Scott Speedman, co-star of the "xXx: State Of The Union" Movie!
The handsome actor charmed TV audiences in the role as "Ben" on The WB's drama series "Felicity." Since then he has appeared in several movies, such as 2003's "Dark Blue" and "Underworld." Born in London, England on September 1, 1975 to Scottish parents, Speedman was raised in Toronto. In high school, he began acting on a dare from a girlfriend. He appeared on Speaker's Corner, a Canadian version of an MTV show in which people paid money to air their views on television. Speedman caught the attention of one of the show's directors, who encouraged him to audition for the role of Robin in the upcoming Batman Forever (1995). Speedman did so and failed to get the part, but he did manage to get an agent in the process. Speedman acted in a number of Canadian television shows and spent a year at the University of Toronto, where he was an avid swimmer (he once aspired to swim for the Canadian team). After dropping out of the university, Speedman got his first film role in Kitchen Party, a Canadian film released in 1997. More lackluster work in television followed until Speedman, his career at a low, went to Manhattan to audition for the upcoming show Felicity. The show's creators were taken with his performance, and Speedman was soon living in Los Angeles, where the show was filmed. The positive attention that followed Felicity's debut made him and his co-stars the subjects of numerous interviews, articles, and websites, and gave Speedman the opportunities that he once could only dream of during his days of purgatory in Canadian television. Shortly after an appearance in the little seen 2000 /comedy drama Duets, Speedman hit the big time when cast opposite Kurt Russell in the /police detective /thriler Dark Blue (2003). Though he did prove convincing in his role as a slightly naive LAPD homicide detective, the film quickly faded from sight at the box office and his commendable performance went largely unnoticed. His subsequent role in the romantic drama My Life Without Me once again showed his ability to carry a dramatic performance, but later that same year the up and coming actor nevertheless threw all dramatics out the window for a role as one of the sole humans in a neverending battle between vampires and werewolves.
More fun stuff about Scott Speedman
Birth name: Robert Scott Speedman
Height 5' 11" (1.80 m)
Once aspired to be a swimmer for the Canadian team.
He was raised in Canada, which is where he got his start in acting.
Tried out for the role of Robin in Batman Forever (1995)
Attended, with many other celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Jackson, the grand opening of the Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island. This event was full of music, food, belly dancers and, of course, fireworks.
His mother was an Olympic athlete.
Scott previously dated his "Felicity" co-star Keri Russell.
"Sexy is a girl who's comfortable with herself. Long legs are beautiful...and also a nice neck."
Scott Speedman Talks About "Underworld"
Scott Speedman got his start in films with the short feature, “Can I Get a Witness,” which screened at the 1996 Toronto International Film Festival. Born in London but raised in Toronto, Speedman came to the attention of American audiences with his role as Ben in the TV series “Felicity,” opposite Keri Russell.
“Underworld” director Len Wiseman had seen Speedman on “Felicity,” but says that’s not what sold him on Scott, instead it was his attitude toward the project. “Scott takes everything in this film seriously and wants it to be as real as possible,” commented Wiseman.
As the young doctor Michael Corvin, Speedman’s hunted down by a clan of werewolves. This hunt attracts the attention of the vampire Selene (Kate Beckinsale) who comes to Dr. Corvin’s aid while trying to discover just what it is about Corvin that makes him a target of the werewolves.
While his medical research was done on his own time at a hospital in Budapest, the filmmakers did put Speedman through training courses to get him prepared for the action sequences. “I fight like a girl so I had to. It was fun. I was really cranked to do that stuff, more the wire training than the hitting people. That was really fun to get pulled up in the air and pretend you know what you’re doing,” joked Speedman, adding, “I wasn’t so bad. I’ve got some scars on my back from being dragged along. There was a nail on the ground once and they were pulling me on wires. The stunt guys are so macho that I went and showed it to them and they’re like, ‘Yeah, whatever.’ You don’t get any sympathy.”
Kate Beckinsale’s character is proficient with weapons so the actress underwent special training with guns. Scott’s character doesn’t need to have that prowess so his personal lack of gun knowledge worked in his favor. Speedman explained, “I get to carry a gun once in the movie and I didn’t know what I was doing, and that was appropriate. I’m the ‘girlfriend’. Every time I’ve got this shocked look on my face and she throws me to the ground. I’m screaming in terror. When I was watching it I was like, ‘Wow, how weird.’ I’m fine with it. I’m glad I didn’t have to know what I was doing with guns. That was easy for me.”
Perhaps the hardest thing for Speedman to do was to sit through five hours of ‘werewolf’ make-up. “That was a challenge. It was cool though. They were worried because I’m kind of hyper. Everyone was worried I was going to go nuts and freak out in the chair. I got to control the music; I drank a lot of coffee. Watching these guys work, they were talking about me when I was sitting right there like I’m a piece of art - molding me and stuff. These guys are really artistic with it. If you move, they get kind of nervous. I was pretty fascinated watching [the make-up artists]. It was really fun because you know I spent a lot of time on television doing stuff like that so it was fun to go into another thing where it wasn’t about this mask [pointing to his face].”
