Scoot McNairy on ‘Halt and Catch Fire,’ ‘Argo’ and Texas Life

Scoot McNairy is no longer anonymous. He’s in the second season of his AMC show “Halt and Catch Fire” and stars opposite Sandra Bullock in “Our Brand Is Crisis” and Ben Affleck in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Credits include “Gone Girl,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Argo” as Farsi speaker Joe Stafford.

You must fly a lot for all this work.

I’m a Texas guy, so I love to drive to sets whenever I can. It really slows my brain down. I have a cattle ranch in Texas, and I love going there. When I get stressed, I think about building a barn.

What’s it been like to be on a series instead of in a film?

Halt and Catch Fire” is a lot of work. We shot 450 pages in four months. My anxiety was through the roof. I prep a lot before shooting starts — that way, I can play around on the set.

Do you seek advice?

I asked Gary Oldman how to (hone in on a character) after I saw him in “State of Grace.” He told me to just get it down to three characteristics — like he like avocados, hates coffee and rides a motorcycle.

Was “Argo” a turning point for you?

“Argo” changed everything. For the airport scene, I had four hours to rehearse the phonetic pronunciation of the Farsi words.

Do you ever think about how far you’ve come from Dallas?

I know I’ve been blessed, but I don’t think about it much. I don’t take anything for granted.

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