Scoot McNairy

John Marcus "Scoot" McNairy[1] (born November 11, 1977),[1] is an American actor and producer known for his roles in films including Monsters, Argo, Killing Them Softly, 12 Years a Slave, Frank, Gone Girl, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.[2] In television, he starred in the AMC period drama Halt and Catch Fire, True Detective, Narcos: Mexico, and the Netflix western miniseries Godless.

Scoot McNairy
John Marcus McNairy

(1977-11-11) November 11, 1977 (age 43)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
OccupationActor, producer
Years active2001–present
(m. 2010⁠–⁠2019)

Early lifeEdit

McNairy was born in Dallas, Texas, to Alicia Ann McNairy (née Merchant) and Stewart Hall McNairy. Scoot has a brother named Mason who is one of the founding members of The Thread. [1] In addition to a house in Dallas, the family had a ranch in rural Paris, Texas, where they spent time on weekends and holidays.[3][4] Growing up, he did theater in after-school programs.[2] His father began calling him Scooter when he was about two years old. "A lot of people are like, oh, it must be some amazing story. But it's because I used to scoot around on my butt," says McNairy.[5]

McNairy has stated that he is "highly dyslexic" and that he had to "go to dyslexia school for four years." He describes himself as a visual learner and was attracted to films for that reason.[6] McNairy attended Lake Highlands High School.



McNairy moved to Austin, Texas, when he was 18 to attend the University of Texas at Austin.[7] He appeared in Wrong Numbers (2001), written and directed by Alex Holdridge. The film won the Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival.[4] Holdridge was hired to remake Wrong Numbers into a studio picture, which was never made.[5]

Interested in cinematography and photography, McNairy moved to Los Angeles to go to film school.[4] He attended for a year,[8] then dropped out and began working in film production, doing carpentry and building film sets. Then he worked as an extra, until he eventually found steady work in over 200 TV commercials. He eventually was offered roles in feature films, a career he has been pursuing since 2001.[2][9]

During the early 2000s, McNairy portrayed colorful and individualistic young men with a rebellious edge. He had small parts in films, including Wonderland (2003), Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005), and Art School Confidential (2006).

In 2010, McNairy worked on The Listening Party as Ferret and Everything Will Happen Before You Die as Matt. 2010 also saw the release of the alien invader film Monsters by Gareth Edwards, which featured largely improvised dialogue and was shot in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Texas.[10][11][12]

In 2011, McNairy played Frankie in director Andrew Dominik's film Killing Them Softly (2012) opposite Brad Pitt.[13] The film is based on the 1974 novel Cogan's Trade by George V. Higgins, re-envisioned to take place during the 2008 election.[9]

The role led to a string of high-profile roles, including Ben Affleck's Argo (2012),[3] Gus Van Sant's Promised Land (2012), and Lynn Shelton's Touchy Feely (2013) opposite Rosemarie DeWitt, which also stars Elliot Page, Josh Pais, and Allison Janney.[14] For his role as Joe Stafford in Argo, he studied Persian, which he spoke in his final monologue in the film.[15]

In 2013, he appeared in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, which again included Pitt. McNairy filmed his second movie with Michael Fassbender, Leonard Abrahamson's Frank, and co-starred in Jaume Collet-Serra's Non-Stop (2014), opposite Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore.[15]

He appears in David Michod's The Rover (2014) opposite Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce. McNairy starred as computer engineer and internet pioneer Gordon Clark in the AMC Network drama Halt and Catch Fire, about the personal computer business in the 1980s and 1990s.[16][17] The series ran for four seasons from 2013-2017 to high critical acclaim.[18] By coincidence, his character's wife in Halt and Catch Fire is portrayed by actor Kerry Bishé, who also played his spouse in Argo.

McNairy played Wallace Keefe in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).[19] In September 2016, McNairy was announced as a cast member in the third season of the FX drama Fargo.[20] In 2017, McNairy played crime boss Novak in the crime drama Sleepless and co-starred in the Netflix western-miniseries Godless as shortsighted sheriff Bill McNue.

Since 2018, McNairy has portrayed DEA Agent Walt Breslin on Narcos: Mexico, the companion series to Narcos.


He worked as producer for 2007's In Search of a Midnight Kiss, in which he also starred and which is referred to as his breakout film.[21][22]

He has worked on a number of other projects as an actor and producer, including 2012's A Night in the Woods; and Angry White Man, Dragon Day, and The Off Hours, all released in 2011.[14]

Other workEdit

In 2002, McNairy appeared in the music video for Death Cab for Cutie's "A Movie Script Ending".

