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In recent times, Adam Scott has sparkled in pop-culture for two masterful performances as manicured, modern cornholios in the Will Ferrell-endorsed comedies Step Brothers and Eastbound & Down. In the former, his character coached an obnoxious wife and kids in a caravan acapella of “Sweet Child of Mine,” while faithfully rocking a Bluetooth headset. In the latter, Scott was a delusional assistant to an assistant of a Major League Baseball team who brags to Kenny Powers that his black AmEx can purchase fellatio from the Jonas Brothers. Ironically, Scott’s character proceeds to offer sex—even with “the kids”—to recruit Powers, a karma-deal that snorts the iconic wind from Powers’s mulleted sails.

On Party Down, one of the strongest and most left-field cable series to debut last year, Scott has managed to be just as funny and biting as the lead amongst a stellar ensemble cast. His character, Henry Pollard, is an out-of-work actor riding out his prime and the recession as an L.A. caterer, a role fleshed out with drama, depression and romance. But I was still surprised to see Scott’s performance in the upcoming indie, The Vicious Kind, which recently earned him an Independent Spirit Awards nom for Best Male Lead. He’s in serious company with Jeff Bridges and Colin Firth for playing a construction worked named Caleb Sinclaire. A self-righteous, aimless man with an estranged father (J.K. Simmons) and a misogynistic albeit amusingly bleak worldview, Caleb sinks to new lows in making a hate-play on his innocent brother’s weary girlfriend (Brittany Snow).

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