From “Veep” to “Late Night,” Reid Scott masters the despicable jerk

He's gone from playing the morally bankrupt Dan Egan on "Veep" to an arrogant talk show head writer on the new Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson movie "Late Night." Yet offscreen, actor Reid Scott's professional track record reveals a man who prefers to play well with others, he tells "Salon Talks."

As a veteran of female-led ensembles, Scott says got his inspiration early. "My mom is a very strong woman. She marched on Washington for Roe v. Wade," he told SalonTV's Mary Elizabeth Williams.

"My grandmother was the first female English professor at Syracuse University and had a very influential hand in raising me. I went to Syracuse because of her. I've always had wonderful women in my life, strong intelligent, tough women. Early in my career, I just wanted to be part of the best team. I tried to keep my ego in check and say, 'What's the best story to tell?' Working on 'The Big C' with Laura Linney, and 'Veep' with Julia Louis Dreyfus and now 'Late Night' with Mindy and Emma, I've had a blast with strong, intelligent women."

But in front of the camera, Scott is happy if you think he's a jerk. "I've probably been typecast a bit, if you need someone to play the privileged white prick. I think it's fun. When I first was studying theater and film, I was always drawn to the villain. That's when the magic happens for me. With somebody like Dan, there's nobody worse."

Watch the episode above to hear why Kaling hand-picked Scott for his "Late Night" role and why Scott's favorite genre actually isn't comedy, but horror.

About "Salon Talks"

Hosted by Salon journalists, "Salon Talks" episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. "Salon Talks" is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on Facebook and Twitter and each episode is published in full on

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