Pond, Bigger Splash (Macleans)
Actor Scott Speedman is an overnight success--literally. The 23-year-old Toronto native stars in one of this season's most-talked-about television series, Felicity. But only weeks before shooting began on the pilot last year, he was an unemployed actor living at his parents' house. "I had just dropped out of theatre school at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, and I was sitting around, not doing very much," says Speedman, who sent an audition tape to the show's producers on a Friday and was hired and in Los Angeles within a week. "It was incredible--usually when you send a tape to Hollywood, you never hear back."
Growing up, Speedman was more interested in athletics than acting. A member of the Canadian junior national swim team, the freestyle specialist was ranked ninth in the country in 1992. But a shoulder injury forced Speedman to give up the sport when he was 19 and look for other distractions. He chose acting, and got an agent after speaking on a public TV forum. He was cast only in small parts in independent films and American movies-of-the-week before Felicity. "There's not a whole lot of scripts that I like, and I really enjoyed this," he says. There was just one problem: the role of Ben, the sexy and sensitive university student who sweeps fellow student Felicity off her feet, had already been given to American actor Scott Foley. Still, Speedman says he doesn't feel badly for winning away the part of Ben because Foley was then cast as another major character in the series. "So there is no bad blood between us."
Speedman, who is single, is trying to adjust to being a Hollywood hunk. "I don't really feel much like a heartthrob," he says. "And I don't have that savvy. I'm just going to take the roles I like, and whatever happens, happens."
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