Scout Taylor-Compton Isn’t Afraid Of Anything

Scout Taylor-Compton had a bit of an unconventional childhood. She probably didn’t host that many playdates as a kid — on account of all the dead bodies in her basement being worked on by her mortician father. But, don’t worry, it isn’t a source of pain for the 26-year-old actress. If anything, it actually helped her career along: Scout’s had no qualms about being labeled a scream queen, appearing in the rebooted Halloween franchise and a number of other horror movies.

Now, though, the California native is headed for sunnier shores. You can see her on ABC’s hit musical series Nashville, playing a new character named Erin. And, believe it or not, she seems right at home among the living.

I read that you love horror movies.

I’ve been in a few of them. When I first booked Halloween I did not realize that my life was going to change. It’s funny, my dad is a mortician and I grew up in a mortuary and I grew up watching horror movies, so it was an easy thing for me to mix into and work with Rob Zombie and fall into that family. It was such an overwhelming experience for me, but it changed my career completely. But yeah, I do love horror movies. I’m a big fan of Chuckie.

You grew up in a mortuary? What a childhood! With that kind of background, is there anything that scares you?

No. Nothing really freaks me out because I was raised in [that environment]. My parents would find me in the coffin room and that’s where I would play with my dolls. I never understood why kids didn’t want to come over until I got older. It was like, “Oh, this is why I was getting teased in school.” Actually, the only thing I can’t handle is going to funerals. I’ve witnessed so many — living in a mortuary, they have so many wakes there and stuff and I can’t handle that kind of thing. Seeing all the emotion, that’s what I can’t handle. Everything else to do with dead bodies, I have under control. It’s pretty crazy when I think about it. I’m not a normal, typical girl.

Your resume is filled with films where you have amazing costars. Have you received any advice over the years that has stayed with you?

One of my best exchanges was working with Helen Mirren on Love Ranch. I absolutely adore her — talk about a free spirit! I feel like being young in this business, when you’re becoming an adult and things are changing you start acting out. She just taught me to be my free-spirited self and that there is nothing wrong with not fitting into a Hollywood mould. 

In your movies The Runaways and Halloween, you’re stepping into the shoes of very iconic people, whether they’re real or fictional. What’s it like to take on these roles that people have a connection to and have such a huge following?

I’m a really competitive person, which makes me really determined. I think it helps me actually, knowing that I’m playing a role that someone’s already done or was in real life. It just makes me push myself to be the best that I can be, to portray it the best possible way. And especially playing Lita Ford, I learned all the guitar parts and had to make sure that I resembled her, and that my posture was like hers. I mean, I personally like doing stuff like that more than playing a fictional character. That just adds more drive for me to do it. Despite that, I would actually love to play Baby in Dirty Dancing — that’s my dream role. I dig those kinds of roles. It just pushes me more to be the best that I can be.

Who is your character in Nashville?

Erin, a very feisty, moves-to-the-beat-of-her-own-drum kind of girl. I would describe her as a fun, adventurous girl, like one of the guys. I’ve heard it from the writers, too, saying, “We haven’t met a character on this show who’s fun and doesn’t cry in every scene.” [Laughs.] She’s not causing drama, not cheating on someone or anything like that. But still a fun girl. I’m kind of like that.

How was it going into a show that’s been established over a couple of seasons and joining a team of people that have been working together a while before you arrived?

You know, it’s really nerve-wracking. My very first shoot on my very first day was actually an intense make-out scene between myself and Sam [Palladio]. It was just like, “Hi, I’m going to be with you for a while, and right now we’re going to make out.” It was pretty intense. But besides that, everyone is so loving on Nashville. It’s such a loving town and the people on set — the crew and the cast — are all so welcoming, so it was really easy.

How do you bring down the tension on set when your first scene is a furious make-out session?

I feel like Sam and I really similar in our sense of humour. It was kind of a sarcastic, awkward thing which brought down the stress of it, but it was still professional. To be honest, it’s not my first rodeo with kissing someone, so it was pretty easy to get into. And, I mean, in the first take we were like, “Ok, you got my lips, I got yours, cool.” He’s a buddy of mine now, so even when we have to kiss it’s not a big deal. We’ve been kissing each other for so long at this point. It’s kind of like a high five. 

Photographer/Makeup: Dylan Lujano
Hair: Sergio Sanchez 
Styling: Celebrity Stylist, Beatrice Nikole