Scott Alda Coffey. If you don’t know his name, mark it down, because it’s one you’ll no doubt be hearing more about very shortly. The grandson of the great Alan Alda (M*A*S*H, Marriage Story), Coffey is a brand new star in the entertainment world, ready to take it by storm. An actor with an astounding artistic education and rich theater history, he’s ready to bring his talent to the screens, most recently as Sergeant Michael Scusa in the war drama The Outpost, based on the novel The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor by Jake Tapper, alongside Scott Eastwood and Orlando Bloom.
We had the chance to chat with Scott over the phone and discuss his career, aspirations, and how he got started, what it was like working on The Outpost, and which member of the Fellowship of the Ring he would be.
Nerds and Beyond: To start, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your start as an actor?
Scott Alda Coffey: Yeah, of course. So I am from Boston, Massachusetts originally. I’ve been saying I’ve been wanting to act since I was about three years old. I think at the time, I don’t think I really understood what acting fully was, I just knew that that’s kinda what I wanted to do. As I got older I would do different summer camps, different little projects or what not and then eventually I went to an art high school called Walnut Hill, which is located in the Boston area, and then after that I went to study acting at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Right after that, I moved right to LA.
Nerds and Beyond: You recently starred in The Outpost alongside Orlando Bloom and Scott Eastwood, what was that experience like?
Scott: It was pretty incredible. It’s such a powerful film, and it’s one of those movies I feel like a lot of actors kind of dream to do and work toward, so the fact that this was like my first big film was pretty incredible. It was a lot of work, because it’s a war film so we had eight days of basic training before we started shooting. So, it was a lot of weapons training, stuff like that, and it was very much a world I wasn’t used to so I had a lot of work to do to get there. But, it ended up being very, very rewarding and getting the opportunity to work with Scott Eastwood and Orlando Bloom was amazing. They both were incredibly nice. Especially with Orlando, I grew up on Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean so that was really cool to get the opportunity to work with him.
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Nerds and Beyond: Does playing a character based on a real-life person bring a whole new set of challenges?
Scott: Oh, absolutely. There was a lot of weight to it because this guy has a family, has friends who are going to see the film and I wanted to make sure I was able to honor him the best that I could. After I got to speak with some of the family I immediately realized that this wasn’t just a movie. It wasn’t just about the next job for me, it all of a sudden became ‘okay I have to honor this guy, I have to do right by him, I have to make sure people know his name.’
Nerds and Beyond: You’ve done a TV work as well, do you have a preference on which medium to work within?
Scott: I love both of them. I think it’s cool that in movies, it’s very you shoot for a couple months and then you can move onto the next project. But at the same time I feel like with television if the series goes long enough you can kind of create a little family there. So I definitely like that, too. I think they both have their merits and I definitely enjoy working in both of them.
Nerds and Beyond: Would you return to theater if the right production came along?
Scott: If the right production came along probably. I grew up doing theater, I’ve done so much theater my whole life, at a certain point I started to get a little burned out by it, then I found this new love with film and TV so I think I’m still kind of exploring that new path. But if the right opportunity ever came along, absolutely in a heartbeat I would return.
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Nerds and Beyond: So this is just for fun, if you could choose any adaptation or remake to star in, what would it be and who would you play?
Scott: I haven’t been asked that one yet … I think what would be really cool is my great-grandfather [Robert Alda] originated Sky Masterson on Broadway in Guys and Dolls, so getting the chance to play Sky Masterson in a movie remake of Guys and Dolls would be amazing, to be able to follow in my family roots a little bit, step into my great-grandfather’s shoes.
Nerds and Beyond: Do you have any behind the camera aspirations like directing or producing?
Scott: I would definitely love to get into directing at some point. I think that’s definitely much further down the road, I’m still enjoying my acting experiences.
Nerds and Beyond: Your in-front of the camera time?
Scott: My front of the camera time, exactly [laughs]. Directing is definitely something that’s been interesting to me.
Nerds and Beyond: Any advice for someone hoping to pave their way in the world of entertainment?
Scott: I think what’s really important, especially nowadays, is to just be willing to create your own stuff and just get things out there. Whether that’s creating a short film with some friends, starting a YouTube channel where you talk about your interests … I just think getting creative and doing creative things is really, really, really good place to start.
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Nerds and Beyond: We are a nerdy site after all, and we have a couple nerd rapid fire questions for you:
What color lightsaber would you have? I think I’d do blue.
Team Cap or Team Iron Man? You know, I’m gonna go Team Iron Man.
Millennium Falcon or USS Enterprise? Hands down Millennium Falcon [laughs].
Which member of the Fellowship of the Ring are you? Probably Pippin [laughs]. If I were to be in a Fellowship, I would absolutely be Pippin.
You can watch Scott Alda Coffey in his newest film, The Outpost, available on demand on major streaming platforms.