In 2006, McNairy appeared in the music video for "Fidelity" by Regina Spektor, directed by McNairy's friend Marc Webb.[6]

In 2009, McNairy appeared in the Bookshort for "Jpod" by Douglas Coupland, incorrectly attributed as "Scoot McNally"

Personal lifeEdit

McNairy married actress Whitney Able in 2010. They initially started dating in Los Angeles about six months before co-starring in Monsters.[23] They have two children.[24] On November 19, 2019, Able announced that the couple had divorced.[25]



Year Title Role Notes
2001 Wrong Numbers Russell
2002 Plugged In Short film
2003 Sexless Ryan
2003 Wonderland Jack
2003 Silenced Friend 1 Short film
2004 D.E.B.S. Stoner
2004 White Men in Seminole Flats Dale Short film
2004 Sleepover DJ at Club
2005 Herbie: Fully Loaded Augie
2006 Marcus Charles
2006 Art School Confidential Army-Jacket
2006 Bobby Beatnik
2006 The Shadow Effect Harold Grey Short film
2006 Mr. Fix It Dan
2007 In Search of a Midnight Kiss Wilson Producer
2007 Blind Man Sparky Collins
2008 Wednesday Again Peter
2009 Shipping and Receiving Steve Porter Short film
2009 Cop Out Mike Singbush Short film
2009 The Resurrection of Officer Rollins Shooter Short film
2009 Mr. Sadman Stevie
2010 Wreckage Frank Jeffries
2010 Everything Will Happen Before You Die Matt
2010 Monsters Andrew Kaulder
2010 Wes and Ella Wes
2011 Amor Fati Teddy Short film
2011 The Off Hours Corey
2011 A Night in the Woods Brody Cartwright
2011 Angry White Man Walt
2012 Killing Them Softly Frankie
2012 Argo Joe Stafford
2012 Promised Land Jeff Dennon
2013 Touchy Feely Jesse
2013 Dragon Day Phil
2013 12 Years a Slave Brown
2014 Non-Stop Tom Bowen
2014 Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King Jackson Norriss Short film
2014 The Rover Henry
2014 Frank Don
2014 Gone Girl Tommy
2014 Black Sea Daniels
2015 Our Brand Is Crisis Rich
2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Wallace Keefe
2017 Sleepless Rob Novak
2017 Aftermath Jacob "Jake" Bonanos
2017 War Machine Sean Cullen
2018 The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter Greg
2018 Destroyer Ethan
2019 Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Business Bob Gilbert
2019 The Parts You Lose Ronnie
TBA Blonde Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Good Girls Don't... Henry Episode: "My Best Friend Is a Big Fat Slut"
2005 Six Feet Under Trevor Episode: "All Alone"
2005 Close to Home T.J. Episode: "Meth Murders"
2006 More, Patience Jake Television film
2006 Murder 101 Panache Television film
2006 Jake in Progress Dean Thomas Stilton Episodes: "Eyebrow Girl vs. Smirk Face"
"The Hot One"
2007 How I Met Your Mother Fast Food Worker Episode: "Something Blue"
2007–2011 Bones Noel Liftin Episodes: "The Secret in the Soil"
"The Man in the Outhouse"
"The Daredevil in the Mold"
2008 Murder 101: New Age Panache Television film
2008 The Shield Doug Obermyer Episode: "Snitch"
2008 My Name Is Earl Bed Bug Episode: "Quit Your Snitchin'"
2008 Eleventh Hour Rudy Callistro Episode: "Surge"
2009 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Vitas Long Episode: "Lover's Lanes"
2011 The Whole Truth Larry Thompson Episode: "Lost in Translation"
2013–2015 Axe Cop Scoot / Sun Thief (voice) 3 episodes
2014–2017 Halt and Catch Fire Gordon Clark Main role; 40 episodes
2017 Fargo Maurice LeFay 2 episodes
2017 Godless Bill McNue Miniseries; 7 episodes
2018–present Narcos: Mexico Agent Walt Breslin 20 episodes
2019 True Detective Tom Purcell Season 3
2020 Love Life Bradley Field 2 episodes
2020 The Comey Rule Rod Rosenstein miniseries
Year Title Notes
2007 In Search of a Midnight Kiss
2012 Please, Alfonso Short film
2013 Straight A's
2014 Frank and Cindy


