Celebrity Close-UpMay 01, 2012
STL's Scott Foley sinks his teeth into the role of troublemaker on the much-hyped Season Five of "True Blood."
Story: Amy De La Hunt
Photos: Taghi Naderzad
HBO's vampire series "True Blood" lives up to its title—if not quite life-sustaining, then certainly addictive over the long haul. Rampant speculation about the impossible-to-predict plot twists for Season Five centers on Scott Foley, a St. Louis-bred TV star who made his "True Blood" debut in the Season Four finale. Foley himself hints that his arrival on the scene does not bode well for Terry Bellefleur (Todd Lowe). But beyond that, we'll have to watch and see.
In the fast-paced TV world, Foley has stayed a step ahead since 1998, appearing in hit shows like "Dawson's Creek," "Scrubs," "The Unit" and—perhaps most famously—"Felicity," where he starred for four seasons as love interest Noel Crane. When his "Grey's Anatomy" character was killed off last season, the 39-year-old actor didn't miss a beat. Although he's been asked to direct an episode of "Grey's Anatomy," among other projects, he's focusing most of his attention on "True Blood" and a sitcom pilot for FOX called "The Goodwin Games," with co-star Becki Newton from "Ugly Betty." Another good omen for the new sitcom's success? Its creators already have "How I Met Your Mother" under their belts.
When the highly anticipated fifth season of "True Blood" airs on June 10, chances are good it will top last season's 5.42 million viewers. And, with Foley in the mix of the show's signature chaos and suspense, we're willing to bet this season will be more shockingly addictive than ever.
ALIVE: You're working on two very different projects right now with the start of "True Blood's" fifth season and your new sitcom pilot, "The Goodwin Games."
Scott Foley: They could not be more opposite! I mean, "True Blood," even though it can be a little campy at times, is so far from a comedy. [Laughs.] Especially my story line—I'm an Iraq war veteran (Patrick Devins) with post-traumatic stress syndrome. "The Goodwin Games" is a laugh-line comedy. I play a young doctor—well, not as young as I once was!
ALIVE: Why did you decide to do "True Blood?"
SF: The way they film the show is really unique to me. I had only done network television before, and I always wanted to do a cable show. It's such a huge cast, and it's like shooting a big movie. [Foley's big screen credits include "Scream 3."] Most television shows are shot in seven or eight days, but "True Blood" has the luxury and the budget to shoot each episode in about 20 days. They take their time and really focus on the characters and story, and that was important to me. Plus, I have a Southern accent in this role, which I've never done on-screen before, so it was a great chance for me to stretch my wings that way. It was the right part at the right time.
ALIVE: Do you think you'll get more fan attention because of "True Blood's" devoted following?
SF: When I booked the part, there was some news on it, and the girls at my local Starbucks—who hadn't cared less that I was in every day before—freaked out. That hadn't happened to me since "Felicity"—we're talking 12 or 13 years now.
ALIVE: Your role as Noel on "Felicity" definitely sticks in people's minds.
SF: "Felicity," still to this day, might be my favorite thing that I've done. I really connected to my character, and it was at a time in my life where I was able to relate to what was going on in the story line. I'm on Twitter and still every day there are people saying, "I'm just watching the fourth season and oh my God, what happened? How come she didn't choose Noel—she chose Ben?" It's relatable to a certain period in people's lives, and I think it always will be…that sort of quarter-life crisis. I am forever proud of that show.
ALIVE: When did the acting bug bite you?
SF: It was really in St. Louis. We lived abroad and moved to St. Louis when I was 10 or 11. Kirkwood Community Theatre was holding open auditions for "Oliver." I got a part in the chorus, and that's where my passion for the theater really started. I didn't want to do anything else. I never took my SATs or ACTs. I never applied to college. I knew that I wanted to be an actor.
ALIVE: You went to Clayton High School, right?
SF: I graduated from Clayton, but I spent most of my high school years at Ladue High School. I was actually just back last May for my 20th high school reunion.
ALIVE: Isn't it incredible how fast that goes?
SF: Incredible! I'm telling my wife [actress Marika Dominczyk], who's substantially younger than me, that I'm having my 20th reunion, and she's like, "You're old!" It doesn't seem like I'm that old—it seems like I just graduated…I hadn't been back in eight or nine years. In my head, I thought I had sort of moved past it. But, I came back for the reunion and thought, "Wow, this is so great. I could totally do this again."
ALIVE: Anything else we should know about you or your St. Louis connections?
SF: I miss my friends and the life that's still there—and the schools! The schools are amazing. I say this because I'm focusing on preschools for my daughter [Malina, age 2½] and it's just a crazy, competitive, expensive nightmare.
ALIVE: Do you live in LA full time?
SF: I live in Santa Monica, right by the beach. It's great.
ALIVE: What do you do when you're not acting?
SF: I love being outdoors. I did triathlons for a few years, and I'm a big hiker—we have mountains galore out here—so I'm always on a trail somewhere, either riding my bike or just out for a walk with the dog. And, I play a lot of tennis.
ALIVE: You've been so successful in your career already. What's still on your list to accomplish?
SF: Wow, that's a great question. Now that I have one child and another on the way, I'd say continuing to work. A steady income is definitely a goal. [Laughs.] The opportunity to try something different and to sort of scare myself is always my goal, whether it's a character I've never done or working with someone I really respect. Anytime I get to challenge myself, that's what I look forward to, and that's an ongoing goal for me. You know the saying that something's not worth doing unless you're sort of afraid to do it? You've got to challenge yourself.
ALIVE: When is your second child due?
SF: I'm looking at my watch—like, imminently.
ALIVE: Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?
SF: We don't know. We like being surprised.
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