Scott Porter Talks 'Hart of Dixie,' Taylor Kitsch And Shirtlessness
Since then, he's racked up an impressive amount of credits with stints on "The Good Wife," the now-defunct "Caprica" and the "X-Men" cartoon (not to mention feature films "Prom Night," "Speed Racer," "Dear John" and the upcoming "The To Do List," to name a few). Currently, Porter is charming viewers as George Tucker on The CW's "Hart of Dixie" and he spoke exclusively to HuffPost TV about who he wants his character to end up with, breaking one of his only rules, superheroes and Taylor Kitsch.
With all the bad boys on The CW, what appealed to you about playing good guy George on "Hart of Dixie"?
I had just played a terrorist on "Caprica," and Blake, who is a bit of a badass private investigator, on "The Good Wife." What's funny about this business is they only care about what you did last. They don't care what you've done before that, especially in my case. Before I showed up in Los Angeles, I was doing musical comedy on Broadway and singing and dancing. It seemed "Hart of Dixie," and George Tucker particularly, was a chance to get back to a role that was more similar to how I broke into the business before "Friday Night Lights." It was nice to leave the drama behind and find a smart, intelligently written, lighter-toned comedy that was set in a place that could feel like a theatre production.
George is engaged to Lemon (Jaime King), but there's been some flirting between him and Dr. Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson). How is that love triangle going to complicate their relationships?
Zoe throws a wrench into the works -- as people grow up and start to see what else is out there in the world, they start to realize who they loved as child might not be what's best for them as an adult. That's what's happening here. He's got a high school sweetheart, Lemon, and he sees this really educated, fantastic girl, Zoe, and starts to realize, "Everything I moved back to Bluebell for might not be what I thought it was as far as life goals and dreams."
Are you rooting for Team Lemon or Team Zoe?
Lemon and George have a deep relationship that will never truly go away. Even if things end between them, they'll still be friends because of how they grew up and how intertwined their families and history are. If George was going to make the best decision for him, I think Zoe might be the frontrunner right now.
Recently, you hilariously rubbed it in when George won at Pictionary on the show. How much are you enjoying those comedic beats?
Because we know how crazy Bluebell is and it has all its events of the week and crazy competitions, it allows us as actors to really cut loose. Other shows would want you to be grittier and more grounded in reality; this is about escaping into this wonderful world. I love when they wind me up and let me go. As we go further on in the season, you'll see George sing and dance a little more. I can't wait for the audience to see that side of him.
Is George going to have to put his lawyer skills to use to save the town from this big corporate mall?
You see more interaction with him and his father, who is representing that [corporate] side of things, but it becomes a lot more personal. For right now, that storyline has been put to the side as George made the first step to protect Bluebell. It really becomes about the personal relationship between him and his dad and how fractured it really is. You get to see some incredible moments there as George comes to grips with becoming his own man.
The ladies may be disappointed, but how relieved are you not to have to take your shirt off as much as Wilson Bethel?
[Laughs.] I have a couple of rules I try to live by. If you do a show, make sure it's not on The CW. I broke that rule, which put me in the danger zone of having to take my shirt off. But if you do a show on The CW, find someone like Taylor Kitsch, who always took his shirt off on "Friday Night Lights," and step back. That is Wilson's [Bethel] role on this show. When it calls for it, of course, I'll do it. I don't envy Wilson, but he seems to love it, so it's an even trade-off!
At one point, George dressed up as a pirate for Thanksgiving. If there is a Halloween episode, and knowing you are this huge comic book fan, which superhero do you think George should suit up as?
Because we're so good at giving little nods to other shows and projects, it would be really fun to have George in full Cyclops attire. That would be pretty neat because I've played that role on the ["X-Men"] cartoon. I also love some of the DC characters. The Flash could be fun, as well.
So who would win in a battle royale: your Cyclops, or Taylor Kitsch's Gambit from "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"?
Cyclops. Gambit doesn't stand a chance!
Those are fighting words!
You know, I helped Taylor with his Gambit. I know his weaknesses!
"Hart of Dixie" airs on Mondays at 9 p.m. EST on The CW.
