By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®
When I was in Los Angeles this summer for the Television Critics Association press tour, I had the chance to chat (along with some of my fellow critics) with Scott Speedman. Speedman, who stars as XO Sam Kendal in the new ABC drama Last Resort (premiering tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC), was charmingly self-deprecating and honest. (As I said at the time, I KNEW I was right to always pick Ben over Noel).
In tonight’s premiere, Kendal refuses an order to launch a nuclear attack on Pakistan when the directive does not come through the proper channels. His actions force him, his captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher) and their crew to find refuge on a remote island (which looks a lot like Lost since the show films in Hawaii).
It’s the actor’s first TV role since playing the dreamy Ben Covington on Felicity. That show ended in 2002 so Speedman has spent a decade away from the small screen. Welcome back, Scott!
On deciding to do Last Resort
For years I did the ‘well what’s the point? I don’t get this. I don’t see myself doing this. I don’t understand how this can be successful.’ But then you don’t work and that’s a problem.
[Co-creator and executive producer] Shawn Ryan (The Shield) at the helm was a big push for me because it’s all well and good to make a good pilot but that’s not really what the show is. The show is episode seven and down the line.
I read a bunch of pilots and I can usually see what they will evolve into and this I had no idea. And I think these two guys, Karl Gajdusek and Shawn Ryan, are so smart I was willing to take the risk to see what was going on.
I always have reservations about working when you know what it is and you know how much effort goes into it and the hours and moving to Hawaii was a big consideration. Andre and I were both in the same boat in that way. It had to be the right thing to want to go and do it and this was it
This is a long term commitment I’m not good with long term commitments so we’ll see how that goes. I mean I can only say it was exciting premise and we’ll see what happens. We’ll see how I do with that long term commitment .
On his feelings about the possibility of getting involved in another TV love triangle
I really was adamant on not being involved on an out and out soap opera show. I was not interested in that. I would say that it would be impossible not to have romantic elements to this character. I don’t want it to turn into Temptation Island either. Hopefully it will be done well.
On how he’s like his character
I feel like I would have done what my character did by refusing the order and not firing when it was coming through the wrong channels. But I think there’s a great many people in America that will feel otherwise and say we are traitors. I thought that was interesting – a water cooler moment that could be a discussion
On how he’s not like his character
I would be a terrible naval man. The regimented lifestyle, I would not do well. I do not follow rules all that well. I think I’d be terrible. These guys – from morning to night – follow rules that’s why it’s so interesting that this is the one they say no to.