Hi, I'm Scott Foley. You may know me as Jake Ballard on 'Scandal' or the face of Charisma - AMA
I'm Scott Foley. I'm an actor, father, and Charisma spokesperson. I play Jake Ballard, who is the head of B613 and sometimes love interest to Olivia Pope. I'm looking forward to taking your questions, Victoria is going to be helping me out, so ask me anything!
You know, I just want to thank everybody for taking time out of their day to come ask me questions. It shows how much you love Scandal and appreciate all of our work on the show. If you get a chance, check out Charisma at Bloomingdales. Tell 'em Scott Foley sent you (you won't get a discount but maybe you'll strike up a conversation). Thanks and find me on Twitter!
Scrubs was maybe not one of my hugest roles but one of my favorite. I've worked with Bill Lawrence, who actually did a reddit AMA not too long ago, I worked with Bill since then on Cougartown, and I just love the atmosphere he creates on his sets. It was fun, the people were great, I feel lucky to have been there sort of at the beginning before they all got big and famous. I have great relationships with all of them. I just directed a movie that had Donald Faison in it, it's called Let's Kill Ward's Wife.
Scott. I need to know. Do you think Felicity makes Ben watch Scandal every week? I mean. She does, right?
Yes, she absolutely does. If only because she regrets her choice.
ALSO your death on Greys Anatomy left me sobbing. Christina did the best she could!!!! Teddy moved on great though dont worry
I'm glad to hear Teddy is ok. I would work with Sandra Oh in the dark, in Alaska. I would give up many things to spend more time with Sandra Oh.
Someone asked if I still talk to guys from The Unit: I do! I saw Dennis Haysbert at the NAACP awards. But it's been awhile since I've seen the others.
Heyyyy Scott...what's the secret to aging like fine wine??
Good genes, trying to stay out of the sun? I don't know? I'm not sure if I do?
I can't even think of a question right now because omg Scott hello
Hi Scott! What's is like having Patrick Wilson as a brother in law?
I think it's fine. It's good. We're friends. We married sisters so we're both sympathetic to the plight of a man married to a polish woman.
What is your best memory from when you first started working on Scandal?
The welcome that I got from the entire cast. One by one, they all came up, and they were so happy to have me on the show, and it wasn't a whole gift thing that they all did, it was just that they came up individually and were so complimentary of the work they'd seen me in before. It was very sweet.
Who would you like to have more scenes with on scandal
what was Kerry Washington drinking in her big wine glasses all this season?
Depending on her juice, it was either cranberry juice or grape juice.
If you had the opportunity to act on any other show besides Scandal, which would it be and why?
Just so you know, I'm always rooting for Jake Ballard to get the girl!
Thank you, first of all, I'm always rooting for Jake to get the girl.
If I could work on any other show, it would either be House of Cards or Downton Abbey. We are addicted to Downton Abbey, just finished Season 4.
Do you personally see Jake as a good guy or a bad guy, or somewhere in between? My opinion of him changes all the time!
That's funny so does mine! I try not to judge Jake. But I think Jake sees himself as a good guy, who has to do bad things.
What's it like kissing Kerry Washington? She has the best lips!
She does have good lips? I think it's fine? As far as fake kisses in my career ever, she's up there.
What did you think of Felicity's haircut?
I thought she looked better with her haircut than she did before. I loved it. I did! I thought she looked so beautiful, and it made her neck look longer, and everything. Look, I thought she looked cuddly before, there was something "Vermontish" for lack of a better word, and then with the haircut, there was something sexier and free-er about her. She was more spring with her haircut as opposed to winter with it long.
Um, you really upset a lot of your DC fans yesterday with that dig on the Redskins! I guess Jake is a Cowboys fan. What about Scott? Redskins or Cowboys and do you think the Redskins should change their name. Love you on Scandal.
Well, I think Jake is a Redskins fan, but he's a pragmatist. I'm a 49ers fan in football, always have been.
I just started watching Grey's Anatomy (and caught up with it) this year and I loved you as Henry. When you left the show I was definitely upset, but then when I started watching Scandal, there you were! Which show would you say is more satisfying to film?
Ooh wow. For me, more satisfying to film is Scandal. I loved my time on Grey's but I was just a guest there, and it makes things a bit more difficult when you're not a permanent fixture on a television show. So filming-wise, it's better for me on Scandal.
Do you still talk to your ex Jennifer Garner?
It's always a pleasure when I see her out socially.