2012 Midseason TV Shows
"Oprah's Next Chapter"
<strong>Starring:</strong> Oprah Winfrey <strong>What It's About:</strong> "Oprah's Next Chapter" will take Oprah outside the TV studio for a series of in-depth conversations with celebrities ranging from Steven Tyler to Deepak Chopra. <em>Series premieres Sun., Jan. 1, 9 p.m. EST on OWN</em>
"Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off"
<strong>Starring:</strong> Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, Aaron Carter, Coolio, Cheech Marin and more <strong>What It's About:</strong> Food Network stars Rachael and Guy face off as team leaders, each mentoring a group of celebreality all-stars from Coolio to Summer Sanders. <em>Series premieres Sun., Jan. 1, 9 p.m. EST on Food Network</em>
<strong>Starring: </strong>Chris Lilley <strong>What It's About:</strong> The comedy's 12-episode first season follows five different storylines with performer Chris Lilley taking on six distinctly unique roles: twins Daniel and Nathan Sims who live on an outback farm; former surfing world champion turned surfing gang leader Blake Oakfield; a black American rapper named S.mouse; a Japanese mother Jen Okazaki, who manages her skateboarder pro son; and juvenile corrections officer Ruth Sims (aka Gran). Yeah, it's pretty funny. <em>Series premieres Sun., Jan. 1, 10 p.m. EST on HBO</em>
"It's a Brad, Brad World"
<strong>Starring:</strong> Brad Goreski <strong>What It's About:</strong> If you DIE for Rachel Zoe and her drama-filled titular "Project" on Bravo, you're probably already bananas for her fan favorite former assistant Brad Goreski. Yes, Rachel and her husband Rodger tried to work a mean smear campaign, but come on -- Brad's love of color, funny quips and penchant for bowties are too major not to love. His new series tells his side of the story as he attempts to blaze his own trail in the styling industry. <em>Series premieres Mon., Jan. 2, 10 p.m. EST on Bravo</em>
<strong>Starring: </strong>Ben Koldyke, Amaury Nolasco, Rebecca Mader <strong>What It's About:</strong> Lee Standish and Angel Ortiz can't find work anywhere. When a job lead comes with a catch -- the company wants to hire female sales representatives -- they decide to do whatever needs to be done to get the gig and begin cross dressing for the job. Hijinks ensue and LGBT rights groups aren't pleased. <em>Series premieres Tues., Jan. 3, 8:30 p.m. EST on ABC</em>
"Celebrity Wife Swap"
<strong>Starring:</strong> Gary Busey, Ted Haggard, Tracey Gold, Carnie Wilson, Flavor Flav, Mick Foley, Niecy Nash, Tina Yothers <strong>What It's About:</strong> Yep, it's "Wife Swap," but with stars. <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/2011/12/01/celebrity-wife-swap-pairs/" target="_hplink">Celebrities swap spouses with other stars</a>, living one week under the host family's rules before switching it up and taking control. Gary Busey switches with Ted Haggard, Niecy Nash swaps with Tina Yothers ... you get the idea. <em>Series premieres Tues., Jan. 3, 9 p.m. EST on ABC</em>
"Jane By Design"
<strong>Starring:</strong> Erica Dasher, Nick Roux, Andie MacDowell <strong>What It's About:</strong> Jane is your average teenage girl who has some serious adult-sized problems. In an effort to help her family's financial problems, she applies for a job in retail, but everything gets a little loopy when she's accidentally mistaken as an adult and lands a job in a hip retail company. Now Jane must balance being a high school student and a working professional, while keeping her identity a secret. <em>Series premieres Tues., Jan. 3, 9 p.m. EST on ABC Family</em>
<strong>Starring:</strong> Josh Lucas, Juliette Lewis, Callum Keith Rennie, Molly Parker, Natasha Calis <strong>What It's About:</strong> Need a new NBC legal drama with the "Law & Order" franchise disappearing before your eyes? Thankfully, "The Firm," based on John Grisham's best-selling novel, is an antidote. Lucas stars as attorney Mitchell McDeere (the role originated by Tom Cruise in the 1993 film version) in the series, which picks up McDeere's story about a decade after the novel and film left. Since we left him, Mitchell has had a difficult time, working at a firm that operated as a front for the Chicago mob. And now, he's out of the Federal Witness Protect program and trying to evade new threats and haunting past dangers. <em>Series previews Sun., Jan. 8, 9 p.m. EST; series premieres Thurs., Jan. 12, 10 p.m. EST on NBC</em>
"House of Lies"
<strong>Starring:</strong> Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell, Ben Schwartz <strong>What It's About: </strong>In this dark comedy set in the corporate world, management consultants have a grand ole time charging corporate clients millions for sketchy, incomprehensible advice. Nice work, if you can get it. <em>Series premieres Sun., Jan. 8, 10 p.m. EST on Showtime</em>
<strong>Starring:</strong> MMA fighters and their families in Louisiana <strong>What It's About:</strong> MTV is taking a step away from the shore and heading to rural Louisiana. The network's newest docu-series will give an honest and powerful view into the world of passionate amateur MMA fighters and the women in their lives, both inside and outside of the cage. Expect MTV's signature flare for the dramatics, but this one's a little more heartfelt and honest than its predecessors. <em>Series premieres Mon., Jan. 9, 10 p.m. EST on MTV</em>
"24 Hour Catwalk"
<strong>Starring:</strong> Alexa Chung hosts and judges, along with designer Cynthia Rowley, fashion editor Derek Blasberg, media consultant James LaForce <strong>What It's About:</strong> Like "Chopped" but with fashion, "Catwalk" attempts to grab a "Project Runway"-lite audience, i.e. those looking for something that's merely a week-by-week commitment. Each episode finds four designers trying to reimagine a mystery garment; the two best go head-to-head with complete collections designed in just a day. <em>Series premieres Tues., Jan. 10, 10 p.m. EST on Lifetime</em>
"Are You There, Chelsea?"
