Outsider On the Inside
I find it peculiar that Scott
Speedman doesn't own a cell phone. After all, he's a hot young actor
who has jus finished a run with a successful TV series and is
looking to carve out a career for himself on the big screen. What if
Steven Soderbergh calls?
"My agent has been trying to get me to buy one," admits
Speedman, who rose to fame playing brooding Ben Covington on the WB
drama "Felicity." "But I really don't want to."
"Is it a matter of principle?" I ask. "If you get a
cell phone, then they win -- you're a slave to Hollywood?"
"Maybe," the London-born, Toronto-raised actor replies
between sips of beer on the patio of the Avalon Hotel in Beverly
Hills. "But also, I don't think I'd be good with a cell phone
because I'd either lose it or it would make me nervous, knowing that
someone can always reach me. I don't want to be found all the
Just because Speedman doesn't cut deals while swerving down Sunset
Blvd. doesn't mean he thinks he's above it all. "It's not like
I open my door and there are tons of scripts with offers
attached," says the 27-year-old. "I have to go out and
really fight for the good things."
Such was the case with
, a crooked cop drama from director Ron Shelton. Set during the LA
riots and based on a story by crime novelist James Ellroy,
stars Kurt Russell as a hot-tempered detective whose years of
double-dealing and corruption finally catch up with him while he's
trying to solve a high-profile quadruple homicide. Speedman plays
his partner, an eager-to-fit-in rookie.
Q: You once said, "I think a lot
of people come to LA because they're empty and they want fame
because they think it will fill them up." Do you still think
A: Yeah. It's kind of gross because it's not gonna fill anybody up.
My friends look at me and see that I'm just as insecure and neurotic
as I was before I had any success. It's just acting. It's not gonna
change nothing, man. If anything, it makes it worse.
Q: You've worked with many famous people already, like Gwyneth
. What was she like?
A: She knew it was my first movie and she was so cool to me. And
she's so damn good. I can't tell you how nice it is to work with
good actors. I don't do that a lot, so when I do, it's fun.
was a real family affair with her dad directing. It was nice to see
a family that cared about each other. I was working in Hungary when
I found out about his death. That was rough. he was so good to me.
Q: What about Kurt Russell, your
A: He is a good human being. For being in this business as long as
he has, he's got his head screwed on right. He was my favorite part
about making that movie.
Q: And then there's Keri Russell, with whom you co-starred on
"Felicity" and dated. Do you still talk to her?
A: She's in New York now. I haven't seen anyone since the end of the
show because I've been away shooting movies.
Q: How did you feel about "Felicity" being canceled? Were
you ready for it to be over?
A: I wouldn't have liked for it to go on and on, but I'll tell you,
the last day on the set I was more emotional than I've ever been.
That show totally changed my life and then all of a sudden it was
Q: Do "Felicity" fans ever
approach you and say crazy things?
A: Yes. They tell me things like, "You have no idea what an
asshole you are," and "I really like the other guy better
-- you're a dick." It was kind of cool in a way.
Q: Where's the weirdest place you've ever been recognized?
A: In Colorado. There was this river everybody rafted down on tubes.
Well, the water had gotten to a super-high, dangerous level, but my
best friend and I went in anyway. Everything was fine, but then I
started going into the rocks and I freaked out and barely grabbed a
branch. Then this girl came over, I thought to save me. Instead, she
asked for my autograph. I was like, "Save my ass first!"
Q: What do you predict is going to happen to your character in the
"Felicity" reunion TV movie in 10 years?
A: He'll be this fat, bloated loser chasing after 19-year-old
Q: Getting back to
, it takes place during a scary time -- the LA riots. Where were you
when they happened?
A: Probably in a swimming pool somewhere in Canada.
Q: Did you do any research for the role of an LA cop?
A: I went around with an ex-policeman who gave me a lot of
information. What I was the most surprised by was the stress of the
job. The divorce rate is very high among officers.
Q: Why do you and Kurt sport long hair if you're playing cops?
A: Because we're working undercover.
Q: Like on "Charlie's Angels" when they pretend to be
A: Well, we never did that, though we thought about it. [laughs]
Q: Is your next movie,
with Kate Beckinsdale a little lighter?
A: Kate plays this kick-ass vampire lady and I'm a werewolf. I had
to do a lot of strange things in that movie, like a back flip onto a
wall. We used wires and everything. It was exhausting.
Q: You also show the indie
My Life Without Me
. What's that about?
A: A young woman, played by Sarah Polley, who finds out she has
cancer and decides to do things in life she really wanted to do but
didn't because she got married young. I play her loving husband,
which was really different for me because he wasn't a brooding type.
Q: Are you currently dating anyone?
A: Right now, I'm a single guy. I've been away, so it's not like
I've been checking out the LA singles scene.
Q: What do you like to do when you're not working?
A: Play basketball. I've gotten addicted to it.
Q: Have you played with George Clooney?
A: No, but I want to. He's supposed to be really good.
Q: Have you been to the Nike warehouse where all the stars go for
A: Yeah, it's such a nice thing. They have an MJ room, and Michael
Jordan is my hero.
Q: Have you used your celebrity to meet him?
A: I'm really not good at asking for things like that. If I saw
Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, I'd get giddy and just stare at them.
I wouldn't say anything.
Q: Did you like Hollywood when you first moved here?
A: Oh yeah, I had a blast. I did the "Felicity" pilot and
then had to stay in town for a few months before the show started. I
had a feeling my life was going to change, so I flew my best friend
down here. We went to all the parties.
Q: did you visit the Playboy mansion?
A: I've been there, yes. I even peeked my head in the grotto. But my
favorite part was seeing all these classic Playboy mansion kind of
guys like James Caan and Tony Curtis there.
Q: Your mother and sister are both schoolteachers in Canada. Do you
ever pop by their classes as a celebrity guest?
A: I did once at my sister's eighth grade class, but I had to take
off because it was disrupting school. It wasn't a planned thing. I
just showed up and it got a little crazy.
Q: You know, a simple cell phone call could have made all the
A: It realy could've, but on principle, I'm not gonna do that. If I
do, they win. [laughs]