Getty Images
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Scott Speedman Was a Professional Athlete Until Neck Injury Ruined His Sport Career and Opened Door to Acting

Joe Akins
Oct 05, 2021
11:20 A.M.

Scott Speedman has proven his skills as an actor in the last two decades. However, the “Underworld” star almost never joined the movie scenes, and here is all about the accident that changed his story.


Entertainment icon Scott Speedman’s athletic build, which has earned him lead roles in blockbuster movies, did not come by chance.

The 46-year-old began his career as a sportsman, making waves as a professional swimmer. However, an injury struck him just before his career skyrocketed, changing the course of his life forever.

A picture of Scott Speedman on a hospital bed during a scene on "Grey's Anatomy" | Photo: Getty Images

A picture of Scott Speedman on a hospital bed during a scene on "Grey's Anatomy" | Photo: Getty Images


Born in London in 1975, Scott Speedman spent his early years with his parents in London, England. When he was four, the family moved to Toronto, where he grew up nurturing his interests in sports, especially swimming.

As a teenager, he attended the gifted athlete’s program organized by Earl Haig Secondary School. Scott Speedman kicked off his swimming career as a member of the Canadian Junior National Swim Team, spending years training as a competitive swimmer.

Scott Speedman at the Toronto International Film Festival 2010. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Scott Speedman at the Toronto International Film Festival 2010. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

His five hours per day training barely paid off when he participated in the 1992 Olympic trials; he took the ninth position.

The star described the injury as the best thing that ever happened to him.

He also participated in other competitions, further honing his skills and shaping him into a potential world-renowned athlete. However, his dreams came crumbling down after one accident.



Unfortunately, shortly after participating in the 1992 Olympic trials, Speedman suffered an injury that ultimately led to a new career path. Scott Speedman described the injury as an “arm burnout” resulting from over-training. He once explained,

“I had a good couple of years competing at a prime age and then my arm just kind of gave out.”

Unable to maintain his usual speed, energy, and intensity with the nerve injury, Speedman was forced to quit swimming. Despite the implication of the injury on his athletic dreams, the star describes the injury as the best thing that ever happened to him.



Soon after saying goodbye to the sports, the 46-year-old developed an interest in acting. He attended a school for gifted kids, where he became completely immersed in the arts.

In May 2021, Speedman and Hofmann revealed they were expecting their first child together.

Around that time, he began dating a dancer and hanging out with actors, which eventually inspired him to attend his first audition and try out for the role of Robin in “Batman Forever.”


Although he didn’t get the role, the casting director was impressed with his talents and hooked him up with a better agency in Toronto. He attended many more auditions under the auspices of his agency and got a handful of callbacks, which boosted his confidence in acting.

Not long after, Speedman began landing roles in TV shows, eventually becoming a world-famous movie star. Describing his rise to stardom, the British-Canadian actor divulged:

“I just got lucky a bunch of times and found myself down here doing a TV show. It was not as easy as it sounds, but I was very lucky for sure.”


The star partly attributes his Hollywood success to casting director Mali Finn, who gave him the nudge he needed to keep pushing despite feeling he was not good enough.


Scott Speedman made his big break in 1998 when he landed the part of former high school swimmer Ben Covington in the TV show “Felicity,” which portrayed the lives of college students in New York.

For four seasons, the icon won heart as the handsome college student, Ben, and became every female’s heartthrob. The show paved the way for more acting gigs for Speedman.


Speedman has since starred in “Dark Blue,” “Underworld,” “The Captives,” “XXX: State Of The Union,” “Last Resort,” “Barney’s Version,” “The Vow,” and “Animal Kingdom,” among others. His notable roles have cemented him as a Hollywood A-lister.

During an interview, Speedman once admitted his role on "Felicity" resonated well with him because it portrayed who he was at that age — a shy, weird dude striving to get his life together.


Similarly, he has landed roles that challenged him beyond expectation, like playing Jefferey in the 2014 movie, "The Captive."

He reckoned the script was written with him in mind, which made the interpretation of his complex, strange and job-obsessed on-screen character interesting yet challenging.



As a born-athlete, easing into the arts was a surprisingly easy transition for Scott Speedman. Having maintained the career and fame for over 26 years, he’s undoubtedly had several chances to regret his decision.

Interestingly, Scott Speedman never nursed those feelings since becoming an actor. When asked if he felt becoming an actor was not the right path for him, the star shared:

“No, because I came from an athletic family, and I grew up an athlete. We’re all crazy, and we’re all really obsessive about what we do, but that’s the price of doing business, wanting to be good.”


Other than the cost of anxiety brought on by his acting career, which he considered normal, Speedman also had little worries. However, he did admit that acting made him feel alive and accomplished, which was a great feeling.


Speedman has sustained a relatively busy career in the last two decades, starring on several blockbuster movies and TV shows such as "Grey's Anatomy."

Yet, his private life remained somewhat off-the-radars until 2017, when news of his relationship with girlfriend Linsay Ray Hofman hit the media. The two have enjoyed a blissful life as a couple since their relationship kicked off.


In May 2021, Speedman and Hofmann revealed they were expecting their first child together. The expectant mom took to Instagram to share the wonderful news with the world on Mother’s Day, revealing they had a daughter on the way.

Several fans and celebrities have utilized various platforms to felicitate the parents-to-be as they anticipate the birth of their little angel and the start of their new family.

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