Reid Scott first came to prominence when he starred opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus on HBO’s Emmy Award winning satire Veep. Since then, he has received an Emmy nomination for his title role in the animated Turbo Fast, and can currently be seen as a series regular on Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Next up, is the indie comedy Who Invited Charlie? which he also produced.
We sat down with Scott to discuss his career, his role models, and why he can’t stand Julia Louis-Dreyfus. (He’s kidding!)
What can you tell us about your new film Who Invited Charlie? And what attracted you to the role?
It’s about a fairly dysfunctional family who take in an even more dysfunctional old friend during the pandemic, and how they sort of all help each other find what they were missing. My good friend Nick Schutt wrote the script, and it was so funny, so heartwarming, and so true to life that I sparked to it right away.
You were brought back as a series regular for the last season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Is there anything you can tell us about the upcoming season and how did you get involved with the show?
I don’t want to spoil too much of the last season, but my character, late night talk show host Gordon Ford, gets involved with Midge and sort of stirs things up for her. Inhabiting this role was one of the most gratifying experiences of my career. When showrunners Amy Sherman Palladino and Dan Palladino reached out to see if I’d be interested, they described Gordon as a fictional version of Johnny Carson with a little bit of Steve Allen mixed in. I loved the idea of portraying that kind of complex character and the duality of their personalities – the one they show the world on camera, and the one they keep for themselves – and how completely different they can be. But I really wasn’t all that familiar with the show at the time, so I think I said something like, “Cool, lemme think about it.” Then I told my wife, who is a massive fan of the show, and she said, “Babe, it’s Maisel, you’re doing it!” I binged the entire series in about a week and once I saw just how brilliant the writing and the performances were, I knew I was in.
You were also, of course, a main cast member in Veep. What was it like to work with such a comedy legend as Julia Louis-Dreyfus? Was it a daunting task?
Ah, Julia. She’s the worst. Mean, nasty, self-centered. A real bully. Kidding! Jules is a goddam dream to work with. She’s not just one of the funniest women in the business, but she works harder than almost anyone I know. When we switched showrunners after season four, she worked tirelessly to make sure the transition was as smooth as it could be and that the voice of the show, one we’d all worked so hard to craft, didn’t get lost. She’s also just a great hang. Whenever we needed to unwind a bit while shooting in Baltimore, she’d have us over to her place for some wine, some cards, or maybe if we got toasty enough, we’d break out a guitar and sing a few songs. Yeah, she can sing, too. God, I hate her so much…
What first made you decide to become an actor? And what has been the best part about your job?
My dad’s a real film buff, and ever since I was a kid he’d sit me down and show me films like Cool Hand Luke, or The French Connection, or The Great Escape. He’d talk about what he loved about those movies; the cinematography, the performances, the message behind the message. I was hooked. I knew I wanted to work in this medium. And the best part about it for me is getting to work with such a diverse array of artists. Set designers, costume designers, hair and make-up artists, the camera crew. Real masters of their craft. I get to work with dozens, sometimes hundreds of these artists every day I step onto a set. That’s what gets me excited about this work.
Have you ever wanted to do anything else?
I’ve always loved architecture. Before and during college I worked for a designer/builder and at one point sincerely considered going that route. My wife and I just finished restoring a beautiful mid-century home in Los Angeles and it kind of got those juices flowing again. So, who knows? Maybe one day I’ll really get to scratch that itch and build some houses from the ground up.
Who is your role model in the industry?
Mark Ruffalo is a guy I look to a lot. He’s a brilliant actor who I feel helped usher in a whole new style of acting; one that’s so subtle and natural and intelligent that almost every young actor I knew coming up wanted to be like him. He’s very involved with many social and political issues which is really inspiring. But he’s also a husband and father and seems to put a big emphasis on family. That’s what I try to emulate most.
Do you do anything to keep you sane?
Ah, sanity. If you’ve got some to spare, I’ll take it! Yeah, juggling work life, home life, and everything in between can be a bit of a mental clusterfuck at times. I try to cut through all the noise by being outdoors. Skiing, surfing, hiking, playing baseball with my kids – anything outside really makes my shoulders drop and puts a smile on my face.
What’s next for Reid Scott?
I’ve got few film and television projects in the pipeline once we wrap on Maisel. Some on the acting side and some others behind the camera as writer/director/producer. It’s fun to try those different hats on from time to time, push my own boundaries, and get out of my comfort zone. Each come with their own set of challenges and rewards, and they also give me exciting new perspectives on this medium that I love. So, here goes…
CHECK OUT REID
Producing and starring in the indie comedy Who Invited Charlie?
As Gordon Ford in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel