘Alias.’ She holds herself with such grace and poise. I could only aspire to be as good as she is.

AOL Host: How much of your character, Noel Crane, is Scott Foley?

Scott Foley: Quite a bit. I think Noel wears his heart on his sleeve a little more than I do. But I like to think that I'm the kind of person that people can come to if they need advice, which Noel -- you know, at the heart of things, he started the series out as the R.A., so he was the person that everyone went to. I think the more honest you are portraying a character, the more of you it is. It's hard to do, to put yourself into a character, because it's hard to open up like that. I hope there's a lot of me in Noel. I like him.

AOL Host: An offbeat question from a member named Fujiapple, who asks: Where are some of your favorite places to vacation?

Scott Foley: My wife and I went to the south of Italy last summer and had a great time. We're big fans of Europe. Paris. But I think our most favorite place is probably just California, just taking little weekend trips up to the wine country or to Big Sur. We love to get out of town.

AOL Host: Another member asks if you have any new movie roles in the future.

Scott Foley: I did a film last summer called ‘Below,’ a submarine flick, World War II period submarine flick, that has yet to come out. It's a Miramax film that was slated for a March release, but they've pushed it to October. I'm not sure of the reason behind that. Hopefully it will come out soon. Look for me in that.

AOL Host: Another member is pointing out that you did a movie called ‘Rennie's Landing.’ Is that true?

Scott Foley: Yes.

AOL Host: What is that about?

Scott Foley: ‘Rennie's’ is a small, independent film I did second hiatus of ‘Felicity’ a couple years ago. It's about a bank robbery. Jennifer, my wife, had a small role in that. And I know they're still working on the editing of that film. It was a first-time director. But we had a lot of fun doing it.

AOL Host: A question from a member named Princessbrat wants to know how you got into acting and what your first acting job was.

Scott Foley: I've always loved it. I remember when I was younger -- I lived in Australia. My mother -- I was probably 6 years old -- my mother took me to see a production of ‘Annie,’ and we had horrible seats, nosebleed seats. I remember I watched this little redheaded person jump up and down singing on the stage, and it just felt like the most magical place to me. I started in theater doing regional theater in St. Louis, in community plays, the school plays, and my first theater experience I think was probably ‘Oliver.’ But my first paying gig out here, out in Los Angeles -- this is embarrassing. I did an episode of a show called ‘Sweet Valley High.’

AOL Host: We remember that.

Scott Foley: Oh, yeah. It was my first paid gig in Los Angeles, with Brittany Daniels and Cynthia
Daniels.

AOL Host: I didn't realize they were two separate people. I thought it was like a ‘Parent Trap’ thing.

Scott Foley: Like Hayley Mills. No, believe it or not, they're two separate, beautiful girls. Brittany was on ‘Dawson's Creek’ a couple years ago.

AOL Host: You were on ‘Dawson's Creek’ as well, weren't you?

Scott Foley: I was. My big break, so to speak, in Los Angeles.

AOL Host: Another member says: I'm hoping to act for a career. I was wondering if you had any advice for me. How does a person get started into following in your footsteps, if they wanted to?

Scott Foley: You have to make the decision. You have to be 100-percent sure this is what you want to do, because if you could be doing anything else, chances are you probably should be. And secondly, persevere. If you truly know this is what you want, don't give up. No matter what your parents say, no matter what your friends say, no matter what casting directors who meet you say, do not give up. If you know you have to do it, then you have to do it. Then there's really no choice. You know, I recommend, obviously, moving to Los Angeles or New York, one of the bigger hubs. The first thing I'd do when I got there is get in an acting class and get yourself involved in a community of actors and get to know people, network, and things will happen.

AOL Host: Did you have any role models when you were starting out?

Scott Foley: I don't think I had any role models. You know, there are a lot of actors that I respect and hopefully aspire to be as confident as they are. But role models? No. I'm a big Ed Harris fan. I think his work is fantastic. As I do Kevin Klein. But there wasn't one person. There wasn't like a Tom -- like a person where I said, God, I really want to be like Tom Cruise. No. No real role models.

