Tall, lanky, and possessing one of the most affable grins in Hollywood, Tom Everett Scott is often considered a younger version of Tom Hanks, his director in That Thing You Do!. Ironically, this resemblance almost cost him his part in the film; after seeing Scott's audition tape, Hanks didn't want to hire him because of the resemblance, but the intervention of his wife, Rita Wilson, who saw the tape and thought Scott was "cute," saved the day and landed the young actor his breakthrough role.
Scott was born September 7, 1970 in Brockton, Massachusetts. The third of four children, Scott was raised in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts by a civil engineer father and an insurance saleswoman mother. While a sophomore communications major at Syracuse University, he discovered his love of theatre and changed his major to drama. After graduation, he moved to New York City, did an obligatory stint as a waiter, and formed a theatre company, '"aTheaterco," with three friends. Scott toiled away in obscurity until 1993 when he got his first role, on the TV sitcom Grace Under Fire. He auditioned for That Thing You Do! and landed the leading role of Guy, a wide-eyed drummer for the one-hit-wonders the Wonders. The role brought Scott previously unheard-of opportunities, including the starring role in his next film, 1997's An American Werewolf in Paris, which co-starred Julie Delpy.
1998 proved to be a busy year for Scott, who was seen in three very different films, the most notable being One True Thing, in which he played Meryl Streep's son. Scott also had a turn in the independent drama River Red and the college comedy Dead Man on Campus. In 1999, Scott played a significant part in the romantic comedy The Love Letter, in which he co-starred with Tom Selleck, Kate Capshaw, and Ellen DeGeneres.