Scott Speedman: Hollywood's should-have-been A-list star

Scott-SpeedmanImage Credit: Matt Carr/Getty ImagesSo it’s that time of night again when you find yourself sleepless on the couch, watching the same movies you always end up seeing at that hour. (Let’s face it, it’s never Bergman on late-night TBS, is it?) Perhaps you find yourself distracted, thinking about what’s missing, an ingredient that could have made the movie a bit better, brighter. And four little words enter your brain as if from a dream: Should Have Been Speedman.

Oh, is this just me? I’m talking Scott Speedman, of course — the actor currently starring in Barney’s Version, but best known as dreamy and unattainable crush Ben Covington on Felicity. (Before there were vampires to lust over, those of us who were of an impressionable age in the ‘90s had to make do with regular ol’ angsty college boys.) He was just so perpetually rumpled and inexplicably damaged in a weird postmodern Jordan Catalano way. Didn’t he always seem like he was on the brink of saying something totally profound… before ultimately saying nothing? There was a time back there, in the early part of this century, when it seemed impossible that this guy wouldn’t go on to be a major star. He co-starred with Gwyneth in Duets (a full decade before Ms. P would go on to Glee and Country Strong singing acclaim) and he was a werewolf in Underworld (and Underworld: Evolution) before werewolves were cool! But with the exception of The Strangers with Liv Tyler and a part in Atom Egoyan’s even smaller and less-seen Adoration, we haven’t seen nearly enough of Speedman, and, for whatever reason, he hasn’t gained access to the blue-eyed A-List alongside Bradley Cooper, Josh Lucas, James Marsden, and Jake Gyllenhaal the way I would wish he would.

This is not to take away from any of those gentleman — not at all! — it’s just that there are some movies that I really really really think might have benefited from the Speedman charm! Like, Somewhere: No offense intended towards the very talented Stephen Dorff, but wouldn’t our hero, Speedman, have been well-cast as a down-and-out movie star with so much charisma that he never has to say anything but stare mournfully as the ladies fall at his feet? Or wouldn’t he be great playing a jerky womanizer in basically anything from Neil LaBute? And then there’s the rom-com market, which I think Speedy would mesh well with. Wouldn’t you rather see him play Natalie Portman’s sex best friend in No Strings Attached? Or portray the scruffy afraid-to-love photographer sparring it up with Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses? Come to think of it, wouldn’t he have been great in the Katherine Heigl role itself? Change bridesmaid to always-a-best-man-never-a-groom, and I think we would have had something really special.

Are you guys with me on this one? Are there movies that you too can agree Should Have Been Speedman? Or do you have another actor you feel isn’t getting the Hollywood love like they should?


Comments (86 total) Add your comment
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  • mark

    Love Speedman! So dreamy!

    • Owen

      Its just…he is not and will never be the ACTOR most of those guys you mention are. He’s fine, but that’s about it..

      • Diana

        Mr. Speedman is a tremendous and under-rated actor, ridiculously handsome, not to mention he is a really good guy. I had the pleasure of studying with him at The American Academy of Dramtic Arts, and he had incredible range. He had a great talent for SHakespeare, but was also great with modern materials as well. I hope he does get that A-listing he deserves one day, and I know he would still be just as humble and kind as he has always been.

  • Stacie

    I’m afraid I don’t find him very charismatic. Not even during the Felicity days. I wouldn’t mind him in a supporting role, but I can’t say that I miss him as a leading actor.

    • Zoe

      Ditto. I always thought that Noel was a much better choice for many reasons. Alas, Keri Russell had other ideas.

      • Owen

        Maybe that’s it. America is punishing Speedman because Felicity picked him over Noel … which was obviously the wrong, wrong choice..

    • Carla In Houston

      I’m with you Zoe. Ben always seemed a bit too obtuse. Noel was definitely my Felicity crush, and I continue to heart Scott Foley to this day. That fever dream fake out finale where they made us think Felicity chose Noel when in fact she ends up with (spoiler alert) Ben still bites.

    • Daisy

      I couldn’t agree more with all of you (Stacie, Zoe, and Carla in Houston). Scott Foley remains my celebrity crush and Noel? Best character ever. How Felicity chose Ben over Noel is beyone me!