Speedman enjoyed his time on the set so much he’d sign up again, if the material was right. “Probably the most difficult things were my favorite parts. The make-up and the big fight sequence at the end of the movie were very difficult but really fun and challenging. That’s why I wanted to do it. I’ve never done anything like this and I didn’t think I would, unless it was good,” explained Speedman. “It took me a long time to rest and get over it. It’s grueling and I kind of get obsessive about things so I worked really hard and did as good a job as I could. I would if it was right, I’d do it in a second.”
The hunk Felicity dumped, on virginity, screaming teenagers, getting on with Gwyneth and--gasp!--leaving the show
As tongue-tied, commitment-phobic, athletic stud Ben Covington, he finally gave in to Felicity's affection--only to blow it and lose her. So, what does Scott Speedman do now? He jumps into Brad Pitt's shoes and woos Gwyneth Paltrow in Duets. Some guys have all the luck.
Your Felicity character, Ben, has a new girlfriend, but you're not through with Felicity, are you?
Who knows? I don't even know what's going to happen. I mean, they're always trying to figure that out.
Okay, so there's all this buzz on Keri Russell's new 'do. What do you think? Be honest!
Oh, I love it, I really do. I look at her now--I can't even see her with long hair anymore.
You were quoted as saying that it was unrealistic for Felicity to have been a virgin for so long. Care to elaborate?
[Laughs.] I can't remember saying that. I don't think it's unrealistic--I just felt that we should loosen her up. I just felt like, if we're making a show about college, we should make it as real as possible and try to stay away from clichés and what's "right" and PC.
I went to the University of Toronto for a year, and I'm always trying to get across what university is really like. And sex is definitely part of college life.
But would you say Felicity is--
To say she's unrealistic is silly, because there's a lot of 19-year-old virgins. I don't want that to be misinterpreted.
I've read stories about how you landed Felicity by way of a call from a desperate casting agent to your mother...
I had dropped out of theater school after six months and was just staying on my mom's couch at home in Toronto. I didn't really know what I wanted to do, and then I got this call from a casting director in Los Angeles. She remembered me from something years before, and she called my mom wanting me to audition for this thing. I didn't want to do it, but she sent me the script, and I read it and really liked it.
So, you knew right away when you saw the script that it was something you wanted?
It read to me like a movie. It was never my dream to be on a television show, but the words kind of flew out of my mouth when I read my part--it was a good part for me.
You've said that when you were younger, you reached a point at which you weren't enjoying acting.
Well, I started acting at 19. I dropped out when I was 21 or 22 because I was doing a lot of TV movies, and I wasn't really enjoying it, and I wanted to do some more training. So, it wasn't that I wasn't enjoying acting--I wasn't enjoying TV movies, silly movies, stupid movies of the week.
Well, obviously things turned around--you've got not only a hit TV series now, but a new movie with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Bello, Duets, out next spring, about relationships among the karaoke-bar set. Was it hard doing both your TV series and the movie at the same time?
It was very, very hard. I was up, like, three days in Vancouver and two days in L.A. And my dad passed away during [production]. It was a tough time.
How long did that double workload go on?
Duets is about six people, so it's like three different movies--three different duets. I was on the set 18 days, spread out over three and a half or four weeks. It wasn't totally grueling, as if I were on the film three months--but it was a month of intense work in terms of flying and trying to figure out both characters.
Was it intimidating to work with Gwyneth and her director father, Bruce Paltrow?
Gwyneth had just been nominated for the Academy Award, so, yes, it was intimidating. But that stuff excites me. I like that fear. It makes me work better. And Bruce is a really good director--an actor's director.
Did you and Gwyneth have a chance to buddy around?
Oh, yeah. We all had a good time. She's a great girl.
How often do you get to see her?
Now and then, depending on schedules.
So much has been made of the fact that you replaced Brad Pitt, who vacated the project after he and Gwyneth broke up. Was that a big weight on your shoulders?
I tried not to think about that too much. You've got to just go do what you do--you can't really worry about who was attached to the movie before. It would have been a good role for him. He's a really good actor.
Have you seen Fight Club?
I loved it! I think it's a smart, important movie. I'm confused by people who don't get it and who are frightened by it.
Why do you think it's important?
In terms of men in the late '90s, I feel we've been pushed into this ultrasensitive role without being too comfortable about it. I think they're frustrated by a fear of loss of power, and I think the movie speaks to a lot of those things. For me, at 24 years old, it's a great film--aggressive, adventurous. I'd like to be a part of that kind of film.
I also loved American Beauty. I like a lot of what's coming out now. I think films are in a better place than six months ago, and that's exciting.
Do you think Duets will be an important film?
In a way, yeah. It's a really good movie that a lot of people will relate to and understand. It's a small movie. I don't think it's going to make $100 million, but we never set out to make a movie like that. Hopefully, I'll get to make some more films from it, but I don't think it'll be a big, star-making vehicle.
Have there been any offers for your next project?
