Exclusive Feature: Scott Porter

THE TRANSPORTER. Delivering a well-carved acting and singing talent, hunky actor Scott Porter is up for a bare-knuckle fight opportunity following a row of romantic drama series. In the meantime, the “Hart of Dixie” star tells DA MAN how he transforms before the camera, where his unusual musical journey took him and what family ultimately means.

Sweater by Armani Collezioni

How often do we have the combination of a jock, geeky gamer, beatboxer and flourishing actor in one package? Although the name Scott Porter may not yet ring a familiar bell to many, the Nebraskan gent has organically shaped himself into a multifaceted personality throughout his entire career. An engineering graduate-turned-singer, Porter delved further into music, thanks to a rare knack for beatboxing, and belted his voice on Tokyo’s possibly most enchanting stage.

Having his foot in the showbiz door, newlywed Porter then snapped up the chance for some cinematic roles in both TV and silver screen. From playing paralyzed Jason Street in “Friday Night Lights,” dubbing Cyclops in “X-Men” anime series, crooning along Hugh Grant in “Music and Lyrics,” speeding as defamed Rex Racer in the “Speed Racer,” to his recent appearance as a desperately-in-love lawyer in the “Hart of Dixie” series, this one fine breed still has a few tricks up his sleeve.

Shirt by John Varvatos

DA MAN (DA): Congratulations on the season renewal of “Hart of Dixie.” How did you enjoy being in the show so far?
Scott Porter (SP): As an actor, your work can always infect your life, whether it is a serious drama bringing either an edge or a mood into your daily routine or a comedy bringing a lighter feeling to your overall life. That’s how “Hart of Dixie” has felt for me — it has been a real light, a breath of fresh air. After seven straight years of drama on television with “Friday Night Lights” and “The Good Wife,” I wanted to lighten up a bit, and the show has done that for me in a huge way.

DA: Tell us about George Tucker, the character you’re playing. What’s fascinating about this guy?
SP: What’s most interesting to me is that George Tucker is a 30-year-old professional who has a lot of maturing homework in several areas of his life. He is a grown man in so many respects – his job, his helping nature, his overall attitude – but he is incredibly immature when it comes to relationships. He existed in a very simple situation where he was in love with his high school sweetheart for fifteen years. Those are fifteen years of not questioning or challenging whether or not it is his ultimate destination in love. Now, after his engagement fell apart, he is suddenly in the wild (again) as a 30 year-old. At some points, it really echoes how a good amount of metropolitan Americans face the same challenges at a much older age now, in comparison with the past generations.

Suit and shirt by Giorgio Armani

DA: Have you always wanted to act since you were young?
SP: Acting was actually never my goal, so to say. It was more a manifestation of my interests over time. I was extremely academic while I was in high school, and later I took a structural engineering major at the University of Central Florida. I really thought I was going to make a career in that world. I also played football all the way through my university years. I really wanted to be an athlete, but it didn’t work out in the end. I ended up acting through music actually. My folks were in a rock band while I was growing up, and that was my portal into singing, into performance. I chased a record deal for seven years which gave me an opportunity to perform in a show called “Altar Boyz” in New York City. After that, I never looked back.

DA: What do you do to get under the skin of the character you’re playing in both TV series and movies?
SP: To begin with, I try to find traits of the character that I could possibly identify myself to. With Jason Street (of “Friday Night Lights”), it is optimism and competitive nature. With Blake Calamar (“The Good Wife”), it is his temper. With George Tucker, it is his loyalty and generosity. I am not embarrassed that it’s not always the positive things I connect with. I am human, we all contain elements or emotions we are not always proud of. But, once you start to have a true connection to a character that grounds it, you can build things from there with aspects that may not come naturally to you. Research is paramount as well. Be it while you are playing a quadriplegic or a southern lawyer, it is always a necessity.

Suit by John Varvatos, sunglasses by Ted Baker

DA: How do you see yourself evolving in your career? What aspects or roles in acting that you still want to explore more?
SP: I just want to continue to tell compelling stories. I want to be as versatile as possible. I want to use my voice, use my physicality. I’d kind of use Hugh Jackman’s career as a guidepost. I want to work in the action world in the worst way, pushing my body to the limits for roles. I will say if I had the chance to pick my next role, I’d play a superhero without hesitation.

DA: A little birdie told us that you did beatboxing in Japan. How did that happen? Do you still sing nowadays?
SP: I had an older foster brother while growing up in Nebraska. He was into hip-hop in the late ‘80s, and I wanted nothing more than to be his shadow. I heard a song “Human Video Game” through him, with a beatboxer named Ready Rock C. I taught myself how to beatbox on a Fisher-Price boombox after that. Later on, when I was in high school, I joined an a cappella band that had a lot of success and honed my skills further from there. A couple of years after that, I got an offer that I couldn’t refuse… from Tokyo Disneyland. I still sing on occasion, I would like to continue to utilize more and more as I keep working.

Suit by Etro, sweater and scarf by Sandro

DA: If you’re not an actor, what other profession would you consider?
SP: I have heard the saying, “If you can be anything other than an actor, you wouldn’t be an actor.” I don’t think that’s true. I’d probably have ended up as a sports broadcaster somewhere. Or possibly working in the world of sports marketing and PR. You just have to follow the things that make you happy and make a job out of them.

Photographs: Yann Bean
Styling: Juliet Vo

Shot on location at The Crescent Hotel in Beverly Hills

Grooming: Sydney Zibrak @ The Wall Group using La Mer
Fashion assistant: Alexa Green, Janea Moreto, Stacie Nguyen

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