    • Kia

      I never liked Scott Speedman on Felicity. Everytime she and Ben were in the same room, she got monosyllabic. “Hey.” “Hey.” Boo! Noel was always the best choice. Then when Keri Russell broke up Tony Lucca in real life and hooked up with Speedman, I was TOTALLY through with him.

  • Minutiae

    I think he’s totally funny looking, and always preferred Scott Foley.

  • Melissa

    I love Scott Speedman! He would be better in any role that has been given to Ashton Kutcher.

  • AK

    Topher Grace! Just imagine what he could have done with all the deadpan earnest quippy roles that Jesse Eisenberg and Michael Cera consider their bread and butter.

    • Elle

      Thank you. He is very underused.

  • Katie

    Yes! Love. This is the fault of his agent/manager/publicist, not hollywood. He’s great. Get the f out there. If a no-talent hack like Jessica Biel can be famous just by being pretty, Scott Speedman should have an Oscar by now.

    • Mary

      YES!!! I was thinking the same thing. Love him. Needs better people.

  • Elicia

    I have always LOVED Scott Speedman!

  • Julie

    “Or portray the scruffy afraid-to-love photographer sparring it up with Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses?”

    He was actually a writer.

    • bit p!

      I was going to add that but i was embarrassed that i new that information.

  • marymary

    How dare you, I like Scott Speedman, but to say he would have been better in a role that the beautiful and wonderful James Marsden had (27 dresses) is just complete blasphemy !!

    • Mr. Holloway

      Yeah, even though I like Speedman ok, I think Marsden is MUCH more talented.

      Seeing as how Marsden isn’t exactly on the A-list himself, it’s hard for me to get on the Speedman bandwagon.

      • Fullbloom

        Ditto. I’m a fan of James Marsden and was thrilled that he finally got his due as the leading man in 27 Dresses. In fact, he’s the reason why I went to watch it.

    • Candice

      I would love to see SPeedman in more films

  • CC

    No screen presence. He was always such a bore on Felicity. I never found him the least bit attractive, either.

    However, I agree with AK about Topher Grace. He should have a bigger career. I liked his work in In Good Company and Traffic.

    • Pittner

      I also agree that Topher Grace should be getting more. He’s the one that I thought should have been in No Strings Attached.

    • Dave

      Agree about Topher Grace. He should have a bigger career. He’s great.

    • Lena120

      I agree. I remember when Traffic came out I thought he was going to be the breakout star from the show to go on and have a legit film career. It looks like Mila Kunis got there first and Ashton’s holding on by a string.

  • Judi

    AGREED. Love him. Even in college, he looked like such a MAN instead of the whiny man-boy-children we see everywhere today.

    • JosieG

      I think this was always the appeal for me as well. Even on Felicity, he seemed more man than boy. Yum.

  • Eva

    I think that is the whole point for him. He is not looking for stardom, seems content doing work that might be lesser known if it is quality. Very handsome, very talented and seems quite down to earth and maybe a little shy! Which makes him all the more awesome. I’ll take scruffy and shy any day!

  • amie

    I like Scott Speedman but I never got that “he should be in more movies” vibe from him. Now Nathan Fillion on the other hand, why he’s not a huge movie star is beyond me.

    • Flyer

      Yes! I second your Nathan Fillion comment!

    • BrooklynBrimstone

      So weird that both Scott Speedman and Nathan Fillion’s names are coming up as ‘Should have been’ A-Listers. I have always felt that these two affable Canadian actors were destined for high profiles, but I’m also content to see them in smaller, more indie fare – as I hope the two actors themselves are also content with. Not everyone needs or wants to be a mega movie star and have all the stalkers and paparazzi that comes along with that ticket. Fun fact – my 6 degree separation with both actors in by a mere 3 degrees. My high school friend’s brother was on the swim team with Scott Speedman in Toronto and they were very good friends! Too bad he never brought him home for a visit! Shucks! My Nathan Fillion connection is that my 1st cousin’s friend was college roommates with Nathan Fillion. Small world! ;)

  • Leesa

    I sort of admire that he hasn’t gone the easy route and done rom-coms and fluff pieces. He seems to seek out things that appeal to him, no matter if they’re small and not destined to set the box office on fire. It seems to be working for him–he certainly works more consistently than some other Felicty cohorts. i don’t think he wants “fame.”

  • Prunella Von Schleidlhaagen

    Uh, NO. I was always astonished the man got the work that he did.

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