In the upcoming fact-based psychological thriller "Final Vision" (Dec. 10 on Investigation Discovery), Scott Foley goes dark -- very dark -- as Jeffrey MacDonald, the Army doctor convicted in 1979 of murdering his pregnant wife and two children. The film centers on both the crime and the trial, as well as writer Joe McGinniss, who started work on his book "Final Vision" at the request of MacDonald himself.
Foley's familiar with military types. Over on "Scandal," he's been playing one with plenty of issues of his own. Things are never what they seem on the ABC drama, and everyone has his or her own agenda, and this season his character Jake Ballard has been Olivia Pope's sounding board, moral compass and part-time love interest.
"I know that people expect a certain thing of me as an actor," Foley said. "I think they expect 'Scott Foley' and I'm not quite sure what that means, so it's strange. People expect me to be the quarterback, you know? And I've played the quarterback before.
"But I'm much goofier, and I have a much drier sense of humor than people think, so if they don't know me, it might take them a second to realize, 'Oh -- oh, that was a joke!' People don't necessarily expect that; they see a tall, handsome, semi-in shape guy who maybe has it all together. When truth be told? I was up at 5 a.m. with my kids, I've got eggs in my hair and let's talk about that! I'm most comfortable when I can make fun of myself."
The times when he starts feeling uncomfortable? When all eyes are on him. "I'm a blusher. And it's something that happens to me regularly."
It's not a problem when it happens on camera, he said, because "usually I have enough makeup on to cover it. But when I'm in an audition or I'm standing up to give a speech or something, that's when I blush. I think it's when I feel judged, if that makes sense! I get self-conscious, and I hear myself talking and it just happens."
MY WORST MOMENT ...
"I know it sounds ridiculous, but the more well-known I become, the more I blush for a number of reasons. It starts in my neck, and it goes to my cheeks and it won't go down for 10 minutes. I have always blushed, I don't know what it is.
"This incident in particular that has really stayed with me was when I reading for a fairly prominent feature film director named Mimi Leder. I don't even remember what movie it was. It might have been for 'Deep Impact,' which she directed. It was around the time that 'Armageddon' was coming out, and there were a couple similar movies like that the same time. I'm not a very good auditioner, but I was excited to go read for her.
"When you go into an audition, there's usually five minutes of banter and shooting the (breeze) with everyone in the room. And then I can always feel it when it's like, 'OK, the small talk is over, they're ready to hear you read -- you need to step up and do your thing now.' I've prepared, and I know the lines and it's all good.