Scoot McNairy

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Scoot McNairy
Born John Marcus McNairy
(1977-11-11) November 11, 1977 (age 37)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Occupation Actor, producer
Years active 2001–present
Spouse(s) Whitney Able

John Marcus "Scoot" McNairy[1] (born November 11, 1977)[1] is an American actor and producer known for roles in In Search of a Midnight Kiss (2007), Monsters (2010), Argo (2012), Killing Them Softly (2012), Promised Land (2012) Non-Stop (2014), and Gone Girl (2014).[2]

Early life[edit]

McNairy was born in Dallas, Texas,[1] to Alicia Ann McNairy (née Merchant) and Stewart Hall McNairy.[1] He has an older brother.[3] Although he grew up in Dallas, he spent holidays and weekends on his parents' ranch in rural Paris, Texas.[4][5] Growing up, he did theater in after-school programs.[2] His father began calling him Scooter when he was about two years old. He has commented on his nickname, saying: "A lot of people are like, oh, it must be some amazing story. But it's because I used to scoot around on my butt."[6]

McNairy has stated that he is "highly dyslexic", and that he had to "go to dyslexia school for four years". He elaborated: "What I learned at a very young age – 12 years old – is that I learn everything by watching, through my eyes, visually. So watching films was educational because it was mindless learning. I could take in so much just by watching."[3]



McNairy moved to Austin, Texas in his early 20s, and was cast in his first film role, Wrong Numbers (2001), a teen drinking comedy written and directed by friend and frequent collaborator Alex Holdridge. The film won the Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival. Holdridge was hired to remake Wrong Numbers into a studio picture, but things didn't work out.

McNairy wasn't sure of being an actor: "I thought I wanted to be a wildlife photographer or cinematographer," he says, citing a love for the great outdoors. "So I moved [to LA] to go to film school."[5] After a year of film school working to become a cinematographer,[7] McNairy dropped out and began working in film production (carpentry, building film sets). Then he worked as an extra, until he eventually found steady work starring in over 200 TV commercials. Although initially interested in being behind the camera, he soon found roles as a journeyman actor for over 10 years.[2][8]

During the early 2000s, McNairy was known for his specialization in portraying colorful and individualistic young men with a slightly rebellious edge. McNairy began with small parts in films, including Wonderland (2003), Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005), and Art School Confidential (2006).

In 2010, McNairy worked on The Listening Party as Ferret and Everything Will Happen Before You Die as Matt. 2010 also saw the release of the alien invader film by Gareth Edwards called Monsters, which featured largely improvised dialogue and was shot in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Texas.[9][10][11]

In 2011, McNairy played Frankie, a scrawny motormouth, in director Andrew Dominik's film Killing Them Softly (2012), playing opposite Brad Pitt.[12] The film is based on the 1974 novel, Cogan's Trade by George V. Higgins, re-envisioned to the 2008 election season.[8]

The role led to a string of high-profile roles in films, including Ben Affleck's Argo (2012),[4] Gus Van Sant's Promised Land (2012), and Lynn Shelton's Touchy Feely (2013) opposite Rosemarie DeWitt, which also stars Ellen Page, Josh Pais, and Allison Janney.[13]

For his role as Joe Stafford in Argo, he studied Farsi, which he spoke in his final monologue in the film.[14]

In 2013, he appeared in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, which again also featured Brad Pitt. McNairy also filmed his second movie with Michael Fassbender, Leonard Abrahamson's Frank, and co-starred in Jaume Collet-Serra's Non-Stop (2014), opposite Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore.[14]

In January 2013, he began filming David Michod's The Rover, opposite Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce, which finished filming March 2013. McNairy is currently starring in the AMC Network drama, Halt and Catch Fire, about the personal computer business in the 1980s.[15][16]

In June 2014, McNairy was cast in an unknown role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.[17]


McNairy said he "started out building sets, and that’s how I met my commercial agent who’s now my theatrical manager and my producing partner, John Pierce. I’ve been with him for seven years. Everybody needs to find their one major cheerleader who will stand behind them on anything, and I definitely found that with John."[6]

He has also been a producer with 2007's In Search of a Midnight Kiss, in which he also starred and which is referred to as his breakout film.[18][19]

He has also worked on a number of projects as an actor and producer, including: A Night in the Woods as Brody Cartwright due for release in 2012, Angry White Man as Walt, Dragon Day as Phil and The Off Hours as Corey, all released in 2011.[13]

Other work[edit]

In 2006, McNairy appeared in the music video for "Fidelity" by Regina Spektor, directed by McNairy's friend Marc Webb.[3]

Personal life[edit]

McNairy has been married to actress Whitney Able since 2010. They started dating about six months before making the film Monsters together, initially meeting in Los Angeles at Able's birthday party.[20] On moving back to East Texas in 2011, McNairy said: "I live in the middle of nowhere; nobody watches movies out there."[2]


