Campbell Scott Campbell Scott

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. spoke with Scott about his two new and very different roles. Why don't you sum up Final Days of Planet Earth for us.
Campbell Scott: [Laughs] Sum up the final days of planet Earth?! 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. 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. 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... Dare I ask anal probing?
Scott: Not sure about that. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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? 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.... No, that's it. I once saw a movie of yours. That's the connection.
Scott: You were one of 12 people. 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. 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? 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. 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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