Star to Watch: SCOOT MCNAIRY
Scoot McNairy in "Monsters"
Don't be fooled by the playful name. American actor Scoot McNairy has a dedication to independent cinema that's serious and sincere. Born in Texas, and with a background in regional theater, McNairy set out for Tinseltown with ambitions to break into the indie film scene. While chasing his goals, he took bit parts in an eclectic mix of movies, including "Wonderland," "Herbie Fully Loaded," "Art School Confidential" and "Bobby."
His indie breakout was with 2007's "In Search of a Midnight Kiss," a black-and-white New York romance that starred McNairy as the lead character, Wilson. McNairy produced "Midnight Kiss" with his friend and manager, John Pierce, with whom he started the production company The Group Films. Since then, the company has worked on "Frank and Cindy," starring Rene Russo, and "The Last Time I Made Straight A's," which has yet to be cast.
McNairy can now be seen as the male lead in "Monsters," a highly impressive British thriller that makes extraordinary use of its meager budget. Written and directed by documentarian Gareth Edwards, the film sees McNairy star alongside his real-life wife, Whitney Able, in a story that's minimalistically told to great effect, and boasts topical immigration metaphors to boot. McNairy delivers an authentic, understated performance, which was good enough to nab him a British Independent Film Award nomination for Best Actor ("Monsters" received a total of six nominations, including Best Picture).
In addition to his projects as producer, McNairy now has at least five films on the horizon in which he'll be appearing on-screen, including "The Off Hours," "Everything Will Happen Before You Die," "Angry White Man," "The Listening Party" and "A Night in the Woods." True to the actor's pursuits, every film is an independent.
Trailer for "Monsters," which opens in Philadelphia today: