Worked With:

Ben Affleck

Sandra Bullock

Lee Pace

Liam Neeson

Guy Pearce

Scoot McNairy Biography

Home > Actors > M > McNairy, Scoot > Biography

Birth Name: Scoot McNairy
Born: 11/11/1980
Birth Place: Dallas, Texas, USA

Born and raised in Texas, McNairy always dreamed of a life in pictures. After moving to California to study cinematography, McNairy returned to Austin and began shooting local independent movies; soon he found himself spending more time acting than composing shots. He moved back to L.A. in 2000 and began portraying wayward youths in films such as "Wrong Numbers" and "Wonderland," the latter of which starred Val Kilmer as notorious adult film star John Holmes. Determined to challenge himself with every project, in 2004 McNairy crossed the pond for his TV debut on the BBC sitcom "Good Girls Don't...", and returned to the U.S. with cameo roles on the critically-acclaimed drama "Six Feet Under" and in the satirical "Art School Confidential," directed by Terry Zwigoff.

Though he was enjoying a steady stream of work, including a brief role in the video for indie singer-songwriter Regina Spektor's single "Fidelity," McNairy wasn't content to remain simply an actor. In the mid-2000's he joined forces with John Pierce, his longtime friend and manager, and formed The Group Films, a production company dedicated to fostering new and original films and filmmakers. Their first project together, "In Search of a Midnight Kiss," was a breakout success. McNairy drew praise for his role as Wilson, a bitter L.A thirtysomething who places a Craigslist ad that changes his life, and the film (which McNairy executive produced) won the coveted John Cassavetes Award at that year's Independent Spirit Awards.

McNairy subsequently further established himself on both the big and small screens. He landed cameo roles on high-profile sitcoms such as "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 2005- ) and "My Name Is Earl" (NBC, 2005-09) while appearing in indie ensembles such as "Everything Will Happen Before You Die" (2010). During filming he started dating his co-star Whitney Able, who ended up being cast alongside him in his next film, the sci-fi action flick "Monsters." The movie, which was shot on location in South America and largely improvised, found McNairy playing a journalist who escorts a wary tourist (Able) through an alien-infected Mexico to the U.S. border. Though it died quickly at the box office, the film gave McNairy a welcome dramatic challenge, and he and Able married later that year.

After several more years of steady supporting work, 2012 proved a pivotal year for multi-hyphenate McNairy. He produced the short romantic comedy "Please, Alfonso," and released a trio of films that earned Hollywood's attention and showcased his talent for disappearing into a character. His desperate petty thief in "Killing Them Softly" sported an unidentifiable accent and week-old bedhead, while the Oscar-winning "Argo" saw him decked out in period-appropriate '70s facial hair and wide-lapelled suits. While he was still basking in his SAG ensemble win for "Argo," McNairy appeared as a weary farmer in Gus Van Sant's fracking drama "Promised Land." Supporting roles in Lynn Shelton's indie drama "Touchy Feely" (2013), Steve McQueen's acclaimed "12 Years A Slave" (2013) and the quirky Sundance-favorite comedy-drama "Frank" (2014) followed.