As U.S. Navy Captain Jake Ballard on the hit ABC drama Scandal, actor Scott Foley has been imprisoned in a hole, framed for murder, stabbed in the gut, and caught up in a turbulent romance with crisis manager Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washington).
Raising three young children comes with its own set of dramas, but Foley relishes the time he spends with Malina, 6, Keller, 3, and Konrad, 1. The devoted dad says he'd readily pass up Hollywood's red carpets and glitz to spend quiet weekends at home with his wife, actor Marika Dominczyk, and their kids.
When you're in the middle of filming Scandal, how do you carve out time for family?
I'm very fortunate in that we have a pretty large cast. In order to service all those characters, obviously we can't all be there every day. On most days, I can take my kids to school and put them to bed. But there are days when I'm gone before they're awake and back after they're asleep. Those days are tough.
What's family time like?
Weekends are my favorite time. I'm a pancake maker in the morning, and a quesadilla maker in the afternoon. We have a big property with a trampoline, and we're out all the time. We spend a lot of time together as a family.
How do you keep order with three young children in the house?
We are outnumbered. We've gone from man-to-man to zone defense with the third kid. I wish I could say that I didn't yell, but you have to sometimes to talk over these kids. There are a lot of different things we do, from bribing to time-outs to television.
Being in the entertainment industry, how do you maintain a sense of normalcy for your kids?
I've been doing this for a long time -- I've been through the ups and downs. And I know at this point what's real. The parties and the award shows and the photo shoots and all that stuff are just part of the game. It's not my real life. It's not something that my children are around, involved in, care about. I don't hide them from it. They see me on TV and we've had photo shoots at the house, but it's not anything that's important to them, and that's how I like it.
How has fatherhood changed you?
Before, everything I was doing was for a selfish reason -- I want this part, I want to be on this show, I want people to know me. But now I want to make sure my kids are taken care of, to make sure they have college funds, and to be a dad who is home on the weekends. These are important things to me. I think that's the biggest way -- it's made me so much less selfish.
You're a spokesman for Canine Companions for Independence. Why is this organization so important to you?
They are an organization that trains and provides assistance dogs for people with disabilities. And they do it all free of charge. They've been around for 40 years. It's an amazing organization, and anything I can do to help them, I will.
And you have several pets at home, too?
I was raised with animals in my house, and I think animals and kids together are great. It's beneficial for both of them in so many ways. We have Frankie the dog and Stinky Joe the cat. We have some chickens. And we're going to get another dog so Frankie isn't quite as lonely.
Scandal airs on ABC on Thursdays.
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