Scott Foley on 'The Goodwin Games': It's Got Heart

The actor talks about switching to comedy and his relationship with his own siblings.

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Imagine your sibling rivalries if there were $23 million at stake!

That's the premise of Fox's new comedy, "The Goodwin Games," which airs Mondays at 8:30 PM. When three siblings — played by Scott Foley, Becki Newton, and TJ Miller — gather for their father's funeral, they learn that he's leaving one of them his massive fortune. But they're going to have to play for it!

The show "has what a lot of other comedies don't out there, and that's a heart," Foley told Yahoo! TV.

We chatted with Foley about his move to comedy, his own sibling relationships, and whether "The Goodwin Games" will last.

You've been doing a lot of drama in recent years. Were you looking to get back to comedy?

I was. It came along at a great time. I'd just found out that "True Blood" was coming to an end for me, and it just happened to be the time that they were looking for "Goodwin Games" cast. I'd met with Chris [Harris] and Carter [Bays], the guys who created "How I Met Your Mother," years ago for [that show] and we had a fantastic meeting and things just didn't work out then, but it was a fortuitous meeting we had on "The Goodwin Games."

After doing "The Unit" and "Grey's Anatomy" and "True Blood" back to back, it was heavy stuff. I needed a little levity in my life.

Watch a clip of Foley on "Goodwin Games":

What about this project particularly appealed to you?

I'm a big television viewer and I love watching comedies. This script in particular had a great blend between not just the comedy but the family dynamics, and it really spoke to me on a personal level. ... Even though it's about a game and these siblings playing these games for a $23 million inheritance, to me it was about a family, a group of grown children who'd all gone their separate ways and lost touch with each other and were reunited for this game.

It was a way to watch them get to know one another again and become a family. And I thought it was really sweet. And "nice" has become such a bad word, but it was such a nice script and it was such a nice group of people, I had a hard time saying no to it. I jumped at the opportunity.

Your character, Henry, is this buttoned-up doctor and seems like he'd be the front-runner. Why doesn't he deserve to win?

Well, I think he does; I definitely think he deserves to win! But part of the show is learning and defining these characters and their weaknesses and their strengths. I think Henry Goodwin spent his whole childhood in the shadow of his younger sister, the one that everyone from their father to society deemed the smart one. And he really made it his mission to go out and distance himself from his family and become a success.

He wanted to show the world he was just as good. In that process, he really cut all ties with his family. He hadn't seen his father in years, his brother didn't know where he lived, he hadn't spoken to his sister in forever. ... That's really Henry's struggle in this whole series, to let people in, to let the people who love him back into his life.

Are you close to your siblings in real life?

Yeah. I say yeah. We're a family of men. It's my father and there are three boys, so I have two younger brothers. I'm married to a woman who's [got] a mother and three sisters. So she thinks we're not close at all! As far as women go, we're not close at all. She talks to her mom twice a day and her sisters once a day. I think for men we're pretty close. ... She and her sisters fight like cats and dogs. We never fight!

Fox just held its upfronts, and they talked a lot about moving to year-round programming. With "Goodwin Games" airing in the summer, is that part of that strategy?

Look, I think we're beating around the bush here, and I appreciate you doing so. Look, Fox had high hopes for their comedy lineup this year, and I think that their Tuesday night comedy block wasn't as successful as they wanted it to be. I think in that regard, they cut our episode order short from 13 to 7 and weren't really sure what to do with us. They like the show, [but] they weren't 100 percent behind it.

There's the idea that they're maybe burning the episodes of this show off. That's always a possibility. I think the show stands on its own. I'm very proud of it ... I think this is a show that has what a lot of other comedies don't out there, and that's a heart.

I hope it'll catch on. You never know. [Fox] just announced their lineup for next fall and there's no mention of "The Goodwin Games." I have realistic hopes, but underneath that, I really want people to watch it.

Watch the pilot episode: 

"The Goodwin Games" airs Mondays at 8:30 PM on Fox.

 

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