Adam Scott’s Best Roles from ‘Party Down’ to ‘Severance’

Adam Scott, to me, is one of our greatest actors because you never really know what kind of character you’re going to get from him. To be fair, I am a little biased. I do have a cat that I named after arguably his most famous role to date who I love with my whole being. But if anything, that’s just a testament to the power that Scott has as an actor.

And so now that Severance has come to an end for Season 1, fans might be itching for some more Adam Scott content to keep them going. So here are the ten best roles from Adam Scott to check out to keep your Adam Scott binge going.

Henry Pollard from Party Down

party down
Courtesy of Starz

“Are we having fun yet?” may have been the most iconic ending to a pilot episode of television ever but it also became a catchphrase for Henry Pollard and made him a character we all fell in love with. Before he became known on Parks and Recreation, Scott played the character of Henry on the short-lived Starz series (which is now coming back with a reboot series). But there was something so wonderful about his portrayal of Henry that is different from some of his other iconic roles.

He’s an incredibly sad character, who lost everything and saw what life he did have as nothing despite having friends and a relationship outside of success in his career. All of those who work at Party Down catering are aspiring artists in some regard and while Henry had a brief moment of fame with a commercial, it’s not what he wanted to do and that sadness seeps into his character constantly.

Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation

parks and recs
Courtesy of NBC

The best character to ever exist, the namesake of my cat, and the love of my life: Sir Benjamin Wyatt. Parks and Recreation showed us just how much of a sweet human he could be. Ben Wyatt is truly one of the best characters. He’s nerdy, he’s weird, he’s anxious, but he loves his wife so much and he’d do anything to make her happy. One of the greatest moments in television history (to me) is when Ben Wyatt gives up running for governor because he knows that it belongs to Leslie. And she doesn’t ask him to, he does it because he knows she wants it but will give it up if he wants it to and that’s what makes them work together so well.

Ben Wyatt is a dreamboat, a man that we can all look up to, and honestly, if I don’t marry a man like Ben Wyatt, what am I even doing with my life. But he’s a perfect character to explore and one of Adam Scott’s best roles. Again, I named my cat after him.

Derek from Step Brothers

step brothers
Courtesy of Colombia Pictures

If it’s not his TV work, people probably know Adam Scott from his role as Derek in Step Brothers. The brother of Will Ferrell’s Brendan, he’s a man who has a family and wealth and loves to be absolutely horrible to his brother and is, frankly, a grade A jerk. Derek enters the movie singing “Sweet Child O’ Mine” with his family and his wife, played by Kathryn Hahn, clearly hates him and her life.

But even though Derek is the absolute worst, he still tries in the end to fix his life and his relationship with Brendan. It’s not perfect and he still is horrible but he attempts to fix it and somehow we all still laugh at Derek and his jerky ways despite not really having any redeemable qualities. That’s, frankly, what makes Adam Scott so fascinating as an actor but also Step Brothers is a funny movie so it’s a great time all around.

Matthew in Sleeping With Other People

sleeping with other people
Courtesy of IFC Films

Matthew is the kind of character that you don’t understand but still, you sort of get it. In Sleeping With Other People, he’s Lainey’s (Alison Brie) partner before her “friendship” with Jake (Jason Sudeikis) turns into something more and he’s meant to be a gross character and yet still, you see Adam Scott with a weird little mustache and then you maybe see what Lainey was drawn to in the first place and care a bit more about their relationship even if he’s a bad choice all around for her.

He’s not the main love interest in this movie and definitely not the right one but it shows the range that Scott has. We’re used to him playing these romantic men who sweep women off their feet and then we see him play a character like Matthew and how he’s horrible to Lainey and it just shows his power as an actor.

Ben from Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later

american summer
Courtesy of USA Films

Originally played by Bradley Cooper in Wet Hot American Summer and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Adam Scott took over the role of Ben for the series Ten Years Later and seeing him play a different Ben who was also in love with an Amy Poehler character at once point was surely a time.