<strong>Starring: </strong>Laura Prepon, Chelsea Handler, Jack McDorman, Lauren Lapkus, Lenny Clarke, Ali Wong, Mark Povinelli <strong>What It's About:</strong> Based on Handler's best-selling book, "Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea," the show follows Prepon as a fictional version of Handler, Chelsea Newman, a working-class, opinionated young woman. Handler also stars as Sloane, Chelsea's older sister. <em>Series premieres Wed., Jan. 11, 8:30 p.m. EST on NBC</em>
<strong>Starring: </strong>Rob Schneider, Cheech Marin, Claudia Bassols <strong>What It's About: </strong>When Rob, a lifelong bachelor, marries a woman from a close-knit Mexican family, he struggles to win their respect and figure out the finer points of their culture. <em>Series premieres Thurs., Jan. 12, 8:30 p.m. EST on CBS</em>
<strong>Starring:</strong> Geoff Stults, Michael Clarke Duncan, Mercedes Masöhn, Maddie Hasson <strong>What It's About:</strong> Centered around a man with a remarkable talent for helping people find the unfindable, this "Bones" spin-off promises to feature some familiar faces in guest roles; first up, John Francis Daley in episode five. Thankfully, they've also replaced Saffron Burrows, who was the most off-putting part of the pilot. <em>Series premieres Thurs., Jan. 12, 9 p.m. EST on Fox </em>
<strong>Starring:</strong> Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez, Tina Majorino and the rest of the film cast <strong>What It's About: </strong>An animated version of the 2004 indie hit, the series follows Napoleon, an awkward teenager, and his misadventures in high school. <em>Series premieres with two episodes on Sun., Jan. 15 at 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. EST on Fox</em>
<strong>Starring:</strong> Jorge Garcia, Sam Neill, Sarah Jones <strong>What It's About: </strong>A San Francisco cop (Jones) stumbles across a vast, time-traveling conspiracy involving Alcatraz prisoners. Garcia, whom we've missed a lot since "Lost" went off the air, plays an Alcatraz expert she consults about the island prison's secret history. <em>Series premieres Mon., Jan. 16, 8 p.m. EST on Fox</em>
"Betty White's Off Their Rockers"
<strong>Starring:</strong> Betty White and a gang of mischievousness senior citizens <strong>What It's About:</strong> Betty White and friends pull hidden-camera pranks on younger people and hilarity ensues. <em>Series previews Mon., Jan. 16, 9:30 p.m. EST; series premiere TBD on NBC</em>
<strong>Starring:</strong> Anna Silk, K.C. Collins, Kris Holden-Ried <strong>What It's About:</strong> Described as a "sexy supernatural drama series," the SyFy show stars Silk as Bo, a succubus who feeds off sexual energy. As part of the Fae race, Bo must choose whether to follow a path of light or darkness as she searches for the truth about her origins, living among humans, but trying to resist her darker urges. <em>Series premieres Mon., Jan 16, 10 p.m. EST on Syfy</em>
<strong>Starring: </strong>Paul Fisher <strong>What It's About:</strong> Now that "<a href="http://www.aoltv.com/show/americas-next-top-model-13/187482" target="_hplink">America's Next Top Model</a>" is out of cycle, The CW is bringing a new reality series to the catwalk. "Remodeled" goes behind the scenes of the modeling industry. Veteran Paul Fisher -- who once represented Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni, and more high-profile models -- embarks on a new venture: The Network. Fisher's goal? To help small town agents from being screwed by the big agencies by bonding them together. <em>Series previews Tues., Jan. 17; time slot premiere Wed., Feb. 1, 9 p.m. EST on The CW</em>
<strong>Starring: </strong>The voices of David Hornsby, Justin Long, Kristen Bell, Fred Armisen <strong>What It's About:</strong> An animated comedy about two optimistic best friends, Gary and Joel, attempting to navigate the unpredictable landscape of teenage life without any parental supervision. <em>Series premieres Thurs., Jan. 19, 10:30 p.m. EST on FX</em>
<strong>Starring:</strong> Kiefer Sutherland, David Mazouz, Danny Glover, Gugu Mbatha-Raw <strong>What It's About:</strong> This preternatural drama follows widower Martin Bohm (Sutherland) as a single father, who -- despite serious efforts -- cannot connect, physically or emotionally, with his mute 11-year-old son Jake (Mazouz). But when he learns Jake has the amazing ability to see things no one else can see and actually is communicating (only with numbers), everything changes. <em>Series previews Mon., Jan. 25, 9 p.m. EST; series premieres Mon., Mar. 19, 9 p.m. EST on Fox</em>