What do you think it is about "Scandal" that makes the fans root for characters that are cheaters, murderers, and generally morally corrupt?
I think the writers do a great job of walking a fine line and making the audience see that no one is all good or all bad, and that's why you root for all the characters individually. You relate to the good, or heartbroken character one week, and the next week, just because he killed someone, you don't forget he had those qualities in him.
Which genre do you prefer, comedy (cougar town, scrubs) or action (the unit)?
Comedy. By far. As an actor, there's just more words for my mouth to say. It's a challenge for me.
Hi Scott! First of all, #JakeTakeOffYourShirt trending last night was awesome :) are you going to satisfy Olivia's need to make jam wherever you two are going? In all seriousness, what have you enjoyed most about working on the set of Scandal?
Also, thanks for all of your Tweeting during Scandal!!
It's ridiculous that it was trending anywhere, just ridiculous. With regards to Olivia making jam, maybe it can be coconut jam instead of blueberries or raspberries. Maybe thatched skirts instead of jam, that would satisfy the maker spirit in her. And for me, it's always enjoyable to have good words to say, the writers do such a good job of giving each character such great dialogue. You just don't see that, and Shonda has an amazing way of filling your mouth with these monologues that just make you want to come back for more.
Do you enjoy working in theatre or tv more? And why?
You know, I started as an actor doing plays in high school community theater, so that's was the genesis of my love for acting. But these days I couldn't just do theater, I wouldn't be able to support my family, and I love having a steady job like a television show. So I can't say I love one more than the other, they are both my children equally.
Does the cadence theme song from The Unit play over and over and over in your head? It pops into mine all the time.
Stand up! Edit, here it is! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVjurb-mZdM
Hahhahaha. No but now it is, thanks so much.
So, do you prefer waffles or pancakes?
Waffles. They hold up to syrup better.
What moment shocked you the most this season, and do you think Jake thinks that Olivia will eventually fall in love with him? Also, what's your favorite movie? Thanks for doing this AMA!
Favorite movie, oh god, that's tough. I'm going to go with... Shawshank Redemption.
The biggest shocking moment for me was the death of Fitz's son.
Just saw the shoot for Charisma does that ever get uncomfortable or intimitading? And second Why Charisma? -by the way whenever anyone said scott Foley I would say "That guy in Felicity" Now I say "Jake Ballard Scandal, he's awesome"
Oh thank you! The shoot for Charisma was great. They're professionals, and I go into a job like that having negotiated everything beforehand, so I know exactly what's expected of me. And why Charisma? I believe in the brand, they make a quality product that's been around for the while. If you need luxury bedding or towels (and who doesn't) Charisma makes the most lush towels I've ever used. And I trust the brand.
Hi Scott! Huge fan since Felicity. I just wanted to say that your brother Chris was such an inspiration when he was on staff as a consultant/counselor at James Madison College a few years ago. Such a laidback guy. I remember him talking passionately about foreign policy and inspired my studies into Intl Relations. Do you share his global sentiments?
I do, and I love hearing that about my brother, he has extended his work in foreign policy and now works with USAID. He and his family are living in Zambia at the moment.
Push off a cliff: Olivia
Have there been any good pranks pulled on a set you've worked on?
P.S- My mom is obsessed with Scandal, thanks for making her busy life fun and giving her a break once a week! :)
That's so sweet, please tell your mom thank you!
I was on a show called The Unit for 4 years, and it was a set filled with pranks. They were the kind of pranks where we'd have time while they were setting up the camera while we were on location, and there might be a hill across the street, and I would turn to one of my castmates and say "I've got $1000 if you can get to the top of the hill and back in 90 seconds." Or there was a birthday on set and half of a sheet cake was left, and I would volunteer $500 to the person who thought they could eat it in 5 minutes. I've never paid, not because I was cheap or welched on a bet, but because no one ever succeeded.
In terms of general "cool" factor, where do you rank Scott Foley vs Dave Foley or Axel Foley?
Scott Foley is in between Axel and Dave. I would be below Dave, but I've met and worked with him, so I know I've got him. Plus Dave's Canadian, it just makes me cooler.
I am ticklish. That is a bizarre question. My feet are ticklish, as is the rib area.
Hi Scott! What's your favorite food?
Right now it's apples and peanut butter.
What's the weirdest thing a fan has done to you?
