Interview with Scoot McNairy

Scoot McNairy stars in this fall’s sci-fi film “Monsters”.  He also has his own production company called The Group Films and starred its first film called “In Search of a Midnight Kiss” and received critical praise.  Movie Mikes had a chance to talk about working on “Monsters”, how it was preparing for the role and working with his wife on the film.

Click here to watch “Monsters” right now on Video on Demand

Mike Gencarelli: What drew you to working on the film “Monsters”?
Scoot McNairy: First off, Gareth (Edwards) showed me the concept or the treatment and based on that I was really excited about it.  The role was really wasn’t developed at the time.  Gareth came and met with us, we sat down and talked about some ideas.  I told him that ever since I was a kid, I always thought I would be a National Geographic photographer.  I would love to be a war journalist or something.  So based on that we incorporated that into the role.  I think at the time is when I really got excited and thought that this was a dream come true.  It was like reliving that childhood fantasy.

MG: What did you find the most difficult about working on “Monsters”?
SM: As far as the budget goes, I am pretty good at rolling with that.  Whitney and I are both very low maintenance actors.  The hardest thing about it was the improving.  The whole film was unscripted, it was all improv.  We made up stuff every day on the fly.  I think that was also the most stress baring thing about it.  We were constant trying to come up with new material on a sci-fi film where there is nothing grounded.  You cannot see anything, you are living in a world that doesn’t exist.  It is created after when we are done with the project.  We felt a bit lost at times.  We just kind of stuck with it and at the end of the day the editor did a fantastic job cutting together a great story out of it.

MG: What was it like worked with your wife, Whitney Able, on the film?
SM: It could have been a make or break ordeal.  I didn’t know how she was going to react to the stressful conditions.  Being in Guatemala in the middle of nowhere of the Jungle.  I think about three weeks into it, I was so impressed with her talent as well as her gung-ho indie film attitude.  I think halfway through the film, I decided I am going to marry this person.

MG: How do you prepare for a role that was mostly improv?
SM: All you do is back-story research.  Don’t get me wrong I usually do a lot of back-story research for my characters but for this one, it was different.  I had to write out this guys life from day one.  This way anything Whitney threw at me or I threw at her, we could come back with a legitimate idea.  We did about two to three months of writing out these characters lives.  A lot of it didn’t get used but it was all there in the back of our heads.

MG: Having worked on many films, how was it working with first time director, Gareth Edwards?
SM: It was good.  As much as he was a first time director, this was kind of find time thing for me as well.  I think we were all really patient with each other.  Being it was a small crew, we had the ability to stop production and sit down and talk about things.  It was very organic.  Everyone was involved in the creative process from the line producer, to Gareth, to Whitney and I.  We all just got together and made this story ourselves.  Due to our patience with each other, I think it led to a good project coming out in the end.

MG: Do you ever have plans to direct?
SM: It is funny you mention that right now, I am just sitting down writing a script right now that I have been developing for four years.  Yes, it is something that I am going to want to direct. Then I have a production company as well, I produced a movie called “In Search of a Midnight Kiss”.  The company is called The Group Films.  We currently have two films in development right now.  Directing is definitely the next step for me.

MG: What can you tell us about the films you are producing?
SM: One of them, “Frank and Cindy”, I can only say that Rene Russo is attached.   At the present time also we have Danny Devito directing.  I have another film I can’t say cause the cast is all over the place.  I am producing with Holly Wiersma who did “Factory Girl”, “Bobby”, “Wonderland” and “Stone” which just came out.

MG: What projects are acting in that are coming out?
SM: I have a movie coming out called “Angry White Man” with Matthew Perry and Mary Birdsong from “Reno 911”. It is a redneck comedy takes place in North Carolina.  I got the “The Off Hours”, I did with Lynn Shelton who directed “Humpday”.  I’ve also got a couple of other projects and TV shows in the works as well.

Click here to watch “Monsters” right now on Video on Demand

2 Replies to “Interview with Scoot McNairy”

  1. Just saw Monsters. Great film. I didn’t know the two leads were married. They play well off of each other. I didn’t want the movie to end I wanted to see what would come next.

  2. Great comments Peter!! Def one of my favorites of the year! Best score of the year!!

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