"Bering Sea Gold"
<strong>Starring:</strong> Crews of four different gold dredging ships <strong>What It's About:</strong> This documentary series from the producers of "<a href="http://www.aoltv.com/show/deadliest-catch/185354" target="_hplink">Deadliest Catch</a>" follows the seafaring inhabitants of Nome, Alaska, as they dredge the ocean to try and retrieve the vast quantities of gold being deposited into the Bering Sea by melting glaciers. <em>Series premieres Fri., Jan. 27, 10 p.m. EST on Discovery</em>
<strong>Starring:</strong> Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Jason Gedrick <strong>What It's About:</strong> In this David Milch drama about the colorful characters who inhabit a horse racing track, Hoffman stars as an ex-con who, like everyone else in "Luck," is hoping for a big score. The Michael Mann-directed pilot got a generally positive reception when it aired in December, but this is Milch we're talking about, so who knows if this high-profile drama will turn out to be more "Deadwood" than "John From Cincinnati." <em>Series premieres Sun., Jan. 29, 9 p.m. EST on HBO</em>
"Key & Peele"
<strong>Starring: </strong>Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele <strong>What It's About: </strong>Comedians Key and Peele star in this offbeat comedy, utilizing filmed sketches and live stage segments to share their irreverent view of the world. <em>Series premieres Tues., Jan. 31, 10:30 p.m. EST on Comedy Central</em>
"I Just Want My Pants Back"
<strong>Starring:</strong> Peter Vack, Sunkrish Bala, Kim Shaw <strong>What It's About:</strong> MTV's new scripted comedy series "I Just Want My Pants Back" is based on David J. Rosen's novel of the same name. It follows the misadventures of a group of hipster friends as they navigate post-college life in Brooklyn. The post-grad protagonist, Jason Strider, dreams of being a music journalist, but has absolutely no idea how to get there. It's not until a one-night stand steals his heart -- and his pants -- that he begins a quest to get his beloved jeans, hopefully the girl ... and the dream job. <em>Series premieres Thurs., Feb. 2, 11:00 p.m. EST on MTV</em>
<strong>Starring: </strong>Debra Messing, Anjelica Huston, Jack Davenport, Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty <strong>What It's About:</strong> NBC calls this show, which is set among the schemers and strivers of Broadway, a "musical drama." We're calling it one of 2012's best pilots, and we very much hope this show can deliver on what that smart first hour promised. <em>Series premieres Mon., Feb. 6, 10 p.m. EST on NBC</em>
<strong>Starring: </strong>Bruce Greenwood, Leslie Hope, Paul Blackthorne <strong>What It's About:</strong> A celebrated wildlife expert disappears on a trip through the Amazon, and when his family goes after him, things get very strange. Perhaps that's not surprising, given that one of the executive producers of this spooky drama is Oren Peli, the mastermind behind the "Paranormal Activity" film franchise. <em>Series premieres Tues., Feb. 7, 9 p.m. EST on ABC</em>
<strong>Starring: </strong>The staff and customers of Kevin Smith's comic shop, Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash <strong>What It's About:</strong> Kevin Smith, a geek hero, is bringing cameras into his iconic New Jersey comic shop. Formerly known as "Secret Stash," the show will feature the staff dynamic and the weekly customers. <em>Series premieres Sun., Feb. 12, 10 p.m. EST on AMC</em>
"Life's Too Short"
<strong>Starring:</strong> Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Warwick Davis <strong>What It's About: </strong>Described by Gervais as a cross between "The Office" and "Extras," "Life's Too Short" is a fake documentary that follows Davis, a 3'6'' actor, as he works tries to find a niche in show business. The show is slated to feature cameos from stars like Johnny Depp and Steve Carell. <em>Series premieres Sun., Feb. 19, 10:30 p.m. EST on HBO</em>
<strong>Starring:</strong> Leslie Bibb, Kristin Chenoweth, Annie Potts <strong>What It's About:</strong> This Darren Star-produced series comes in on the high heels the "Desperate Housewives" of Wisteria Lane are leaving behind. Soon, scripted housewife drama will have a new address on ABC: Dallas. Though "GCB" is less fun than the show's original "Good Christian Bitches" title, one viewing of the series proves that the bitchiness is still in full effect. When former high school mean girl Amanda (Bibb) returns home after a few hardships, she's forced to revisit all of her former enemies, who are now happily living larger-than-life lives, pretending to be holier-than-thou in Big D. <em>Series premieres Sun., Mar. 4, 10 p.m. EST on ABC</em>
