Inside the May InStyle, we sat down with actor Scott Foley to discuss his dead-then-not-dead character on Scandal, fatherhood, and more. What follows is an excerpt. To read the full Man of Style feature, pick up the new issue, now available on newsstands and for digital download.
On a sunny afternoon at the Urth Caffé in Beverly Hills, Scott Foley assesses a pistachio croissant in front of him as though it might hold the secret to the universe. He breaks it open carefully and takes a bite. "I'm so happy to be eating a croissant without anyone stealing it from me," he says. The square-jawed 42-year-old just came from the set of Shonda Rhimes's massively popular thriller-soap opera Scandal, in which his character, the gallant if long-suffering former military officer Jake Ballard, has been stuck in a love triangle with President Fitzgerald "Fitz" Grant (Tony Goldwyn) and Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington).
But if life on Scandal is chaotic, there are even fewer opportunities to eat a quiet pastry at home: He and his wife, actress Marika Domin czyk, had their third child, a boy, in November. Between late nights on the Scandal set and early mornings waking up with the kids, Foley has been operating on less sleep than even Jake Ballard is used to.
But you wouldn't know it to look at the actor, who's still as fresh-faced as when he played ideal-boyfriend material Noel on Felicity 13 years ago. Today he's wearing what he admits is a typical Scott Foley outfit: a long-sleeve Theory baseball T-shirt, Rag & Bone corduroys, and high-top Vans. "I'm in jeans and a T-shirt all day long. You find what works, and you stick with it," he says.
So you have a 6-month-old son, a 5½-year-old daughter, and a 3-year-old son. How's home life these days?
My wife always wanted three kids—be careful what you wish for. We had a couple moments in the first 12 weeks when we said, "Why did we do this? We were fine with two!" This baby is beautiful and healthy and smiling, but home life is crazy. I finished Scandal at almost 2 o'clock in the morning last night; I got home at 2:30; my 3-year-old was in my bed at 5:30 this morning. So I'm wrecked. All the time.
It's a lot.
Actors in general are fairly selfish people: It has to be all about you, finding the character and making it work. But there's nothing like that anymore. The kids are up, so I gotta get up, I gotta make them breakfast. OK, what do you want? OK, you want a water, you want more milk? OK, more this, that. OK, we gotta go get dressed. We gotta brush your teeth, your hair, everything, and you get them ready, and you get them in the car, and then they forgot something. And you don't think twice about it. There's no anger. It is the way it is. You lose yourself. And it's great.
No, my wife tweets about The Bachelor ... though I may have mentioned it. I just started watching this season.
I was doing a scene on Scandal with Josh Malina and Katie Lowes. These two idiots were blabbing on about The Bachelor. Turns out Josh sits down with his family and they watch it together. Katie watches it and knows everything about it. I went home and I said to my wife, "We have to watch an episode." I was hooked. One time I was at work and she asked, "Can I watch it without you?" I said, "No!" And she sent me a text, "I'm watching it." I said, "What are you doing?!?!?"
I bet Jake would have watched it alone. He's done some questionable stuff on the show. Do you think Jake is a good person?
I do think he's a good person, though it depends what you categorize as a good person. He has the best of intentions. I don't think he's ever killed someone without thinking that it had to be done to protect the country. So in that way I think he's a good guy. Do good guys kill people? Yeah, I think they do.
Has there ever been anything in the script that you felt went too far with him?
I'm not going to defend specific actions. God, this is going to get me in a s—load of trouble, but I think everything he did came out of a belief that it's his job to protect the country. Hold on. Are you a Fitz or a Jake girl? You're not gonna hurt my feelings.
I just can’t get down with how Fitz has been so unfaithful with his wife, Mellie [Bellamy Young].
It’s got to be tough, but how great is Bellamy Young?
Does the Scandal cast hang out outside work?
My favorite thing is to spend time with them. We usually get together, often at Jeff Perry's house, though sometimes at mine or Kerry's, to watch the episodes before they air.
You guys actually like each other.
Every actor on a TV show will tell you, "We're like a family." It's bulls—. You're never like a family. You don't talk to that guy, that guy doesn't talk to you, that guy hit on your wife. But there's not one person on Scandal I don't like. I guess you could use the old poker adage: If you sit down at a table and you can't tell who the sucker is in 15 minutes, you're probably the sucker. But it's true. I love them.