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Scott Porter Once Felt Like ‘the New James Marsden,’ Always Playing the Nice Guy Who Never Gets the Girl (Exclusive)

Scott Porter Once Felt Pigeonholed as the New James Marsden
Scott Porter and James Marsden MediaPunch/Shutterstock; Matt Baron/Shutterstock

No more Mr. Nice Guy! Scott Porter has starred in dozens of TV shows, but at one point in his career, he felt a bit pigeonholed, he revealed exclusively on the “Watch With Us” podcast.

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“For a little while, I was, like, the new James Marsden, and the fact that if you watch The Notebook or the Superman Returns movie — or any number of films for a little while — he was the good guy who does nothing wrong, but still never gets the girl,” the Ginny & Georgia star, 41, said during the Wednesday, February 24, episode. “I kind of did that a couple of times. I was like, ‘Oh, no, I’m that guy. I’m the nice guy who doesn’t ever get the girl!'”

That said, Porter couldn’t be more grateful for the roles he’s been offered through the years, including parts on Friday Night Lights, The Good Wife, Hart of Dixie and Parenthood, among many others.

“People were willing to give me opportunities to play different roles, and that’s something I was afforded for a very long time. And that’s something that a lot of people aren’t afforded; it’s not cool. It’s unfortunate,” he said. “[Ginny & Georgia] is created by women — not just for women, but to tell the stories of powerful women and powerful young girls and just allowing that story to be on full display. Talking with Brianne [Howey]. … She can do anything, she could play anything. And she just needs to be afforded that opportunity. And going forward, Tony [Antonia Gentry] and the rest of our young cast, like, I don’t believe that there’s anything they can’t do. So I want them to have that same opportunity. Those stories need to be told, they deserve to be told, and we have so many talented actors of different races and different genders.”

Scott Porter Once Felt Pigeonholed as the New James Marsden
Scott Porter as Mayor Paul Randolph in ‘Ginny & Georgia’ Courtesy of Netflix

The To Do List actor noted that he is “very aware” that he’s been luckier than others — and is able to be picky when it comes to what types of roles he accepts.

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“I’m fortunate that I never got pigeonholed 100 percent. Maybe I never played a role big enough, where somebody would only think of me in that role for the rest of my career,” he said. “I tested for Captain America once upon a time, and I would have loved to have done that, but that’s a daunting challenge all on its own. So I’ve just been very fortunate. I think acting is a part of my life. It’s not all of my life. I think approaching it from that angle for me has also allowed me to kind of come in and out of projects that have different slices of who I am in them.”

The Nebraska native also chooses projects that coincide with what’s going on in his personal life, he shared with Us, as he’s careful not to bring home anything negative.

“There are a couple of projects that I just flat out stepped away from coming out of Hart of Dixie,” Porter recalled. “I had a test offer for a show that was very dark, and it dealt with law enforcement and criminals. It was a very dark angle. We were getting ready to have our first child, my wife [Kelsey Mayfield] and I. Our little boy, McCoy, was on the way and I just didn’t want to bring that home every single day. I’m an actor that can usually disconnect from work and can live my life outside of it, but to bring that energy home every day, I wasn’t sure if I could.”

Related: 'Friday Night Lights' Cast: Where Are They Now?

Porter and Mayfield met on the set of Friday Night Lights and married in 2013. They welcomed McCoy in 2015 and daughter Clover in 2017.

Hart of Dixie came along at a time when my wife and I were getting ready to be married and getting ready to start a family and that lightness, that airiness that show had was something that I was really just ready for and so thankful for,” he said of the CW series, which aired from 2011 to 2015. “Now going into Ginny & Georgia, I think the world is in a place where we’re so hungry to gain perspective — other people’s perspectives — and so hungry to hear stories that maybe haven’t been told yet. I’m ready at this point in my career to sit shotgun. I sit in the backseat and let other people’s stories be told.”

Ginny & Georgia is now streaming on Netflix.

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