Scott Speedman Said He Was a "Disaster of a Boyfriend" to Keri Russell

The Felicity co-stars shared a low-profile relationship in the early 2000s.

Scott Speedman wearing a white shirt and jeans with his hands in his pocket standing near Keri Russell, who is wearing a dark top, pants and a crossbody bag
Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images


Emmy-nominated actress Keri Russell and actor Scott Speedman.

How They Met

Ah, 1998, what a year to be alive and watching The WB.

Russell, who was 22 years old, was cast as the titular lead in Felicity, a "teen" drama (the show defies target demos, OK) about a girl who changes her college plans to follow a boy from high school across the country. The boy in question was Ben Covington, played by 23-year-old Speedman (though Scott Foley, Felicity's Noel, was first awarded the role).

Anyway, Speedman and Russell eventually met and the former was struck by his new co-star's … beauty?

"I remember seeing this big mop of hair and I was like there's no way [that's Felicity]," Speedman recalled in an interview decades later. "I thought she was supposed to be this nerd … You were a very beautiful girl and I was like that girl cannot be Felicity."

Keri Russell with short curly hair wearing a pink dress with Scott Speedman, wearing a black suit with a blue shirt

It's unclear exactly when things turned romantic for the pair off-screen, but by 2000 it seemed to be something of an open secret.

Why We Loved Them

Speedman was particularly private when it came to his relationship with Russell. "We don't go anywhere together," he reportedly told Us Weekly at the time. "Sure, we're dating," he allowed, "but that's ours."

When the actor appeared on Chelsea Lately in 2014, host Chelsea Handler mentioned that she used to see him and Russell at a restaurant she worked at in the Pacific Palisades.

"That's when I was dating Keri," Speedman confirmed. "She lived out there."

Handler said she didn't know that they'd dated and Speedman replied, "Why did you think we were at breakfast every morning?" Touché, Scott.

Speedman continued, explaining that dating co-stars is just "what happens" in Hollywood. How romantic.

When They Peaked

While we don't know a lot about Russell and Speedman's time together, what we know of their post-romantic relationship has us feeling incredibly proud to have been Team Ben from the jump.

Keri Russell wearing a striped blouse with her arm around Scott Speedman, who is wearing a jacket and printed top
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

In 2013, Russell told Us that Speedman continued to be one of her go-to friends in a moment of crisis. "The other day, I was crying because I had this huge issue," she began. "I texted my close girlfriend and Speedman. He called back first! He was like, 'What's going on?'"

"When I need a great friend, he's there," she said.

The Breakup

We don't have a timeline for the split, but Speedman has since outed himself as a "disaster of a boyfriend."

In 2017 Russell and Speedman appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live together to talk Felicity — I mean, why not? Naturally, Kimmel broached the Felicity plotline that is somehow still a pop culture touchstone two decades later: the haircut. You know the one. In case you're Gen Z, let me catch you up: Felicity got a pixie cut on-screen at the beginning of season 2 (and thus, so did Russell) and the series' ratings began to plummet — it remains a topic of debate to this day.

Speedman and Russell were dating at the time and he knew he needed to react well since he'd "been such a disaster of a boyfriend up until then."

"I got to work and she turned around the corner and my face sort of froze in a half-panic, half-smile," Speedman told Kimmel. "I just did not pull it off."

"It was a Chia-head sort of vibe," he admitted, unknowingly referencing a taunt Felicity had actually faced on the show before Russell corrected him with "Chia Pet."

Keri Russell and Scott Speedman laughing while appearing together on Jimmy Kimmel
Randy Holmes/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

"But it grew into something great," he said, "We all recovered from it."

When asked what constituted a "disaster of a boyfriend," Russell generously replied, "a young 20s boyfriend is called a disaster of a boyfriend."

Despite his initial reaction, Speedman defended his then-girlfriend (and her hair) publicly.

"I'm shocked it's that big of a deal," he told the Post-Gazette. "I know she had beautiful hair, but she looks really good."

Chia-gate aside, Russell described her friendship with Speedman fondly, telling Kimmel that her ex would "fight someone for me" (and he almost did).

Where They Are Now

Russell wed Shane Deary in 2007 and welcomed their son River later that year. The Waitress star gave birth to daughter Willa in 2009. After nearly 7 years of marriage, Deary and Russell separated. Russell has since been linked to her co-star on The Americans, Matthew Rhys, with whom she welcomed son Sam in 2016. They haven't publicly acknowledged if they are married.

She starred in the horror film Antlers opposite Jesse Plemons, as well as appeared in the TV series, The Diplomat. Up next for the star is the movie Cocaine Bear with Elizabeth Banks directing.

Speedman and longtime girlfriend Lindsay Rae Hoffman welcomed a daughter named Pfieffer Lucia in October 2021.

The Underworld alum has guest-starred on both Grey's Anatomy and season three of You on Netflix, as well as starred as Baz in Animal Kingdom. He also appeared in the sci-fi movie Crimes of the Future with Kristen Stewart.

Related Articles