'Last Resort' Was Scott Speedman's First Choice
It's been a decade since Scott Speedman starred on the small screen, but tonight, at 8 p.m., the former Felicity star returns to television in one of the year's best new dramas, Last Resort!
Shawn Ryan, creator of The Shield, is once again living in the grey with Last Resort, which focuses on a submarine filled with U.S. servicemen who disobey a dodgy direct order from the government to bomb a foreign nation and end up becoming the targets. Led by XO Sam Kendal (Speedman) and Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher), the crew of The Colorado ends up docking on a nearby island and declaring themselves a sovereign nation.
I caught up with Speedman to talk about his TV return, why Last Resort was his first choice and why life in a submarine is his own version of hell!
TheInsider.com: Were you actively looking to do television again?
Scott Speedman: I was looking to come out in something people would actually see [laughs]. Movies are in a weird place right now – I've been doing indies for a while, but outside of you and some writers, nobody sees that sh*t. I was looking to announce my presence again. I didn't think it would be a ginormous big show like this, but I knew it would either be a small show, which I was gravitating towards, or something with big, global implications.
Insider.com: What appealed to you about Last Resort?
Scott: I thought it was a really intriguing concept, but had no idea how it could be turned into a TV show -- and that interested me. It wasn't like a normal show, where you know where it can go. Shawn Ryan really knows how to write male characters and I think my guy can head in some bad-ass directions.
Insider.com: Plus, it's so character-driven, it's like an indie movie in a lot of ways.
Scott: It's got to be and that's why I went with Shawn Ryan – that's what he does well. If the show is just blind action, our audience will leave. In droves. Things can blow up once in a while, but the action needs to be based in reality, that's what makes it thrilling. I hope people think our show is thrilling. I hope it rattles their nerves and they want to spend time with me every week in their living room. I want them to invest in these characters.
Insider.com: In the pilot alone, he's pulled in a hundred different directions as his loyalty to his crew, his country and his family are tested. What excites you about that struggle?
Scott: It sets up an interesting dynamic because he's loyal ... but only to a point. As you see in the pilot, he loves The Navy, but when he gets a bad order, he won't follow it blindly. He's smart and you'll come to find out that he's got some secrets of his own.
Insider.com: For me, the claustrophobia of a submarine would get to me in an hour. Could you handle that kind of life?
Scott: I would be OK with that. What I couldn't handle is the regimented nature of military life. That would bum me out. I don't like being told what to do.
Insider.com: The show films in Hawaii -- have you been enjoying it there?
Scott: You're not allowed to say otherwise, or you're an asshole [laughs]. I was unsure at first -- it's tough to uproot your whole life, but it's growing on me a lot. I'm starting to see how it's more than just a beautiful place.
Last Resort premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.