Despite that, a return to soaps isn’t likely for the actor, who admits that the schedule took its toll. “I really have done nothing for the past nearly five months. I did very little. When I said I needed a break, I really needed a break,” he shares. “I said to myself at first, ‘Well, I’ll take a month off and then I’ll get right back to work.’ And at the end of the month, I just felt still wiped out. It took about two months before I began to feel like I was coming back to my old self. And I think some people, many people actually, on the show, they’re very adept at working under that sort of pressure, that volume of work, and it doesn’t seem to bother them. But it took a toll on me. And it took a lot longer than I thought to sort of get my head above water again. So I don’t really have any plans for the rest of this year. I’m going to go and do some traveling. I’m not 100 percent sure, but possibly India, possibly Nepal, possibly New Zealand, possibly, possibly! And then next year, we’ll be getting into pilot season, so that’s the time to be back in town to focus on things. And we shall just see.
“I am really mindful of the fact that at some point I have to work, but to go back to what I said right at the beginning, I need to be in a space where when I read a script and some sides come through my box, that I’m excited,” he continues. “I got an audition from my manager but a month ago, and it came in and my heart literally sank. That was my body’s physical reaction to having to go read another script. I couldn’t do it. And it didn’t used to be that way, and that’s why I said, right at the beginning of the conversation, I need to fall back in love with what I do. Because I need to be back in that space, and for me, I think it’s about separating yourself to a certain degree so that you can create that opportunity, so I’m just in that separation mode.”
However, just because he’s not auditioning doesn’t mean that he hasn’t been acting. In fact, Scott has re-enrolled in an acting class, just to keep the creative juices flowing. “I have gone back into an acting workshop with a wonderful, wonderful acting teacher who I’ve studied with for over a decade,” he says. “I spent three months doing literally nothing before I started re-engaging with that, and that workshop has given me the opportunity to begin to be excited about doing things again, and of course, that’s a workshop where every two weeks, you’re playing an entirely new character. And I’ll be honest: I’m finding it to be quite a struggle, because I’m having to reacquaint myself with the skillset of developing a character. It’s something I haven’t had to do in quite a while. It’s like any skill, if you use it, it becomes more honed. If you don’t use it, it becomes rather dull. And so it’s been quite challenging for me to go back in. But I’ve also found it to be a lot of fun. A lot of fun. There are definitely days where I think to myself, ‘What am I doing?!’ But then I get it right, and it’s all worth it. And the only difference between the two places is hard work.”
The class has fueled the fire for Scott to get back to work, and he’s since been able to narrow down the types of roles he’d like to go for in the future. “I feel like the roles that I have been getting excited about playing are as far away from EJ as I can possibly get,” he reveals. “Ideally, if I were to pick the types of roles that I would be playing next, they would not be romantic leading men, they wouldn’t be Englishmen. I’ve worked on my American accent, and it’s perfectly adequate, so I’d love to play an American character, or any character really, but something that is a stretch and different. I think anybody who’s had the experience of doing the same thing for a very long time, no matter how wonderful that thing may be, there comes a point where it would just be nice to put on a different coat, a different hat and a different pair of shoes and walk differently, talk differently and act differently, just reinvent yourself as something else. So I’d like to be able to have that opportunity and challenge.
“In regards to the medium, maybe that’s on television, maybe that’s on film, maybe it’s on the stage,” he continues. “People often ask me the question of ‘What would you like to do next?’ in terms of where I’d like to go. ‘Do you want to work in film? Do you want to work in television? Do you want to work on the stage?’ I don’t really have a preference for one over the other. The way I look at it is, ‘Well, where is the character that I want to play?’ If the character that I want to play is playing on the stage, then I want to be on the stage. If the character is playing on film, then I want to be on film. And if the character is playing on television, then that’s where I want to be. It’s not driven by the medium as much as it’s driven by the role.”
Fortunately, Scott is wise enough not to let the uncertainty of the future weigh him down. In fact, in regards to his next project and his next paycheck, he’s secure in the obscurity. “I feel like at this stage in my life, it is a really good idea to be open to anything that comes along. I really am open to anything, if it feels right. If the next thing that came my way that felt right had nothing to do with the entertainment industry at all, but if felt like the right thing to do, then I would do it,” he says, adding that money isn’t a deciding factor. “I have made lots of money in my life, and I’ve made very little money, and I’ve made everything in between. And I’ve found myself no more happy when I had a big paycheck than when I had a small one. Obviously, you don’t want to be struggling. That’s always difficult. But you know, like I said a few minutes ago, I’m not attached to anything. I may never act again. And that would be totally fine.”
Don’t let your jaw hit the floor too hard: Scott is not in the midst of a mid-life crisis. “It’s the opposite. I’m not in crisis at all. I’m in a state of complete acceptance and ease with whatever is coming,” he says. “I’m very lucky. I have enough money saved to afford me a cushion for a little bit of time, and how often in your life do you have the ability to step back and go, ‘What do I want to do?’ I don’t have a family, I don’t have anything that I’m tied to, I haven’t signed a contract that means I have to turn up for work for the next four years every day. I can do anything I want to. What will that be? It’s a really exciting and interesting time. I have my moments when I worry [about what the future will bring], but they are very few and far between. Very few and far between. And for the most part, I’m not really worried at all.”