Scott Foley knows you're not the biggest fan of his character on "Scandal," so he wasn't all that concerned with turning viewers off by playing the character who does the deed in "Let's Kill Ward's Wife," a dark comedy he also wrote and directed. Just be careful how much you criticize him, since he's exceptionally well-versed in how to dispose of human bodies now.
I'm always a fan of darker humor, but it can be risky.
We knew going into this that there were going to be a lot of people who don't feel that way with this.
How do you prepare yourself for those kinds of reactions?
It's interesting, I don't know how you prepare yourself. I think you buckle up and you batten down, right? I've been on this TV show for a while, and my character is very polarizing. Due to social media, I am constantly barraged by f--- yous and "I hope your character dies," "I hope you die." I'm sort of used to it at this point. I knew going into this that you can please all of the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, right? But you can't please all of the people all the time. There's something liberating about that. You like it? You don't? OK. I'm happy with the film that I made, and if you get it think you're going to enjoy it. And if you don't, it's not for you.
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I've heard the secret is to just figure out what you want to see and make that.
Mm-hmm, yeah. And you hope at some point someone out there is like, "Hey, I kind of like what he likes, too!" (laughs) Or else you stop making films.
It's interesting that you can find so much sympathy for a character that up and decides to kill his best friend's wife.
That was a challenge, especially now with the NFL and all this talk of domestic violence, it's just the wrong time. (laughs) But the great thing is we sort of reversed the roles. The domestic abuse is being perpetrated on the gentleman this time instead of the woman in the relationship, and how his friends decide to take things into their own hands — whether it be accidental or on purpose — is a different story. But it was a hard balance between the gruesome and the heavy stuff and trying to find moments of levity.
And I'm assuming you picked up some interesting new skill sets while researching this script.
I probably spent about two days on the Internet going to these deep, dark Web sites that maybe me and one other weird guy had ever gone to and learning all the ways to dismember a body, to decompose a body, to get rid of a body — how to do it so the dogs don't smell the sent. One of the things that I found that I didn't use in the film is that if you put a body in a bag with kitty litter, it'll turn into jelly in a month. So f---ed up, but true. (laughs) I'm surprised no one knocked on my door going, "Hey, what are you doing, Mr. Foley?"
Between shows like "Scandal," "How to Get Away with Murder" and "Breaking Bad," or even "Law & Order" or "The Sopranos," do you think TV is doing too good of a job in educating people about how to actually get away with murder?
Yeah, man. I mean, there are ideas left and right about how to do all of this. If you were to do it, you could probably cite five or six different episodes of television shows — even these reality shows now, like "The First 48" — of how to do it pretty well and get away with it. (laughs)
It does still seem like an odd thing to become an expert in.
Yeah, but you've got to specialize. You've got to focus. And if that's your thing, that's your thing. (laughs)
Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter: @nedrick