‘Snatch’ Star Dougray Scott on Why the Word ‘Laboratory’ Cost Him a Job

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Photo Source: Illustration: Nathan Arizona/Photo: Matt Squire/Crackle

In the new Crackle series “Snatch,” based on the 2000 film of the same name, British actor Dougray Scott returns to television as a prisoner determined to break out of the big house. Long before he landed the role in the heist-genre comedy, Scott was an auditioning actor in the U.K. who once blew a job opportunity due to the word “laboratory.” Here, he revisits that traumatic audition (which he now laughs about heartily), and reveals what advice he’d offer to his younger self.

Tell us about ‘Snatch.’
It sort of takes the genre [and] the premise of “Snatch” the movie and moves into a different area. It’s got new, different characters. It’s ostensibly a heist movie. My character, he’s kind of godfather of these gangsters, and 15 years previously, he robbed all this gold and he gets double-crossed by the police and ends up in prison.… He decides to break out of prison and get his gold back. It’s a very particular kind of genre. It’s fun; a lot of action, a lot of comedy.

Do you remember your first headshot?
[Laughs] I remember my first headshot. It was taken when I was in drama college, and I had this scarf on and a raincoat on. I remember being horrified of what I looked like. I look about 12 [years old] in it.

READ: The 5 Worst Headshot Mistakes Actors Make

What was your worst audition?
It was for a play, and I had to say the word “laboratory.” I kept on saying “lavatory” instead of “laboratory.” For some reason, I kept locking on [that] word. The director looks at me and says, “You know it’s ‘laboratory,’ ” and I said, “I know, I know. I just can’t say it. I know that I keep on saying ‘lavatory.’ ” So I got to do the scene again and I said “lavatory,” and I just gave up. That’s the worst audition I’ve ever had.

How do you prepare for an audition now?
Thankfully, I don’t have to audition very much [these days], which is great. But if I were to audition, I’d read the script again and again and again. When I was younger, auditions to me were incredibly important and I would prepare massively for them. I would learn the lines as much as I possibly could and I would work on the scene, not try and waste it because I knew I had one chance, one shot of getting this part. I always wanted to be fresh for the audition, and I always tried to connect on a personal level with the character I was auditioning for.

What advice would you give your younger self?
You get turned down so many times as a young actor, and [it’s easy] to take it personally and think it’s all about you. In my position now, I can see there are so many different reasons why you don’t get offered the part. Quite often it has nothing to do with your abilities as an actor, and that’s what you always think when someone says no. A lot of actors can doubt their talent, so I would say to my younger self, “Don’t ever doubt yourself. You get knocked down, you get up and you dust yourself off and you keep on going.”

How did you get your SAG-AFTRA card?
I got my SAG card doing a movie called “Deep Impact.” I remember I’d done a movie called “Twin Town,” which was this cult success in the U.K. It had just come out in America, so I went to America when it came out and literally got off the plane and met an agent. This agent said she wanted to take me on and then she sent me to an audition with the director of “Deep Impact” and I got the job! And that’s how I got my SAG membership.

READ: The 10 Best Survival Jobs for Actors

Did you ever work a survival job?
I used to work at the bar. I used to work as an usher at the theater. I worked in a warehouse. I even was an accountant’s assistant for some time. That’s how I got by. I had all sorts of jobs to try and make ends meet.

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