Adam Scott (actor)

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Adam Scott
Scott in 2023
Adam Paul Scott

(1973-04-03) April 3, 1973 (age 51)
Alma materAmerican Academy of Dramatic Arts
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • producer
Years active1994–present
Naomi Sablan
(m. 2005)

Adam Paul Scott[1] (born April 3, 1973[2]) is an American actor, comedian, and producer. He is known for his role as Ben Wyatt in the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, for which he was twice nominated for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. He has also appeared as Derek Huff in the film Step Brothers, Johnny Meyer in The Aviator, Henry Pollard in the Starz sitcom Party Down, Ed Mackenzie in the HBO series Big Little Lies, and Trevor in the NBC series The Good Place. In 2022, he began starring in the Apple TV+ psychological drama series Severance, for which he received numerous award nominations, including for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, as well as best actor nominations from the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globes, Critics' Choice, and more.

Early life[edit]

Scott was born on April 3, 1973, in Santa Cruz, California,[3] to Anne (née Quartararo)[3] and Dougald Scott,[4][5] both of whom are retired teachers.[6][7] His parents divorced when he was a child.[8] His father is of Scottish descent, while his mother is of half Italian (Sicilian) and half Irish descent.[9][8] He has two older siblings, Shannon and David.[6] He graduated from Harbor High School[10] and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, California.[11]



Scott at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival

Scott has appeared in several feature films, including Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), The Lesser Evil (1998), High Crimes (2002), The Aviator (2004), Torque (2004), Monster-in-Law (2005), Knocked Up (2007), Step Brothers (2008), The Vicious Kind (2009), Piranha 3D (2010),[12] Friends with Kids (2012), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013), and Krampus (2015).

Scott attributes his pivot from dramatic to comedic roles to landing the part of Derek Huff in Step Brothers (2008), as he learned comedic improvisation from his co-stars, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, and Kathryn Hahn.[13]

He played antagonist Ted Hendricks, Walter Mitty's boss, in the 2013 Ben Stiller remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. His other major studio comedies include Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and the Christmas comedy-horror film Krampus, both in 2015.

Scott has appeared in and produced numerous independent films. He starred as Caleb Sinclaire in the 2010 film The Vicious Kind, for which Scott was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Actor. The film itself received positive reviews, and he won two individual awards at two separate film festivals. He starred in two films by Matt Bissonette, Who Loves the Sun (2006) and Passenger Side (2009), released on DVD on October 26, 2010. He appeared in the films Our Idiot Brother (2011) with Paul Rudd[14] and Leslye Hedland's Bachelorette (2012). He had lead roles in Friends with Kids (2012)[15] and A.C.O.D. (2013).[16]

In 2015, he executive produced and starred in the comedy film The Overnight.[17][18]

Scott and Paul Rudd teamed up again to act in and produce the indie comedy Fun Mom Dinner (2017).


Scott's early television roles include Griff Hawkins in Boy Meets World, Josh on Party of Five, a law intern on Murder One, as well as David's love interest, Ben Cooper, on Six Feet Under.

His first series regular role was on the controversial and sexually-explicit HBO drama Tell Me You Love Me (2007) as Palek, a husband struggling to conceive with his wife. In the first two seasons of the HBO baseball comedy series Eastbound & Down, Scott played a cocaine-addicted baseball front office representative.

From 2009 to 2010, he starred as Henry Pollard in the Starz network show Party Down.[19] For this performance, he earned an Entertainment Weekly Ewwy nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy Series.[20]

In 2010, Scott joined the cast of NBC's acclaimed comedy series Parks and Recreation, in which he played Ben Wyatt, a state auditor who arrives in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, to evaluate the town's funds[21] and eventually becomes the love interest of Leslie Knope. He appeared as a guest star in the second season before becoming a main character for the remainder of the series, which ended in 2015.

Scott and his wife created and produced four Adult Swim mockumentary specials, The Greatest Event in Television History, about remaking opening credits sequences of 1980s television shows.

Scott continued his streak of comedic roles in several episodes of Ken Marino's The Bachelor parody Burning Love and on David Wain's Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. From 2016 to 2018, Scott appeared in five episodes of the acclaimed Michael Schur show The Good Place as Trevor, a demon.[22]

In 2017 and 2019, Scott took a turn to dramatic work by appearing in HBO's Big Little Lies as Ed Mackenzie, husband of main character Madeline Mackenzie, played by Reese Witherspoon.[23][24]

Scott starred with Craig Robinson in the sitcom Ghosted,[25] which premiered on October 1, 2017, on Fox, lasting just one season.[26] He and his wife executive produced the show.

