On FOX’s comedy “The Goodwin Games,” premiering Monday, May 20, Scott Foley plays an overachieving, overextended surgeon, the eldest of three, who are called home after their dad’s death.
Their dad, Beau Bridges, was a math professor who somehow managed to amass $23 million but will not bequeath it to his adult children until they learn to act like a family.
Foley plays Henry, a rather humorless sort, who “has a habit of keeping everything bottled up,” he says. “He was the oldest son, as I am myself, of three siblings. He always felt he had to look after his siblings when his mother passed away and the family drifted apart, and they all come back together for his father’s funeral.”
After a few years of dramas, Foley was itching to do a comedy again. As well known as Foley has become on TV, he also spent lean years at a bunch of disparate jobs.
“I truly believe that what I do demands an understanding of normalcy,” Foley says.
And he gleans that from his years of working (and eating most meals) at Mrs. Fields, folding jeans at the Gap, selling insurance and tending bar.
“My first job in L.A. was selling car insurance, and I was so bad at it,” Foley says. “I am not a salesperson. I was starving, mind you. I tended bar and waited tables for years and ended up managing a few restaurants.”
The cast shot seven episodes months ago. Handicapping its chances, Foley says, “It felt, to me, like it has legs. I have a feeling Fox had a very tough year this year with its comedies. They are putting it on at such a late date, I hope people watch it and it surprises everybody. I don’t want it to be a burn-off.”
Birth date: July 15, 1972
Credits: “Scandal,” “True Blood,” “The Unit,” “Scrubs,” “Felicity,” “Dawson’s Creek”
Breakthrough role: “Dawson’s Creek.” “I found an agent, booked an episode of ‘Step by Step’ with Suzanne Somers and booked another gig, and that took me to North Carolina (for ‘Dawson’s’). From there, The WB, now-defunct WB, got to know who I was. At one point I had done more shows on The WB than any other actor,” Foley says.
First time onstage: “I was in fifth grade in St. Louis, and I played Oliver,” he says of “Oliver Twist.” “It is a huge role, and I had so much fun I was taken, and never looked back.”
Favorite movie: “I loved ‘Life of Pi.’ It was one of my most favorite movies ever. ‘Flight’ was such a good film. Comedywise, there are old Mel Brooks’ things — I can watch ‘Blazing Saddles’ again and again — and great films that stand the test of time, like ‘The Shawshank Redemption.’ “
Favorite books: “Wallace Stegner is one of my favorite authors. His choice of words, the way he crafts his sentences and the stories he tells are amazing. I am a big Steinbeck fan.”
Favorite music: “James Taylor. These days, Fun. I can listen to Fun. all day long. And Eric Church.”