Interviews - TV

Scott Grimes – Saving the Day

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Q) What are some of your most recent projects that you’re working on?

A) I am working on my second season of “ER,” as we speak. I just finished doing a record this summer at Capital Records for Lost City Entertainment and that comes out February 22nd and the single comes out January 17th called “Sunset Boulevard.” The album is called “Livin’ on the Run!” I’m putting that out there because it’s a very ambitious project and we had a blast making it. I also am doing a show for Fox called “American Dad” that comes out after the Super Bowl. It’s on after “The Simpsons” and it’s from the creator of “Family Guy” and I play the son. It is adult oriented/adult humor.

Q) What is it like working on the set of “ER”?

A) You would think it’s difficult, but it’s one of the easiest projects I’ve ever worked on. They’re a machine over there, they’ve been doing this for eleven years, and it is just a fast show. You do what is written, you say it and you’re done. You can kind of pretend to be a doctor and that’s all it takes. Just say the words, put something in your hands and pretend to be doing something. The cast has been doing it so long, and they’re the greatest crew that I’ve ever worked with in my life. It’s just a machine. It’s a blast! It’s just iconic, there are all these actors like Noah Wyle and Goran and Moira. They are just iconic actors that we all grew up with.

Q) Do you enjoy working with such a diverse cast?

A) I do! There is not a person on that show that I don’t love and miss if they are no longer on the show.

Q) What is your favorite part of working on “ER”?

A) I like to play doctor. I don’t have the education to be a doctor, so the greatest thing about being an actor in general is to be able to get the opportunity to play something that you would never normally be able to do. For me, going in and playing doctor (especially in the serious scenes where there is an actual trauma going on and you have to be serious and not a goofball) it is really fun, that intensity. Also, I love working with Noah. He just brings everybody’s level up.

Q) How did you hear about the role of Dr. Morris and what was your audition like?

A) I got a phone call. I heard that one of the producers was watching “Band of Brothers” and brought me in for Dr. Morris. I was supposed to do two episodes and then quit. I remember the audition being really weird. The lines to read were like, “Clear!” Or, “Charge to three hundred!” There was nothing to really do, but just yell out medical things. I remember going in and standing there yelling things. The producer and me were laughing and he looked at me and said, “You know what Scott, that was great. You got it!” It was really a sort of trust thing; they kind of trusted that I would make something out of this role. They just kept me on and kept bringing me back and now I’m a doctor on the show. I was supposed to be on for two episodes and I’m still on there two years later!

Q) Dr. Morris is sort of a clueless screw up. Do you enjoy playing this kind of character or do you wish he were more of an attentive, together doctor?

A) I enjoy playing him the way he is. The other way is done so much. Having spoken to real doctors, there are doctors like me all the time. It’s very scary to think of…the guy who got a “C” in medical school became a doctor. He became a bad doctor or inept. The reality of it I love to play. I love to play the goofball and the guy that everybody hates for two reasons. One, it’s more fun and more controversial. Two, when people meet me in real life they see I’m just a regular guy. It just makes it more fun for me. Those are the guys that you talk about at the water cooler the next day. Yeah, you talk about the kisses like Goran (Dr. Luka) kissed Abby, but the second thing you talk about is how Morris screwed up.

Q) What was it like filming “Band of Brothers”?

A) That was the hardest job I have ever had done in my life and probably the hardest job I will ever have to do. It was like being in the army for 9 months. We were treated like soldiers, treated with disdain, and as our characters went up in rank we were treated better. We had to do boot camp. It was really difficult because it was cold and muddy. I think the reason the project came out so well is because that reason came out on the screen. It was just the best project I’ll have ever done in my life and the luckiest thing I ever got.

Q) Do you keep in touch with the people you worked with on the show “Party of Five”?

A) For a couple years I did, but then Scott Wolf moved back to New York and we sort of lost touch. He’s the one that I will talk to every once in a while. I don’t see that many people from it. Everyone kind of went on their own way, but that doesn’t mean that there was a falling out. I think Matt lives in Hawaii doing the show “Lost” now; he’s someone I dearly love. I never run into Neve. Jeremy London and I stayed friends. It’s kind of weird when you do a show for so long you always remain friends and you’ll always be friends because you love everyone, but we all kind of went our separate ways.

Q) Why is it so important to you to support causes like the USO, ACS and The Aids Research Foundation?

A) I do it not because I want the attention for being at an event or giving money for tax purposes. I really honestly like helping out. I do things privately that no one knows about, that I don’t lend my actual name to, because I don’t want the attention. I just want to do it as a human being helping another human being. I love to work with disabled kids and the homeless. It is important because it literally makes me feel really good. I think any time my name or face to bring attention to something and it can help in any sort of way, then great. I really enjoy it. I feel really good about myself and helping out. It’s about supporting people and letting them know that someone out there cares about them.

Q) Who would you most like to work with in the future?

A) I did a great movie a few years ago called Mystery Alaska. The truth is, of course I’d like to work with great actors of our time, but really I’d like to work with everyone that was in that movie. We just had a blast and it’s a great rental. Russell Crowe is a good buddy and I’d love to work with him again.

Q) You got to work on the film Crimson Tide with Gene Hackman. What was it like working with such a screen legend?

A) It is very intimidating at first. He’s intimidating when he walks on the set, but he just makes you feel so comfortable because he is just a regular guy. You can’t not be good when you are with him. He’s just so good that you feel it is your obligation to be as good or try to come up to his level. It’s inspiring to work with him! In this one scene, he presses this gun against my head really hard for my close up. In his close up, he didn’t press the gun to my head. I said to him, “You can press it up to my head if you want,” and he said, “No, I see you are getting a little bruise there on your forehead.” That’s how nice he was. Even though it was his close up, he chose not to press the gun up to my head because he thought I was getting a little cut.

Q) Why did you decide to get into acting?

A) It wasn’t really one of those things I decided. I was a singer growing up in Boston and one thing led to another gradually. My folks and I went into the city (New York City) one weekend and I got a Broadway show when we decided to pop in on an open call. It was a hobby that turned into something that I really like to do. I always acted and performed. It was a gradual thing that was always with me.

Q) You are going to be playing a cartoon character on an upcoming Fox show. Do you prefer to be behind the screen or in front of the screen?

A) The pressure is off when you do voice work because you don’t have to look good that day. You can dress however you feel like it. I prefer to be on camera because it is just more fulfilling and more fun to act with people. I prefer music above it all because you don’t have a camera in your face and it’s just easier.

Q) You’re a musician. Who are some of your favorite bands of the moment?

A) Right now, I love and always will love Bruce Springstein and Sting. I like Maroon 5 now. I like everybody. There are a couple of songs I like by Avril Lavigne, but I haven’t bought any of her records. I am a big fan of old classic rock and roll mainly like Billy Joel and Elton John. I am a big fan of Canadian bands. My favorite band of all time is Great Big Sea.

Q) What do you do in your spare time?

A) In my spare time I play hockey, I play with my children, I eat sushi and I drink beer. I do a lot of everything.

Q) What would you like to say to your fans and supporters?

A) First of all, thank you. I get a lot of letters and people generally like red heads, which is good. The letters are nothing but kind, especially the “Band of Brothers” fans are the most loyal fans in the world. I’ve met a lot of veterans and people coming back from the Iraqi war and it’s just amazing how they are enthralled by me and I’m totally enthralled by them. I thank them for watching “Band of Brothers.” You are never going to see anything better on World War 2 as far as realism. I appreciate it; it’s a tough watch. To the rest of my fans, go out and buy my album! You won’t be sorry! 

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