Actor Scott Subiono (photo: Kenneth Dolin)
Today you’re chasing down bad guys and tomorrow you are the bad guy. That’s the life of make-believe that every actor enjoys.
One such actor is Scott Subiono
, who recently portrayed good guy DEA Agent Tony Marino leading the hunt for drug dealers in the second season of John Singleton’s FX series “Snowfall.”
Set in the 80’s, the show sets forth a gritty and dangerous tale of the rise of crack cocaine in Los Angeles.
Scott also hit theaters as a bad guy out to swindle Louis Zamperini in the feature film “Unbroken: Path to Redemption,”
based on Laura Hillenbrand’s bestseller about the real-life Olympian and war hero.
Scott has been able to seamlessly maneuver between good and bad TV characters on "American Crime Story," "NCIS: Los Angeles," "Chicago Med," "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D," "NCIS," "Rush Hour," "Hawaii Five-O," "Bones," "Castle," "CSI" and "Criminal Minds."
Scott Subiono recently found some time to answer a few questions:
For anyone who hasn’t seen it, tell us about your role in “Snowfall.”
SCOTT: Tony Marino is a DEA agent that runs an undercover operation hunting down drug dealers in Los Angeles during the infancy of the crack cocaine epidemic in 1984. The operation is focused on gathering intelligence to bring down the growing drug trade all while keeping his key undercover agent, Soledad (Adriana DeGirolami) safe and sound.
What would you consider your characters best (or worst) qualities?
SCOTT: I think Tony’s best quality is that underneath it all, he has a soft heart and wants the best for others. This really shows up when he, on more than one occasion, changes his resolve or bends the rules a little in order to help Soledad succeed.
Did you ever think you would lead an undercover DEA operation?
SCOTT: It’s true I often play the guy on the other side of the law but this actually wasn’t the first time. I lead an undercover operation in the film, “Con Express.” It’s
a nice change of pace to sometimes to do the chasing instead of the running.
Was there anything specific you did in preparation for the role?
SCOTT: I liked the idea of dropping my voice into a lower register for this role. Felt more grounded, and gave me a sense of greater authority. I hadn’t done sort of thing before, it made for some real fun.
Any interesting stories from the set you can share with us?
SCOTT: Someone brought a longboard skateboard to set one day and I wanted to ride it. I’d been wanting to get a longboard for fun so hey, let’s check it out, haven’t been on one since I was a teenager. I blast off three quick pushes to get me into a glide, and before I can even settle into the pleasure of the ride my wheels instantly stop on an electric cable. Instantly I am violently catapulted from my happy perch, tumbling to my shoulder into the hard cold slab of warehouse concrete. I nearly face planted teeth first! Wardrobe gave me a dirty look for messing up my costume and my ego was bruised but that was the extent of the damage.
What’s the biggest lesson you learned from working on this project?
SCOTT: Not to be too precious about any one thing. Not to second guess myself. Creativity can go lots of ways. Staying open and flexible, being aware of what is needed in the moment from whatever it is your scene partner or director is giving you and flowing with it like water.
Any chance you’ll be back next season?
SCOTT: Everyone’s excited that “Snowfall” has been picked up for a third season but it’s still too soon to say if we’re going to see Tony Marino in action again.
And, now just for fun:
Who’s your favorite actor/actress?
SCOTT: Oh, so many inspirational actors out there. Meryl Streep continuously awes me. Performances like Hal Holbrook gave in “Into the Wild;” Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” I find Jim Broadbent reliably compelling, heartfelt, genuine.
What role from the past do you wish you could have played?
SCOTT: I really wish I had been in “Lord of the Rings.” That would have been exciting. I would have played anything in that trilogy. I mean, who wouldn’t want to play Gollum, or be a wizard, live in a magical world, or wield a sword? Same for “Game of Thrones.”
Favorite movie or TV show from your childhood.
SCOTT: I was a big fan of PBS and NOVA. I loved the learning and introduction to the world I got through watching that. I was fascinated. When Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” aired, I would run home from school to watch it. “The Twilight Zone” was like that for me too. Couldn’t get enough. It was just scary and weird enough but not so scary to give me nightmares.
Tell us one thing that would surprise our readers to learn about you.
SCOTT: I had to wear leg braces to bed every night for the first two years of my life in order to correct club feet. I still remember those clanky metal contraptions cluttering the closet for years after. I’ve always been grateful to my mother for taking care of that. I mean, had I been born like that in another time…things would have been different.
Thanks, Scott -- we're glad you're walking this path now.
"Snowfall" - Season 2
"Snowfall" - on set