‘Chasing Life’s’ Scott Michael Foster: The Man Who Never Dies?

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you haven’t watched the Aug. 17 episode of “Chasing Life.”

If you watch ABC Family’s “Chasing Life,” you’ve wondered more than once if Leo Hendrie, played by Scott Michael Foster, will survive — on Aug. 17, that question was answered: no, he will not.

Monday night’s episode, titled “As Long As We Both Shall Live,” marked the end for Leo, who unexpectedly died in his sleep, only to be shockingly found by his new bride April (Italia Ricci).

Next week, “Chasing Life” will mourn Leo, and that Aug. 24 episode will serve as the actor’s final send-off.

Throughout “Chasing Life’s” freshman season and the current second round, Foster’s character has suffered multiple will-he-or-won’t-he fake out deaths, being at the center of many cliffhangers in the series, before ultimately reaching his final breathing moments.

Though fans are devastated at the loss of Leo, it’s practically a miracle he survived this long, when you look at Foster’s recent resume.

Gearing up for a series regular role this fall on ABC’s new drama “Blood and Oil” (which, it’s safe to assume, is to blame for him dying on “Chasing Life”), Foster has appeared in major arcs on “Once Upon A Time’s” last season, playing “Frozen” favorite Kristoff; AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire;” Showtime’s “Californication;” NBC’s “Parenthood;” ABC Family’s “Melissa & Joey;” plus a regular role on the short-lived ABC thriller “Zero Hero,” which was cancelled after one season.

Despite his “Chasing Life” death, his time on the show marked a full-circle moment, as Foster got his start on ABC Family’s cult college comedy “Greek,” which was created by Patrick Sean Smith who exec produces “Chasing Life.”

“I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with Scott for almost ten years now and I’ll fight tooth and nail to have ten more,” Smith tells Variety. “He’s one of the most genuine and versatile actors of his generation.”

Unfortunately for Smith, insiders say Foster will only appear in one more episode — for now at least. (In a recent interview, Ricci did tease to Variety that Leo may be able to stick around, despite Foster’s in-demand schedule.)

Before “Blood and Oil” was ordered to series, Foster — one of Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch — sat down with Variety, explaining that if his time would permit, he’d like to stay on “Chasing Life.”

“I love the show. The character is awesome,” he said. “I think at some point, over time, there will be a moving on stage. If the pilot goes, it will enforce that. Italia is one of the most talented actresses right now and everyone that works on the show is great. I have a lot of friends over there, but at some point, it will come to an end.”

Joking about his cliffhanger death toll on the series, before he was actually killed off, Foster quipped, “We’ve done this three times now.”

As for managing his busy work schedule to bounce between various sets, “Chasing Life” served as a balancing act. “This is the one that’s been flying me back and forth for so many other things. I think they’re like, ‘God, when are we going to get rid of this guy? He is costing us so much money in transportation!'” With a laugh, he added, “I had a lot of frequent flyer miles.”

Foster is working so much that when he was simultaneously filming both the series and the “Blood and Oil” pilot, he would bump into the same people from set-to-set, though they were completely different productions.

While setting up for a “Chasing Life” scene, in which he needed a stunt coordinator for safety (his character Leo was up on a roof), in walked his stuntman — who was also his co-star Chase Crawford’s “Blood and Oil” body double. “I was like, ‘What are you doing here, man?!'” Foster recalls, explaining that he flew in from the Salt Lake City shoot for a “Chasing Life” fitting. “We had just been on the same set.”

However, no matter how busy he is — nor how many times he may have to be killed off from projects — Foster realizes he’s dealing with a good problem, and he’s grateful he picked the right pilot this season.

“It’s hard because when you make the choice, it’s all up to you. You have to be okay with the decision that maybe the show you picked doesn’t go and the one you didn’t does. It’s a hard decision,” he said.

And as for the good fate of his fall drama, in which he stars opposite Don Johnson, the up-and-comer chose the project because it was different. “The part itself, I don’t really ever get to play a really bad guy, and this guy’s a really bad guy, so that’s a fun change for me.”

Even with a TV death under his belt, Foster keeps it all in perspective: “What we do isn’t work. It’s play.”

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