Yes, though most of them aren't necessarily for films I want to be a part of. I'd rather not make films than make bad ones. I'm pretty picky about what I want to do. I'd rather wait for the right movie to come along--a film with something to say and some good acting challenges.
You were once a national-champion swimmer headed for the Olympics, yet you don't swim anymore at all. Why not?
I can't swim at the level I used to. I had to retire because of an injury to my shoulder.
It seems you want to be the best at something, or you won't play around with it at all.
Yes, and that's not a good thing at times.
Has it been hard finding yourself the object of screaming teenage girls' affection?
It's weird. I'm not faced with it so much here [in Los Angeles]. You've got so many actors--so many celebrities. I don't feel like I can't walk out of my house. It hasn't really changed my life at all.
It doesn't sound like fame is going to your head.
Oh, no. I think it's really important not to let that happen, otherwise you cease to be a real person. And once you cease to be a real person, you stop being a good actor. If you don't live a normal life, how do you relate to people?
Speaking of which, are you "relating" to anyone at the moment?
You mean a girlfriend? No. It's an interesting time that way. It's hard to meet good girls down here. It seems like they're all after something and interested in their own lives.
So, what do you like to do when you're not working?
I play basketball as much as I can. I like to run. The hills here are great--the Santa Monica Mountains. I like to go up to Big Sur.
Finally, there have been rumors floating around the Internet that you're going to leave Felicity.
I heard about that. It's silly. It's really odd. No, there's no truth to that at all. No, no, no, no, no.
Well, your fans will be delighted you're staying.
I don't see the point in signing on to do something and then leaving.
Scott Speedman plays in 'XXX: State of the Union'
Filming has begun in Los Angeles on Revolution Studios' "XXX: State of the Union," the sequel to the 2002 summer blockbuster "XXX," it was announced by Revolution Studios Partner Todd Garner. Filming will also take place in Baltimore and Washington, DC.
The film is directed by Lee Tamahori ("Die Another Day") and stars Ice Cube as the new agent XXX and Samuel L. Jackson, who will reprise his role as NSA Agent Augustus Gibbons. "XXX: State of the Union" will be released by Columbia Pictures on May 13th, 2005.
The film is being produced for Revolution Studios by Neal Moritz ("Stealth," "S.W.A.T.," "XXX," "The Fast and the Furious") and Arne Schmidt ("Big Fish," "XXX," "We Were Soldiers") and is written by Simon Kinberg ("Mr. and Mrs. Smith"). Revolution Studios' Garner and Rob Cohen (director of
"Stealth," "XXX," "The Fast and the Furious") are serving as executive producers.
In the follow up to the successful franchise film "XXX," NSA Agent Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson), fresh off the success of his last renegade recruitment, once again finds himself in need of an outsider. Gibbons and his new agent (Ice Cube), also code-named "XXX," must track a
dangerous military splinter group led by Willem Dafoe that is conspiring to overthrow the U.S. Government in the nation's capital.
"'XXX' was a tremendously rewarding experience for us, and we are thrilled to be continuing this exciting franchise with 'XXX: State of the Union,'" said Revolution Studios' Garner. "Ice Cube is a talented and diverse actor and Lee Tamahori is a gifted director, and their unique abilities will make the second film in this franchise as fresh and exciting as the first film."
Ice Cube will next be seen in Revolution Studios' family comedy "Are We There Yet?," which he is also producing. His other feature credits include "Barbershop" and "Barbershop 2," the "Friday" series, "Three Kings," "Higher Learning" and "Boyz N the Hood."
Samuel L. Jackson will next be seen in "Star Wars: Episode III." His previous credits include "S.W.A.T.," "Unbreakable," "Shaft," "Jackie Brown," "Eve's Bayou," which he also produced, "Die Hard with a Vengeance," and "Pulp Fiction," for which he received an Academy Award nomination.
Willem Dafoe most recently starred in "The Clearing" alongside Robert Redford. Dafoe has received two Academy Award nominations for his roles in "Shadow of the Vampire" and "Platoon." His other credits include "Spider-Man," "Finding Nemo," "The English Patient," "Born on the Fourth of July" and "The Last Temptation of Christ."
The cast is rounded out by Scott Speedman ("Underworld," "Duets," television's "Felicity"), Nona Gaye ("The Matrix Revolutions," "The Matrix Reloaded," "Ali"), Peter Strauss (television's "Joan of Arc," "Kane & Abel," "Rich Man, Poor Man"), Sunny Mabrey ("The New Guy"), and Michael Roof ("XXX," "Black Hawk Down").
Lee Tamahori recently finished directing "The Stanford Prison Experiment." His last project was the James Bond film "Die Another Day" with Pierce Brosnan. His other credits include "Along Came a Spider" with Morgan Freeman, "The Edge" with Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin, and "Mulholland Falls" with Nick Nolte and Melanie Griffith.
Revolution Studios was formed by Joe Roth in May 2000 to independently produce and finance films in partnership with Sony Pictures, Starz Encore Group and Fox Entertainment Group.
xXx: State of the Union hits theaters on April 29th, 2005.