Life came a little too close to imitating art for Campbell Scott while he was prepping for Final, his first solo directing project. In the psychological drama (currently in theaters), the main character — which was to have been played by Scott — is tortured by the guilt of missing his father's death by moments. Sadly, just prior to shooting, his own dad, Oscar-winning screen legend George C. Scott, passed away.

"I was out in L.A. making another movie when he died," recalls the 40-year-old thesp, who is probably best known for playing a leukemia victim opposite Julia Roberts and his late mother, actress Colleen Dewhurst, in 1991's Dying Young. "It's a blur when a parent or anyone close to you dies. It was a close relationship spiritually, but not geographically. The last time we had seen each other was a year before."

Following his father's death, Scott chose to focus solely on directing Final — and cast The Job's Denis Leary in the lead role. As Leary recalls, "[Campbell] called and said, 'I can't go in front of the camera because of my mental state.'"

However, Scott downplays talk that his personal loss precipitated the casting switch. "Honestly, as an actor you always think you'll be better than anybody else," he confesses. "I was always the back-up star [of Final], and Denis ultimately ended up way better than I would have."