AOL Host: Another member, Daddyslittlegirl, wants to know if ‘Felicity’ will be released on DVD anytime that you know of.

Scott Foley: Great question. I don't know. I'd love to see it released. You see all the other shows -- ‘Friends,’ ‘Buffy’ -- on DVD. I don't know. I know it will be in syndication on the Women's Entertainment Network. I don't know what channel that is. But --

AOL Host: Check your local listings.

Scott Foley: A step towards DVD.

AOL Host: Another member named Lia wants to know if you like directing better than acting, or vice versa.

Scott Foley: I haven't had enough experience directing to say I like it better. Right now, acting is my passion and has been for years. I think directing is maybe a little different challenge for me right now. But acting is still my passion.

AOL Host: As I'm sure you know, there are a ton of Web sites about you, as well as about Noel, out there. Have you ever checked any of them out?

Scott Foley: Definitely. I love checking them out. I think it's so flattering and such a compliment that people spend their time and build Web sites devoted to ‘Felicity’ and to Noel and myself, and the least I can do is check them out. There are some really great ones out there.

AOL Host: Are you a big Internet fan, a Web surfer in general?

Scott Foley: No, not in general. You know, I go on, I check my e-mail. I'm kind of lame. I go to Zagat Guide and to Moviefone to see what's in the theaters. I check the sites to see what people thought about the latest ‘Felicity’ episode. I go to Fanforum.com, I think. But you know, I don't spend a whole lot of time -- I don't have a whole lot of time to spend on the Internet. Maybe now that I'm unemployed that will change.

AOL Host: What's it like to be considered a sex symbol by so many of your fans out there?

Scott Foley: Oh, good Lord. Very flattering. Bizarre. Ask my wife. I don't know. I think she'd get a kick out of that. It's flattering, a little embarrassing. But it's a great thing. You know, people want to see me as that, I'm all for it.

AOL Host: At this point in your career, are you still able to go out and be a private citizen, or is it constantly fans coming up wanting to talk to you, get your autograph, things like that?

Scott Foley: I've been fairly lucky. It's a strange level of success that I've achieved, in that people recognize me -- ‘Felicity’ has a very specific fan base that recognizes me. For the most part, I have no problem going out unless, these days, I'm with my wife, then people are all over her. But people are very kind, and usually if anything is said, it's, “I really like your work,” then they're on their way.

AOL Host: Another member wants to know what your favorite season or episode of ‘Felicity’ has been.

Scott Foley: My favorite episode was the final episode of the first season, where Noel took the big step. That runs a close tie to the Thanksgiving episode the next season, where I met my wife.

AOL Host: You mentioned the “what if?” episode. A lot of fans don't know that you were originally cast as Ben on the show. Have you ever thought "what if" you had stayed in that role?

Scott Foley: Oh, of course. Of course. I think what if I had stayed in that role, we probably -- ‘Felicity’ probably wouldn't have made it as far as it did. Scott Speedman did, and does, such an excellent job as Ben, that I think people would have a hard time with anything else. He has taken the character to new levels, and he's just such a good actor, such a good guy. I think -- no, I can't imagine anyone else playing Noel, either. I think it all worked out for the best.

AOL Host: Another member wants to know if you relate to any of the other characters, besides Noel. Do you see yourself in Sean or Ben?

Scott Foley: I relate to Felicity, as I think anybody who watches the show does. That's sort of the reason you do. I relate to her adjusting, going through problems, trying to figure them out. It was such a -- those years of my life, you know, from 18 to 22, were such a fundamental part of who I am that watching this person go through the same thing, you know, I really felt a closeness with her.

AOL Host: We got a funny question from a member named Bccheetah, who wants to know if you ever forgot your lines on the set.

Scott Foley: All the time. You know, Noel is apt to say more than the rest, although Felicity can run a close second. And a lot of the things Noel talked about were computer-related, and I had such a hard time getting his speech, getting his dialogue out. But it would happen all the time. No, we usually got through it. I wish they had done sort of a gag reel on all the times that we screwed our lines up, because there were a ton.

AOL Host: We have a funny question from a member who wants to know: What's the one thing you will not miss about ‘Felicity’? The show, not the character or the actors.

