CAUGHT BETWEEN ACTS. It is no easy feat to portray an unflinching military spy such as Captain Jake Ballard in “Scandal,” Scott Foley opens up to DA MAN.
Outfit by Etro
A regular on American TV series, Scott Foley has become an easily recognized face, morphing from one role to another. His more-than-a-decade career comprises a diverse portfolio, from being the rebound guy Noel Crane in “Felicity” alongside Keri Russell and Scott Speedman, to playing the lifelong diabetic patient Henry Burton in “Grey’s Anatomy,” to appearing as the charmingly mysterious Captain Jake Ballard in “Scandal”—who becomes a regular in the third season. All these impressive acting achievements at first seemed like a far-fetched dream for the 1972 Kansas-born, but never did Foley put on airs about his Hollywood success. When met by the DA MAN team, the once-named the sexiest man alive was not just warm and friendly, but also ready to throw down some action—or, in this case, stylish poses. In varying suits, the hazelnut-eyed actor showed off his elegant swag while revealing what goes on behind the scenes of America’s hottest TV political drama, “Scandal.”
“The layers of story and dramatic elements that the writers have carefully crafted make ‘Scandal’ a show that I’d tune into even if I weren’t directly involved.”
DA MAN: Hi Scott, your character Captain Jake Ballard in “Scandal” is one that’s not only intense but also sparking some pros and cons. Who is Jake in your own words?
Scott Foley: Captain Jake Ballard is a bit of an enigma. He’s a former military operative who has worked in Naval Intelligence for years, but has also been a member of the super secret spy organization B613. I think Jake is a complicated man who maybe lost some sense of himself throughout his years serving the Republic both visibly and in the shadows.
DA: And what drew you to playing Jake in the first place?
SF: I’d worked with Shonda Rhimes on “Grey’s Anatomy” and found the way she writes and the people that she works with to be complimentary to the way I like to work. I’ve been a fan of “Scandal” since its inception and jumped at the opportunity to work with her again.
DA: What made you personally like the show?
SF: This show is just really written beautifully. The layers of story and dramatic elements that the writers have carefully crafted make “Scandal” a show that I’d tune into even if I weren’t directly involved. Also, the acting is just mind-blowing. It’s one thing to get a great scene, but what the actors on this show are able to do with those words really separates, I think, this show from a lot of others.
Outfit by Vivienne Westwood
DA: The season three is yet to hit Asia though. How’s Jake throughout the season?
SF: Oh, you guys have some great TV episodes coming your way! In the first ten or so episodes the plot really thickens for Jake, and we learn quite a bit more about Olivia and her father, their history and how Jake might play into that.
DA: What’s his ultimate personal agenda this time around?
SF: That’s a tricky question, because it’s really pretty vague. I believe, however, that Jake has the best of intentions with regards to Olivia and that he sees himself somehow free of the ties of B613 and able to put his military knowledge to use somewhere in the private sector.
DA: If you could pick one most interesting scene that the fans shouldn’t miss out on…
SF: Well, if you haven’t watched the season two’s finale, find a way to do so. It’ll leave your jaw and probably your popcorn on the floor.
“Make sure that you love it. Whatever you do, love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
DA: Is Jake as a character similar to you in real life?
SF: I think that we both feel a bit misunderstood in our lives. Jake is someone that very much seems to want to do the right things although the possibility of doing that can sometimes be a challenge. I feel that way on occasion, albeit for much different reasons!
DA: So aside from “Scandal,” are you working on anything else?
SF: “Scandal” takes up a good portion of my time, believe it or not. But I do have a family that demands my attention, so I try to spend as much time with my wife and children as possible, and when those first two criteria are satisfied I’m in the process of putting the final touches on a film that I wrote, produced, starred in and directed this summer called “Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife.”
DA: What a catchy title. What is it about?
SF: It’s a movie I wrote a few years ago that I’d shown to a few friends who really wanted to see it through. We financed it ourselves, and it’s a film that I don’t think has really been done before. It’s a very dark comedy, subtle but hopefully funny.
Outfit by Bally
DA: We heard that your wife, Marika Dominczyk, is among the acting cast. Is it okay to mix between business and personal?
SF: Ha! You’re better if you don’t!
DA: From one TV show to another, you’ve played varied characters throughout your career. Tell us your three most challenging roles and why?
SF: Challenging characters, huh? Well, playing Patrick on “True Blood” was a challenge. His background coupled with the supernatural storyline made that interesting, not to mention his accent.
Prior to “Scandal,” I was on a show called “The Goodwin Games” and played the eldest of three siblings, Henry Goodwin. It was a comedy, which I absolutely loved doing but because I have a bit less experience in that arena, it took a bit of getting used to.
And, lastly, Jake Ballard (on “Scandal”). He’s a challenge because of how much we don’t know about him. Playing those scenes, not knowing for sure of what his ultimate goal is makes him a work in progress.
DA: Let’s take a walk down the memory lane a bit. Where did you learn acting?
SF: I started acting in school plays, community theater in St. Louis, Missouri. “Grease,” “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” your standard elementary and high school productions but I loved it. It was all I would focus on.
DA: Then you decided to do acting as a career.
SF: I was always a horrible student, more interested in the social aspect of school than anything education-related. I’d been doing theater and didn’t see the point in continuing a formal education after high school. So when all of my friends were applying to college, I was planning a move to L.A. or New York.
Outfit by Louis Vuitton
DA: Off camera, who is Scott Foley?
SF: I’m a father. A husband. I have a great group of friends, a lot of whom aren’t in the entertainment industry. I’m a big reader, like working with my hands in my yard and around the house. I think I’m a fairly average man.
DA: Personal life motto:
SF: Everything always works out.
DA: If in the future one of your children would like to become an actor, what advice will you give to him or her?
SF: Make sure that you love it. Whatever you do, love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.
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