In 2020, Scott hosted the one-season ABC game show Don't, executive produced by Ryan Reynolds.[27]

In 2022, Scott began starring in and producing the Apple TV+ show Severance, which is produced and directed by Ben Stiller.[28] His performance was critically acclaimed.[29]

The cult hit Party Down was revived in 2023, with Scott reprising the character of Henry Pollard.[30]

Scott has had numerous guest appearances, including in the Adult Swim comedy Childrens Hospital and HBO's Veep. He has appeared on CSI: Miami and Law & Order. He was also on the show NTSF:SD:SUV::, in the episode "The Risky Business of Being Alone in Your Home", and has also appeared in the Comedy Central television show Nick Swardson's Pretend Time, as a newscaster in the episode "Relapse into Refreshment". He has appeared in a series of commercials for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.


With Scott Aukerman, Scott is the co-host and co-creator of the Earwolf podcast U Talkin' U2 To Me, launched in February 2014.[31] The series is introduced at the outset of each episode as "the comprehensive and encyclopedic compendium of all things U2," though it generally uses discussion of the band as a jumping off point for improv and absurdist humor. In February 2018, Scott and Aukerman launched another podcast in the same format, this time covering the career and work of the band R.E.M., titled R U Talkin' R.E.M. Re: Me?. A third podcast, R U Talkin' RHCP Re: Me?, debuted in July 2020, in which Scott and Aukerman discuss the Red Hot Chili Peppers; the podcast's format was almost immediately abandoned in favor of discussing Talking Heads and, as of the second episode, was renamed U Talkin' Talking Heads 2 My Talking Head. In September 2023 the show began to focus on discussing the work of Bruce Springsteen, and was renamed U Springin' Springsteen On My Bean?.

Scott has been a guest on many podcasts including Comedy Bang! Bang!, How Did This Get Made?, Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, and Kevin Pollak's Chat Show.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Scott married producer Naomi Sablan in 2005. They have two children.[8]

Scott is a "die-hard" fan of the band R.E.M., much like his character in Parks and Recreation.[8] In 1992, he appeared as an extra in the music video to their song "Drive".[33]

During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Scott revealed he invited actor Mark Hamill to one of his childhood birthday parties. Guest host Kristen Bell surprised Scott with the guest appearance of Hamill wielding a lightsaber in observance of Star Wars Day.[34]



Year Title Role Notes
1994 Cityscrapes: Los Angeles Joe
1996 Hellraiser: Bloodline Jacques
The Last Days of Frankie the Fly Race Track Valet
Star Trek: First Contact Defiant Conn Officer
1997 Dinner and Driving Larry
1998 Girl Scott
The Lesser Evil Young George
Hairshirt Fan At Bar
1999 Winding Roads Brian Calhoun
2001 Date Squad Fred Short film
Seven and a Match Peter
2002 Ronnie Ronnie Schwann
High Crimes Lieutenant Terrence Embry
Bleach Fulton Short film
2003 Something More Saul Short film
Two Days Stu
2004 Torque FBI Agent Jay McPherson
Off the Lip David
The Aviator Johnny Meyer
2005 The Matador Phil Garrison
Monster-in-Law Remy
2006 Art School Confidential Marvin Bushmiller
First Snow Tom Morelane
Who Loves the Sun Daniel Bloom
The Return Kurt
2007 Knocked Up Nurse Samuel
2008 The Great Buck Howard Alan Berkman
August Joshua Sterling
Corporate Affairs Jack Hightower
Step Brothers Derek Huff
Lovely, Still Mike Malone
2009 The Vicious Kind Caleb Sinclaire
Passenger Side Michael Brown Also executive producer
2010 Operation: Endgame The Magician
AIDS: We Did It! Man Short film
Leap Year Jeremy Sloane
Piranha 3D Novak Radzinsky
2011 Fight for Your Right Revisited Cab Driver Short film
The Terrys Narrator Short film
Our Idiot Brother Jeremy Horne
Friends with Kids Jason Fryman
2012 Bachelorette Clyde Goddard
HJ Gloves Man #2 Short film
See Girl Run Jason
The Guilt Trip Andrew Margolis Jr.
2013 A.C.O.D. Carter Also executive producer
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Ted Hendricks
2014 They Came Together Sound Engineer Cameo
2015 The Overnight Alex Also executive producer
Sleeping with Other People Dr. Matthew Sobvechik
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Adam Yates Jr.
Black Mass Robert Fitzpatrick
Krampus Tom Engel
2016 Other People Producer
My Blind Brother Robbie
2017 Fun Mom Dinner Tom Also executive producer
The Disaster Artist Himself Cameo
The Most Hated Woman in America Jack Ferguson
Flower Will Jordan
Little Evil Gary Bloom
2019 Between Two Ferns: The Movie Himself
2020 Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics After School Special Host
2023 First Time Female Director Acting Coach Uncredited cameo
2024 Madame Web Ben Parker


