Sports and Movie Lover Scott Swope Is Making a Name for Himself in Entertainment
Scott Swope is an actor from Baltimore, Maryland. His background is very diverse. He worked for the Department of Defense as an analyst but also served as a Strength and Conditioning Coach for the University of Maryland for 11 years. Currently, along with acting, he is the Strength and Conditioning Coach for Archbishop Spalding High School.
He played high school sports– football, baseball, and basketball– as well as college football at Washington and Lee University. After college, he played four years of semi-pro football and had two tryouts with the New England Patriots. He began bodybuilding after his football career and has been an avid weightlifter all his life. At the same time, he has always felt love for the movies and the entertainment industry.
When did you decide you wanted to become an actor?
I got my first taste of acting as a kid in the Youth Operetta Company. My football and coaching careers over the years lead me to get involved in local productions such as Diner and The Replacements. It allowed me to connect my love for sports and acting long before acting became a career opportunity for me.
Then, about 10 years ago, I saw a former player of mine at my gym. He told me he was an actor. I told him I always wanted to get into acting and he gave me a couple of casting sites to look at, and it has snowballed ever since.
What attracted you to an acting career?
I have always been intrigued by how movies and TV shows are made. On one visit to Disney’s Great Movie Ride, I thought, Wouldn’t it be cool to actually be in a movie? And I guess I was bitten by the bug then.
Who are your biggest influences?
I enjoyed acting as a child, but life took me on a different path. I was always a fan of the classics, particularly westerns and action movies. Later in life I’ve come to respect actors like Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, Kevin Costner, and George Clooney, who have the ability to play a wide variety of characters in any setting. I love watching actors in any type of movie or TV show and see how they go about portraying their characters.
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What is your main strength as an actor?
I have been told by directors and producers that I have an intimidating presence on camera and that I take direction exceptionally well. I actively research the character, or character type, I am playing so that I can effectively become that person. I have the ability to play a variety of roles but typically I am cast as some type of “heavy”, such as someone in law enforcement, a hitman, or a bodyguard.
I played lead roles in two episodes of MTV’s Revenge Prank with DJ Pauly D and Vinny (Season 1, Episode 4); I played the role of Russian mobster Boris. I actually taught myself several Russian phrases that I used during the prank. Many of the crew on set told me they actually thought I was Russian. In Season 1, Episode 9, “The Prank with Grizzly”, I played former prison inmate Grizzly. These roles were very intense, as they relied on me staying totally in character and improvising at a moment’s notice, no matter what happened.
How difficult is it to establish yourself in the film industry?
Living on the East Coast makes it hard to get opportunities to audition for larger speaking roles. I was recently picked up by Talent Agent Tracey Anbiyo of The Wayne Agency, who is working on hard-to-find auditions for larger roles. I also became a SAG/AFTRA member about a year ago. I am hoping this helps with finding more roles. I actively keep up with several casting sites too, but typically they are more for background and extra work.
What’s your dream, your ultimate goal? Do you feel like you’re on the path to this goal, or do you feel as if you already achieved that dream?
I would love to have a lead role in a major feature film or a recurring role on a TV show. I feel like I have worked hard getting to this point. Early on, often working for free or for gas money, or spending hours waiting to be called on set for a background role which in the end is not used, I felt like I had made the wrong decision.
However, I quickly realized that everyone in that room had the same dream. I met wonderful people along the way, and made some great connections. By persevering, I was fortunate enough to be cast in several lead roles in numerous indie films. Eventually that led me to be cast in two episodes of a major TV show, MTV’s Revenge Prank. As an extra on major productions, I have received positive feedback from directors and producers, which proves that you never know who is watching you. I realize I’m not there yet, but I continue to work hard and feel like I am on the right path.
What is your message to all your fans?
I would just like to thank all those who are pulling for me and have given me the support to be successful in this challenging but very rewarding profession! I am truly blessed to have so many people encouraging me throughout this journey. To my future fans, I hope I can be an inspiration and a role model for others.
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