Speedman: Risking It
Scott Speedman, a soft-spoken, shy,
long-haired young actor wearing jeans and jean jacket, entered the
room and poured himself into a chair where he slouched, smiled and
told us all about playing a gritty role as a rookie cop on a
special squad of crime busters during the 1992 L.A. riots. Dark
Blue is certainly a big departure from his role as love
interest Ben for four years on the WB ďFelicityĒ t.v. series
but the young actor sees it as part of his growth process. Scott
was very candid about his career choices, loss of a promising
swimming career due to a neck injury, and where heís going from
TeenHollywood: Where are you
Scott: I was born in England but grew up in Toronto.
TeenHollywod: How did you start
in show biz?
Scott: I was a swimmer at a pretty high level, got injured and
couldnít swim anymore and I was at a school for gifted athletes
and artists. When I got injured I started hanging out with a lot
of the actors, watching what they did. I auditioned for something
and didnít get it but the person that I did it for liked me a
lot and got me an agent. I started auditioning and getting work.
Donít swim anymore. I hate it.
TeenHollywood: Do you prefer t.v.
Scott: Movies are a little scarier. With t.v. you know youíve
got a job next week. If you screw up an episode you can go do
another episode. Itís a very comfortable work environment but
you can also get complacent and lazy like going to the factory
over and over again. Films are more intense and I kind of like
TeenHollywood: Most challenging
scene for you in Dark Blue?
Scott: Thereís a bunch of challenging scenes but itís when I
shoot the guy. Iím not that comfortable with guns in the first
place and having to shoot somebody is a weird thing even though
itís not real. It was an all night shoot and you just have to
get up and believe the fiction that was going on. That was kind of
TeenHollywood: What was your
take on LAPD prior to doing this film?
Scott: I was a little frightened. Itís a different kind of
police force. You hear different things and obviously we heard
about what happened down here (í92 riots). It got huge coverage
in Toronto. I never wanted to get pulled over living in New York
or L.A. I was just kind of scared of meeting the LAPD.
TeenHollywood: Did you talk to
retired LAPD officer Bob Souza, the filmís consultant?
Scott: Yeah. I talked with him and I went and hung out with the
robbery homicide guys and they let me talk to them much more than
I thought they would considering what this movie is about. I think
they were pretty cool, interesting guys. They just talked about
their lives and the divorce rate is wild. They are just beaten
down guys. They look like theyíve had a tough life. Not a life
that Iíd want to be part of.
TeenHollywood: How was working
with Kurt Russell?
Scott: You have to get over the fact that youíve been watching
him since you were a kid in a bunch of movies. Then you have to go
and act with him and kind of give that up. I thought he was pretty
committed to what he was doing so it made it a lot easier.
TeenHollywood: Did he give you
Scott: No. He was much cooler than that. He wasnít going to
preach to me about Ďthis is the way itís done and thatís the
way youíve got to do ití. He was more just a friend to me.
Made me feel comfortable. Didnít make me feel like he knew what
he was doing and I didnít.
TeenHollywood: How uncomfortable
were the love scenes with Michael Michelle?
Scott: (Laughs). Itís funny. Theyíre not the most comfortable
because you just kind of meet and say Ďhií and jump into bed
and thereís fifty guys hanging around eating donuts and
watching. I just tried to be as respectful as I could and as nice
as I could but you just have to do it. Just have a giggle
afterwards. There are worse things to do I guess. (grins).
TeenHollywood: Is she hotter
Scott: (laughs) No comment. Keri(Russell, the showís star) is my
ex-girlfriend so Iím not gonna say nothing but Michael is
TeenHollywood: How about doing a
Scott: Ben ainít getting a spin off. I miss it but it was four
years in the same job.
TeenHollywood: Are you not doing
any more t.v.?
Scott: If something great came along, Iíd do it but it would
have to be pretty great at this point. Television would be great
to do if you have a family and you want to be in one place. But,
the last four jobs I did were in four different cities and that
was exciting. Hungary was cool, a movie in Vancouver, Philly, but
going where nobody speaks your language nor do they want to is
TeenHollywood: Tell us about
whatís coming up for you. Did you shoot Dark Blue first?
