Adam Scott says he had a facial hair revelation auditioning for 'The Aviator,' and why he was so 'worried' about 'Severance' release

Scott, who has partnered with Philips, shares just how important facial hair is to some of our favourite characters

Adam Scott on set with Philips, holding Philips OneBlade 360
Adam Scott on set with Philips, holding Philips OneBlade 360

Actor Adam Scott has portrayed some fan-favourite characters, from Ben Wyatt in Parks and Recreation, to Mark Scout in Severance. Each character had his own unique look, but it was his audition for the 2004 Martin Scorsese movie The Aviator when Scott realized how much an impact your look, particularly facial hair, can make in someone's day-to-day life.

"Facial hair really dictates how you are perceived and how you perceive yourself," Scott told Yahoo Canada. "I remember for The Aviator I grew a moustache just for the audition and noticed being out in the world how differently people look at you."

"I love a moustache. I love the way it looks and feels. But it was sort of an important lesson that it's the first thing people register, whatever is going on facial hair wise with you, so I think it's a really important part of figuring a character out."

The facial hair-related character exploration for Scott continued, particularly for the beloved HBO series Big Little Lies, where Scott costarred alongside Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz and Laura Dern.

"My first thought for my character Ed in Big Little Lies was, 'This guy should have a beard,'" Scott revealed. "Because I know that guy, someone who works in tech, lives in the Bay Area, Monterey, works from home, wears a Patagonia half zip. ... That guy has a beard."

"Jean-Marc Vallée, the director, was super into it and so I grew what ended up being a giant beard that we had for the first season of that show. And it did work really, really well and did end up dictating a lot about that character. Because that character was kind of retreating a lot of the time and hiding behind whatever he could get his hands on, and the beard for that came in handy."

Having done so much facial hair exploration for his characters, Scott partnered with Philips for a shave and grooming brand campaign. Scott worked with friends and collaborators Jesse Peretz, who directed episodes of Girls and Glow, and the Paul Rudd movie Our Idiot Brother, also starring Scott, and Chris Kelly, who was a writer on Saturday Night Live.

"From the very beginning [Philips was] open to our input and a lot of what ended up in the campaign came from just Jesse and I, and Chris, chitchatting and then just recording it all, and finding bits and pieces, ... and forming it all into what it ended up being," Scott said about the process of filming the Philips campaign. "It all really came from us."

In Scott's personal life, he likes sporting a beard, but for a very particular reason.

"I do enjoy having a beard, particularly when it's cold out, but when it's not I found that having a little bit, like a hint of a beard, kind of helps with me because I have an enormous head and a giant face, and you don't realize it until it's shaved clean," Scott shared.

In terms of what's next for Scott, devoted fans of the Apple TV+ hit Severance were ecstatic about the team behind the series coming back to film Season 2, created by Dan Erickson, with Ben Stiller as a director and executive producer.

Scott stressed that the show is "so much fun" to film and he actually gets sad when he has to leave that set.

"I love going to work at Severance every day," Scott said. "It's always nice to finish something because then you can push it out into the world, but it's going to be sad not going there every day and seeing everybody."

The actor also highlighted that he was actually "worried" about how the show would initially be received, particular with Scott being the star of the series.

"We didn't know if people would connect with it at all, because it's a strange show," Scott said. "It's this brand new idea. It's kind of a heady concept."

"I loved it. When I saw all of it I thought it worked. I know Ben was confident about it, but we didn't know how it would be received out in the world, you just never know. So I think for that year after it came out I was just in a state of relief. Just because I was really worried. It was the first time for me that it was my face all over the place and I was just frightened about whether this will be something positive, or maybe the end of my career. I just wasn't sure because you never know until it's out there. And so I'm just so happy that people like it because we really love it and love making it."