“I hate to tell you this, but there’s an entire subset of people out there who think of me as quite a dull actor. And that’s the word used, and often – dull.” Campbell Scott
American actor and director Campbell Scott gained recognition and appreciation thanks to his luminous behind-the scene-efforts in the much-admired Big Night (1996), for which Scott and co-worker Stanley Tucci picked up a Boston Society of Film Critics Award and a New York Film Critics Circle Award as well as a number of nods, including an Independent Spirit. Making his solo debut in 2001’s Final, the offspring of actor-director George Campbell Scott further cemented his reputation as an accomplished filmmaker by nabbing a Sarasota Film Festival Award and a Taos Talking Picture Festival Award in the acclaimed Off the Map (2003).
As a gifted actor, the versatile Scott made a name for himself with his award-winning performance of a slick, fast-talking, urbane Manhattanite in the festival hit Roger Dodger (2002). Before the success, he was noted for playing roles in such films as Longtime Companion (1990), Dying Young (1991), Singles (1992), Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994), The Love Letter (1998, TV), The Tale of Sweeney Todd (1998, TV), Top of the Food Chain (1999), Spring Forward (1999) and Other Voices (2000). His more recent and upcoming credits include Saint Ralph (2004), Duma (2005), Loverboy (2005), The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), Crashing (2006) and Music and Lyrics By (2006). On stage, the recipient of a Career Achievement Award from Westchester County Film Festival, Scott has appeared in many Off-Broadway and Broadway productions, including the acclaimed “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and “Copperhead.”
The 6’ 1” actor was named one of John Willis’ Screen World’s “12 Promising New Actors of 1990.” He was formerly married to Anne Scott and shares one son with her.
Child of Actors
Childhood and Family:
In New York, New York, Campbell Scott was born on July 19, 1961 to actor/director George Campbell Scott (born on October 18, 1927, died of natural causes on September 22, 1999) and actress Colleen Dewhurst (born on June 3, 1926; died on August 22, 1991). His parents divorced when he was 4 years old. They remarried two years later, but again separated in 1972. Campbell has an older brother named Alexander Scott (writer and theatrical stage manager), a half-sister, Devon Scott (former actress) as well as two other half-siblings, Victoria Scott and Matthew.
Campbell was educated at John Jay High School in Cross River, New York. He studied acting with Stella Adler and Geraldine Page, and was a drama major at Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin, where he earned his BA in 1983. In July 1991, he was married to Anne Scott. Their son, Malcolm, was born in 1998. Campbell and Anne are no longer a couple.
Son of actors, Campbell Scott apparently inherited his parents’ talent, and spent much of his youth acting in numerous films related with the Grim Reaper. His acting debut took place with the small role of a soldier in a Broadway production starring his mother, “The Queen and the Rebels” (1982). He subsequently appeared in Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing” (1984), a revival of Noel Coward’s “Hay Fever” (1985), and in 1986, landed the great supporting of Richard Rich in Off-Broadway revival of Robert Bolt’s “A Man for All Seasons.” Progressing to leading role, Scott took on a part in an Off-Broadway production of “Copperhead” and rejoined his mother in the 1988 Broadway revivals of Eugene O’Neill’s “Ah, Wilderness!” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” In 1987, the trained stage actor hit the big screen for the first time with a bit part, as a policeman, in the Jodie Foster and Tim Robbins vehicle Five Corners. As his film career erupted, Scott started to hold back his theatrical work.
After another small part in film From Hollywood to Deadwood (1989), Scott snagged his first leading part in the AIDS-related drama Longtime Companion (1990), where he memorably playing Willy, a gay man dealing with the AIDS crisis. More films followed, including Bernardo Bertolucci’s adaptation of The Sheltering Sky (1990, opposite John Malkovich and Debra Winger), Dying Young (1991, with Julia Roberts, earned an MTV Movie nod for Best Breakthrough Performance) and Cameron Crowe’s Singles (1992), where he offered a charming portrayal of the solemn boyfriend. During this time, he resurfaced on stage, playing the role of “Hamlet” at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre and costarring with Martha Plimpton in “Pericles, Prince of Tyre” at the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Public Theatre (1991), as well as made miniseries debut with “The Kennedys of Massachusetts” (1990).
Scott further showcased his adaptability in John Schlesinger’s The Innocent (1993, released in America in 1995) which cast him as a military technician involving with a baffling woman (Isabella Rossellini) and playing writer and wit Robert Benchley in the Alan Rudolph-helmed Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994). For his strong performance opposite Jennifer Jason Leigh in the latter, Scott was handed an Independent Spirit nomination for Best Male Lead.