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Wrong Numbers Russell
2002 Plugged In Short film
2003 Sexless Ryan
2003 Wonderland Jack
2003 Silenced Friend 1 Short film
2004 D.E.B.S. Stoner
2004 White Men in Seminole Flats Dale Short film
2004 Good Girls Don't... Henry Episode: "My Best Friend Is a Big Fat Slut"
2004 Sleepover DJ at Club
2005 Herbie: Fully Loaded Augie
2005 Six Feet Under Trevor Episode: "All Alone"
2005 Close to Home T.J. Episode: "Meth Murders"
2006 More, Patience Jake TV movie
2006 Murder 101 Panache TV movie
2006 Marcus Charles
2006 Art School Confidential Army-Jacket
2006 Jake in Progress Dean Thomas Stilton Episodes:
"Eyebrow Girl vs. Smirk Face"
"The Hot One"
2006 Bobby Beatnik
2006 The Shadow Effect Harold Grey Short film
2006 Mr. Fix It Dan
2007 In Search of a Midnight Kiss Wilson Producer
2007 How I Met Your Mother Fast Food Worker Episode: "Something Blue"
2007 Blind Man Sparky Collins
2007–2011 Bones Noel Liftin Episodes:
"The Secret in the Soil"
"The Man in the Outhouse"
"The Daredevil in the Mold"
2008 Wednesday Again Peter
2008 Murder 101: New Age Panache TV movie
2008 The Shield Doug Obermyer Episode: "Snitch"
2008 My Name Is Earl Bed Bug Episode: "Quit Your Snitchin'"
2008 Eleventh Hour Rudy Callistro Episode: "Surge"
2009 Shipping and Receiving Steve Porter Short film
2009 Cop Out Mike Singbush Short film
2009 The Resurrection of Officer Rollins Shooter Short film
2009 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Vitas Long Episode: "Lover's Lanes"
2009 Mr. Sadman Stevie
2010 Wreckage Frank Jeffries
2010 Everything Will Happen Before You Die Matt
2010 Monsters Andrew Kaulder
2010 Wes and Ella Wes
2011 Amor Fati Teddy Short film
2011 The Whole Truth Larry Thompson Episode: "Lost in Translation"
2011 The Off Hours Corey
2011 A Night in the Woods Brody Cartwright
2011 Angry White Man Walt
2012 Killing Them Softly Frankie
2012 Argo Joe Stafford
2012 Promised Land Jeff Dennon
2013 Touchy Feely Jesse
2013 Dragon Day Phil
2013 12 Years a Slave Brown
2014 Non-Stop Tom Bowen
2014 Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King Jackson Norriss Short film
2014 The Rover Henry
2014 Frank Don
2014 Gone Girl Tommy
2014 Halt and Catch Fire Gordon Clark
2014 Black Sea Daniels Post-production
2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Unknown Post-production
2016 Our Brand Is Crisis Filming
Year Title Notes
2007 In Search of a Midnight Kiss
2012 Please, Alfonso Short film
2013 Straight A's
2014 Frank and Cindy Post-production


McNairy has had one nomination and one win for In Search of a Midnight Kiss.[21]

Award Year Result Category/Recipient(s) Film
Screen Actors Guild Awards 2013 Won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Argo (2012)
Palm Springs International Film Festival 2013 Won Ensemble Cast Award Argo (2012)
Hollywood Film Festival 2012 Won Ensemble of the Year Argo (2012)
Phoenix Film Critics Society 2012 Nominated Best Acting Ensemble Argo (2012)
San Diego Film Critics Society 2012 Nominated Best Ensemble Performance Argo (2012)
Hamptons International Film Festival 2012 Won Breakthrough Performer Killing Them Softly (2012)
British Independent Film Awards 2010 Nominated Best Actor Monsters (2010)
Independent Spirit Awards 2009 Won John Cassavetes Award
Shared with: Alex Holdridge (writer/director),
Seth Caplan (producer)
In Search of a Midnight Kiss (2007)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "John Marcus Mcnairy, "Texas, Birth Index, 1903-1997"". FamilySearch. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Creeden, Molly (November 28, 2012). "Breaking Out: Scoot McNairy in Killing Them Softly". Vogue. Condé Nast. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Herman, James Patrick (November 29, 2012). "Meet Mr. Right Now…Scoot McNairy.". Verge. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Sperling, Nicole (September 8, 2012). "Toronto International Film Festival: Actor Scoot McNairy is on a roll with multiple roles". L.A. Times. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Campion, Freddie (October 2, 2012). "One to Watch: Mr Scoot McNairy". Mr Porter. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Boursaw, Jane (September 8, 2008). "Exclusive: Interview with Scoot McNairy of "In Search of a Midnight Kiss" – Video". Every Joe. Defy Media, LLC. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  7. ^ Doperalski, Dan (October 3, 2012). "10 Actors to Watch 2012: Scoot McNairy / McNairy: ‘Softly’ star gets chance to shine". Variety. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Aguirre, Abby (January 2, 2013). "Asked & Answered | Scoot McNairy". New York Times (T-Magazine). Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (October 28, 2010). "Alien Invaders, Earthling Romance". New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  10. ^ Kohn, Eric (October 13, 2010). "Making Movies With Laptops and Ingenuity". New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "SXSW 2010: Exclusive - Scoot McNairy on 'Monsters'". March 18, 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Lim, Dennis (September 6, 2012). "Illuminating Performances: Breakout Actors of the New Season - Scoot McNairy". New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Osenlund, R. Kurt (September 6, 2013). "Scoot McNairy Has Worked with Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Michael Fassbender. So Why Don't You Know His Name Yet?". Indiewire. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Ferguson, Deborah (December 15, 2012). "Scoot McNairy". contentMode. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Weisman, Jon (March 4, 2012). "Scoot McNairy Joins AMC Pilot ‘Halt’". Variety. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  16. ^ Marechal, AJ (July 26, 2013). "TCA: AMC Orders ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ and ‘Turn’ to Series". Variety. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "Batman V. Superman May Be More Insanely Depressing Than We Suspected". io9. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  18. ^ Dargis, Manohla (August 1, 2008). "Hopeful Misanthrope Seeks Same". New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  19. ^ "Lost and Found". New York Times. August 1, 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  20. ^ Smith, Krista (October 19, 2012). "Whitney Able & Scoot McNairy on "Monsters"" (VIDEO). Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  21. ^ "Scoot McNairy: Awards". IMDb., Inc. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 

External links[edit]