Scott: I did this between season three and season four (of
Felicity). Other things are My Life Without Me. There was
one in the middle I donít want to talk about because it was the
worst f***ing thing Iíve ever seen. Itís not going to come out
so youíll never see it. Then I went to Hungary and did Underworld
(with Kate Beckinsale) which was cool. Itís a fantasy movie and
itís something that I wouldnít necessarily gravitate toward
normally but I read it and it was kind of scary, supernatural
stuff. I wanted to try it. A lot of green screen, make-up, running
around getting shot at, a lot of wire work. I got to train for it
and liked doing it. I donít ever know what I want to do until I
read it and if it excites me or scares me, itís something I want
TeenHollywood: Do you always
know when something is going to turn out badly?
Scott: That film that Iím talking about had a good script,
challenging characters but an extremely low budget. But the
character was what I was excited about. The good stuff gets
snatched up pretty quickly by people with higher profiles than
mine. Iíve got to work to get it and take some risks.
TeenHollywood: What is your life
is your anti-drug?
Scott: Basketball. It was something that I got addicted to. I
never played growing up in Canada but got addicted to it playing
when I got down here.
TeenHollywood: Do you play on a
league with other actors?
Scott: Yeah, I do. Itís a pretty good league, some real good
players. Iím not that good.
TeenHollywood: What kind of
music are you into?
Scott: Iím into a lot of different music. I listen to
soundtracks. I like the ďUnbreakableĒ soundtrack. I like
ďLord of the RingsĒ.
TeenHollywood: Some people
describe you as extremely shy. Is it difficult for you to have
this ďteen pinupĒ label?
Scott: I never felt like that. Itís really not my life. I go out
and donít get bothered (by fans). A lot of people like me who do
WB shows and certain movies have it a lot worse than I do. It
doesnít seem that bad. And yes, Iím shy but a lot of my
favorite actors are shy so itís a challenge to get through it.
TeenHollywood: Who are some of
the actors and actresses you look up to?
Scott: Gene Hackman, DeNiro. Iíd like to work with Meryl Streep
or Cate Blanchette or Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman. There are
tons of great actresses out there. I just did a film with Sarah
Polley and she was very good.
TeenHollywood: Can you watch
yourself on screen?
Scott: No. I never watched myself when I was on television. Itís
something thatís hard to be objective about. Itís like
listening to myself on one of those tape recorders but itís ten
times worse because you have a visual image to go along with it.
Itís out of your control anyway, whatever you do they can edit,
they can change it, pick the takes they like. Thatís why a lot
of actors become directors.
TeenHollywood: Who are you dying
to work with?
Scott: A lot of people Iím dying to work with are kids my age
who I donít know yet, the ones that are hungry but there are
always the Soderberghs and the David Fanchers.
TeenHollywood: Kurt Russell was
talking about the amazing presence and talent of some of the
rappers who turn actors.
Scott: Theyíre natural performers a lot of them. They are in
front of audiences a lot and they use their own words quite a bit.
It lends itself to acting in general. Thatís why some stand-up
comedians are very good actors. They know themselves so well and
use their heart very well. Kurupt was very cool.
TeenHollywood: There are a lot
of guys in this movie. Did you get that ďlocker roomĒ
mentality on the set?
Scott: Yeah, a little bit. Thatís part of this movie. Itís not
something that I gravitate towards but it helped a lot for this
TeenHollywood: What was director
Ron Shelton like?
Scott: He was like an athletic director, a coach. He used sports
analogies. He knows that world so well and I know it pretty well.
So itís something we met on. So does Kurt.
TeenHollywood: Did the team
swimming help you with acting?
Scott: Discipline. There are advantages and disadvantages to being
an athlete and thatís the main one, a certain discipline and
TeenHollywood: Dark Blue
has some things to say about corruption and race relations etc.
What would you like people to take away from the movie?
Scott: Thatís a tough question because I donít know how much
has changed. I donít think the film has that many answers. I
think itís just one manís journey to realize that his life
isnít what he thought it was. Maybe people can check into
whether or not theyíre doing the right thing in life. In terms
of solving race relations in Los Angeles, I donít think the film
offers any real answers.
TeenHollywood: Okay, letís
lighten up. What would you want to do on an ideal date, hike,
Scott: I wouldnít go dancing. I just want to have dinner with
somebody and talk to them.
TeenHollywood: Would you do an
Scott: If it was a good script with a good director and good
people in it. But Iím not calling my agent and saying ĎGet me Die
Hard Six or anythingí.