Blood and Oil is about to erupt on ABC and with it, Scott Michael Foster abandons his recent lovable status to embody the bad boy on the new prime time soap.
Foster took the time to speak with TV Fanatic about his role as Wick Briggs, the amazing cast with whom he's working and on what show he he'd jump at the opportunity to act if they came calling.
Enjoy excepts from the conversation below and be sure to tune into Blood and Oil Season 1 Episode 1 on ABC, Sunday at 9/8c.
You have seen Scott Michael Foster on many different programs over the last several years, including Once Upon a Time and Chasing life. Blood and Oil is taking up all of his time right now and he says it feels good to just be doing one thing.
Foster didn't know a lot about Blood and Oil before he read for the part, but he his initial impression was positive. "I received a call from one of the producers of the show," he said, "I've never had anyone call me and be that passionate about something."
Foster continued, "The character is a lot of fun, and he's the bad guy and all that. It also just ended up being a lot of things I wanted to check off of my list, and I'm glad I decided to do it because it's been well worth it."
Blood and Oil is very loosely based upon a real town in North Dakota, but Foster didn't know too much about it, "It's crazy, but learning a lot about what like is like up there is really fascinating. The 24-hour wait with 911 and 88% men; it's just an incredible social experiment that's happening up there. It's literally like the gold rush of the 19th century."
We got the impression Foster's character, Wick, is not the hero of this story. Foster laughed, "No, no. He's the antagonist. He's got his own storyline that he wants to accomplish, but he's the hero in his own mind! But as far as the viewer goes, he's definitely the one causing problems. At the end of the day, I think what he wants is his father's approval, and he wants to feel that he can offer something to the Briggs royal dynasty. And when he messes that up and doesn't get his father's approval, he starts to make really bad decisions and goes down an even darker path. I'm excited to see what more they have to write for him."
We've known and fallen in love with Foster as Leo Hendrie on Chasing Life. How would he compare the two characters? "The similarities are that they're both a couple of rich kids. There are a lot of other differences. They don't have the same outlook on life. Leo was pretty well adjusted, whereas Leo has some – not growing up to do, but he's got some soul searching to do to find out what's right for him, you know?
And I think you're gonna see Wick make a lot of mistakes along the way in a direction that will lead him down a pretty dark path, while Leo kind of knew what he wanted. He was pretty secure in himself. Even though he didn't have a great relationship with his father, he had a great relationship with himself, whereas Wick might come off a bit weak in finding who he really is."
Foster has had the opportunity to work with some pretty amazing actors along the way, but we couldn't resist asking what it was like having Don Johnson as his dad. Foster shared, "You know, I've been really fortunate to have worked with a bunch of great actors. I actually did a pilot with Don five years ago, but it never saw the light of day. He played my girlfriend's dad in that.
And, funny story, so I'm getting ready for this and I said, 'Hey, do your remember doing that pilot with me a few years ago?' and he looked at me blank faced like he had no idea what I was talking about [laughs]. I thought, well, he's been busy, he moved on, I get that. But then a couple days later he said, 'I remember, I totally remember! Oh my God, that's crazy, what are the odds of us working together?!' But it's great. He's a wonderful person, and he's become a good friend. Not just him, but the entire cast. They're extremely talented and really good people. I couldn't feel more fortunate about this show."
Foster has been on so many different types of shows, from quirky comedies, to fantasy to soapy dramas, but what's his favorite genre on which to work? Foster admitted, "I guess comedy. It's really fun and everybody is having a really fun time shooting a comedy. You get to laugh and be jovial with each other. That, I think, is the most fun, but it's not the most challenging or even the most rewarding.
There's a lot more to be said about challenging yourself, and when you do a really good job challenging yourself, it's very rewarding. It think this show is kind of doing that for me right now because playing this character Wick, there are a lot of dark, sad and emotional things that I have to do every day that are not necessarily fun. I'm glad I'm doing it, and I want to do it, but it's not fun, by definition. It's a different way of doing things that I'm not necessarily used to, so I'm glad I'm getting out there and doing it."
Foster considers himself a fairly upbeat and carefree guy, and Wick is sad and angry and mad and it makes it a lot more challenging for him to dig deep and pull these emotions out of himself everyday. "It starts to affect you, too. You start to feel that way," Foster said. "I think the good thing is that everyone here is really great, so on our downtime we all hang out and get back to neutral."
So when he has the time and is kicking back watching TV while on location in Park City, Utah, what does Foster like to watch? "Listen, I'm a big fan of HBO. I love Game of Thrones. I like True Detective. I really like a lot of action, drama, even fantasy, all of that aspect of it...you might call me a little bit of a geek about fantasy and science fiction and things like that, but those are the kinds of things I watch."
If he was going to have a role on any show? Sign him up for Game of Thrones. "It's the one I've watched religiously since it aired, you know Episode 1 Season 1, and I don't do that very often. So if anyone wants to put me on Game of Thrones, I would not balk at that!"
But what about Blood and Oil? Why should everyone tune into his new show?
Because of the cast. Foster said, "We have the most perfect cast. Everyone is extremely suited for their part and everyone is extremely talented. We marvel at it, we all marvel at the fact this cast is so well put together. The dynamic between all of these people is going to keep people coming back and watching this show week to week. I think it's a big draw for this show; the strength of its cast."
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.