<strong>Starring:</strong> Elle Macpherson, Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos, Nicole Richie <strong>What It's About:</strong> 12 designers will compete for a multi-million dollar contract to launch their clothing line in America's largest retail stores, while viewers at home will be able to buy the winning designs each week. <em>Series premieres Tues., Mar. 13, 9 p.m. EST on NBC</em>
<strong>Starring: </strong>Ashley Judd, Sean Bean, Cliff Curtis, Adriano Giannini, Nick Eversman, Tereza Voriskova <strong>What It's About:</strong> Becca Winstone's (Judd) son goes missing while studying abroad, sending the worried mom across Europe to track him down. The former CIA agent must put all her skills to the test to save her beloved son. <em>Series premieres Thurs., Mar. 15, 8 p.m. EST on ABC</em>
<strong>Starring: </strong>Alec Baldwin (narrator), David Attenborough (host) <strong>What It's About:</strong> From the team behind "Planet Earth," this seven-part series offers an unparalleled look at our world's polar regions, utilizing groundbreaking camera techniques for footage shot both above and below the ice in some of the most remote and treacherous landscapes known to man. <em>Series premieres Sun., Mar. 18, 8 p.m. EST on Discovery</em>
<strong>Starring: </strong>Jason Isaacs, Laura Allen, Wilmer Valderrama, Steve Harris, Michaela McManus <strong>What It's About:</strong> We've seen TV characters lead double lives before, but never like this. Detective Michael Britten wakes up after a tragic accident to a new reality where his wife didn't survive and he's now a single dad. When that day is done, he wakes up again to another reality where his wife is alive and they're dealing with the loss of their son. With two different people to mourn, he's struggling to come to grips with, but not willing to let go of either reality with two different therapists. All the while, he's working two different police cases with two different partners. This one will be a mind-bender for sure ... one that's smarter than the average network show. <em>Series premiere TDB on NBC</em>
<strong>Starring:</strong> Amanda Peet, David Walton, Margo Harshman, Joey King and Jeffrey Tambor <strong>What It's About:</strong> With three former TV stars we love (Peet from "Studio 60," Walton from "Perfect Couples," and Tambor from "Arrested Development"), it's easy to get excited about this romantic comedy. Walton plays Pete, a cliché surfer dude-turned-contractor, and Peet is Alex, his recently divorced type-A client with an eight-year-old daughter named Charlie (King). Shocker: the unlikely "Overboard"-inspired duo find themselves entangled in an unexpected romance. <em>Series premiere TBD on NBC</em>
"Best Friends Forever"
<strong>Starring:</strong> Lennon Parham, Jessica St. Clair <strong>What It's About:</strong> Lennon and Jessica are best friends who live on opposite sides of the country ... that is, until Jessica moves back in with Lennon after a break-up. The two quickly fall into old BFF habits, leaving Lennon's boyfriend, Joe, on the outs. <em>Series premiere TBD on NBC</em>
"Don't Trust the B---- In Apt. 23"
<strong>Starring:</strong> Krysten Ritter, Dreama Walker, James Van Der Beek <strong>What It's About:</strong> Naive Midwesterner June (Walker) moves to New York and becomes roommates with the conniving Chloe (Ritter). The amoral schemer is best friends with James Van Der Beek (yes, the real "Dawson's Creek" alum is part of the cast and mocks himself entertainingly in the "Apt. 23" pilot). <em>Series premiere TBD on ABC</em>
<strong>Starring: </strong>Kerry Washington, Henry Ian Cusick, Columbus Short, Guillermo Diaz, Katie Lowes <strong>What It's About:</strong> Shonda Rhimes' latest finds drama outside the operating room. "Scandal" revolves around Olivia Pope (Washington), a whipsmart, extremely connected PR fixer in D.C. She's so good, she used to work for the president ... now, he just begs her to come back on a weekly basis. In between White House scandals, Olivia and her team deal with other high-profile clients who find themselves in very messy situations. <em>Series premiere TBD on ABC </em>