The wonderfully named Texan Scoot McNairy, 37, is one of the most in-demand character actors working today, having lent his quirky charm to critically acclaimed hits like Argo, 12 Years a Slave, and Non-Stop as well as David Fincher’s upcoming insta-classic, Gone Girl. He also has impeccable taste in independent film, picking projects from the industry’s most respected indie directors, including improv queen Lynn Shelton (the awkward romance, Touchy Feely, alongside Ellen Page) and Australian dynamo Andrew Dominik (the Brad Pitt vehicle Killing Them Softly), along with upcoming post-apocalyptic thriller The Rover (alongside Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce and helmed by Animal Kingdom’s David Michod) and the fun-looking Frank (featuring Michael Fassbender as the titular rock-star with the giant papier mache head). He’s taking a break from his back-to-back film schedule to star in AMC’s latest buzzy show, Halt and Catch Fire, about the early race to conquer the PC market. He shared his rather manly list of extra-curricular pursuits with FLARE.
My friends say I’m… interesting.
I think I’m… normal with some different ways of looking at things.
My greatest fears are… flying and lions…
My favourite TV show is… Gas Monkey. I love fast American muscle cars.
What I miss most about my hometown is… the smell of fresh-cut grass and campfires.
My favourite menswear inspiration: Cattlemen.
The best meal I can cook: Smoked Boston pork butt.
The worst thing about being an actoris… the internal wrestling with your creative side and reality.
Best thing about being an actor: Getting to understand more about human behaviour.
I am happiest when… I’m fishing.
I love it when a woman wears… what she feels comfortable in.
The last great book I read: Empire of the Summer Moon.
The song that makes me tear up: Richard Hawley’s album, Coles Corner
The song that makes me dance like no one’s watching: Anything by Led Zepplin.
My childhood hero was… My father. Greatest man alive.
First job? I started my own landscaping company when I was 12.
Dream job? Wildlife photographer.
The one thing I can’t live without? Wide-open spaces.
And now a few questions about Scoot’s new projects…
What attracted you to the role of Gordon Clark in Halt and Catch Fire? I really loved the script and the dynamics of the characters and the dialogue.
What excited you most about joining a TV show? Being in the AMC family.
How much research did you do for the part? Did you have any rituals to help you prepare? I interviewed a number of engineers to get an idea of what the atmosphere was like during those cutthroat times.
How is the chemistry between you and costar Lee Pace? He’s a joy to work with and an incredible person
The Rover looks like a pretty intense film. Do you have any zany stories from the Australian location? The flies were an amazing attraction of the Australian outback.