Scott Speedman is having a moment. That feels redundant to say about an actor who’s been booked and busy for over two decades, but it’s absolutely true. Between his recent return to Grey’s Anatomy as the sickeningly charming Dr. Nick Marsh to his debut as a grieving tech billionaire in the latest season of You on Netflix, the man is practically carrying the top shows on both network TV and streaming platforms.
The latter role is a bit of a departure from the actor’s heartthrob roots. Speedman rose to fame in the late ’90s as Ben Covington, a college student so dreamy that Keri Russell’s titular character moved across the country for a chance to date him in the seminal drama Felicity. Honestly, who could blame her? And who can blame Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) for slowly falling for the kind transplant surgeon wearing Speedman’s face more than 20 years later?
Warning: You spoilers ahead. Matthew Engler, however, is emotionally unavailable and detached from his wife, Natalie (Michaela McManus)…right up until she’s murdered and dumped in the woods by the serial killers next door, Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) and Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti). That’s when he goes full Big Brother on the entire town of Madre Linda.
Playing the “control freak” who loses his footing was an exciting challenge for the 46-year-old actor. “Matt’s a very controlled guy who goes off the deep end—that’s basically the broad strokes of what I knew when I said yes to the role,” Speedmen explains. “He’s this control freak, type-A personality, and that’s unlike me, so I was interested to see if I could pull that off.”
But if there’s one thing Speedman loves, it’s a good crash and burn. “I kind of like when a character breaks down; it’s something I’ve got some personal experience with, so I can jump right in,” he adds with a laugh.
For the latest round of Glamour’s Innapropriate Questions series, I spoke with Scott Speedman about Instagram, the Grey’s Anatomy fandom, and whether Matthew could return in You season 4.
Glamour: You were only in one episode of Grey’s Anatomy before you returned for season 18. Did you expect such a massive reaction from fans?
Scott Speedman: Not really. [Laughs.] I just joined Instagram like a month ago. I’m really not that way, and it’s kind of a weird fit for me. Seeing how the fan participation is massive now and how the cast members’ talking to fans online was really unique to me, and seeing how passionate these fans are took me aback a bit, but it’s cool. I love it.
What’s it been like coming in and working on such a long-running show?
I love the writing, so I go at it from that point of view, but it’s been fun. It’s such a sweet job, and I love working with Ellen. Everybody’s still trying and the passion is still there, which is really nice to see. It’s been a nice, easy job so far.
You said you just joined Instagram. Are you enjoying it?
I come from a generation with a little more mystery, so sharing is very odd to me. But it’s part of this world and it’s been interesting. I enjoy parts of it, but I see the ups and downs of it too. It’s a weird thing that everybody’s so consumed with it. I hate that we’re on our phones all the time. Me and my girlfriend [ Lindsay Rae Hofmann] went down to a restaurant the other day without our phones, and it’s crazy how much you actually need them now. Like we had to do the menu thing. So, social media and phones and our reliance on that just drives me crazy.
I have to ask: Are you more of a Dr. Marsh or a Matthew Engler?
Oh, definitely Nick Marsh. [Laughs.] Definitely Nick Marsh. Matthew…the guy at the beginning of that show is very far away from who I am as a human. Where he ends up—you know, he’s a little more erratic emotionally—is closer to who I am. [Laughs.]
Out of all the characters you’ve played, who are you most like when you’re in a relationship?
When I did Felicity way back when, that was very close to who I was as a lost sort of guy in relationships. A young fool, basically, who wasn’t great in relationships was close to who I was back then, for sure. But that’s very different than who I am now. I like to think I’ve matured somewhat. I’m not all the way there yet, but there’s been some growth. A slight evolution.
So, you’re who Ben would be if we brought back Felicity now?
Yeah, if we brought back Felicity now, he would be a little more together. But if you’re doing that, he still has to be the same guy—there still has to be some Ben in there. He has to fuck some things up with Felicity. I’m sure he would.
Back to You. Congratulations on making it out alive! Would you consider returning for season four?
Oh for sure. I don’t think that’s part of their thinking with my character, but I loved doing that show. Sera Gamble ran a great show, and she was under extreme circumstances right at the top of COVID. Running any show during that time was crazy, and they did a great job of not losing the DNA of the show and the scope of this show.
Considering Matthew’s skills, I could easily see him working out that Joe is alive and going after him.
Oh, yeah, I can imagine that too. His story of revenge hasn’t been fully written yet. That’s what’s interesting about the character.
Jumping into some date night questions: Are you into rom-coms?
I do like rom-coms a lot. I have a soft spot for the movie It’s Complicated. I don’t know what happened to me. I was filming a movie in Montreal where I was playing a dark guy with dark material, and we were shooting a lot of nights. I would walk around on the weekends by myself, and I wandered into a multiplex and watched It’s Complicated, and Nancy Meyers completely transported me.
I thought Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin were tremendous. I was so charmed by that movie, I think I went back and watched it a second time at the same theater.
What dating or relationship rule do you think is bullshit?
Well, they’re two different things. I would say for dating, if it’s an early, casual thing, the rule about taking three days to text or call seems like nonsense to me. I was always very right on it, and I would text the next day. The fake casualness or trying to be cool didn’t seem so great to me.
If you’re in long-term relationship, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with spending one night alone every once in a while in a second bedroom. There’s nothing wrong with that. I think that can be kind of a good thing, if you need a little staycation. Nobody should get their feelings hurt.
You have a full day to binge-watch whatever you want. What do you pick?
You can go two different ways: You can go sort of highbrow television like Succession. I’m so consumed now with the Netflix model that you get sort of frustrated that Succession and these other shows only come out once a week. So I could do that in a big binge. Or I could do a Dateline, just continuously. Or 48 Hours. The “it’s always the husband” murder shows, I can binge no problem.
So You really was right up your alley!
I never put that together, but it’s true.
Have you watched Squid Game yet?
No. My girlfriend’s pregnant right now, so we’re trying to keep everything nice and calm and not so much the dystopian terribleness that Squid Game looks like. It looks really good, but we’re keeping it nice. We’re keeping it in Nancy Meyers mode right now.
What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done?
I’m big on surprises. I woke up my girlfriend a couple years ago and said, “Okay, you have an hour to pack. I’ve rented our house in Hawaii today and we’re leaving in an hour.” Stuff like that, or I’ll just show up and take her to the airport and we’ll go away. I like big surprises like that. There’s this moment of panic, and then it’s kind of fun and exciting. You don’t think too much about it, and then five hours later you’re in Hawaii.
Do you believe in astrology?
I’d first have to really understand what it is, to say if I do or I don’t believe in astrology. I’m a Virgo. Women in my life that know about astrology tell me I’m a triple Virgo, which is some kind of horribleness, apparently. But my moon is Virgo and I’m a Virgo, so that’s a tough combination. I am pretty regimented with time and stuff like that. I’m not type A, but I’m pretty organized at this point in my life, so it it adds up.
You season 3 is available to watch on Netflix, while Grey’s Anatomy airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. Eastern on ABC. Emily Tannenbaum is an entertainment editor, critic, and screenwriter living in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter.
This story originally appeared on: Glamour - Author:Condé Nast