Scott Foley: God, that's a great question. The one thing I will not miss about ‘Felicity.’ I will not miss -- hmm. I don't know. You know, the show meant so much to me, I can't think of anything that I won't miss. Maybe -- I personally won't miss pining for Felicity. At all.

AOL Host: Question from a member whose screen name actually is Felicity who wants to know if it was love at first sight for you and your wife when you met on the set.

Scott Foley: It definitely was for me. I think she took a little persuading. But I saw her the day of the read-through for the Thanksgiving episode, and I knew. I walked up, I gave her a hug, and I said, “Oh, my God. So nice to meet you.” I went home, said to my roommate, “I met the girl I'm going to marry tonight.”

AOL Host: A member asks: If you could change anything that happened on ‘Felicity,’ would you have?

Scott Foley: Yes. I would change -- I'm going to get in trouble for saying this. I would change the Ruby story line, and I would have made her have been pregnant with Noel's baby instead of somebody else's, and I would have made Noel a father at an early age. I think it would have been an interesting story line.

AOL Host: Ruby, I'm guessing, does not come back in the final five episodes.

Scott Foley: She does not.

AOL Host: Music has always been an important part of each episode. Any particular favorite songs or artists that have been heard on the show soundtrack?

Scott Foley: I think the pilot so far had some of the best music. Two of my favorite episodes were the pilot and one that Todd Holland directed. I don't remember the name of it, but it's the one where Ben didn't make the track team. And both episodes have songs by Peter Gabriel that are just -- they just say so much about the scene and the feeling of Felicity right then. So the two Peter Gabriel songs. One is ‘In Your Eyes.’ The other is -- oh, I don't remember, but fans of the show will know the song.

AOL Host: What kind of stuff do you listen to in general?

Scott Foley: Personally, I'm all over the field. I like everything from Jay-Z to Kenny Loggins and everything in between. I did ‘TRL’ on MTV today, and B2K was there. I was like, they're pretty good.

AOL Host: You're very open-minded, then.

Scott Foley: You have to be.

AOL Host: A couple years ago, an unauthorized biography of both you and Scott Speedman was published. Did you read it? Was it strange to see you next to John Adams on the biography shelf at all?

Scott Foley: I didn't read it. It popped up on the set one day. I think it was like ‘The Two Scotts’ -- I don't remember the title. We got a kick out of it. They had all our birthplaces and dates. Very interesting.

AOL Host: Is it flattering? Creepy? A little bit of both?

Scott Foley: A little bit of both. Creepy not a bad way, but a good way. Creepy that oh, my God, someone wants to write a book about me? That's creepy. At the same time, it's like, oh, my God, someone wants to write a book about me. So I didn't care here or there about it.

AOL Host: We're almost out of time. Time for a couple more member questions.

Scott Foley: OK.

AOL Host: A member, Princessbrat again, wants to know what your most embarrassing moment is.

Scott Foley: One of my most embarrassing moments on the show? Hmm. Good Lord. I know I'm supposed to keep track of these, so when I get asked this, I have a great answer. One of my most embarrassing moments on the show? I think the first time Keri and I had to kiss. We had been popping Altoids, one after the other, right before the moment. We kissed; right in the middle of it we both laughed, and as we were rolling, saliva drooled in between our mouths.

AOL Host: Not good.

Scott Foley: Very embarrassing.

AOL Host: Was that your first screen kiss?

Scott Foley: No. No, my first screen kiss was, I believe, with Michelle Williams of ‘Dawson's Creek.’

AOL Host: Not too shabby, Scott.

Scott Foley: I'm doing all right.

AOL Host: I think we've just about run out of time tonight. Let's remind our audience that the graduation episode of ‘Felicity,’ which Scott Foley directed, is tonight, 9:00PM ET on The WB. ‘Felicity’ is on every Wednesday at 9:00PM on The WB. Scott, a huge pleasure having you on AOL.

Scott Foley: Thanks, guys.

AOL Host: Best of luck with ‘A.U.S.A.’ Hopefully we can get you back here to talk about that in the future. And thanks to our AOL members for their great questions.

 

 


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