They drew a picture of them with me outside the stage door that they waited for me every night at. So strange. I did a Broadway show 11 years ago, and this one little sweet girl waited 8 weeks for me in a row, outside the stage door, waiting for me to say hi and take a picture with us. And the last night, she drew a picture of us together at the stage door.
I don't have that picture anymore, by the way.
What's your favorite sports team? NBA/NFL?
San Francisco 49ers, NFL. Los Angeles Lakers, NBA.
What actor or actress would you like to work with (that you haven't worked yet)?
Ed Harris. Hands down.
Which scene has been the favorite one you worked on while on Scandal and why?
After Jake & Olivia made love for the first time, and she sees that he's been spying on her. That was my favorite scene, and the reason why is that was when the floodgates opened with regard to Jake's character and the public. And everyone was really then able to voice their opinion about him and Olivia and whether they should be together and the reasons why.
How awesome would it be if scandal hit ireland. I mean we are seriously missing out over here. I think we shoukd start a misdion to get scandal on tv across the world, especially in ireland. You in?
Yes. You do all the legwork, I am definitely behind you.
How do you balance being a family man with your career?
I'm very lucky. My schedule is such that because the cast on Scandal is so large, I'm not there every day, so I'm able to spend a ton of time with my family. And my family is, moreso than my career, the most important thing in my life. I work hard so I can spend time with them. It's the thing that keeps me working hard.
Just want to say you're awesome and even if I'm supposed to not like you on Scandal, you're definitely my favorite character!
How hard was it to shoot that scene where you're watching James on the street?
That was really tough. For me, as an actor, that scene walked a fine line between being callous and being caring. And I hope it erred towards the latter.
I want to ask you a question, but I have nothing. So, can you just give a shout out to all the moms out there that watch Jake Ballard each week and swoon over him, especially this one? 😁
I will give a shout out to ALL moms, not just the ones who watch Scandal every week, but my wife as a mom, and I lost my mom at a young age, so shoutout to moms everywhere!
Can I have your number?
Of course. 16.
What is the most shocking thing you've ever read in a script for "Scandal?"
For me, the most shocking was when I read that Mellie was raped by Jerry, who is her husband's father. BRUTAL. Brutal.
If you could pick one super hero for you to bring to life on screen, who would it be? P.S. I fell in love with you the instant I saw you in your first appearance during the Felicity premier. I simply adore you!
Thank you, that's very sweet. You're showing both of our ages by commenting on that.
Can you wish me luck on my organic chemistry test today?
I can wish you luck on your organic chemistry test today.
My AP US History teacher LOVES Scandal!!! Could you share a secret or something about the show that you think is interesting that isnt known by many? Thanks!!!!!
if I had the chance, I'd actually live in Jake's apartment?
The cabinets in Jake's living room don't actually open. It's just like a box where they put doors on the damn things and glued them on. So whenever you see me grab something from there, I'm actually grabbing stuff off the floor.
Obviously the beer that we drink is fake. It's near-beer, like O'Douls.
The table in OPA is made out of hardwood flooring.
What's your favorite kind of music?
I am a folk music fan.
Hi Scott! I'm a big fan of Scandal. I think it's one of the best-written shows on TV right now and the acting is across the board fantastic. My question is on such an emotionally-charged show, were there any scenes for you that were difficult to film/watch as an actor?
Yes, of course, there are always those scenes that you shoot where for whatever reason you can't find the right tone or pace. The last one I can recall was from last night's episode, where Jake goes into Olivia's apartment and asks her to take him with her. Kerry and I worked really hard on that scene for a while, and I'm still not sure if we got it right.
Love your line about watching the cowboys beat the redskins. And love watching scream 3!! What is your fav scary movie?
Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Not a question, just a comment. Scream 3 was by far the best of all the Scream movies. No idea why they went for a 4th, the 3rd could not be beat.
I can tell you why: money.
Fitz and Olivia have Vermont. Where is your dream getaway?
My dream getaway is Bora Bora in the South Pacific, with no contact with the outside world.
Did you enjoy working on Scream 3?
I did. It was my first big movie, and when I was cast, here's a good tid-bit, I didn't know that I was the killer. They cast me, and I thought I was just another person in the movie, and I found out about halfway through the shooting that I was the killer. The producers were having a conversation, and I walked up to the monitor, and said "hey guys" and they said "you don't know do you?" and I said "what" and they said "you're the killer!"
They were only giving us a certain number of pages per day. I was pretty excited to hear that.
I Know its not one of your huge roles, but I loved you in scrubs. What was it like working with those guys?
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