By the mid 1990s, Scott career had entered a new phase when he started taking behind the camera roles on diverse projects. His big break arrived in 1996 when he joined forces with high school buddy Stanley Tucci to direct an acclaimed drama about two settler brothers with conflicting views and attitudes toward life in America, Big Night. The film, in which Scott also had a cameo role as a grubby used car salesman, was a festival favorite and was nominated for the “Grand Jury Prize” at the Sundance Film Festival. For their efforts, Scott and Tucci won a Boston Society of Film Critics and a New York Film Critics Circle for Best New Director. They also received nominations at the Independent Spirit, Deauville Film Festival and Bogota Film Festival. The same year, Scott reprised “Hamlet” at Boston’s Huntington Theatre and executive produced as well as played a role in the independent film The Daytrippers.
The actor then starred opposite Steve Martin in David Mamet’s thriller The Spanish Prisoner (1997) and reunited with Tucci as one of the stars of the ensemble comedy The Impostors (1998). Scott’s television career was negligible before 1998 when he scored two high-profile projects on the small screen. He first re-teamed with Jennifer Jason Leigh in the CBS time-traveling romance The Love Letter, where he offered a convincing portrait of a 20th-century computer games designer romantically involved with a 19th-century poet, and then went to the supporting turn of an American insurance agent who searches for the truth about the fiend barber of Fleet Street and his nasty business partner in the Showtime The Tale of Sweeney Todd, for director John Schlesinger and costarring Ben Kingsley and Joanna Lumley. Scott rounded out the decade with a fantastically off-kilter turn as the straight-man doctor of John Paisz’s sci-fi parody Top of the Food Chain and a supporting part of belittling philanthropist Fredrickson in director/writer Tom Gilroy’s Spring Forward, which screened at the Toronto Film Festival and the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.
Continuing his work in the independent circuit, Scott gave a memorable performance as the intimidating, wildly erratic friend of a straight-laced yuppie (David Aaron Brown) in the Sundance-screened Other Voices (2000), written and directed by Dan McCormack, and starred as intoxicated former con (and ex-pro golfer) Lionel ‘Ex’ Exley in Caroline Champetier’s Lush (2000, also screened at Sundance). He starred, adapted and directed the made-for-television film Hamlet, that same year. 2001 saw Scott make his solo directorial debut with Final, a sci-fi film starring Denis Leary and Hope Davis.
With a number of film credits under his belt, the performer eventually hit the jackpot when writer/director Dylan Kidd had him play the starring role of a polished, fast-talking, urbane Manhattanite who takes his teen nephew on the town in hopes of guiding him into a world of sexual invention in Roger Dodger (2002). As the film received a massive success at the Sundance Film Festival, he took home the 2002 National Board of Review Best Actor Award as well as the Independent Spirit’s Best Male Lead nod. Scott combined the triumph with another in the next year when he stepped behind the camera to direct his third feature, Off the Map, starring Joan Allen and Sam Elliott. Debuted at Sundance Film Festival in 2003, the well-received drama brought him a Sarasota Film Festival for Best Drama and a Taos Talking Picture Festival.
Back in front-of-the camera, Scott was nominated for a Genie for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in the indie coming-of-age drama Saint Ralph (2004), playing Father George Hibbert, a Catholic priest with a radical line. He costarred in Carroll Ballard’s family adventure Duma (2005), played Jeffrey Tishop in Craig Lucas’ The Dying Gaul (2005, opposite Peter Sarsgaard), appeared as a father in Kevin Bacon’s Loverboy (2005, with Kyra Sedgwick) and supported Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson in the thriller The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005).
Recently starring as Steven Caseman in the pilot episode of “Six Degress” (2006) and appearing in the miniseries “Final Days of Planet Earth” (2006), Scott will be cast opposite Izabella Miko in the drama film Crashing (2006) and work with Hollywood high hitter Drew Barrymore and British actor Hugh Grant in the comedy-romance Music and Lyrics By (2006) for writer/director Marc Lawrence.
- Sarasota Film Festival: Audience Award, Best Drama, Off the Map, 2003
- Taos Talking Picture Festival: Taos Land Grant, Off the Map, 2003
- Westchester County Film Festival: Career Achievement Award, 2002
- National Board of Review: Best Actor, Roger Dodger, 2002
- New York Film Critics Circle: Best New Director, Big Night (award shared with co-director Stanley Tucci), 1996
- Boston Society of Film Critics: Best New Director, Big Night (award shared with Stanley Tucci), 1996