McNairy has had one nomination and one win for In Search of a Midnight Kiss.[26]

Award Year Result Category/Recipient(s) Film
Screen Actors Guild Awards 2013 Won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Argo (2012)
Palm Springs International Film Festival 2013 Won Ensemble Cast Award Argo (2012)
Hollywood Film Festival 2012 Won Ensemble of the Year Argo (2012)
Phoenix Film Critics Society 2012 Nominated Best Acting Ensemble Argo (2012)
San Diego Film Critics Society 2012 Nominated Best Ensemble Performance Argo (2012)
Hamptons International Film Festival 2012 Won Breakthrough Performer Killing Them Softly (2012)
British Independent Film Awards 2010 Nominated Best Actor Monsters (2010)
Independent Spirit Awards 2009 Won John Cassavetes Award
Shared with: Alex Holdridge (writer/director),
Seth Caplan (producer)
In Search of a Midnight Kiss (2007)


  1. ^ a b c "John Marcus Mcnairy, "Texas, Birth Index, 1903–1997"". FamilySearch. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Creeden, Molly (November 28, 2012). "Breaking Out: Scoot McNairy in Killing Them Softly". Vogue. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b Sperling, Nicole (September 8, 2012). "Toronto International Film Festival: Actor Scoot McNairy is on a roll with multiple roles". L.A. Times. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Campion, Freddie (October 2, 2012). "One to Watch: Mr Scoot McNairy". Mr Porter. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Boursaw, Jane (September 8, 2008). "Exclusive: Interview with Scoot McNairy of "In Search of a Midnight Kiss" – Video". Every Joe. Defy Media, LLC. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  6. ^ a b Herman, James Patrick (November 29, 2012). "Meet Mr. Right Now...Scoot McNairy". Verge. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  7. ^ Baumgarten, Marjorie (November 30, 2012). "From the Vaults: Scoot McNairy's Splendid Year". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  8. ^ Doperalski, Dan (October 3, 2012). "10 Actors to Watch 2012: Scoot McNairy / McNairy: 'Softly' star gets chance to shine". Variety. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  9. ^ a b Aguirre, Abby (January 2, 2013). "Asked & Answered | Scoot McNairy". New York Times. T-Magazine. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  10. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (October 28, 2010). "Alien Invaders, Earthling Romance". New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  11. ^ Kohn, Eric (October 13, 2010). "Making Movies With Laptops and Ingenuity". New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  12. ^ "SXSW 2010: Exclusive – Scoot McNairy on 'Monsters'". March 18, 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  13. ^ Lim, Dennis (September 6, 2012). "Illuminating Performances: Breakout Actors of the New Season – Scoot McNairy". New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  14. ^ a b Osenlund, R. Kurt (September 6, 2013). "Scoot McNairy Has Worked with Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Michael Fassbender. So Why Don't You Know His Name Yet?". Indiewire. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  15. ^ a b Ferguson, Deborah (December 15, 2012). "Scoot McNairy". contentMode. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  16. ^ Weisman, Jon (March 4, 2012). "Scoot McNairy Joins AMC Pilot 'Halt'". Variety. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  17. ^ Marechal, AJ (July 26, 2013). "TCA: AMC Orders 'Halt and Catch Fire' and 'Turn' to Series". Variety. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  18. ^ Halt and Catch Fire, retrieved 2020-06-26
  19. ^ "Batman V. Superman May Be More Insanely Depressing Than We Suspected". io9. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  20. ^ Stolworthy, Jacob (2016-09-20). "Fargo season 3 adds Scoot McNairy to its most impressive cast list yet". The Independent.
  21. ^ Dargis, Manohla (August 1, 2008). "Hopeful Misanthrope Seeks Same". New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  22. ^ "Lost and Found". New York Times. August 1, 2008. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  23. ^ Smith, Krista (October 19, 2012). "Whitney Able & Scoot McNairy on "Monsters"" (video). Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  24. ^ "S11E1108: Trey Galyon, Scoot McNairy, Alex Diamond and Raul Sanchez guest". Doug Loves Movies. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  25. ^ Stone, Natalie (November 20, 2019). "Halt and Catch Fire's Scoot McNairy and Actress Whitney Able Divorce After 9 Years of Marriage". People. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  26. ^ "Scoot McNairy: Awards". IMDb., Inc. Retrieved 27 January 2014.

External linksEdit