Year Title Role Notes
1994 Dead at 21 Dan Bird Episode: "Pilot"
1994–1995 Boy Meets World Band Member / Griffin Hawkins 4 episodes
1995 ER David Kerstetter Episode: "Full Moon, Saturday Night"
1995 Murder One Sydney Schneider 6 episodes
1996 NYPD Blue Gordon Puterbaugh Episode: "The Nutty Confessor"
1997 Payback Adam Stanfill Television film
1998–1999 Party of Five Josh Macon 7 episodes
1999 Wasteland Phillip, The Coffee Boy 7 episodes
1999 Sagamore Alex Television film
2002 Glory Days Howard Dichotsky Episode: "Everybody Loves Rudy"
2002 Six Feet Under Ben Cooper 2 episodes
2004 CSI: Miami Danny Cato Episode: "Stalkerazzi"
2005 Veronica Mars Chuck Rooks Episode: "Mars vs. Mars"
2005 Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List Himself Episode: "Hot to Tot"
2006 Law & Order Robbie Howell Episode: "America, Inc."
2007 Tell Me You Love Me Palek 10 episodes
2009 Trust Me Josh Burkett 2 episodes
2009–2010 Eastbound & Down Pat Anderson 2 episodes
2009–2010, 2023 Party Down Henry Pollard 26 episodes; also producer
2010 The Sarah Silverman Program Agent Schroeder Episode: "Just Breve"
2010 Childrens Hospital Lieutenant D'Ghor Koru Episode: "Joke Overload"
2010 Nick Swardson's Pretend Time News Anchor Episode: "Mudslide Junction"
2010 The Wonderful Maladys Alice's Ex-Boyfriend Pilot
2010 American Dad! Marshall Voice
Episode: "The People vs. Martin Sugar"
2010–2015, 2020 Parks and Recreation Ben Wyatt 98 episodes
Directed Episode: "Farmers Market"
2011 Funny or Die Presents Narrator Episode #2.10
2011 NTSF:SD:SUV:: Van Damm Episode: "The Risky Business of Being Alone in Your Home"
2012–2013 Burning Love Damien Assante 6 episodes
2012–2014 The Greatest Event in Television History Himself 4 episodes; also creator, director and executive producer
2012–2016 Comedy Bang! Bang! Himself / Plumber Pierre 4 episodes
2013 Robot Chicken Care Bear / Father Voice
Episode: "Botched Jewel Heist"
2013 Maron Himself Episode: "Mexican Angel"
2013 Drunk History John Wilkes Booth Episode: "Washington D.C."
2013 Timms Valley US Marshal Lonny Voice
2016 Angie Tribeca Surgeon Episode: "The Wedding Planner Did It"
2016 Animals. Shane Voice
Episode: "Cats."
2016 Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ Johnny Dunne Episode: "Meet Platinum"
2016 The Adult Swim Golf Classic Adam Scott TV special
2016–2018 The Good Place Trevor 5 episodes
2017 Michael Bolton's Big, Sexy Valentine's Day Special Himself Variety special
2017, 2019 Big Little Lies Ed MacKenzie 14 episodes
2017 Veep Tonight Show Host Episode: "A Woman First"
2017 Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later Ben 7 episodes
2017–2018 Ghosted Max Jennifer 16 episodes; also executive producer
2017 Do You Want to See a Dead Body? Himself Episode: "A Body and a Puddle"
2018 I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman George Washington Episode: "Hall of Presidents"
2019 I'm Sorry Dr. Steve Goldberg Episode: "These Are My Fingers"
2019 The Twilight Zone Justin Sanderson Episode: "Nightmare at 30,000 Feet"
2020 Nailed It! Himself (guest judge) Episode: "Howdy, Failure!"
2020 Celebrity Escape Room Himself TV special
2020 Don't Himself (host) 8 episodes; also executive producer
2021 Duncanville Nick Voice
Episode: "Das Banana Boot"
2021 Big Mouth Mr. Keating Voice
Episode: "Green-Eyed Monster"
2022–present Severance Mark Scout Main role; also producer[35]
2022–present Loot John Novak 6 episodes
2022 Inside Job Ron Staedtler Voice
5 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2009 Independent Spirit Awards Best Lead Actor The Vicious Kind Nominated
2013 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actor in a Comedy Series Parks and Recreation Nominated
2019 Teen Choice Award Choice TV Villain The Good Place Nominated
2020 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Big Little Lies Nominated
Critics Choice Super Award Best Actor in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Series Severance Won
Film Independent Spirit Awards Best Lead Performance in a New Scripted Series Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor in a Television Series — Drama Nominated
Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards Best Actor in a Streaming Series, Drama Nominated
Peabody Award Entertainment Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Drama Series Nominated
Producers Guild of America Awards Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama Nominated
Saturn Award Best Actor in a Streaming Television Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Webby Award Best Actor Won
2023 Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards Best Actor in a Broadcast Network or Cable Comedy Series Party Down Nominated


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  34. ^ Berry, Liam (May 5, 2017). "Watch Star Wars Super Fan Adam Scott's Childhood Dreams Come True with a Surprise from Mark Hamill". People. Retrieved May 15, 2017.
  35. ^ {{Cite web |last=White |first=Peter |date=November 8, 2019 |title=Apple Signs 'Severance', Workplace Thriller Series From Adam Scott & Ben Stiller |url= |access-date=November 2, 2020 |website=Deadline Hollywood}

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