The thing about the entire Wet Hot American Summer series is that it feels like a group of friends all hanging out together and having fun. So including Scott in that finally, after he’s been friends with most of the cast and worked with them in other properties is just something that feels right. He didn’t have to take over for Cooper but since he couldn’t come back for this season, it’s at least a nice nod to his other shared roles with Amy Poehler. But he’s great in this and plays Ben in a new way that still works with the flow of the history of Wet Hot American Summer.

Clyde in Bachelorette

Bachelorette
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Leslye Headland knows how to write an Adam Scott character and Clyde was the one that really broke the mold. The ex of Gena, Clyde is trying his best to win her back at the wedding of their friends and he’s so incredibly romantic in a way that’s different from Scott’s other characters, and while it is the second time he had Lizzy Caplan (the first being Party Down) and their chemistry works so well with Gena and Clyde and you want them to be together even if it might not be the best move for them as people.

If you want to see Adam Scott sing “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by the Proclaimers as a way of expressing his love then this is definitely the movie for you and it’s one that I think about often enough that it really does just stay with you in every Adam Scott movie you watch.

Ed Mackenzie from Big Little Lies

big little lies
Courtesy of Hulu

He may have been Reese Witherspoon’s sad husband who seemed too nice for her nonsense but Adam Scott as Ed in Big Little Lies became a character we all sort of rooted for. In Season 1, he was simply a good husband who just tried to be there for Madeline Mackenzie but she just continued to cheat on him and take him for granted in a way that made you feel so bad for Ed, who was one of the good guys on this show.

All of that was because of Scott’s performance. He has the ability to make you care for his characters and want to root for them, even when they’re not great people so, with a character like Ed, we all rooted for him because he was a genuinely nice man. Also, Adam Scott has a great beard in Season 1 that really makes it all worth it. (Sadly he shaves in Season 2.)

Robbie from My Blind Brother

my blind brother scaled
Courtesy of Starz

It’s not the best movie or even the funniest thing that Adam Scott has done but My Blind Brother is the kind of easy comedy to watch that brings him into the fold with comedian Nick Kroll and Jenny Slate. Adam Scott plays Robbie, a local athlete and celebrity who happens to be blind and has his brother, Bill (Kroll) there to help him every step of the way. The problem is that Bill is a little bitter given that Robbie has never thanked him and finally feels like he found someone who he can have for himself in Rose (Jenny Slate).

But much like everything in their life, he has to share Rose with his brother Robbie in a way and it’s a story about Bill and Rose coming to term with their own relationship outside of Robbie and Bill and Robbie figuring out how their dynamic with each other works best for them.

Trevor from The Good Place

the good place
Courtesy of NBC

The second time that Adam Scott worked with Mike Schur was quite different from his role as Ben Wyatt. In The Good Place, he plays a demon named Trevor who is essentially just chaos and constantly making fun of the Good Place and the idea of people not going to The Bad Place and he’s so good in this show that it feels like a completely different actor from what we saw in Parks and Recreation.

Trevor isn’t featured that much in the show but he’s there enough that it gives fans of Adam Scott a new look into his style as a performer. There are the characters where Adam Scott plays a more grounded character who is often the comedic “straight man” of the scene. And then there is Trevor who is completely outrageous and someone that is so different from his other things. And it’s nice to see him in a Mike Schur show again.

Mark from Severance

Severance
Courtesy of Apple TV+

Of course, there’s now Mark from Severance. Mark is another sad character but that’s also just a part of the show as a whole. We’re following the journey of the outside world versus his work with Lumon and he’s our guide through it all. So we watch him struggle to understand what is going on with his friends, his attempt to help Petey, his own understanding of what he chose to do with the Severance program, and just how lonely he seems to be outside of talking to people while at work.

Play into the fact that his sister is trying to reach out to him and talk with him, but it is interfered with, and even if he wasn’t as alone as he seems to be while at home, he is even worse off then. Mark is someone who takes his job seriously, tries to not view Lumon as bad people, but also wants answers throughout the season and it’s an interesting change of pace for Scott as an actor.

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This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Image Credit: NBC/Starz.


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Rachel Leishman is a writer based in New York City.  She specializes in yelling about her favorite properties. A real-life Leslie Knope, she loves her fictional characters and knows probably too much about Harrison Ford's career.