On ABC's Six Degrees, film vet Campbell Scott plays Steven, an ex-addict photographer looking to start life anew. But on Hallmark Channel's Final Days of Planet Earth, premiering Saturday, Oct. 14, at 8 pm/ET, the stakes are even a wee bit higher: the fate of all mankind. Or, might he be the root of the planet's destruction? Hmm. TVGuide.com spoke with Scott about his two new and very different roles.
TVGuide.com: Why don't you sum up Final Days of Planet Earth for us.
Campbell Scott: [Laughs] Sum up the final days of planet Earth?!
TVGuide.com: The movie, not the actual final days of planet Earth.
Scott: How would I sum it up.... I get to play a rather unbalanced astronaut I won't say crazy who seems to be one of the keys to either saving or destroying the planet.
TVGuide.com: One or the other.
Scott: One or the other. Hallmark [Channel], Daryl Hannah, Gil Bellows, great fun... it's kind of silly-outrageous but also relatively serious. And there are large aliens from outer space.
TVGuide.com: Is it too much of a reveal to say that your character has been held prisoner by the aliens?
Scott: No, not at all. Held prisoner, tortured, experimented upon...
TVGuide.com: Dare I ask anal probing?
Scott: Not sure about that.
TVGuide.com: Is it implied? Did you decide to play that subtext?
Scott: [Laughs] Did I play that underneath, so to speak? No.... I've never gotten to do anything like this film before, and that's why I take jobs these days. Green-screen [effects], working with things that aren't even there... it was the ideal job to go away and do.
TVGuide.com: This was your very first green-screen experience?
Scott: First time. My first science fiction, which I used to be a huge fan of, so to do that was exciting. Plus, I also get the added benefit of being the guy who's unbalanced not crazy, I say, because he actually has moments of extreme lucidity and that gives you license. It's way more fun to play, especially for me, because I usually play if not still, rather mature and reserved individuals.
TVGuide.com: I suppose that after filming Final Days is when a little show called Six Degrees came calling?
Scott: Six Degrees, we shot the pilot in the spring. Again, a whole new experience, because I've never done a television series before.
TVGuide.com: Is it one of an actor's dreams to take a guy like Steven, who could be perceived as unlikable for any number of reasons, and try to get the audience invested in him?
Scott: You phrase it well. I don't think you ever go into something thinking, I'm going to try to play this guy unlikable, but I definitely don't want to be just someone who you immediately feel sympathy toward. I like it when it's a roller coaster, and this guy is a great opportunity for that. I like my story. Again, it's something I hadn't quite done before. I've played arrogant characters, like in Roger Dodger and stuff like that, but not one who is just crawling out of a hole.
TVGuide.com: Based on the last episode, are we to infer that Steven likes his women young, or just adoring?
Scott: No, I think we infer that he doesn't know what hit him! [Laughs] Characters like him look for comfort, and if it comes in the form of a young, smart woman, why not?
TVGuide.com: Is she a keeper, or is this just a dalliance?
Scott: I've done a lot with Shiri Appleby, she's been in almost every episode since the one you saw, so yeah, she's here for a while.
TVGuide.com: But do you feel at all like Steven is fated to reconnect with Hope Davis' character?
Scott: I don't know. It's so funny because obviously Hope and I have worked together a bunch of times, and we have not worked together on this yet. Except I took a picture of her in the pilot.
TVGuide.com: But for all we know, that was all green screen.
Scott: No, no, we were there! We laugh about it "When are they going to get us together?" but now I hear that we do have a couple scenes in the next [episode we're filming] or the one after that. They never tell you, they like being mysterious.
TVGuide.com: I was going to say, you two didn't really need this series to help out your own "six degrees" connection.
Scott: We are so six degrees, we're one degree. We have done six movies together, and one play.
TVGuide.com: Here's my "six degrees connection" to you: When Longtime Companion first hit theaters, I took a female friend of mine to see it, completely unaware of what it was about. So we're in the theater and people start walking out, all these aghast fuddy-duddies. The room reeked of overall discomfort, because at the time AIDS was a very new subject matter.
Scott: Yep, absolutely. But that's your six degrees? I thought you were going to say the girl you went with knew a person who knew a person....
TVGuide.com: No, that's it. I once saw a movie of yours. That's the connection.
Scott: You were one of 12 people.
TVGuide.com: If you were to pick one film of yours that didn't get its due, which would you choose?
Scott: We're going to have to phrase this in a different way, Matt. If I had to pick one film of mine that I think did get its due.... [Laughs] That'd be the hard question. Listen, I make what I consider to be relatively challenging films, and that's the way I like it. I live in the independent world most of the time. Most of the films I'm actually proud of and wish they had bigger audiences, but you never know. They live a little longer now on DVD, and they all made a bit of a stir in their own tiny ways.
TVGuide.com: Getting back to Six Degrees: As good as it is, it isn't holding onto as much of the Grey's Anatomy audience as people would like....
Scott: Is that the talk? [Chuckles] Is that the talk?
TVGuide.com: What message would you like to send out to those who perhaps haven't given it a shot?
Scott: You know better than I do how TV shows go through their cycles, and what makes someone come around to a show or not. I'm very new to this, and I feel like if you keep doing well, people will finally discover you. Maybe it's the six-character thing, and people don't want to try to follow everybody...? I don't know. When we were making the pilot, it really felt like we were making a little independent film. It felt different from what you normally see.
TVGuide.com: Maybe the message is as simple as: "Stop watching ER, which has been on for 10,000 years, and give this new little a show a try"?
Scott: [Laughs] Yeah, get the first five seasons of ER on DVD and watch them another time instead!
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