photography by Bradley Meinz
“It’s always a blessing to be surrounded by people that are the best at what they do… I kept my mouth shut and just listened.
It seems like every year in Hollywood you’ll find an actor or actress who is on the verge of breaking out; someone who possesses the right mix of
ingredients for getting drawn to the right films, the right directors and seasoned actors to play opposite, the right roles, the right timing.
Former Moves cover girl Jessica Chastain burst onto the scene in Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life opposite Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.
In keeping with Moves’ knack for profiling up and coming talent, an actor you’ll be seeing a lot of is Texas-bred John “Scoot” McNairy… and he’s just getting started.
You may have seen Scoot in a little-known film Monsters (2010), a critically-acclaimed British sci-fi film in which he was nominated for Best Actor at the 2010 British Independent Film Awards. His film In Search of a Midnight Kiss, which he both starred in and produced, won the John Cassavetes award at the 2009 Independent Spirit Awards. Scoot, a name given to him by his dad in seeing his young son ‘scoot’ on his butt across the floor when he was a youngster – a name that stuck.
But it’s Scoot’s current crop of movies that have critics buzzing about this virtually hidden – and relatively unknown – talent. A question remains: How did he go so long without getting noticed until now? Surely, an actor who has appeared in TV shows like Six Feet Under, Bones, My Name is Earl, The Shield, and How I Met Your Mother, would be somewhat recognizable, even on the streets and cafes of paparazzi-infused LA. Even
for a self-described “private guy.”
The films and their credos do not lie. Scoot can be seen in Ben Affleck’s Oscar-buzzing Argo and will next be seen in Killing Them Softly opposite Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, and Richard Jenkins, a hitman film Scoot considered “a challenge. Mentally, I felt I had a lot of pressure.” He also snagged a role in Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land (January 2013), opposite Matt Damon, Frances McDormand, and John Krasinski, a film with an environmental narrative with a storyline on the perils of the controversial gas-drilling method, fracking. With a turn in Touchy Feely opposite Ellen Page, a role in the upcoming Non-Stop with Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore, Scoot will then re-team with Brad Pitt in Twelve Years a Slave for director Steve McQueen and also starring Michael Fassbender.
It’s safe to say you’ll be recognizing Scoot more than ever.
In Argo, Scoot plays one of the diplomats evading Iranian militants during the 1979 hostage crisis. To work with such actors as Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, director/actor Affleck, to say Scoot was in awe would be an understatement. “It’s always a blessing to be surrounded by people that are the best at what they do,” said Scoot, who originally moved to LA to become a cinematographer. “I kept my mouth shut and just listened.”
So what else is on the horizon for this Dallas native? Living his dream as a cinematographer and keeping his eye firmly behind the camera all the while taking on meatier roles in front of it, Scoot and a friend formed The Group Films, which is producing the film Frank and Cindy, the theatrical adaption of the award-winning documentary of the same name, starring Rene Russo, Michael Pena, and Anton Yelchin.
It’s cliché for an actor to say “it’s not about the money,” to sound humbled by his/her beginnings. In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times to promote Argo, Scoot seems genuine, sincere, and we can only hope he’s a diamond in the rough and not about to become part of the Hollywood Machine: “People keep asking me if I’m getting all these offers and making all this money. I’m not getting offers and I’m making less money than I’ve ever made in my life. But the parts are priceless.