Interview: Reid Scott

From the interview archives.

Reid Scott is best known for his role as the confident, fast talking, hot headed Dan Egan on HBO’s Veep, and coming up he’ll be appearing alongside Reese Witherspoon in the romantic comedy Home Again. VULKAN chatted with Reid about his role in the film, what advice he has for young talent signing their first contract, and the changes that Dan is about to face in the upcoming Veep season.

You will be appearing in Home Again as Justin Miller this fall, starring alongside Reese Witherspoon as Alice Kinney. Can you tell us a little bit about who Justin is?
Justin is sort of an amalgamation of several Hollywood producer archetypes (the young hotshot, the misunderstood artist, the sharky executive). But what I loved about him was that he had a heart. He’s a good guy.

In the film, Alice takes in three young men who are aspiring filmmakers, and Justin is interested in working with them. How does he come to learn about them, and is his interest for personal gain or is he someone who is just interested in their project and wants to help?
Justin gets turned onto the three young guys from their agent. At first they’re not really sure about him; if he’s the right guy to produce their film, but they have an obvious connection. Justin wants to be taken seriously in Hollywood and the guys want someone to believe in them. They end up being good for each other.

When producers take interest in young actors or filmmakers, sometimes it is not with the best of intentions. What kind of steps would you recommend any young talent takes before signing a contract with a producer/agency?
Oh, man, those are dangerous waters.  There’s a lot of bullshit out there. A lot. The best advice I was ever given coming up was to follow your gut. If you believe in yourself as an artist, soon enough someone else will too. Just be true to what makes you unique.

The film is written by Hallie-Meyers Shyer. How would you describe her comedic writing style?
The script was fantastic.  I was actually pretty shocked it was her first. It had the kind of humor and heart that most movies nowadays have lost.  It’s a feel good movie at a time when we definitely could use more of them.

With such a strong comedic cast and writing team, was there a lot of improv during filming?
We definitely played around a bit with improv, just to give it that extra life, but the script was very well drawn out from the beginning, so it didn’t need a lot of help. But Hallie was a wonderful director. She encouraged us to find funny moments here and there without letting the scenes run off the rails.

How might you compare Justin to your Veep character Dan Egan? Do you think they’d get along?
Ha! They definitely have a lot in common, but Justin is definitely a better human being. I think Dan might strive to be like Justin…but then he’d do something stupid and get fired.

How did it feel to get a chance to be on CBS This Morning earlier this year? Did you learn anything that you took back to the Veep set?
That was a surreal experience.  You can feel the history on that set, it was quite humbling. Did I learn anything? Let’s see. Don’t wake Charlie Rose during an interview.

Veep seems to do real-life crossovers a fair bit, creating websites and blogs that match the script. How do you feel this enhances the show experience for the viewers?
Our show is so dense, there’s a lot that never makes the cut. So the online content is really meant to give the fans a bit more depth on what they already love. It’s just good fun.

By the end of Season 6 we learned that Amy (played by Anna Chlumsky) is pregnant with Dan’s baby. Is Dan ready for fatherhood? Do you think it will change him for the better or for worse?
Jesus, Dan as a father is the worst idea ever, he’d be terrible! It’s going to be a disaster. I can’t wait.

What can we expect from Season 7? Any light on who we might see make a guest appearance?
Ha! More foul mouthed political incompetence. I imagine. Or is that just reality? As for the guest stars, nice try. My lips are sealed.

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